Monday, May 28, 2012

Catching Up!

Despite the nice weather here in northern Michigan during the past week (mostly), I managed to catch up with all Randi's Sow-Along blocks.*  I was behind because I'd been madly trying to finish quilting and binding a quilt for my friend before she came to visit.

This quilt-along is wonderful opportunity to learn.  The assumption is that the participants know what they are doing, but that's not necessarily the case (c'est moi!).  My final quilt will NOT be going to show-and-tell at the quilt guild.  But I am gaining so much experience along the way!

* Oops!  I just noticed that she posted a Bonus Block yesterday.  Oh, maaaann!

Union Square

I'd only managed to sew up one of the six blocks from the May posts before I headed north.  This one is called Union Square.  There are a few wonky spots, but I like the colors.

Once I got up to my vacation home in Michigan, I started in on the rest of the blocks -- sewing machine at one end of the porch table, eating area at the other end (after I'd cleared out my cutting mat and a few hundred dog's ears!).

The issue that I ran into was the lack of a quarter-inch presser foot for my machine.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I found a ruler that made easy work of the HSTs.  But I could see that my effort to mark out a stitching guide on the machine wasn't working -- for whatever reason, the seams were just too wide.  So some of these blocks look OK, but they are undersized.  (BTW, I have ordered a presser foot that should arrive tomorrow.  Whew!)

Fruit Basket

This block has muslin as the background.  It's a bit hard to work with, but I really like the look.

Fruit Basket


This is a Battlegrounds block.  It is based on a pattern by Lori Smith (the full attribution was unavailable when I printed out the directions).
Mini Battlegrounds

I had cut out all the squares to make the HSTs before I left home.  Unfortunately, when I stitched up the block, it was waaay small (more like 4-1/2" instead of 6-1/2").  Ack!  It turns out that the directions never said how big to cut the squares.  Lacking much experience, when I read "HSTs 2" unf.), I cut 2" squares.  After making the same mistake a second time, I sat down with Quilt Pro and figured out that 2" unfinished HSTs required starting squares of 2-1/2".   Third time's the charm!

Silver Lining

By now I'd used most of the 4" squares that I'd brought with me for just-in-case.  I cut down some of the rest, but it was time to make a trip into town to Delphine's Quilt Shop.  Whoa!  They had a sale basket of fat quarters for $1 each!!!  Of course I bought way more than I needed for this block, but it was an offer I couldn't refuse!  This is the final block -- still a bit undersized because of the seams, but definitely an improvement!
Battlegrounds (Lori Smith)

Yankee Puzzle

That took care of the blocks from the first week in May.  Onward!  I was really happy with this Yankee Puzzle block.  The center came together perfectly!  The photo in the directions didn't show the final block, so I was happily surprised at the motion that appears here.  This block and the two that follow are from a book called Teach Yourself Blocks from the Past by Marie Henry (available on Amazon).

Yankee Puzzle

Aunt Sukey's Choice

Well, sometimes you win, and sometimes you don't.  I was pretty happy with the flying geese units here (the fabrics are particularly nice to work with), but there's some real wonkiness going on (maybe I can tug a bit when the blocks are assembled).  Not to mention that I had the light fabric backwards in one square!  Hah!  That's what makes it unique, right?
Aunt Sukey's Choice

Road to Fortune

The colors in this block are pretty -- they don't show up so well in the photo, but the outside dark triangles are a midnight purple, really striking.  I did this one kind of scrappy, and I think the effect is good.

Nonetheless, the block was actually a bit of a disappointment for me, even though the construction looks great. Since the directions didn't show how to sew the units together, I tried to find the block on the web, but came up empty-handed.  I did my best, but I'm not sure that the outside triangles are put together right.  Maybe finishing the block will help.  Any ideas???
Road to Fortune


Well, one thing to look forward to from this project is a few more orphan blocks!  The directions for the Fruit Basket block give you enough pieces to make a second block.  I did the initial piecing and will finish it sometime.  The little squares in the photo below are from the second attempt on the Battlegrounds block.  The HSTs are stitched but not cut -- it was clear that they were too small.  I guess I'll put them together at some point.  And because by this time I was out of my mind, I miscalculated the number of squares I needed when I finally cut the 2-1/2" squares, so I have a complete second set of HSTs ready to go.

No comments:

Post a Comment