Judging the Balloon NotQuilt



This post is part of a series about sewing NotQuilts. If you’re unfamiliar with this method, The NotQuilt series begins here.

The link below takes you to the Balloon Notquilt project.

Now that I’ve sewn on the last two pieces — the keystones of the arch, as it were — and looked at the finished NotQuilt, I can look at it more clearly.

balloon notquilt

Sewing these rectangles took more time than it was worth.

I should have trimmed off the two curved edges as soon as I started this project, making them into straight angled sides. This would have saved me oodles of time, finicky sewing, and mental aggravation. This is a utility NotQuilt and not something I plan on showing off at the county fair. Utility quilts, however they are made, should be made with these points in mind:

* They need to be made entirely of scraps from the stash.

* They need to be completely and repeatedly washable.

* They need to be repairable.

* They need to go together fast.

You may want to spend thousands of woman-hours on a masterpiece that your great-grandchildren will treasure. A utility quilt needs to go together fast so you can get on with the next item on your endless to-do list. Fiddling around with that curved edge made the sofa-bed NotQuilt fail the last criteria.

I didn’t basket-weave the corners properly. I don’t know what I was thinking. It is like I couldn’t see the corners properly. Now that it is too late, that mistake leaps out at me.

The other thing I did wrong was in the outer border. I used eight strips of solid light blue polished cotton framing, sort of, the teddy bears holding balloons and the dark blue marbled strips that match the borders.

Every time I look at the sofabed NotQuilt, I notice those strips. To my eye, they do not blend in. They are the only solid color fabrics in the NotQuilt. The light blue is similar to the sky-blue balloons but not identical. The shine is different too, as every other strip in the NotQuilt has a matte finish.

judging the balloon notquilt

The finished balloon notquilt, with dog.

What I should have done was use more of the sky-blue balloon fabric for these strips. Goodness knows I have plenty. I don’t know why I didn’t do this at the time. However, it is far too late now to go back and change it. I suppose if it had really bothered me, I could have ripped and resewed these areas BEFORE I sewed on the binding.

Once the binding is sewn in place, there is no going back.

Think of this as a design lesson. I took a small risk using the polished light blue cotton, and it failed. Yet I am probably the only person who will ever notice this flaw. If I don’t point it out, who will ever know besides me?

This is also true of the improperly basket-woven corners. It is doubtful anyone but me will ever notice.

Don’t point out those mistakes. You are, most likely, the only person who knows. Don’t feel compelled to share that knowledge. Let everyone else think it was a sophisticated aesthetic decision that is beyond their comprehension.

Coming up next: the Pink Dragon Princess NotQuilt.