No, I Can’t Read A Diagram

Honestly, you’re gonna think I did this on purpose just to entertain you guys!  I’ve been sewing “improv” quilts for too long and I obviously got accustomed to sewing without following a pattern.  After my first big mistake in not reversing half the chevron block I felt sure I could throw these four blocks together.  Ha! 

First of all the block was not all that easy because of all the points that needed matching so I basted each seam before stitching it.  See?

 I got all 3 rows pieced and laid out and then decided to look at the diagram.  Good grief!  Only one row was pointed in the right direction!  And remember, each square had two rows of stitching to take out.


How disheartening.  Rather than ripping this first one apart right away, I sewed another block together – I think I just had to prove to myself that I could actually sew a block together correctly.  By this time I was beginning to wonder if I had forgotten everything I had learned in the past 40 years.  Ha!  The second block turned out great.


So I tell you this, not to make you laugh or to entertain you really, but to point out that it can happen to anyone.  I consider myself experienced but evidently I need to practice concentration.  Rick says I can’t watch TV and sew and expect miracles.  Ha!  Doing two things at once takes practice and I’m out of practice, I guess.  Maybe that’s what retirement does to a person.  It makes you let down your guard because you know you’ve got time and you don’t have to multi task all the time.  Whatever the reason, I will be more careful on my next project.  I’ll likely make it without telling you every step I take just so I don’t make a fool of myself.  Smile.

On a very sweet note, meet Owen Lund, one month old.


Isn’t he just the best?

33 thoughts on “No, I Can’t Read A Diagram

  1. Pam

    What an adorable little face! He definitely is the best………well, maybe next to my grandson! HA!
    I like both of your blocks, right or wrong. The second one really appeals to my color “eye”! So happy to hear a master quilter like you doesn’t always get it right on the first try….I feel better!

  2. Deborah grisanti

    Such a beautiful baby y boy, just precious! Your blocks look great, glad I’m not the only one that makes dumb mistakes!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Kathy Hanson

    I just LOVE your blog – you are so real! It is so easy to make those kinds of mistakes and it makes me feel good to know that I am not alone! Blog on – it is such a wonderful spot in my day!

  4. Angie Rowland

    He is adorable. Regarding the block it is just a different version of a block. Enjoy the little one they grow up so quickly. You turn around and they are 40. TRUST me, it happens.

  5. Rose Mikulski

    That sound you hear, it’s me laughing. Are those 12″ blocks with 49 patches–no for me. The bigger the block, with big patches that die-cut is now more my speed. Those blocks are just too precise for me especially using solid fabrics. Owen is just a sweetie pie; I’m sure he was a lot easier to look at.

  6. Kathy Schwartz

    It looks like a mutual admiration society between you and that cute Owen. The blocks are very nice also–but I like Owen better!!!!

  7. Lee

    Just finished my first “modern quilt.” Found it in a magazine for modern quilters. The name of the quilt is spinning shoo fly and the shoo fly is a solid red. It called for 35 fat quarters. Friend and I hit the stores looking for gray modern prints and teal. It turned out beautiful. No scraps I gave them to a modern quilter friend. I have enough Jo and Judy scraps to keep me busy. Many times I had my shoo flies spinning in the wrong direction. The worst distraction is binge watching Netflix. I confess…I do it.

  8. Susan Sundermeyer

    I wouldn’t be able to put Owen down. They are so sweet at that age. Your “mistake” blocks remind me of arrowheads. I think you should finish it that way.

  9. Lauren

    I love reading your posts because you tell it like it is!! The good parts and the bad parts plus everything in between. At times I think I’m the only one making mistakes like cutting wrong, sewing wrong sides together you get the picture. Glad to know we all goof up sooner or later- some people just never say they do. Owen is adorable by the way, waiting for our 3rd grandchild this October!!

  10. Martha Engstler

    Here in the east we are getting your rain and floods. Still today and tomorrow with forecast of maybe 4 or 5 more inches. Good day to quilt. I’ve almost finished my disappearing nine patch. Just have to do the binding and pinned that this morning. I’m taxi driving for my grand daughter to get her bus in the morning and pick her up in the afternoon in the Washington DC area.

