Friday, 30 November 2007

It's a Mystery

Last Sunday night I took part in the Planet Patchwork #125 Mystery Quilt, which started at 11:00 am EST which was 4 pm for me. I quite enjoyed this on the day, but to be perfectly honest I am completely fed up with the thing now as I struggle to finish it using flawed instructions.

On Sunday night, I was all set up with my main computer downstairs set up with the instruction page, to print off each instalment as it was published hourly, and a laptop upstairs which had the Mystery Quilt chat room logged in next to my sewing machine. It was quite enjoyable to be sewing and pressing, with dozens of other quilters logged in and chatting in the room under the tutelege of 'Merry Mayhem', the persona of Planet Patchwork. There were a few problems with spammers logging in, and the organisers said they had no way of kicking them, but luckily they left after a few minutes. The cutting instructions had been issued beforehand, so we could get stuck right into the sewing. The printed instructions appeared very professional, with clearly labelled diagrams.

The sewing itself was simple, making four patches for the most part. But errors began to reveal themselves. The first error wasn't a problem, an instruction to cut segments which needed more fabric than had been seamed into strips, but of course it caused multiple confusion as each quilter came to that step in their own time, then posted on the chatroom to ask about. Luckily we had extra fabric to compensate (in fact, I think the cutting instructions called for too many strips, as I have some left over). The next error was a bit more annoying, in Step 7, when some pre-pieced four-patches turned out to have the wrong colouring. As this only became apparent when the Step 7 borders were seamed on, it meant some unpicking and re-ordering the checkerboard, then re-seaming. This was now after 9 pm for me so I stopped at that point and only printed off the final instructions for Step 8.

This week I have been assembling the Step 8 borders when I get a chance, and today I tried to sew them on. It became immediately apparent that there must be errors in those instructions as well, and sure enough, when I checked the 'corrected' version on the Planet Patchwork website, the Step 8 instructions were now different. So more unpicking, and re-ordering of checkerboards, and re-sewing. Then I thought I was finally finished, but as I pressed out the final two borders, I see that two of the dark checks are next to each other on two corners. I'm pretty sure I have done these according to the 'corrected' instructions, so now I think they are wrong as well. I can't face more unpicking (and we are talking about a yard on both edges) so I just hung it up and took a pic. I have gotten a headache trying to figure out what they mean when they say 'top border' or 'left border' because the middle of the quilt has no obvious orientation and there is no picture of the overall finished quilt in either of the instructions, so it has all turned into a bit of a guessing game as to what the designer intended. And I don't want to play anymore. They are doing another Mystery Quilt on New Year's Day but I think I might pass. You can see pictures of some of the other quilts people made on the website.


Jane said...

Sounds like a lot of fun was had but what a pain in the tookus to have the outcome like that. Looks good and I'm sure you'll get it how you want it after the frustration wears off.

julieQ said...

I am sorry you ran into this. I too did a mystery quilt in which the directions were off inches, not just a little bit!! so frustrating!! But I finally got it to go together and qulted, now it is much used and loved by all, including the dog. Hope yours turns out the same.


Kathy Wagner said...

Oh I'm so glad I didn't start this! I hate that when a mystery has errors! I couldn't even figure out the fabric selection instructions on this mystery.

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