Friday, January 3, 2014

Triangles are really not as much fun......

As they look.

Seriously.

Don't get me wrong, I know they look lovely. They look amazing actually, in my opinion. I love them. And, in the end, they are worth the work.

But, O.M.G., are they a pain from a process perspective. (Warning: this may be a slightly grumpy post. Read at your peril)

If you haven't been on Instagram, the background is that this is a quilt for my little baby girl Rachel who turns 1 next week. I made her a pram quilt, but now she needs a proper cot/bed quilt. I wanted to make something eclectic and lovely, girlie but not too sweet; I wanted something with a little depth and interesting to look at - for me, as well as for her. It absolutely needed to incorporate my favourite prints for little girls. And it needs to be a decent size so it will grow with her. Easy peasy, right? It's *supposed* to be part of her birthday present, but next Wednesday is catching up on me very fast. Still, she won't notice if its a few days late.



This is where I started, lots and lots of triangles. Of course, being for the apple of my eye, I had to fussy cut most of them. This was VERY slow. Plus I always think triangles are wasteful of fabrics as opposed to more regular shapes.  (things that annoy me about triangles, no 1).

Next, I started to lay them out. I got about a quarter of the way on the playroom floor, until I was defeated by toys, glitter, Barbie hair spray, kneeling on tiny little lego pieces and lots more minor irritants.Not to mention serious lack of space in the post-Christmas full-of-my-kids-and-their-multiple-friends-all-day-long playroom.


So I neatly stacked all the rows I'd done, took it upstairs, unstacked them and laid them out (again) on my bed, and then spent a whole afternoon laying out the rest. It took a LONG time. It's not like laying out 12 or 24 blocks. Every. single. little. piece. needs to be laid out. And because I was incorporating low volume triangles in places to break up the look of it and draw the eye through, I needed to lay out all the white/low volume pieces too instead of just assuming they were all white background. (Things that annoy me about triangles no. 2: you need a huge space to lay it out because none of them are pieced. And they are fiddly to handle and work with. And, if you live in my house, there is no space where you can layout a quilt over a period of time. You have to get it done and back up off the surface as quickly as possible. Or people will have to sleep on the floor.). 


So, after laying it all out, I jumped up and down trying to get a couple of quick photos (hence the crap quality of the one above) and immediately started to stack it all back up and pin my rows together. Which left me with this:


It does look like a pretty little pile, doesn't it?  (See, I'm starting to come around now).

But then, I started piecing it. I forgot, until yesterday, how annoyingly easy it is to sew seams in the wrong direction on triangles. (Things that annoy me about triangles no 3). Firstly, I got distracted watching the Sherlock mini-episode on the iPad and matched the wrong seams the whole way through the first row:



Then, once I got piecing properly, as usual, I got mixed up on what way I should have the seams going on a number of rows so I know when I come to assembling them I will be cursing my own stupidity. (Things that annoy me about triangles no 4).


But. but..... Look how lovely those rows are looking. They're just so, well, so pretty. (Things I LOVE about triangles, no 1-100) I can't wait to get assembling.



So, there you go. I'm really hoping I might get the final 3 rows pieced tomorrow morning and then get the quilt top assembled by Sunday evening. I do hope it's going to look nice, even though you lay it all out, you never can tell until its all pieced.

Oh - and I promise not to moan about triangles any more ;-)

30 comments:

Rachael said...

Oh lucky Rachel, it's going to be lovely!

Paula @ Sewy Stuff said...

I dont consider them "moans and groans" but rather "tips and tricks" that I can use / watch out for when I get ready to do triangles. Because you are right, they really are wonderful to look at. And all your fussy cuts are great! (I probably wouldn't have the patience for that part either!)

Cynthia Brunz Designs said...

Thanks for the chuckle. I have seen those same miss-sewn blocks in my own sewing room! Way to stick with it. It is going to be so charming when it is all put together! (and well worth all the pain)

Andee said...

It really looks great and I did laugh outloud at the watching tv and sewing an entire row wrong..been there done that!

Katy Cameron said...

You are a far better woman than I, triangle bee blocks is my max lol Still, I bet it will look fab :o)

Conni said...

I have a triangle quilt on my 2014 to do list. Even after reading about your miss haps, I still think I will give one a try

Leigh Anne said...

They really do look lovely though! Have you thought of making a temporary design wall? Just a fleece sheet tacked to a wall so you could leave them laid out while piecing?

Judith, Belfast said...

