Bliss: Day One

Yesterday, I told you that Mike is away for the weekend, which leaves me with approximately 48 hours of solitude in which to do whatever I want.  While it's tempting to think I would spend every solid minute sewing, I do need to take a break every once in a while.  I did some sewing, I took a nap, and I watched a program on public television about the Amish, a culture that is endlessly fascinating to me.  When I went to bed last night, I listened to music on my iPad and sang out loud.  I know!  I was in bed, where Mike is usually next to me and trying to sleep.  Singing out loud in bed is generally frowned upon.

As for the sewing, I finished up the latest Mr. Bear block.

I joined the Block Lotto this month, and so I made my first block for that group.

And as long as I'm showing blocks, now I can show you the block I made for my swap partner in the Block Swap Adventure.  She asked for something bright and cheery that children would like.  I found this block called "A Gaggle of Pinwheels" on the Quilters Cache website.  Wouldn't this be cute made up into a whole quilt?  I used fabrics from my stash.

So with those finished, I decided to start on a quilt I read about in a magazine several weeks back.  I fell in love with this quilt when I saw it.  I love the fabrics, the blocks, and the story behind it.

The pattern comes in a book, and so it was rather expensive as patterns go.  Still, I liked the quilt enough that I cheerfully paid the price for it.  (Maybe not cheerfully, but certainly willingly.)  I was disappointed when I received it, however, because it entails learning a new "square in a square" technique, that also required purchasing a new ruler.  Oh yes, and a book to go along with it.  Okay, now I'm moving into the territory where I shouldn't whine about things I have chosen to do willingly.  So, while I am always annoyed when a product requires me to purchase another product (or two!) to be able to make proper usage of it, I went ahead and purchased the book and the ruler too.  (I REALLY like this quilt.)

Beginning the quilt was delayed while I waited for these additional products to arrive on my doorstep, but arrive they did, and I've been chomping at the bit to get started on it.  I'm not purchasing the fabric line that goes with it because I have plenty of scraps to make it using my own stash.  So after completing my blocks yesterday, I decided it was a perfect time to start on the first block of this sampler--the house block in the center.  I spent quite some time auditioning fabrics for the block, and when I was satisfied I had everything pulled together, I started reading the pattern so that I could get started.

Fiddlesticks!  (Only I said something else.)  First of all, I STILL don't have what I need to learn this new technique.  I can't even get started on the first block!  Apparently, I have the wrong ruler, even though it is the one listed on the website.  Further, as I read the instructions, I can't tell if the measurements being given are for the unfinished or finished pieces.  They seem to be finished measurements, but the pattern is silent on that issue.  Further, I need to know how to do "Option 20" of the square in a square technique, and the book--the one listed on the website--only goes up to "Option 17."  So I do a search to see if I can find any videos or books about "Option 20" only to find that the one book containing "Option 20" is out of print and unavailable from any source.  I could find no videos.

Now this makes me mad, and it sours me on the whole project.  I'm feeling pretty ripped off at having so much invested, even without buying any fabric and yet, still not having what I need to even get started.  Does this seem a tad dishonest to you?  While the designer touts the square in a square technique as "revolutionary," the pieces she's making with it could be made easily using traditional piecing techniques . . . if only I could figure out the measurements.  The measurements on the pattern are incomplete and confoundingly confusing.

I have an email in to the designer, and I'm hoping she'll get back to me soon.  I'm hoping she'll get back to me at all, because you know how that goes sometimes.  For now, I'm putting everything I've pulled together in a box and chucking it into the far corner of my closet.  It has ticked me off.  It is in project "time out" until it learns to play nice.  Today I'm moving onto something that won't raise my blood pressure.


  1. That stinks of bait and switch to me. Bummer.

    Onward though, trundle trundle, like a herd of turtles...

    Thinking of you as the weekend ripens.

  2. How frustrating that sounds! I think if it happened to me I would have thrown it in a corner and never looked at it again....
    But I must say it IS a beautiful pattern.
    Bit absurd also that a pattern needs so much additional purcheses.
    I hope the designer contacts you. Keep us informed.
    Have a good weekend, sing some more to decrease your bloodpressure, works all the time! Bianca

  3. I buy books with pictures, I would be lost if I had to read instructions, lol. And if I did, I do not appreciate having to still figure it out myself;) Love your little bear piece, that is so cute.


