I hate math. I won an award as the best math-doing senior in my high school. I was good at it but I hated every second. I picked a career that required great gobs of math – not that we were ever going to use it but to weed out people who were smart enough to say, “That’s a load of crap” and not take the class. They were obviously going to be trouble makers in vet school. The absolute happiest moment in my life to date was when I turned in my final and walked out of my last calculus class in college.
I use some algebra to figure out drug dosages. I’ve always said that all that math only is used in my quilting. I use the geometry. Pythagorus is my friend. But yesterday I was beaten soundly.
I’ve been having a hankering to do something by hand. I tried lying down but the feeling didn’t pass. It has been going on for about six months. I don’t do handwork. It is too slow. I like results. I used to be able to handsew but I forgot. That place in my brain was written over by suture techniques.
I decided that I wanted to make this.
I found applique directions on thisquilt-a-long. Step one of the directions – draft the pattern. It requires a compass. Have you tried to buy a compass lately? It is hard. I finally found a cheap one at WalMart. This decision will come back to haunt me.
Yesterday I sat down to draft the pattern. The instructions are clear. I did it and then traced the shape and cut out the template (Dear god – I don’t do templates either) and made my shapes to applique. Oh yeah, I don’t applique either. I must be ill.
When I went to line them up on the fabric using my drafted pattern as a guide they didn’t fit. Then I noticed that I had made a mistake. Instead of all my circles meeting in the middle, they overlapped. I drafted it again. Same thing. My compass must be wonky. I did a lot of cussing. Then I got a plate that was the same size. I marked one edge of the circle with the compass and then did the actual drawing of the circle by tracing the plate. Still wrong. Handwork is no longer fun.
Then I got determined. I have my template and my pieces and I was going to make them fit. I informed them that I was no longer tolerating any misbehavior. I put them into the design. It doesn’t line up with any of the drafted versions. My sewing room looks like a frustrated writer’s room with crumpled up papers all over the floor. I’m sewing my version. There is a thought in the back of my head that if I want to turn this into a quilt I need to make several of these blocks and have them line up in an orderly fashion and I need the pattern for that. I’m ignoring that for the moment. I think I can redrawn a pattern by tracing the block when I finish it. This may be crazy talk. There may be more cussing. I hear handwork is supposed to be relaxing and fun. Maybe that is only after you’ve beaten it into submission.