Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Needlework Tuesday: Vindication . . . of a Sort

Last week I hesitantly posted a picture of my experiment quilt block.  It was a disaster!  And, honestly, I was ready to give up the notion of ever being a "real" quilter.  But I had Friday off work, so I decided to give it another shot before setting fire to my batting. Block #2 is a long way from a home run, but at least it's in the ball park. 

Part of the blame for last week's fiasco falls on my tendency to get in a hurry, or to get frustrated and quit trying, so I set out to follow the instructions to the letter, take my time (I walked away frequently) and be precise.  However, there were two other contributing factors  - one easily corrected, one that continued to sabotage me. 

First was the presser foot I was using; more specifically, my assumptions about it.  I thought the tines (for lack of the correct technical name) of the foot were 1/4 inch wide, so keeping the edge of the foot at the edge of the fabric would give me a 1/4 inch seam.  Turns out it's just a smidge under 1/4 inch, and when you're dealing with one-inch squares, a smidge becomes an issue.  

The second factor was vague and/or incorrect instructions.  They actually encouraged a "scant" 1/4 inch seam, which is what I was doing unknowingly that caused things to not line up.  The instructions for the flying geese (the triangle pieces) assumed a more advanced sewer who had a clue.  You can see in the picture above that the points of some of the "mountains" are not right - the tips got cut off in the seam.  It wasn't until I was making the fourth one that I finally grasped what the instructions meant to say, and corrected my method.  The one at the top of the block (above) is perfect!

Here are the two complete blocks for comparison.
Block #2 (bottom) actually finished to the intended 12 inches.  Yea for measuring instead of assuming!  Because I only purchased a fat-quarter of each fabric, I had to shuffle the colors to have enough fabric for a second block.  Were I to make more of these blocks, I would use the top color combination, but I'm having serious second thoughts about attempting this right now.  For now, the two blocks will remain on my pin-board as a reminder of two famous quotes:
I think I can, I think I can . . . - The Little Engine
Slow and steady not only wins the race, it makes precise quilt blocks. - The Tortoise

Needlework Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Heather @ Books and Quilts.

1 comment:

  1. Those fabrics look gorgeous together. Assumptions are a bad thing in quilting, I learned that from experience. Also, don't cut when you have a migraine, you'll end up with the most unusual size pieces.

    How about a 1600 inch quilt, it's a very forgiving method.