  4. ugh!! Yeah, I'd be saying a few "fiddlesticks" words, myself. How awful that it happened with something you had been so excited about. :(

  5. OK, curious, what magazine was it in? Also, What exactly is missing now? YEARS ago I bought some square in a square stuff from a gal out of (hmmm, I think it was) Texas and I still have some stuff stashed away...

  6. P.S. And no, it doesn't SEEM wrong, it IS wrong!

  7. Warning: long comment
    1. I also love reading and learning about Amish culture. We've visited Sugarcreek in Ohio many times.
    2. The jellybean fabric is so cute! Perfect with your bright solids.
    3. The quilt is gonna be totally worth it no matter which option you use to make squareinasquare. Just look a all the different blocks- log cabins, applique and all those cool stars. I hope the designer solves the problem quickly for you.
    Enjoy the rest of your Home Alone time.

  8. Wow! That stinks!!! One of our shops here sells the square-in-a-square stuff, so if you don't get any answers, perhaps I could find out some answers for you? I'd be happy to quiz them about it for you. I've never done that technique so afraid I can't help :( On a brighter note, I love your completed blocks! And I know your swap partner will love hers! Continue enjoying your *alone* time :*)

  9. Barbara,
    That is really irritating! But don't give up hope. I have five of those Jodi Barrows books, so checked to see if there was an option 20 in any of them. Nope. I have no idea why I bought that ruler and all those books. I guess the pictures caught my eye. At any rate, I decided I would probably never use her method because it was such a waste of fabric! I know I've had that ruler for at least 15 years, because that's how old the newsletters she sent out are. I saved those for the corrections to the instructions in the books. That is a pretty quilt. Believe me, you do not need the instructions on how to make it. Do you have EQ7? You can draw all the blocks yourself, and use your normal method to construct them. If you still want to use her method, put out a call for the book you need. You can also try the Yahoo group sewitsforsale. I bet someone can help you. Good luck. Sharon - ssauser@dishmail.net

  10. I recently passed on a brand new ruler/instruction book to a beginner quilting friend. Something I never used. If you'd like I can find out if she will use it and if not send what ever there is to you.
    Glad to see you on blocklotto. I've been a member for at least 2 years and love it. I joined purposely to help use up my scrap stash figuring whether I win or not I'm happy to get that bin under control! I've won many times! But slacker that I am, I have't put anything into a quilt yet. I have stopped doing swaps of anykind telling myself this is the year I make something with all those swap blocks etc...but blocklotto is exempt from that restriction 'cause I'm using it up in the long run! :) Welcome! I'm Shelley C on there.

  11. Sorry about the frustration. I haven't tried the square in a square method, but I have friends who have. They took a class and had some problems with the method. I'll skip it for now. I have enough frustrations in my life. Hope today goes better.

  12. That's a gorgeous quilt! You had me wanting to find out what book it was in until I read about the ruler...and the book that goes with the ruler... Ugh. I hate books that won't give you the information you need.

  13. I clicked on the website you had highlighted and it brought a big grin to my face -- I have one of those rulers and a beginning book, too, that I have never even played with! I got mine at a garage sale for pretty cheap, but when I looked at the directions = oy! it seemed very confusing.
    I do like the quilt you are going to do, though. Keep us informed, ok?
    Beth in Dallas

  14. The quilt you like is very beautiful. I hope you decide you will make it even without the ruler and option 20. You are a very talented quilter, and I am sure you can figure out how to make this, even without proper measurements. What book is it in, if you don't mind sharing?

  15. I don't blame you for wanting to make that quilt - its gorgeous, but Woooeeee! That would make me madder than an old wet hen after all the trouble you went through. I hope that the designer gets back to you and sets things right. Hope the rest of your 'me' time was filled with the things that bring you joy.

  16. I'm sorry that it stressed you out. I know all about putting projects in time out though. I have to say that I LOVE your jelly bean block though and I'm still in love with your Mr. Bear quilt. I love seeing your progress with it. I found the pattern at my local embroidery store but have yet to buy it because I'm in the middle of a never ending red work quilt.

  17. Love love love that jelly bean fabric pinwheel block!

    So not a fan of the square in a square snafu. If you can figure out the block sizes, I'd make up my own paper piecing patterns instead.

    Hope the rest of your sew-weekend went better!!