I'm so grateful for the time and care Elizabeth has put into the quiltalong, generously sharing the details of her process and her amazing flair for design. Not only am I pleased with the results of what I've done so far, I've really appreciated the opportunity to think about technique, and why we do what we do.
An example: Elizabeth presses her seams open. She's offered a great discussion of why. I'd always pressed mine to the side without question, so reading her explanation really made me reconsider my own preference. In this project I pressed several blocks with seams open, and found, unlike Elizabeth, that I truly do prefer to have them to the side for ease of matching at intersections. In the end, I didn't change my own technique, but I thought about it and tried it instead of just blindly doing what I've always done. A valuable experience.
Another example: Elizabeth's instructions had us sewing the sashing and border strips without measuring. I'd been taught to measure the body of the quilt through the middle and cut borders to that length, then ease that seam so that your outside edge measures the same as the middle. The theory is that you can avoid a rippling border that way. But I was glad to try it the other way, as I am deeeeeply lazy and welcome any method that could result in less work. Turns out I should have measured.
Elizabeth gets amazing results on her quilts in part, I think, because of how meticulous she is — I'm certain her outside edge measures exactly the same as the middle of her quilt. A careful craftsperson probably doesn't need to measure. I...do, I guess, because I ended up with ripples along my border edges. I am hoping they'll quilt out.
(That's my answer to any piecing-related sloppiness. Sometimes it even happens.)
So next time, I measure. But I'm glad I tried it this way, because it shows me one of my weaknesses and gives me an opportunity to improve. And isn't that what quilting is all about?
(No, of course not. Duh. It's about buying fabric.)