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Did I make the right move?

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    Did I make the right move?

    A girlfriend asked me yesterday if she could come over and look at her quilt. She's making it for her dad and needs it done by 4 June.
    She brings over rows of storm at sea. It's her first quilt ever. She saw a picture one of her friends made, took a picture and drafted her pattern from it. She didn't have a cutting mat or rotary cutter or know how to do 1/4 inch seams.
    Nothing lines up. Some of the seams are 1/8 inch, some are 1 inch. She is incredibly frustrated. She has 5 rows complete and all the other square in a square filler blocks made too. I ironed it to see if I could work something out for her but the rows were just too far off--some blocks were 7 1/2 inches some were 9.
    I told her how incredible it was to get this far with such a tough pattern. I was very positive throughout because I could see how frustrated she was. I don't want her to give up and not want to sew anymore because this was too much for a beginner. In the end I recommended putting it aside and build up her confidence. I showed her how to mark her machine for 1/4 inch seams, I showed her how to properly iron and press, biased/straight grain edges and how to accurately cut and measure. I showed her the FQS charm pack cherry quilt, lent her my MSQC Block magazines and showed her the links to the videos. She seemed receptive but I'm not sure I didn't hurt her feelings. I told her I would love for her to come back soon and we can work on her next project together.

    I feel gutted. It was completely beyond my ability to help. She has an incredible eye for fabrics and had chosen some real beauties! I could see how upset she was to not be able to move forward with it. The amount of work she'd put into it was astounding considering she hand cut everything with scissors. I hope she comes back and we can work on building her up.

    Did I do the right thing?

    #2
    Re: Did I make the right move?

    Of course you did. That pattern intimidates me. Maybe invite her back and make a small baby quilt to give her some confidence. And maybe sit and pick that thing apart over some wine. lol Don't feel bad. You are trying to help. She's just upset with herself.
    🌺 Lorie

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      #3
      Re: Did I make the right move?

      I say what Hulamoon says. She was frustrated with herself. If her deadline is so very close, perhaps you could suggest a jelly roll race quilt. I know in the early years of quilting I did not know all the rules and I had a rotary cutter but no mat and used a notebook binder to cut up my pieces. I also used 5/8 inch seam allowance not knowing the quarter inch rule. Is she an experienced seamstress otherwise? Odd that someone would dive in so deep.....you have helped her not drown in the storm at sea. If she is good with the fabrics, then she will be at it again. Sounds like she has the bug. You have great experience, and she appreciates what you have done. One day you and her will be able to look back at the 7 inch blocks vs the 9 inch blocks and laugh your heads off. This could be the begining of a great quilting friendship.

      Your "gutted" feeling is probably due to a good personality on your behalf. You know how much work and trouble she went through to get that far and feel bad that she didn't research things better and feel sorry for her. I reckon she will do this pattern later and conquer it with no problems after she gets some experience under her belt.
      Blogging ahead.....research in quilting and sewing with a dab of cooking/recipes too.

      https://myquiltprojects.wordpress.com/

      https://thecookbookproject.wordpress.com/

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        #4
        Re: Did I make the right move?

        April - think about it this way... If you hadn't said anything, she would have still been frustrated, possibly thinking that she just 'couldn't do it'(not understanding that Storm at Sea is difficult for even experienced quilters), and give up on any future quilting. With a good friend willing to show her how to do it, and providing resources, she will probably try again
        oooohhhh.... can you imagine cutting the pieces for Storm at Sea out with scissors???????? YIKES!

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          #5
          Re: Did I make the right move?

          That is similar to a baby being born and driving. That pattern is way hard even with the right tools.

          You are an awesome friend, lending her the magazines, showing her some mentoring, suggesting she come back to sew with you is awesome! If she is upset with herself she'll get over it hopefully soon. If she redirected towards you that's a shame. I'd love to have a friend like you if I made such bad mistakes.
          sigpicQuilter since 2013.

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            #6
            Re: Did I make the right move?

            You did the right thing. You invited her to come and get one on one help from you and encourage her to not give up even on this project. I don't know this quilt but can you take parts of it apart and work on bits of it at a time? For a quick pick me up for her, have her cut and make a pair of pillow cases for him. That will show her cutting and propper seams. You done good.

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Did I make the right move?

