buriedinscraps

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Archive for the tag “block of the week”

UNCLE!!

That’s it!  I’m crying “Uncle!”.

hairI’m officially throwing in the towel on Grandmother’s Choice. I love my Grandma and I love all of the grandmas that fought so hard so I could vote and have equality.  But this grandmother is choosing to move on to another project.  I think I have sewn each block on this project at least twice.  And, no I’m not making two quilts.  I’m estimating that by the time I’ve cut and recut and sewn and “unsewn” that I’ve constructed each block at least twice….some of them more.  I don’t consider myself a quilting idiot but I just can’t get these blocks to turn out the correct size without stretching the bejesus out of them.  And then they’re all distorted.  I don’t know if it’s my measurements or if it’s her trying to fit a nine inch block into an eight inch square.  Don’t know.  I just know that I can’t be that bad every week.  I think I made the Capitol T block at least three times…literally.  The first one was not quite right so I tried it again.  The Flying Geese were flying out of formation!  Recut them…three times.  Resewed it and it was even smaller than the first.  I’m sooo tired of wasting good fabric.  So, I’m officially outta there!  Movin’ on up and all that good stuff…

If Barbara Brackman is reading this (and I’m pretty sure she isn’t. 🙂 ) I still love ya!  And I plan to sew along with the new Civil War block of the month tomorrow.  But quilting is supposed to be enjoyable and for me, this isn’t! 😦

Oh happy day!!

Oh happy day!  As much as I love the Christmas holidays, I’m always a little bit relieved when they are over.  It’s finally time to relax just a little bit…a time to do things that don’t involve food.  A time to emerge from the sugar coma that sometimes comes to represent the holiday season.  A time to do some things for ourselves.  Don’t misunderstand…I love to do things for others.  It makes me feel good…makes me smile.  But sometimes I need to selfishly claim some time for me…to do whatever I want to do.  And that’s what I did today.

I tried to do that yesterday but it didn’t work out so well.  I started down to the sewing palace numerous times and was side-tracked almost every time!  Woke up late…started to watch Rachael Ray…liked what she was cookin’ for dinner.  That required a trip to the store.  Which usually means a trip to two stores…no store has everything.  Yesterday was no exception.  Two stores later, I was home and set to sew.  My husband came home for lunch.  After lunch, I caught a glimpse of the People’s Court on television.  (Don’t judge me! 🙂 ).  I finally pulled myself away from the TV and went downstairs…two thirds of the day down the drain.

Since I hadn’t sewn a thing but Barbie clothes and a Christmas stocking for weeks, I knew I had to piece.  But what?  Before the holiday season, I decided that I was going to deep six the Grandmother’s Choice project.  I wasn’t crazy about the fabrics I chose and just generally wasn’t feeling the love for it.  So, with the attitude that life’s too short to make quilts I don’t like, I decided the heck with it!  But when I entered the palace, I thought maybe I’d give it another try.  Of course I only had ten blocks completed and they were already on block seventeen and it seemed a little bit overwhelming.  But I cut out the pieces for the schoolhouse block.  There was a time I loved house blocks.  That time has passed as of last night.  I have no idea why I had so much trouble with this block.  I’m just glad I’m not a contractor…wouldn’t be in business long I promise you!  It was pretty lopsided building.  I pressed the heck out of it and it was OK…except on the bottom.  I was not about to remake the block so I hacked off the bottom and planted grass.  Guess I’m a better landscaper!

block_11After the housing crisis, I decided to give it up for the night.  Today, I got a much earlier start.  And what I also got was something even better than that…time alone!  There was no one here except me,myself and Irene!  I was giddy with excitement!  Then I needed to decide if I truly wanted to catch up with Grandma.  Yeah…I think I did.  So I dove into Block 12.  It looked a little complicated…dang Y-seams again.  But it actually went together quite well!  OK…one success…we’ll try another.

block_12On to Block 13.  I thought the directions were a little bit vague.  I cut a rectangle that was at some point supposed to become a pentagon.  The directions neglected to tell me when that would happen.  There were triangles that didn’t look nearly large enough so I cut others.  Those didn’t work either.  (Of course, they didn’t…they were the wrong size!)  I sat and looked at the pieces for several minutes and the solution finally came to me.  It would have been nice if the directions had included that little bit of information.  I’m hoping that those of you who have made that block know what I’m talking about.  I don’t want to be the only dummy!

