Saturday, August 15, 2009

"...then sacrifice it to Baal on an altar of Mountain Mist."

Thanks are due to Sandy who suggested I try a Warm Wishes pattern for my daughter's shark quilt. It just so happened that I bought just the right number and kinds of fabrics to make this pattern and the little bit that I've done so far tells me that it's going to turn out pretty good.


Now, before I begin this evening's rant, let me just say that I once again appear to possess less than the optimum amount of iron in my blood, and I am so tired I can barely see where I spilled my cocktail. Being anemic not only makes me physically sluggish, but it clogs up the gears of my brain as well, causing me to stare into the middle distance for minutes at a time when asked a question such as, "Where's the baby?" or "Why is the bath still running?" So, I'm not particularly quick-witted lately.

But at the time I started looking at this pattern, I was unaware that I was not running on a full tank of hemoglobin, because the fatigue had not yet set in, but it may be safe to say that I was already suffering from what is known as "muddy thinking" or "dementia."

Sandy was kind enough to link to some pictures of the quilts she had made (please see her comment in this post) as well as to the pattern, which had been created by Quiltmaker magazine and is still available free from their website. Sandy's pictures really illustrated how versatile the pattern is, and I was keen to try it, until I downloaded the pattern and saw this:

Now you may be thinking, "Oh, how lovely." But my Adobe Reader is apparently set on "stun" and when it opens the pattern pdf, it gives you this page at a magnification of 164%, which reveals that the resolution of the picture is about 3 dpi, and it looks like someone barfed up a bunch of Legos.

Now, I thought that a pattern like this would be pretty straightforward. Cut your focus fabric in squares of this size, make your other blocks this size, sew according to diagram, done. Instead, they give you this chart:

First of all, they tell you your yardage for each fabric based upon the picture, which, to my eyes, looks so jumbled that I don't know what the fuck they're referring to when they say "gold multi-print" or "cream/red multi-print." Then, they can't just give you the yardage for each fabric and THEN tell you how to cut them. No, they have to smoosh it all into one handy dandy chart so that losers like me can stare at it for a while before yelling at no one in particular, "Yeah, but what am I actually supposed to DO?" Honestly, I had to write it out on a separate piece of paper before it made a lick of sense to me.

But at least it wasn't one of those patterns that I keep finding in some of the quilting books that my mother brought me the last time she and my dad visited. I have managed to come across books like these still in print at the bookstore (bought one, too) and while I can see that they still have value for the designs and inspiration, it still makes me wonder that no one has thought to update them for the next printing. These are the books where there is no such thing as a rotary cutter. Where it is assumed that you are going to cut out all those little individual pieces by hand. WITH A PAIR OF SCISSORS. And, invariably, they have a handy photograph of someone doing just that, using a pair of shears that could also be used to trim hedges, it's so big. It makes me wonder if I could find a book that was old enough, if the instructions would begin, "First, hunt and kill a bison..."


Di said...

I am *so* with you on this. I read that pattern and said, WTF? Promptly filed it away. Now, I'm not the brightest bunny in the hutch when it comes to reading patterns so if the pattern doesn't make sense to me on the 12th reading, it's gone.

And, is that what this brain fog is? Iron defiency? I thought it was just menodumb.

Diana said...

I agree with you about the instructions as I find myself doing the same thing. Why can't an "easy" pattern be EASY!??

Diane said...

I was just diagnosed as being anemic after well over a month of deep mind fog, insomnia, terrible fatigue, aching and cramping muscles, the whole bit. Thank god the iron tabs are starting to take affect and I can think again.
All I could do was laugh when you described trying to figure out that chart. That's been me for awhile now and it's so good to be looking BACK at it instead of being in the middle of it!

Traci said...

They could have definitely used fabric that had more contrast. Unfortunately I have no excuse, I'm not anemic. My fog is natural!

SandyQuilts said...

Oh No. LOL

I just returned from our beach vacation to find this posting.

Sorry they use to have a much easier to follow pattern on their site. Unfortunately, they did revise their site and I could not find the simply pattern. I rarely follow a pattern I have to admit. I figure out the size I want the finished quilt to be and then divide for blocks.

If I can be of help please let me know.

SandyQuilts said...

I forgot to mention that I agree high contrast makes the quilt really work.

~Mi§ty~ said...

hey all..there is a way easier pattern of this a childs quilt ..uses red yellow and blue.. way easier to understand..will see if i can find it for ya ...thats the one i used and i love this quilt its fun to do