Monday, May 24, 2021

A Very Forgiving Pattern

Full disclosure: I screwed up when I was making the sample for my Strippy HSTs for the PC quilters. Not only did I not follow my own pattern, I made the same mistake for half-a-quilt's-worth of blocks before I discovered the error. Which was unfixable at that point. 

Here's what the block is supposed to look like. Note that the strips run perpendicular to the diagonal  HST seam. 

When making the blocks the HST seam should be oriented like this, going perpendicular to the strippy seams. See tutorial here for the block.

I made blocks with the strip seams going the wrong direction. The HST seam ran parallel with the strip seams. The blocks came out like this, with the strip seams parallel to the diagonal HST seam. 

I didn't discover the error until I had already cut apart the HSTs to make two blocks. But it wasn't just those two blocks.  I had started making a batch of 24 blocks and didn't discover the error until I had cut them all. So I had 24 blocks, all made with the strips going the wrong direction, and all cut so I couldn't fix them. 

I decided this wouldn't be a problem, it would be a design decision. After all, this is a quilt for a kid. He's not going to know or care what direction the seams in the block go. So I used all my "bad" blocks anyway. Let's not call them bad blocks; we'll just call them B blocks.

I ended up making another set of regular blocks so I had enough correct ones for the teaching sample, shown here: 

But since I had half-a-quilt's-worth of B blocks, rather than let them go to waste I made another batch of regular blocks and mixed them in the same quilt. It turned out fine. Here are both regular (top row) and B blocks (bottom row):

It truly doesn't matter what direction the strip seams go. What's important is the light-dark contrast of the HSTs. Here's the second top, made with half B blocks and half regular blocks:

With these blocks, any layout that works with Log Cabin blocks or with HSTs is fine. This chevron layout is just one possibility among many. 

Now that both the class sample top and the B-Blocks top are done, both using the same fabrics, these two tops are like fraternal twins. Someone from the PCQ club will long arm quilt them for charity. Then I'll bind them and turn them in so they can be delivered. 

I told the girls when I was teaching the block that it was very forgiving. A couple of people accidentally made B blocks and I told them their blocks and their quilts would be fine, no problem. For donation quilts, no one is going to care which way the strip seams go. Both of my tops are perfectly acceptable, B blocks and all. As I said, very forgiving. 


  1. love these! string piecing is just so fun. I just started string piecing green fabrics for Quiltville's Pine Trees and I enjoy the no rules technique. Everything works. Love your design.

  2. It's good you had already figured this out so that when the others made B blocks while sewing you could confidently tell them that it was going to still make a beautiful donation quilt. :)

  3. Fraternal twins, indeed! Great visual :) I love shaded blocks, so many options for settings. Congrats on your tops.

  4. Yes the B block quilt looks great!!! Wish all our mistakes worked out like this!!!

  5. You are so right it won't matter which way they go, design choice it is! Both quilts will give someone a quilty hug and that is what is important.

  6. Great design decision to make lemonade out of lemons instead of throwing them aside. Love it and no one would know if not told.

  7. I like the lighter stripes going either way. You can say you planned them that way and we would never know. Cute quilt. Thanks for linking up with Design Wall Mondays, Judy

  8. Good job converting this pattern into A blocks and B blocks! You're right that the strip direction doesn't matter, but I understand that feeling of, "Uh oh! What happened here??" :)

  9. I agree - the blocks look fine! It's a pretty pattern! Love that car fabric!

  10. Love these! I guess I'd call it 'artistic license' :)