My third or fourth attempt went into the trash. Seriously. I didn't even bother salvaging the parts of it that were okay.
I emailed my mentor again and finally asked her the question I should have asked ages ago -- how do I attach a piece that has to be attached on two sides???? She answered with the magic words: "Don't sew past your seam allowance." In other words, when sewing down the first edge, don't cross that invisible 1/4" line of the second edge.
You'd think that would be a common sense sort of thing, but it wasn't. Suddenly, it all clicked and I tried one last time, from scratch.
I recut my fabric. Again. I reassembled each individual unit. Again. We're talking fourth and fifth attempt here at some of this. I began attaching the units to each other. Again. And this time.....this time, it worked. And I'm so excited, I'm going to show it to you, even though someone out there is going to get this for Christmas. I figure, the recipient has no idea she's the recipient, so it's okay. Right? I mean, you guys don't know, and I'm not telling, so I can show off my hard work, can't I? Of course I can.
It's still not perfect. One bit is slightly shifted from where it should be. I decided I don't care. In a few hours* of work, I finally had a presentable piece. Done. The 3rd piece in a 4 piece set. I will try to tackle the 4th piece, which everyone tells me to skip, over the weekend. I think with all that I've learned through the trial and error of this piece that I might just be able to handle the 4th one. We'll see.
In any case, in one afternoon** I was able to go from this --
|(take two: second attempt whole block, alongside the 2nd version of the center piece;|
see how the green triangles on the outside do NOT line up with the green triangles on the inside??
Yea, that's a bit bad in this design...)
|(final cut: the final version. Imperfections and all. Notice, only one green triangle doesn't match this time!)|
Overall I'm quite pleased with myself. It wasn't easy, but I did it. And I don't hate sewing yet. Pretty cool, huh?
*(it took me one hour to cut and assemble the basic units; each outside arm, then each square that makes up the center pinwheel; it then took me 30 minutes to assemble the pinwheel, and then between 30 minutes and 1 hour to attach all 4 outside arms to the center pinwheel; remember, this is all by hand)
**slight lie, there. The first attempt after the bits seen in the first photo is the one that went in the trash. That was about an hour of work over the weekend. The final cut was done on Tuesday, yesterday, in an afternoon's time. But it did actually take one more failed attempt between the 2 steps shown. I'm a slow learner, I guess.....