              What everyone else said. I think the gutted feeling you describe is an indication of how empathic you are for your friend's situation. She has this dream of a handmade gift for her dad. Have you given her a call yet since your messages have had a chance to sink in? Perhaps you could suggest as above a jelly roll race or an easy pattern like double slice. Sew and cut along with her. I understand your affection for your friend and your wish to make sewing quilts something she wants to gain skills in. Perhaps she is embarrassed now that she realizes how misguided (yet loving) her attempt at Storm at Sea was.

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                #8
                Re: Did I make the right move?

                Teach a man to fish and he has food for a lifetime!
                Blessings, DramaMama


                "May your bobbin always be full!"

                Massdrop Refer-A-Friend link: :icon_woohoo:
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                  #9
                  Re: Did I make the right move?

                  Ladies,

                  Thank you so much for the kind words. She worked so hard on it. Absolutely in awe of her patience to cut each piece for this monstrosity. I am intimidated by this quilt.

                  I hope she realizes I want to help. I gave her a call and thanked her for coming over. I invited her over for another play date and am going to get her a few charm packs. I think you're right about being disappointed with herself. She's looking through Block and already has grand aspirations for her first finish!

                  Again, thanks ladies!

                  april

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Did I make the right move?

                    April,

                    Ditto on what others have said. I am learning to quilt, have made many mistakes, and would consider myself blessed to have a friend such as you. And maybe ask her back for a cup of coffee and make a mug rug together.

                    Diana
                    Diana Grey

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Did I make the right move?

                      Is there any possible way you could sash what she's got done and make something that would truly be "her first quilt"... from the sound of her talent with color and perseverance... it would really be a treasure for her Dad and something to always remind her of her beginning... I'm just a real sentimental type with all that stuff,,, You know I'm always up for a creative opportunity... She sounds like she's going to be a fabulous quilter
                      "Each day well-lived and Happy;
                      that's all there is to Life!"

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Did I make the right move?

                        April, you absolutely made the right move to try to give her a more beginner project to complete before she goes back to the storm at sea project. I looked at several descriptions of this project and they recommend this quilt pattern all the way from confident beginner to advanced. You might point out to her to look at those recommendations when she chooses her projects. There is a lot of money tied up in making a quilt as well as a lot of time. To tackle something as complicated as this with so many pieces in each block is unwise for a first quilt, before the quilter masters cutting and sewing accurately. Time and money wasted, as well as frustration and disappointment.

                        Here's one I found for a free pattern for Storm at Sea, it states it is recommended for a confident beginner.

                        Storm at Sea Quilt Pattern / Free Quilt Block Patterns

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                          #13
                          Re: Did I make the right move?

                          I wish I had had a friend like you when I got started. I was always biting off more than I could chew (not knowing any better!) Most of my poor attempts ended up in the rag pile. Took me years to get back to quilting. I never had any help (this forum was what helped me get going again.) You have gotten her off in the right direction and given her the tools to actually be able to quilt successfully. I think that is the mark of a true friend and a caring quilter. Sounds like she realizes you offered help and not criticism. Hope she continues to develop the skills of a true quilter.
                          Connie

                          Our lives are like quilts – bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love.

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                            #14
                            Re: Did I make the right move?

                            April, ditto all of the above comments. That gutted feeling is your heart speaking for her! I can't imagine doing this by scissors, let alone getting as far as she did before asking for help. That alone would tell me that, after all of your wonderful, loving help, she'll know she has to back up a few steps to get it right. And also, she sounds like she will not let this setback (I am impressed at what she managed to do, especially with this pattern! WOW) keep this from achieving what she wanted to do in the first place. I think she'll come back with grins and bells on! What better way than to have a compassionate, caring friend offer the guidance she knew she needed? What an exceptional person you are, but then, most quilty folks I know are just that, awesome!
                            What do you mean I'm easily distracted..........HEY LOOK......FABRIC!!!!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Did I make the right move?

                              I can't imagine tackling the Storm at Sea as a first quilt! I've been quilting 6 yrs. & still haven't completed my S at S. I even took an all-day class. Is there any way she could take a beginner's quilting class to learn the terminology, learn to use all the right tools, etc. I hope she won't get discouraged. Maybe she should consider a different gift for her June deadline, rather than attempt a project she's not ready for. I think you did all you could for her given the situation. I bet some day she'll be a fantastic quilter. More power to her.

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