Sometimes, no matter how carefully you prepare, things just don't go the way you planned.
When the June theme for Le Challenge was announced, I decided upon an idea (the theme is Maritime) and ordered some fabric from the US. I had plenty of time, and was fully expecting it to be here when I returned from Toronto, but, alas, it wasn't! A few emails later and the company informed me that my parcel had, for some unknown reason, been returned to them. They promised to re-send it, but this, of course, meant I had to completely re-think my project for the challenge. (This was Tuesday, so I only had 3 days in which to make something!!) I spent a day and a half dithering, wondering what I could make in the time, and then suddenly it struck me - a Mariners Compass block! I have wanted to have a go at one of these for a long time, but I certainly couldn't make a quilt in a day and a half. I settled on a cushion, found a paper piecing template and used fabric from my stash.
Time was short. I had to stay focussed and concentrate. No time for mistakes!
So, I selected my fabrics....maybe not my first choice, but what I had on hand....
I colour coded on an extra template and kept it prominently displayed on my desk
I made a list of which colour each numbered segment was, and kept that on my desk too
By the end of Thursday night 3 segments were done, and by Friday lunchtime all 8 were complete
Yes, the seam ripper did come out a couple of times, but they were only small mistakes !
Joining the segments together was a little tricky. Just how was I to cope with all those seams coming together at the centre?
They don't sit as perfectly as I would have liked, but under the circumstances, it could have been a lot worse.
I decided I didn't have enough time to make a cushion front and quilt it, as I had originally planned, so I decided to appliqué the compass onto an existing cushion cover.
Hmmm, Was this going to work? I only had a 1/4" seam allowance on the compass, and a lot of seams to turn smoothly under. No time for errors.
I decided to follow a technique used by Sarah Fielke in her latest book "Hand Quilted with Love"
You cut a cardboard template the size of the finished piece and place it on the wrong side of the applique. You then wrap tin foil around them and iron, pressing the seam allowance smoothly under.
I do recommend using good quality tin foil. Mine was from the "value range" and had a tendency to tear as I was pressing the edges as hard as I could with the iron. But nonetheless, considering all those seams, I think I got a pretty smooth curve to my circle.
Sarah suggests using applique glue to secure your piece to the background whilst you hand sew in place, but I prefer not to use chemicals where possible, so it was good old fashioned pins for me.
The cushion was finished by 7 pm - just in time to sit in the evening sun and enjoy a little celebratory drink (In the middle of all this fast sewing my son and his girlfriend had phoned me from their holiday in Cornwall to tell me they had got engaged !!!)