Thursday, 12 April 2012

Quilting Hell

Also known as y-seams. It is my firm belief y-seams were invented as punishment for naughty quilters whose 1/4" seam is not a strict 1/4" seam. Or maybe for those quilters who have unmatched points. Or for those quilters who think near enough can sometimes be good enough. I.e. quilters like me.

Initially, I thought, y-seams? They can't be too hard surely. I'll watch a youtube video or two, read five tutorials and I'll be an expert.

Exactly half a y-seam later, I was wondering what kind of quilting nightmare I was drowning in. I also became fast friends with my seam ripper. Which led me to my second theory on y-seams. If it's not quilty punishment, then clearly y-seams are sponsored by the manufacturers of seam rippers. Because boy do you need one when attempting y-seams for the first time. And I would not judge you if you threw one seam ripper out the window out of sheer frustration and required another. (No I didn't do that but possibly only because my son was in the room and I'm supposed to be a responsible adult). Do you see where I'm going here? More than one seam ripper required. Buy more seam rippers. Y-seams are from the devil. Clearly.

However I loved this gorgeous block that I first fell in love with on Flickr. I cheekily asked Tiffany if she had a pattern - which she did! In testing stage and she warned me that y-seams were involved. Pop back to my second paragraph, yeah I was full of quilting confidence and bravado back then when I said "yes please!".

Now I must say - there is nothing wrong with Tiffany's pattern. It's a gorgeous pattern and I do plan to make another. However my inexperience with y-seams really caught me up.

After too much time to mention, here is my block and my first attempt at y-seams. Did I mention I had to do 8 y-seams in this?!
Oh sad wonky seams. Oh woe the misaligned points. Oh shame, shame, shame. I feel like I did such a disservice to Tiffany's gorgeous pattern (called Bird in the Star btw and based on a traditionally pieced pattern by Nancy Cabot).

This block had much hope and promise while still in the paper piecing stages. Look, I have photographic evidence!

It was looking so sparkly and happy and eager to be made into a square block! Now it's just sad and droopy and so am I. (That may be partly because I'm getting old and fat or partly because of my mood. Who knows? Let's blame it on the evil of y-seams because that's more fun).

So my next challenge... I'm going to try this block again and paper piece the background. Wish me luck hey?

And just to end on an uplifting note, let's look at some pretty fabric. That always cheers me up. Oh fabric joy - you make y-seams pale in comparison.

Oh what? You'd like some of this? Well you're in luck! I'm having a giveaway of a charm pack of this fabric - Oh Deer by Momo for Moda. Pop over here and enter - there's still time! What? One charm pack's not enough? Okay well you'd better go visit my bloggy buddy Fiona at Finding Fifth. She has a giveaway too of some other gorgeous fabric!

And thanks for reading my tale of woe. Feel free to commiserate. And those of you who have mastered y-seams, I don't want to hear it. I am not and never will be a y-seam convert. Sorry.


  1. I have to laugh! I read this thinking "why doesn't she just avoid y seams and paper piece the background as well". It would seem that great minds think alike :-)

  2. I think you are too hard on yourself - your y-seams look pretty good to me as a first effort! I don't have the patience for much fiddly work and I hardly ever unpick I just give up and sulk haha.

  3. I love that traditional block. I recently saw that block painted on an old barn (they do that in KY) and thought I should make one. Your post has made me rethink that. I hate Y seams. I'll just enjoy seeing that block when I drive by that barn.

  4. Well bravo you for having a go! I love the centre section though so there must be way to paper pieces the background on next time. Thanks for another post that made me laugh.

  5. You're brave for even trying...I wouldn't even consider it! ;)

  6. 8 Y seams! I can't manage one so I am well impressed. The centre star is stunning.

  7. *hugs* have never tried them and after the seam ripper comment I don't think I want to even attempt them! =D


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