I’ve been plugging away at the Sandy Quilt Block project, pressing, trimming and stitching together blocks to make four quilt tops. Recently I took delivery of twenty absolutely gorgeous blocks. The creator used an assortment of quality fabrics to create them. Each one was meticulously cut, stitched and pressed. The blocks looked wonderful except for one small glitch. She unfortunately missed a pattern detail. That detail instructed the seamstress to add a two-inch border of black, brown or grey fabric on all four sides of each square. Judging by the quality of her work I know this omission was simply an oversight. I am certain she would never intentionally skip this step.
So What Do I Do?
It would seem natural to ship the quilt squares back to the donor and ask her to add the missing borders, but I didn’t have the heart to do it. I had already made twenty blocks of my own and figured my workstation was already set up. The most logical solution to me was finish the quilt squares myself..
Via email I contacted her to share with her my plans. Although embarrassed, she was very appreciative. By sharing with her the omission she was able to avoid a repeat occurrence. She was creating a second set of twenty Sandy Quilt Blocks to donate to a second quilter. Our conversation saved her the embarrassment of a repeat experience.
When I was finished assembling my set of twenty blocks I found myself with extra two-inch strips of black fabric. I set aside the extra strips hoping I might find a use for them in the future. Little did I know I would be using them so soon.
My plan was to long arm quilt all four Sandy Quilts, one right after the other. With the first quilt top ready and waiting I moved on to the next group of forty-two blocks. One by one I pressed each of them in preparation for their “wonky” cut. As I came to the pile of twenty blocks, void of their two-inch dark fabric borders, I retrieved my previously stashed extra strips. I carefully pressed them then began adding a section to all four sides. As I added them I noticed my stash wasn’t as abundant as previously thought. My pile was evaporating much too quickly. With my pre-cut stash of two-inch strips dwindling I knew I must find another resource.
I set my rotary cutter aside and hushed the steam escaping from my iron. I paused a moment to ponder my options. I began a mental search trying to recall possible specimens lurking in my inventory. My memory’s not what it once was thus relying on any data filtering from my brain was risky. The simplest and easiest route was to pull storage boxes from my shelves and begin exploring.
Scrounging through my stash is not at all laborious. My regular readers are well aware of my tendency towards perfectionism. Having this quality means my sewing room is well-organized. All of my “in waiting” fabrics are carefully sorted and neatly filed in labeled storage bins. When the need arises for a particular color I simply pull the corresponding bin from my shelves. This method of storing my fabrics has proved to be a real time saver.
I retrieved the bin containing my dark fabrics. My fingers flipped through the candidates looking for just the right match. I did find a small piece of black fabric. Even though it couldn’t possibly fill my entire need it certainly would help. To my dismay my stash did not eliminate my deficit. Now what? On to Plan B.
Aside from making another visit to a fabric store, an option of which I take great joy in, in the interest of saving time and money, for now, I opted to draw from the stack of fabric already purchased and planned for borders and binding of the four Sandy Quilts I am making. Taking fabric from that resource was certainly helpful but again was only delaying the need to replenish.
How Can These Not Match?
I retrieved the bag from the fabric store and pulled out the huge pile of black fabric. I set it along side the scraps of fabric remaining from my twenty blocks. I was surprised and disappointed that not only were their textures different but so too were their colors. How in the world could the shades of black be so different? Isn’t black, black? Thankfully I hadn’t stopped mid-way on a quilt block. If I had the “blacks” would not have matched.
From my border and binding inventory I cut the remaining two-inch strips I needed to complete my adopted twenty quilt blocks. As I cut the strips I made note of the quantity I removed. A trip to the fabric store would have to be made ASAP. Hopefully I would be able to find fabric matching the same die lot as my already purchased fabric.
One finished quilt square
A sampling of the twenty repaired quilt squares
The twenty adopted Sandy Quilt Blocks are now all finished. Each one sports a brand new set of two-inch black borders. Now they too can join the rest of the quilt blocks awaiting their “wonky” cut. Before long they will be side-to-side with twenty-two other blocks, all sewn together and on their way to a lucky recipient.
Time to get back to sewing! Talk to you soon. Take care!