If you are a fan of Project Runway you are familiar with those famous words uttered by Tim Gunn as a means of encouraging a designer when something is not going well. Or at least that is what they mean to me. Well yesterday I had a "make it work" moment in my studio working on the borders of my old UFO,Fall Urns. If you have read my blog for any length of time you are probably aware that I hate doing borders. I consider them my quilting nemesis and clearly for good reason! It started out fine. I had finished the appliqué of the 4th border and needed to sew on each side and miter the corners before adding the corner appliqué. I carefully measured the sides and marked each border in the center and the appropriate distance to each end. I don't mind mitering corners so that was not the issue ( though these days I always cut my borders with extra length to give myself a little wiggle room when I am mitering the corners). Anyway. I did the first corner with no problem and trimmed it. I went to the next corner and discovered that one of the pieces of fabric was too short. Aghhh! What I did not realize when I did the first corner was that these borders had been cut to the exact size, over 20 years ago, and the bit extra on the first corner should have alerted me to the fact that I had incorrectly centered that border. I could not take it off and start again as I had already trimmed the miter and I certainly was not going to make a whole new border. Plus I had no more background fabric. So in the manner of quilters throughout the ages I added a tiny scrap of fabric from the trimmed corner and made it work.
It isn't perfect but I will just look at it as a learning experience. Oh and then when I was prepping the corner appliqué I discovered that I did not have enough stem to fit under the appliqué in one corner. This fix again is not perfect but it will do. I just added a bit more stem with a little join in the bias and fit it in. The two sides are not a perfect match but I can live with it. You may also have noted that the birds are not quiet in the asme position in each corner, another issue of measurement but I can live with that too.
Oddly enough these difficulties make me think of the women making quilts long before we had all our modern conveniences such as sewing machines, rotary cutters and mats, xerox machines, light boxes, Frixtion pens and good lighting. All of these are things I take for granted and certainly go a long way to making my quilting more accurate. But it is the imperfections and whimsy of the antique quilts that really draws me in so I am going to let these imperfections remain as part of my quilt's history and consider it working for me!
Now I can just relax and get stitching those corners.