Last Fall I was contacted by Renee. She lives in the Milwaukee area and she had a quilting problem. She’d begun an adventurous project, sewn quite a few portions together and then had to stop to have knee surgery. When she went back to it – it was a mass of pieces and she couldn’t make heads nor tails of it.
She invited me to come and see what we could do with her jumbled pile of pieced wedges. When I arrived I began by reading over the pattern. This only confused me more and I felt a little overwhelmed as to what to do next. Then I started looking at the wedges and realized they were numbered, and marked left and right! I told Renee how great it was that she had done this and then I said “let’s lay out what you have so we can figure out what you have left to do”.
With the first layout it was evident she had already done a large portion of the piecing. Whew!
We just needed to figure out which pieces were missing. A sense of relief filled the kitchen (from both of us :-)). We discovered there were 2 more shorter wing portions missing at the top, but we decided they weren’t essential and she could substitute 2 purple background wedges.
The tail portion was missing from the labeled pieces, but portions of it had already been made. Renee was short a few of the “chunks” the pattern called for, so we set up her machine and patched together what was needed from her leftovers. Even though placement of the gradation was not exactly the same as the original pattern, she had enough to get ‘er done .
At this point she felt confident she could piece it together, so we had a lovely lunch and I went on my way. She continued to work on it and got the wedges sewn together:
next she appliquéd the body:
and her Phoenix was ready for the quilter!
I waited a few months to share this post because I wanted to end it with a photograph of Matt and his quilt. Here’s Matt and Grandma Renee after he got his Phoenix at Christmas.
She said he was one very happy young man, and added:
“Actually we all thought it looked perfect on our fireplace, so guess what? I’ll be making another one soon!”
Atta Girl Renee! I’m sure you won’t have any problems with the second one now that you’ve figured it out!
So my advice to anyone who is trying to get back into a previously started project – lay out what you have done before you do anything else.