Sooner or later, every quilter learns the saying "measure twice, cut once".
They usually learn it the hard way, after they've cut up their fabric and after they've started sewing. I thought I'd learnt that lesson long ago but it looks like I needed reminding.
Earlier this year, I had some more dies custom-made so that I could add triangle charm packs and diamond charm packs to my reportoire. I asked for equilateral triangles with 5" sides, and diamonds that were the same as two of these triangles stuck together. Simple, right?
I couldn't wait to get stuck into a making a new quilt so I quickly die-cut a couple of layer cakes - using the pale blues and pinks of Papillon and the French reds of Rouenneries Deux - and started this quilt.
I admit my machine-sewing skills have never been great. I guess I don't take enough care, I want to get things done quickly, and as a result my seams don't always line up. It didn't take me very long to get fed up with this crooked messy one.
I moved onto other projects, including making a huge stack of these new charm packs for my store. I finally set aside some time this weekend to prepare the ads and I got 95% of the work done when I discovered that ...
My custom-made dies were custom-made WRONG! I am going to kick some butt tomorrow morning and insist that that they are made again, properly!
The triangles measure 4 7/8" on 2 sides and 4 3/4" on 1 side. ALL sides are supposed to be 5". Obviously that means the angles are wrong too. No wonder my Papillon/Rouenneries Deux quilt failed.
Now I have $900 worth of pre-cut triangle and diamond charm packs that I can't sell. This has really confirmed in my mind that I need to go ahead with something I've been thinking about for quite a while.
I need to re-focus the direction of my store. I didn't intend to be a "shop" with stacks of pre-cut stock but I found myself heading that way. That doesn't work for me. Being a "die-cutting service" that makes things to order is what works for me, and I think it works best for customers too.
Expect to see some changes to my store in the coming weeks. The changes I have been planning will allow a lot more flexibility and choice in the products available to customers. It won't be just hexagons any more!