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Dear Stanley, I Love You

Iloooooved Penelope Handmade's Stanley Quilt as soon as I saw it I just didn't know what bundle to use. I was still a customer of Scribbly Gum and not the owner when I started it so instead of purchasing more fabric, I thought I had better dive into my stash and so I was able to put together a scrap bundle of loose fat quarters from other bundles I had pulled apart. I had done that once before with great success so why not give it another go.I found the perfect 12 fat quarter prints, threw in a couple of solids and off I went. Patterns by Penelope Handmade a so easy to follow and before I knew it I hade finished cutting. But of course as is my typical fashion, once I started chain piecing I discovered I had cut too much background and miscut some of the fat quarters. Its a knack of mine, and phenomenally annoying. It had been a while since I'd done a quilt that allowed such a chain piecing rhythm and this one is glorious. Head phones on and off I went. Once that was done it was a lucky dip to piece the first stage of the blocks together but I definitely put a little more effort in once the blocks levelled up and this is where it all came crashing down for me.You see, like most quilters, layouts happen on the floor in my house because without fail our quilts are much larger than our dining tables. Moving the table out of the way, I began to lay the quilt blocks out to inspect for any same pattern matching and so some twisting and turning began. But then I got distracted. And left the room. And didn't go back until the next day. Which is when I discovered that at some point between the moment of distraction and the very point I went back into my sewing room our six month old, still very much trying to house train, puppy had visited said quilt and relieved himself on one of the blocks.

I was so frustrated. At me of course. What does a six month old puppy know about my very expensive hobby and what a &@#&*!$ I was for leaving it on the floor in the first place. So in to the wash it went. The whole thing. All eight not yet sewn together blocks. Why all eight you might ask? Because if there was going to be any shrinkage, I needed it to happen to all of them. And boy did it.Not only did the blocks shrink, but the edges of them frayed quite badly and a heap of them right up to about 1/4". Not ideal when we all know that this is the seam allowance. Plus, the thread cutting was next level and the pressing, oh the pressing. There was no way this quilt top was ever going to be flat again.

The ill fated layout

What a mess!

But I persevered because I loved what I knew it was going to become. I lay it out again (this time with the doors closed), finalised my layout and got sewing. It was slow going though, trying to deal with the 1/4" fraying and even though the finished quilt is straight line quilted, if you look close there is a teeny bit of zig zag quilting here and there to ensure it doesn't come apart.All of that said and peering through my own disasters, this is a great quilt pattern and I love it. From start to finish it is easy to follow and it comes together quickly and with ease, but my favorite part of all is that it is crazy forgiving. You have to look hard to see any flaws and in this one there are many given I lost so much of it in the wash. It would be the perfect pattern for a beginner who is looking to level up and I will for sure be making another. Five stars, absolutely recommend!!