Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Diamond Dazzle Group Quilt - Part 2 or "God Bless the PDF"

A few weeks ago I announced my first group quilt project of 2011 and the response was overwhelming. About 20 quilters from the US and Canada quickly agreed to take part, making the quilt which will eventually result an epic project of international proportions.

I sent directions and templates for making diamonds in shades of hot pink, orange, and medium blues to all of my co-conspiritors, and not 10 minutes later the fun began. Given that templates might or might not copy exactly the same for everyone via email, I had taken the liberty to send it as a pdf file to ensure it would copy as exactly as possible. But one tester, Corrine Goeke, wisely suggested that I also make sure everyone knew the exact dimensions so they could double check measurements before cutting and I would not receive 27 different sized diamonds from 27 different (and possibly differently sized, but that I can't be sure of since I haven't even seen most of these women in real life) quilters. Excellent point, so I sent out those dimensions.

Almost everyone had no problem retrieving the pdf in it's correctly sized format. I did get a couple of panicked emails and phone calls, but every single time I did, before I even saw the first message I already had in my inbox or on my answering machine a second message of "Never mind! I figured it out!" I do believe these women are the smartest quilters I have ever worked with, and thank God, because askng me to try to explain a computer related issue is like asking a giraffe to live underground.

The next averted disaster was the discovery that I had not allowed for enough seam allowance in two of the four different options for strip piecing. Thanks to a couple of very smart and math oriented testers, we quickly got the word out that I was a dolt and corrections were made by one and all. By now I was sure every one of these testers thought I couldn't tie my shoes in the morning and was sick of hearing from me, but this is why testers are just so important to the pattern writing and publishing process. Anyone can make a mistake, and it's so much easier to have it made on a small scale and corrected than get a reputation in the wider market for innacurate directions. So I thank these ladies for making sure the diamond directions worked out and apologize for all the crazy emails of those first few days.

The fun part, at least for me, began only days after the directions were sent out when Judy Damon, whom I have nicknamed "Speed Demon" and feel she should legally change her last name to accomodate me, returned an envelope full of gorgeous diamonds in hot pink, orange, and blues to me. From that day on, I couldn't go to my mailbox without having it stuffed with 3-6 envelopes a day for a week! It was fantastic! I mean, look at this pile of envelopes!

Not all of the testers have sent their diamonds to me yet, but I just couldn't wait to show off what I have any longer. Every last one is stunning, and perhaps more miraculously, every last one is the exact same size! I heart whoever invented the pdf.

Don't they all look adorable? I truly could not be happier and hope everyone who participated will enjoy getting their package of blocks to make their own quilts back in the next 6 weeks or so. Hope springs eternal that I can pound this out in the timeframe I have set internally.

Next up - find my framing and contrasting border fabrics and get a scrappy version of this new quilt design together! Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Corinne said...

Hey, I see a couple of mine in there!! Yippee!

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