Basket of Scraps and Frustration!

If you follow my Blog you know that I become a very frustrated perfectionist Quilter when I decide to make a quilt and the pattern has lovely “issues”.  Remember when the Farmer’s Wife 1930 Sampler QAL’s started I found out before I cut into my fabrics that the book had problems.  Well those have been resolved (again) and this time there are 19 pages to re-print of corrections!  So that project will either be next year or never – Anyone need the 1920 or the 1930 Farmer’s Wife book can contact me and I am willing to sell them both!

Then last year I made a quilt that I had to rip apart thinking I was doing something wrong – no it was the fabric – I purchased a bad run of that fabric line from Marcus Brothers!

So one would think that maybe that Black Cat needs to just go away, or the black cloud over our house needs to sit somewhere else!  But neither things will happen.  Last week I began working on sewing my baskets for Baskets of Scraps.  Well, no change here.  I assumed that things would go together great since it was not a rocket science quilt pattern!  But no – that did not happen.  I knew that I might have either pressed something wrong, or maybe the Sapphire (Husqvarna)  1/4″ was not as accurate as I thought it was, so I took the basket apart to correct any issues I was responsible for.  After correcting my issues, I contacted the Designer (Edtya Sitar) and advised her that I felt that the cutting measurements for the feet and the background were wrong.  I then proceeded to work with the background and feet pattern only to find out that things were off 1/4″ to 1/2″ for cutting.  The measurements that I figured out have allowed me to have a basket that looks great, but still does not match the measurements in the book.   The response that I received from the Designer was to purchase a Bernina or a Janome sewing machine that Husqvarna machines were not meant for quilting!  WHAT?  Then the next thing was that I needed to adjust according to my requirements.  WHAT?  Of course no one else has had problems so I am just the odd duck out of water.

I do contact a Designer when I find mistakes in their patterns to help them – not to expect anything, but to call attention to problems with the pattern.   Can you imagine if you were a new quilter starting out and trying to make this quilt and finding out that there would not be enough fabric to have a 1/4″ seam allowance when you put the basket blocks together?  I do believe this is why quilters now prefer easy fast quilt patterns.  It takes time to reverse engineer a pattern to figure out what the errors are and a newbie quilter will not have the experience to figure it out.  Additionally the Designer advised me twice that she has 5 professional people working for her to make sure things are accurate.  I think I need to become a professional pattern tester and charge them when I find errors.  (Can you tell I am a little ticked off?)  LOL.  All in all, she has some beautiful quilts to make, but publishers do tend to mess with the original design to cut costs and space and it should be up to the Designer to catch those problems before publication – I am not a beta tester of quilt patterns.  Microsoft used to send out those lovely “beta” software updates – only to mess with our systems!

OK – so much for my “complaining”.  I have now corrected the pattern,  but I was so upset (?) that I almost ditched this project, but alas,  being the persistent Scorpio and perfectionist that I am, I decided to continue on and will make this quilt.  Here is a picture of my “perfect” Basket of Scraps Block.  I used batiks for the basket and Nancy Crow fabrics for the stems, basket top and basket feet.  The handle is needle turn applique.  I cut a 3/4″ bias strip and applique one side, trim as necessary and then applique the outer side.  Less mess and quicker than using the Clover Bias tool!  Love the fact that I now have a nice 1/4″ seam allowance when sewing all the blocks together.  Notice that I tend to do controlled scrappy.  I selected 20 different batiks to make the Baskets so each basket will have the same fabric, but 20 different ones.  The 4 patches are 1 3/4″ finished.

Basket of Scraps Block
Basket of Scraps Block

Lessons Learned from this experience.  Now I will first check the finished size of the quilt and try to make sure that the blocks that I will be making will add up to those measurements.  Then, from now on (and I do make practice blocks OR read and re-read the instructions) I will make a practice block from muslin, and no more “trusting” that the well-known designer is selling accurate patterns.  This takes more time, but at least I will not become so frustrated when I find out that there are errors and have just cut out fabric that will not be used in this project!   Hats off to Laura Hird – she learned that she cannot trust her publisher.  The publisher made the errors in her book and now she has put a link to them and have them apologize for the errors in her book!  Hats off to her because she took action to find out what caused the issues in her book when I contacted her!  That speaks volumes.

