Reverse Engineering (Part 1)

I don’t always get it right the first time. Sometimes I have to resort to reverse engineering.

I began this quilt top in the summer of 2013. Making it up as I went along, no clear vision for the finished thing. I was working on it at camp, and that laid-back chilled-out attitude spilled right over into my sewing.

Here is my happy place at the lake, and the work-in-progress on my little design wall:

For a number of reasons, it got put on the back burner until recently. I pulled it out with the intention of finishing it, and put it up on the wall in the studio at home. I was expecting to be pleased with it, and transported back to those casually creative camp days and … meh. Something is just not right.

That center is just not working for me. Boring, Repetitious. Lacking focus. I’ll kick myself if I go ahead and quilt it like that. I can do better. So I reach for that essential tool we all love to hate. Does using a pretty seam ripper make this any less tedious? I think not.

And out comes the entire middle section.



It came out easier than it went back in… Three out of the four corners went in nicely, the fourth fought back, until we reached an acceptable compromise. Here is the improved version, with a “Sister’s Choice” block for the center, and the first “goose chase” round running in the opposite direction.


The difference is not dramatic, and maybe it would not have bothered anyone but me. But I am happier with it now. Worth the effort when I look at them side-by-side, don’t you think?




In Part 2 (next week, I hope), I’ll look at another type of reverse engineering – the kind that happens when you have to work backwards to describe how a thing was made. Because now I have to write up a pattern for this, and I didn’t keep track along the way. That’s the price I pay for casual camp creativity!

And it’s going to need a name. Any suggestions??

1 thought on “Reverse Engineering (Part 1)

  1. I like the redesign much better. How about “Camp Madness” for a name.

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