  11. Diane M

    Owen is a sweet baby. Mistakes are so frustrating. I was helping a lady make a dress for her granddaughter last week , and I was sure I was reading the pattern. I made two mistakes. Luckily, I was able to undo them. I really thought I knew how to sew. I guess I need to read two or more times and then check again before I sew!

  12. Kathy A

    I really like your first block! It would be fun to see a whole quilt of blocks made that way. You would have several design options depending upon how you turned the blocks, and a fresh approach to the pattern. The beautiful coloring of your first block is especially appealing right now.

  13. Beryl

    You make me feel good!! I couldn’t really see a problem with the wrong block until I saw the correct one! I was looking for something to do in our new sewing room. Most of my ‘sewing room’ boxes didn’t make it up there and I can’t lift them so I started digging in a box that did make it up there. I found a kit that my mother had purchased in 1980!! It is a log cabin pattern…easy enough. I got it sewn together and then took out the fabric for the borders…I was short fabric…each border was only half there. I went and bought more fabric that went with it (better quality today!) I showed the project to my SIL when she was here visiting. She noticed the original border fabrics really needed to be cut in half…6″ strip cut to 3″…then I would have the correct amount!! I decided to go ahead and use the newly purchased fabric anyway. I put the first strip on, laid to top out…it was curling…GRRR I had pulled it for some reason so it wouldn’t lay flat. Needless to say it is now in the unfinished pile again!! Maybe this winter. The kit was ordered from a Woman’s Day magazine…that was in the box. The instructions were written before rotary cutters and some of the quicker was of putting things together now. It had poly batting included…I am switching that to Warm and Natural. OH YES…read instructions…I look at pictures, that doesn’t always work!! I have been sewing for about 60 years and should know better! I guess we are never too old to learn…one way or the other! Thanks for your mistake!! LOL!

  14. Diane

    Awww–Little Owen is adorable. Mutual admiration society going on there:) We have an Owen grandson, age 14. They DO grow up soooo fast.
    The blocks–ahh–been there, done that!! I have noticed that some patterns don’t give as much info as I’d like. Seems like the older patterns did. Maybe just old!!

  15. Ann Barlament

    You’re supposed to read the instructions?? I think of them as a guide…but I would have created a new block, instead of ripping out. Well, unless it was a kit and fabric was limited. It’s when I get fabric upside down, I look at it and say..nobody’s perfect and let it go. Ha
    I’m flexible….

  16. Dee W

    Owen is a doll. I’m getting a new great granddaughter next week, she’s going to be born in Des Moines on Thursday and I’ll already be there at the quilt show with friends. I’m looking forward to this alot. We got flooded, so sewing is a little sparse right now, but will move up the ladder shortly. Have fun.

  17. Carol

    Beautiful baby!

    I think we’ve all made those distracted moments quilt blocks! Oh, and today, adding a binding to a quilt, unbeknownst to me, I ran out of bobbin thread right after sewing the mitered corner ….I “air sewed” one of the long sides of the quilt and did not discover it until I was ready to miter the next corner! Bummer!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carol – well, we’ve all sewed without bobbin thread, too, so I guess we’re all alike! Good to know!

  18. Launa Peters

    Owen is sure a handsome little guy. They grow up so quickly so enjoy him whenever he comes to visit your happy place.

    I’ve sewn some mistakes into pot holders. I do like the solid colors from Heidi’s shop. Lookin good!!

    All I notice about retirement is my hours are full every day and evening with better things than 9-5!!
    Enjoy every moment.

    The pumpkin patch activities start near here this evening…..I love the pumpkin gun. Didn’t notice that a we passed by yesterday, but Vossler’s looked wonderful….lots of pumpkins, hay bales, etc.
    Gosh..October starts tomorrow.

  19. Cindy A.

    Thank heavens it’s not just me! I’m so bad at looking at a photo of a section that I’m supposed to be sewing but not bothering to read the directions. Once I made 8 sections all the same only to find out that four were supposed to face one way and four the other. Had I read the little note under the drawing I’d of done it right the first time. Lesson learned…

Comments are closed.