Have a great day – I am now researching the GO Big Accuquilt!  Any reviews would be appreciated!  But I think I just need to go make baskets!

14 Replies to “Basket of Scraps and Frustration!”

  1. Sorry to hear that you were having issue and I have done the same thing. I do and have for some time cut and make one block for the same reasons. And I love my Sapphire and have no problems, Every machine you have to find that perfect quarter and to say my Sapphire is not good machine is off but my opinion.
    Bet it will be beautiful when your done. I love her designs


    1. You know, they do not teach quilters about the importance of the 1/4 inch/scant inch, thread or the real important techniques in quilting that help the quilter come out with a squared quilt.
      I will get on with making the rest of the Baskets, but I will be extremely careful with any of her patterns. Thank you for your comments.


  2. Thx for your comment. It seems that every pattern has an issue. So sad that the quality control is so bad. I think this is the reason that I love my needle turn applique and now EPP. I have the control. I love my Husqvarna’s and my vintage Singer sewing machines. Would not trade the for the world. There are so many variables in quilting that impact how well our quilts turn out. 1/4 inch, Scant 1/3″, thread, mixing of fabrics (batiks and other cottons)…. They do not teach these things in classes, we have to learn by trial and error! Have a great evening.


  3. Well, the fingers are just not working tonight! “Scant 1/3″” should be Scant 1/4″.
    “Trade the for the world” should be “trade them for the world”……. Time for bed! LOL


  4. Hi Nannette,
    I am completing the Farmer’s Wife Sampler quilt working in EPP, my biggest project to date using that method. I’m enjoying the ‘slow stitching’ and as you say, the complete control you have. I admire your dedication to accuracy, something EPP is teaching me is very important. Meanwhile, I can see you do immaculate work which is to be admired. I also love your fabric choices. I will be following along. Happy Stitching from Ottawa, Canada.


    1. Thank you for the nice compliment. I think sometimes it is a curse! LOL. Are you making the paper pieces from card stock and using the patterns in the book? Glad you are enjoying my Blog. Bloggers provide inspiration to me – and also the temptation to want to make all the wonderful quilts that are available. (Somehow this reply ended up below where it should not have been) Have a great day and again thank you for taking the time to comment.


  5. I feel your pain with problems in patterns. I found an issue with a pattern and sent a note to the designer. She never bothered to respond, so I’ve crossed her name off my designer list. I have a Viking Ruby and love the blocks she sews for me. It took me a bit of time to get to the sweet spot for a scant 1/4″ seam, but now I don’t have any problems getting my blocks to the correct size.


    1. I love the ones that do not respond. That makes me more determined to “bug” them. LOL.
      Yes it does take some time to work with the seam allowances, but it can be done. Have a great day and thank you for your comment.


  6. What a beautiful block – glad that you persisted and got it right, but what a terrible response from the designer! Thanks for the heads up about the issues with Farmers Wife too – will seek out the corrections as I’ve started making some of those blocks!


  7. You are most welcome. I like to share my positive/negative experiences with anyone who might be experiencing the same issues. Yes, she did not make “nice” as the Donald would say, with me. I will not purchase anymore of her patterns. I think I have 3 books now and as long as it is hand applique patterns I will make them. Piecing is another issue. Have a great day!


  8. I am amazed the designer would tell you that you need a different sewing machine!! all sewing machines can sew a 1/4 inch seam if you mark it. I have had several quilt books where the pattern was not right and contacted the person to let them know and didn’t hear back either time.


    1. Nothing surprises me anymore. When they think they are so important and that they are the only ones who know anything, but yet they put out inferior patterns and we support their lifestyle! Thank you so much for your comment. It makes me not feel like the only mouthpiece out there! Being Scorpio, French Cajun (Father) and Midwestern Yankee Mother Iowa born), I have never hid behind a door when I see something is wrong. LOL


  9. Too bad about the problems with pattern errors. I am not doing much piecing these days but do like patterns to be accurate.


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