block_13Isn’t this fabric just perfect for Grandmother’s Choice?

close_upNext up is Block 14.  No issues at all with this one.  A nice, simple Churn Dash type block.  A nice break from Y-seams!

block_14And finally, Block 15.  This went together very easily!  (Looks a little Christmasy, doesn’t it?) In fact, I decided to quit while I was ahead.  There’s always tomorrow.  I hope to be caught up soon!

block_15I’ve had some issues with these blocks finishing up to 8.5 inches.  They are all just a little bit too small.  I have two quarter inch feet for my machine…one with a blade and one without.  I was frustrated that some of the blocks were a little too small so I started to troubleshoot.  I’ve been using the foot with the blade.  I looked closely at it and I saw that the blade is not right next to the edge of the foot…there’s probably 1/16 or less gap between the blade and the edge of the foot.  Now if the edge of the foot is the quarter inch mark and if I’m lining the edge of the fabric against the blade, my seam is a “smidge” too wide.  Multiply those smidges by every seam and I’m guessing that’s why my blocks are just a “smidge” too small.  The last block I made today was made with the foot without the blade and it was fine. Have any of you had an issue with a quarter inch foot with a blade?

Ready to roll!!

I’m finally caught up with the Grandmother’s Choice blocks!  I wasn’t sure that would ever happen.  Some of those blocks were pretty complicated.  But they were not going to get the best of me.  It was personal now.  So I played catch-up this  weekend and they are finally finished.  Whew!!

I really like how they’re looking.  I used the Mill Girls line for the basis and then added some fabrics from my stash.  Now that I’m caught up, I’m ready to roll on the rest of them!

Have you ever cut out pieces for a block and found out that even thought you think you did the math, they were the wrong size?  I’ve done that twice while making these blocks.  And I did it again yesterday while cutting out pieces for a small quilt.   I’ve found that I can’t cut out pieces if I’m distracted.   And I’m kind of like a cat….I’m easily distracted!  🙂  So rather than recut more pieces for the small quilt, I put it to the side.  As I had a few minutes left to sew, I picked up a little muslin “sammie” that I was using to practice FMQ.  I decided to play.  I hadn’t practiced in a while so I was afraid I was back to square one.  But I really felt good about it!

Now, I’m really excited to begin quilting the basket quilt for MiniQuilter!  I am finally beginning to believe I can do this!!

Feel like a rookie…

Sometimes I feel like a raw rookie.  I’ve been quilting for a very long time and for the most part, I think I do a pretty darn good job!  But the last couple of weeks have been quite humbling.  In my last post, I showed you my Grandmother’s Choice block for the block of the week by the same name.  I tried to make poorly cut rectangles fit where they didn’t want to fit.   I should have known better.  Wait…I do know better.  I just thought I might get lucky this time.  Ha!  Don’t buy lottery tickets with this luck!  Then I decided I didn’t care so much for the fabric combination and was ready to toss it.  Some of you convinced me not to do that.  I fished it out of the trash and replaced the rectangles with ones that fit and a calmer fabric.  Now, I like it!

Looks a little less “nervous” and more calm.  I like this so much better.

Ready to move on to Week Two.  This block has me talking to myself.  I’ve pieced the first version three times and cut a second block that has the same issues.  This block has a “Y” seam.  I’ve pieced those seams before with little trouble.  Not this time!

Here’s Version One…third time through.

Click on the picture to get a better view of the mess!  You can see that the center is not square and it’s puffy.  The seams are not flat…they’re kind of folded over.  Not good.  I thought perhaps I just didn’t cut accurately.  So I thought I’d make another being very careful to cut accurately.  I reprinted the pattern and measured the center square piece as per the instructions.  The pattern piece for the square was the proper size.  So I cut fabric again…stitched and this is what I got.

It’s so frustrating!  This one was even worse!  I really think that the either the red triangles are just a bit too small or the center square is too big.  But my understanding is that if the center square measures accurately, the other pieces will fit.  So, is it pattern error or operator error?  I love both of these fabric combinations but I’m not sure I want to cut more fabric until I can figure it out.   Any tips on “Y” seams?

Just make myself feel better and remind myself that I don’t always screw up, here’s the snowman quilt I teased you with last week.

Week Three…here I come!

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