This isn’t a full-on rant, but I’m aggravated. Highly aggravated.
The LQS where I teach applique specializes in kits and bom’s. I’m working up a sample for a new kit the owner bought. The picture is stunningly beautiful. There are however, multiple problems already with this pattern. I’ve come across several incorrect measurements….the template on the page with one of the blocks is not the right size. There “is” another template on a separate page that is the right size but the instructions do not tell you which one to use. You have to figure it out for yourself.
The instructions are very vague. In one place, you’re told to square up a block to 12″. The problem is that the block at this stage is only 11″. It’s just a typo but one that would drive some people crazy. I’ve just gotten started with this thing so what else am I going to fine?
Supposedly, this pattern is for intermediate quilters. I say: Not so. There are blocks with multiple Y-seams. I don’t enjoy doing those but I can. Most quilters would rather have a root canal done than work with Y-seams.
The block I’m stressed out over has 8–2 tone star points that all meet in the center of the block. To make each 2 tone star point there are 2 patches, therefore there is a seam. These 8 star points must then be sewn together. That makes 16 seams coming together in the center. I have made this block twice using 2 different construction methods and both times, I got lovely halves…beautiful matching points. Fast forward to sewing those 2 halves together. What do you think happens? You get the ugliest, lumpiest thing you ever saw. The points are no longer straight and it’s just ugly.
I asked for some ideas of how to approach this block on a list and a couple people suggested using a mallet. Seriously, I think that’s the only way this thing will approach lying down so I’m going to try it but that’s not going to fix the crooked lines. I appreciate their time in trying to help me.
I already had serious doubts about whether or not this design had actually been sewn up. This one block is proof that some things are very pretty on paper but in reality just aren’t practical. If a test block had been made, I can’t see why any reasonable person would not change their plan.
I sent the designer an e-mail asking how she handled the bulk in this particular block and specifically asked for pictures of the quilt. The first response I received wasn’t sure which 8 pointed double-sided star block with 16 seams converging in the center that I was referring to in this pattern (thank goodness, it’s the only one so how would that be confusing?). I was also referred to the fabric manufacturer that is packaging their fabrics for this pattern. I’ve already seen it on their website. Why would the manufacturer know more about the pattern than the designer?
I sent a reply to her response specifically asking how she handled this block when she tested it…..Well, I think I was right to think she never tested it herself. Instead of answering my question, she dodged the question by saying that LeMoyne Star seams are best pressed open instead of to the side. I already knew that. This is not a regular LeMoyne Star. And that treatment did not help. I’ll try it again but don’t expect any different results.
Oh…..and the batting will usually hide those bumps? What????? I don’t want to have to depend on the batting for that. I want the block to be pretty on its own merit.
There is nothing in the gallery on her website that approaches the level of difficulty in this pattern. Oh well, I guess it could be worse. There could be 4 of these stars instead of just one.