I am in one bee this year (Yay for self control!), the Stash Trad Bee. Stash stands for the fact that we are all supplying our own fabric for each block from our personal stash (which also gives you a lovely opportunity to do some shopping, especially for background fabrics!). The Trad is short for traditional. All of our block choices have a traditional feel to them…we’ve been doing a lot of half square triangles lately and learning to love them. right? right.
This is one of the bees that helped me create the blocks for my cracker scraps quilt (which I will soon ship off to Krista to be quilted). I’ve decided that I like being number one in a bee…meaning I have the first month. I just realized how that sounded. lol
Well we are a few months into the bee and I’ve been pretty successful with my blocks. I was nutso and decided to make Lynne her blocks with 64 or so pieces using FFA double gauze, so that was a bit of a headache…
but other than that I’ve been floating along.
And then came the Arkansas Traveler. This is a beautiful block that I’ve been wanting to try that Lee(or Fresh Lee as I like to call her) designed and used in her Summer Sampler Series. I was busing moving across the country and all that so I couldn’t participate then and I was thrilled to have an excuse to make the block now.
Beachy colors were Lee’s request and I have those a plenty! I happily set off on the block, all the while complimenting myself on what a good job I was doing…how this was sooo much easier than one of the swoon blocks (which I had done the night before). And it was pretty. Really it was.
But this particular block ended up in the trash.
People. Never tell yourself that something is sooo much easier….it’s bound to jinx you and set you back another night’s work. Because that block looks pretty but it’s literally disintegrating at the seams. I didn’t cut the diamonds correctly or I didn’t sew them correctly or I don’t know what. But here you can see that there was just a bit of a problem.
The original instructions give a combo of regular but angled piecing followed by some paper piecing. I can do both usually. But my mojo was OFF. I tried desperately to make this block work but as I pulled away the paper, the seams just fell apart because there was not enough holding them together.
FAIL. And right after a big swoon battle. Sigh.
So I put the block aside. Thought about how I should make it so that I wouldn’t mess up again and decided that I need to paper piece as much as possible. In the end, I sort of used part of the paper piecing section as a template for the diamonds to make sure that they were plenty large and it worked like a charm. When I had the energy to tackle this again, everything ended up great…and happily Lee has the block now. She says she likes it. 😉
So there you go. Another trial…definite error…and eventual conquering. No pattern will conquer me!
14 thoughts on “Arkansas Traveler – It’s been a journey”
It looks fabulous, Angela! I do indeed love it! : ) Thanks for persevering – sorry it caused you some grief!
love it!!! some days I just have to walk away from the machine…it turned out great! (some days i wanna put the machine thru a wall :/)
I would love to join a bee! I would love any tips you have about finding one
Yay for the new reply feature! First time using this purposefully. Woohoo!
All of the bees that I have ever been part of have been hosted over on Flickr. Here's a link to bees that are open or where you can post that you are looking for one. It's in the Quilt Bee Blocks Group.
Your Arkansas Traveler block turned out beautifully. I'd be delighted for my centre to look like that one!
BOTH looked good to me xx
You are so good at picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and giving it another try. It looks like a challenge but you met it!
i think both look pretty darn great
It turned out great, even if the road to get there was a bit bumpy.
I am so impressed that you persevered and it ended up turning out so cute! Way to go!
Any blocks where all the points meet in the centre always makes me quake a little, diamonds too so I can see how this was a challenge but you did it with great aplomb!
How beautiful! And I agree Felicity, I would take your center any day! 🙂
Thank you for showing the first one. If you can mess up then I just don't feel so bad when I do…LOL…Seriously! They are really beautiful!
I just made that block for Rene's VIBee block, but it had the side seams too. I like it without them! Looks good!
Your here/there/everywhere picture cracked me up. We've all been there! It's a great looking block, so I'm glad you persevered!