I'm with you on the triangle angst! But it will be so worth it in the end! Can't believe your wee one is 1 already! Where does the time go! Jxo

Leanne said...

I get all the moans, but it will be so lovely when it is done. You need a design wall or curtain or something that you can hang up for this kind of thing.

Pennie said...

I have exactly the same space problem as you - I frequently have to make the bed over a laid up quilt top till I've got it finished!!! Still, triangle trauma aside, it looks gorgeous, can't wait to see how it develops.

Mack and Mabel said...

Your quilt is going to look wonderful ! I have a triangle quilt on my bucket list. When I have space problems I lay a flannel sheet on the bed and layout the pieces on that, when I need to use the bed I carefully roll up the flannel quite tightly and stow it away somewhere. You can fold that roll in half or more, too. When you slowly roll it out again, one or two pieces might slip a bit, but not enough to lose the layout.

Fran said...

Totally agree! My first attempt was painful, but since then I've done a couple of smaller items using a few triangles which has been good practice. Your quilt will be gorgeous!

Helenjean said...

I found this very comforting and life affirming, not just me has issues with triangles!

Di said...

Triangles are a pain but don't they look great when they are all pieced together in the right order? You are making a beautiful quilt for your little one. Di x

Lori said...

I did one of these quilts. Top is all done just trying to decide how to quilt it. Its all scraps- no repeaters. It was a pain in the neck. A very exact type of thing.

Quilter in the Gap said...

So glad I haven't made one of these because if you are moaning I would be stomping for sure....thanks for the heads up!!

...I am Nora..... said...

You make me laugh!!!!

Boy...did I need that!

I share your frustration, things that look lovely in the end are usually the things that cause the most irritation to make!!!

My Mums (ROUND!!) cushions almost flew out of the window several times, it was a good job the kids were in bed because the language was not good! But she loved them.

Can't wait to see it finished...it looks stunning...well done!

Nora xx

mareshavefun said...

It's going to look beautiful, it's going to look beautiful, IT IS going to look beautiful when you're done. I so share in your triangle woes... I'm still working on the sewing it together correctly, but I love them when they are.

Flying Blind... said...

Looks lovely though; no pain, no gain!

Mother Dragon said...

Have you thought about making a design wall? I made one from flannel pulled over a skinny frame I made out of wood. It rests against my sewing area wall, so I can move it around if I want. I will probably make another one one day, so for big projects I can put them side by side on a bigger wall. You could sore it the garage when it's not being used if you want. If that's no good for you, you could attach a long bit of skinny wood to the top of your wall with some flannel attached and make a sort of roller blind. You could attach some ribbon to tie it up when it's not in use or you could have more then one layer for multiple projects. The great thing about a design wall is you can step back from it and have a good view of what it would look like. You don't wear your back and knees out crawling around on the floor and you don't have to pack it up all the time. :-)

Sandra @SewofCourse said...

It looks lovely! And this is why I never bother to lay them all out, I just begin sewing...

tomomi mcelwee said...

Love triangles. I made one last year which I used solids though. Much easier! Rachel will love it.

Karen said...

I have been wanting to make a triangle quilt for a while...think it just moved lower on my list ;). Yours looks amazing though!

Katherine Olley said...

I feel your triangle pain! Really enjoyed your post :-)
It's going to be lovely though.

Neni Mav said...

It looks just lovely!! And I have to agree with you on the cons of triangles! The thing with the sewing the wrong side happened twice to me too! this is why i chose to make first a stroller quilt instead of a regular quilt, with my lack of patience there might not be even a scrap left from the whole thing! It looks so cute, can't wait to see it all put together and all :)
xx

Modern Quilt Guild Ireland said...

You nearly have my crying with laughter here. I'm trying to imagine you (and the kids) crawling around the floor filled with lego. Oh, S. It's totally worth it. Keep going!

Modern Quilt Guild Ireland said...

Duh. It's me - Cindy - signed in as MQG. I figured you'd work that out seeing as you and I are the only ones with the password, but you might be tired after all of that trauma.

pandchintz said...

It's looking so good!! Helpful hint - lay your pieces out on an old sheet, then if you need to move, pin them on and fold the sheet up. Easy to pack up, easy to piece from, easy to keep track of. Keep going!!

Sarah said...

I've never sewn equilateral triangles before, but all your moans and groans appeared to be things that I would hate too! I like HST though. Except trimming them down and squaring them up is a time consuming extra step I could do without. Happy Birthday to little Rachel!

diane said...

Thanks for this post. I need to make a triangle quilt. It's definitely on my to do list.