Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The wheel of fortune quilt - adventures in foundation piecing

Oh this quilt. It tried to kill me. It definitely broke my quilting spirit. It started on a whim - a quilt to make while working on a huge hand sewing project (hexagons). 

This is a fairly old pattern usually cSlled wheel of fortune or road to fortune. It's foundation pieced. Now, I've dabbled in paper piecing on a small scale - doll quilts and pillows with no troubles really.

I quickly discovered each of these blocks, with their 32 pieces per 8 inch block, were taking me up to 45 minutes to piece. And I had planned on using 64 of them because they are small. 
The piecing took months, but I pushed through. 
Then I ran out of fabric in the prints and I was ONE block shy of a finish. I tried ordering more, but it's an old line and hard to find. I did find more but when it arrived she had sent the wrong layer cake, so....back to the drawing board. I decided the only thing to do was switch up one block and have solids in the center. I was able to piece together strips of the prints by taking apart some hexies from the other project and *just* make it work. 

But by then I was already calling this quilt the road to misfortune. 
Then came the task of ripping off all the papers. I honestly had not foreseen the problem this was going to be. We all spent two weeks trying to do this - even Dave and the kids. I had purchased newsprint off amazon to use for foundations after doing much research. While sewing it seemed like a good choice. While ripping not so much. 
Ripping ripping ripping - but it was never coming out of those seam allowances. (I have since read a tip to just trim it off the seam allowance but not the entire block but to be honest I am still not sure what the right thing to do here is. There are just so many Seams coming together here. I was going to do the open them up and iron them into pinwheels thing to reduce bulk after I had the papers off but the mess just got wirse from here.)

So after weeks of this I gave up and threw this in a very gentle wash cycle to dissolve the papers that remained. 

This worked but what came out was a shredded torn mess. I knew it wouldn't go well. I have a thousand vintage quilts and I never, ever advise anyone to wash an unquilted top. But still, it was heartbreak. By now I had invested tons of time and money into this beast. 

So I spent another week trying to put it back together. Remember though - NO SPARE FABRIC!

I just did the best I could.
Basted it and started quilting. 
It's done now. There are still problems all over the place. For every split seam I fixed I missed at least one. (And I fixed hundreds.) 
To be honest I cannot even with this quilt. 
I've folded it up and put it in the closet for now. 
Part of me thinks it actually looks okay, not perfect, but functional and attractive. 
Part of me would like to set it on fire. 

So, there you have it, the quilt that broke me. Lol


  1. I think it's beautiful and I'm really sorry it broke you because I think you did an amazing job.

  2. Wow,that's dedication! It looks great and I hope you pull it out of the closet and enjoy it down the road.

  3. I think its beautiful and so busy no one will notice.

  4. I agree with Julie! It is so colorful and fun. Maybe it will be better after you've taken a break from it?!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.


Hi there. What say you?