Whilst writing my book ‘How To Quilt for the Absolute Beginner’ the thought which kept me awake at night was the fear that hidden deep within the pages there was an error waiting to trip up an unsuspecting beginner. I checked and double checked every project, measurement and decimal/imperial conversion to ensure everything was correct. Quilting is so reliant on accurate measurements and any small discrepancy in the given dimensions can mean the final quilt does not come together correctly, so I knew it had to be right. Once I had checked everything, the editor double checked it, then the proof reader checked it, then I checked it again.
Now, obviously everyone tries to avoid errors but maybe I wouldn’t have been quite so worried if the book wasn’t aimed at the beginner. When you are learning a new skill the last thing you need is a book full of inaccurate information and we all know that this does happen – I have spent my life learning new skills from ‘How To’ books and have spent many hours trying to make things which have turned out to be impossible to make (especially for a beginner). A particular woven button I tried to make recently springs to mind. It took me almost a whole day to work out that the instructions given just didn’t work. It’s not just ‘How To’ books which suffer from these types of errors. Years ago, I spent Pancake Day fruitlessly trying to make pancakes for my little darlings from a recipe that missed out the eggs from the list of ingredients! I just couldn’t understand why my mixture was more like glue than yummy mummy pancakes.
So when writing my book to say I became slightly obsessed with accuracy would be a slight understatement. I had to avoid being responsible for a ‘How To’ clanger at all costs……..
Well, I am guessing you know what’s coming next don’t you.
I got an email from my publisher over the weekend. They had been contacted by someone who had purchased my book and attempted to construct the Lavender Keepsake project, which uses the English Paper Piece patchwork technique. As instructed the novice quilter used the pentagon template provided at the back of the book, but it wasn’t until they had spend much time preparing their pieces and sewing them altogether did they discovered the template was inaccurate and their work was wasted. The patchwork ball would not ever pull together correctly because the pentagon was not a true pentagon. Oh the shame. I was so busy looking at all the measurements that I missed a tiny error on the template. It pains me that people will waste their time and think they are doing something wrong, when it is all my fault not theirs.
So I hereby send my eternal apologies to the quilter who wasted her precious time trying to construct a ball using the inaccurate template provided by me and I thank her for letting me know. Here is a PDF of a whole page of correct pentagons to use instead.
Oh more shame.