Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Picky Paul Picks a Pattern

In my process of Americanization, this is just one of the things that Paul taught me
You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose.
But you cannot pick your friend's nose.

One day when I got home from work, Paul and I had the following conversation

Paul: You have to pick something
Me: Your nose?
Paul: Yes. Because you are that kind of friend
Me: The one with benefits?
Paul: Yes
Me: But you are the one with Buggers :-D

To celebrate his 10th year work anniversary, his company was giving him a free gift. He could choose anyone from a Christmas-style catalog. The darling that Paul is, he wanted me to do the choosing - whatever you want babe, he said.

I have no room for stuff. I do not want any new gadget. And I have so much jewelry that I sometimes forget what I have. You pick, it is your anniversary. And speaking of picking, you must also pick a pattern for your quilt!!!

Statement - Paul wanted a rail fence quilt similar to his Mom's but in blue and black. I wanted to try a new pattern. I suggested that I will show him a few patterns and he can choose what he likes best. He agreed. Little does he know that what may look good as a design concept may not look great as a quilt. However, I kept my mouth shut and proceeded to audition the patterns for him.

Pattern # 1
Pattern # 1 - It is sort of similar to the "Hole in Wall" pattern.  But this one will require partial seams. I do want to try new things. But it is also a lovely pattern, in my opinion.

Paul - Hmmm. I don't like the grey.

Me - You have the blue and the black. Trust me, the grey will bring out the dark blues and blacks.

Paul - Can I have no grey, please.

Me - Fine (gritting my teeth).

Pattern # 2
Pattern # 2 - So I replaced the grey with the black. And then chose to stagger the blocks to add a little more interest - to make up for the loss of grey (rolling my eyes).

Me - What do you think of this one?

Paul - That is too much black.

Me - Let me work on the next one.

Pattern # 3
Pattern # 3 - I reduced the black on the sides. And then to reduce my headaches (of course, I have a headache by now!!!), I decided to change the pattern ever so slightly to get rid of the partial seams.

Me: What do you think of this one?

Paul: Oh, it is OK. But I like the previous blocks, with the four way strips.

Me: Of course, you do.

Pattern # 4
Pattern # 4 - Going back to the original design, with the grey replaced with black.

Me: Is this what you want? (Please say yes...before I stop loving you completely!!!)

Paul: I like these blocks, but...


Paul: There is still too much black.

Me: You don't want the grey, you don't want the black. If all you want is blue, then that is not much of a pattern. Is it?

Pattern # 5
Pattern # 5 - To reduce the black, I got rid of the sashing and to maintain the quilt width, I added wider borders. Hope fifth time is a charm.

Me: OK, Paul. This is the final iteration. The blocks are the same but I have removed the black sashing.
If you don't like this, you can forget about a quilt. Gosh! you are so PICKY.

Paul: Yes, I am picky and I pick you.

And I fell in love with him all over again. That he liked and approved this pattern was a big help!!!

The word pattern has been used loosely here. In my opinion, they are variations of the same pattern. In any case, I am glad that we HAVE a pattern!!! Which one do you like?


  1. I like #6, the black border makes it pop !!
    Linda King

  2. I like #4 the best! Sylvia H

  3. May I inquire as to what you are designing these variations on? Is it a computer program or some kind of app?

    1. Amy, I am using a really low-tech version here - the humble Excel spreadsheet. Just cells filled with color :-)

  4. Hi Preeti! Actually my favorite design is #1 with the gray. Too bad he nixed that. At least your discussion reached an amicable conclusion! You could get around the partial seam construction issue if you don't want to get involved with it. Are you using prints or solids?

    1. I am using batiks. The black is a solid. I am getting comfortable with the partial seams :-)

    2. Aww, good save, Paul! I like his pick but my personal favorite is pattern 2.

  5. i like all of the patterns....
    yep.... he "picked" the right one....
    just for the sake of it, i would probably throw in one piece of red, or orange..... just because.....

  6. Yup yup, I'd do one or two squares orange for some BAM

  7. I fell in a big like with number two. I thin the offset squares sells it for me. Any of them would be great. I like what you have been doing though. Looking forward to seeing it completed. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I like both # 3 and #4. I do not see partial seams in either of them. Thank you for telling us what program you are using. I wondered if it was EQ. I bought the most fore runners of EQ, the "Quilt Wizard." Very basic indeed. I had considered using Excel, and after seeing yours I may go ahead and try it. I lov4 Excel, so using it would not be a big problem for me. I do believe it would be easier than Quilt Wizard. Still thinking about buying the latest edition of EQ.`
    Speaking if partial seams, do you ever watch Nancy Zeimer? She uses a pin on the immediate dot of the end and beginning of a partial seam so she is sewing right up and on the dot, turning her material while her needle is down if appropriate, or back sewing a few stitches if not yet ready to add the other material. Hope this helps. Cannot imagine you actually need the help after seeing you tutes!