Tuesday, February 3, 2009

This Takes the Cake

I'll admit it. I bought something new that wasn't required to finish a project I already had in progress (my new year's resolution is to not buy new things). But... I did have a gift certificate from my birthday that covered all but $2 of it, so I think it is a fairly legitimate purchase (Susan also helped convince me that this was good reasoning). And the good news is that it's not just sitting in my stack: I've finished it already!

The truth of the matter is that when I saw it on the Fat Quarter Shop's email newsletter, I thought it was incredibly darling. And I don't have much in the way of Valentine's decorations. And it fits perfectly on the fabric "wall" at the end of my cubicle, which desperately needed a quilt to replace the pumpkin one that I still had hanging there (hanging my head ashamedly)! And did you even know that they made rick rack that wide?!

I still think it's a cute project. However, I have to admit that I was incredibly disappointed with the pattern. It's a Pieces from my Heart pattern, so I figured it would be good, as they are, as far as I know, a reputable pattern design company. However, the math is JUST ABSOLUTELY WRONG if you want your major vertical seam lines to match up. And the thing is, there is plenty of fabric to be able to do make this happen if the designers would actually have you trim the pieces before you sew them together, rather than having you sew pieces together and trim the excess length from the ends so that the rows are all the same length.

Of course, I didn't realize that this might be a problem until after I'd sewn the rick rack onto all of the layers of the cake and sewn them into the rows. Fixing it up so the seams matched vertically would have required taking apart all of the seams and taking off the rick rack, which seemed like a lot of effort. I was able to come pretty close to getting things to match as I had hoped by taking out a couple of seams and resewing them with very skinny seams.

I wouldn't have been so annoyed about the rows not matching if there was no way to make it work with the fabric at hand (just one of Sandy Gervais' Candy Kisses charm packs). But to design them be to mismatched like that - even if it is just a little bit - really seemed lazy to me. In the piecing guide that accompanies the pattern, they draw vertical lines as if to indicate where each piece of fabric should end, and these make it appear that you should have one vertical line, but in the fabric "drawing" behind these lines, it is clear that one fabric "bleeds" into another's quadrant.

Sigh. Sorry for the long vent. In the end, it finished up quickly, I have a great new piece of art in my cubicle, and I have over a week to enjoy it before the holiday is upon us! It pretty much was a "piece of cake".


middlechild said...

Hello, I am the designer of the pattern. The sole purpose of the charm packs is that they are pre-cut, thus saving time on cutting. If you have to cut each square to a different size then why not just buy yardage instead. The seams are not supposed to line up. I call this getting it done in a limited time - not being lazy. I have sold over 5000 of these patterns with no complaints. I really wish you would have contacted me about your problem with the pattern. I will gladly refund your money if you will please email me your address.

Tamara said...

That Susan!!! Always making trouble. It is a nice addition to your "office" though I bet... something bright and happy.

Jen said...

Ummmm, wow. I can't get over the first comment. Part of me is thinking...right, how many of those 5000 people actually made the pattern as soon as they purchased it? From there, I would never have thought to email the pattern designer after it was made. I just wouldn't buy more in the future. Now if it was something like Thistlepods where you wouldn't be able to proceed until a question was answered, that's when I'd contact the designer.