Saturday, September 18, 2010


I knew the humpback whale blocks were going to be the most difficult blocks in the sea quilt. I had no idea just how difficult! I photocopied the templates from the back of the book. I figured out which templates needed to be cut from which color fabric, and VERY carefully cut them out with a rotary cutter and an acrylic ruler along the template edges. I was very careful, and although I wasn't feeling very well, and my head felt stuffed with cotton, I thought I did OK.

Well, when I was sewing the pieces together, I had these two pieces that just weren't going together correctly.

These pieces should be straight along the ruler, see how far off they are? I ripped out my stitching, and sewed it again- same thing, doesn't line up. I put the template up against the pieces, thinking maybe I didn't cut accurately. No, the pieces exactly match up with the templates. The templates are marked with stitching lines, so holding the paper up to light, I matched up the stitching lines and opened it up as if I had stitched it. That is when I realized, it was not me making the mistake, the templates were wrong!

Remember I said I wasn't feeling well? I knew on a good day I could probably figure out which template was wrong, and how to correct it. The thing is, today was not a good day, and I knew I couldn't figure it out today. I debated just quitting on sewing for today, or ditching the whales from the quilt. I didn't want to fall any farther behind on this project, and I really wanted the humpbacks, so I needed to come up with something. That's when I remembered the word "errata". It's a wonderful word in a case like this. I went to my computer, typed in the name of the quilt book I was using and the word errata. Even though this book is over 10 years old, up came just what I needed. All the corrections for the mistakes in the first printing of the book were there, including the corrected templates available for printing! I bought this book a couple months ago at a used book store, so I hadn't even noticed it was a first printing, but evidently this first printing was filled with errors. A few other templates were incorrect too, but only one on the humpback whales. I cut new pieces with the corrected template, and this time things were working much better.

Here are the pieces from the other whale, and see how much better they lined up? Now all was right in the sewing room.

I took a photo of both the templates, so you could see just how off it was. The one on the left is the incorrect template, the one on the right correct. See how off the angles are? I started wondering how many people don't realize the mistake is not theirs, and just give up in frustration. When you are stuck, and you've decided the error is not yours, try googling the name of your quilting book followed by the word errata, and you may just solve your problem too.

Here are my humpback whale blocks. I may have only made two blocks today, but I'm counting it as a full day of quilting. I'm exhausted!

1 comment:

Candace said...

Looks like you conquered it though. They look great to me.