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Sunday, January 29, 2012

My friend NancyP is the one who got the idea for some of us to make this quilt. A message from her on Facebook yesterday looking for photos of my blocks made me realize I'd better get cracking. So with a pot of chili on the stove and some 70's music on Pandora, I got busy. Six blocks later, I was glad she got me moving.










These are 6" blocks. Between this project and The Farmer's Wife quilt, I can see where my piecing has greatly improved. Personally I favor mindless sewing and simple quilt patterns, so it was a real kick in the pants when I had to piece the more difficult blocks.


One thing I've learned is to constantly measure after sewing a seam. Even if there were those couple of threads extending off an edge, I trimmed them and squared up my piece. And I always trim up my finished blocks. I place my ruler on the block with a line on the ruler on top the seam line and trim from there. This helps to keep the block square.

There are two schools of thought as far as pressing - steam or no steam. I'm a steam person, and I feel the more the better but press - not iron. I like my blocks to be as flat as possible, and pressing on the front and back of the block help.

I've also started pressing some of the seams open. With the smaller pieces in these blocks, it helps to reduce the bulk. If I have two rows where seams will butt up, I go the usual route of pressing seams to the side.

Audrey already has her top pieced, and NancyP has her red blocks done. Not sure where the rest of the gang is. Girls? I plan to spend this afternoon sewing again. My goal is to get mine pieced so I can give it to NancyZ for the machine quilting. I'm taking inventory of my UFO's and excited that I am challenging myself to get this stuff finished up.

9 comments:

Melanie said...

I hope you take this is the mind that it is given...You have a lot of precision in your piecing--- something I definitely need to work on. Honestly, I didn't get the quilt pattern at first, but I see the flag now--- Can't wait to see how it looks in the end-- I bet the pattern photo doesn't do it justice.....

Carol said...

What beautiful blocks. I agree, doing these little blocks sure has improved my piecing...I'm a steamer too...tried to use a dry iron and I just couldn't do it...I need those blocks to be flat. It's going to be a gorgeous quilt.

Sue said...

It's a beautiful quilt pattern, Mary. I've not seen this one.
I'm actually starting on the Farmer's Wife the first of February.
I like the idea of steam and for many blocks, I press my seams open...even those on the angle and I know you're not supposed to do that. If you haven't started on piecing your sashing for the Hop to it block, you'll want to press all those seams open! I am caught up on all the sashing now and I am glad I pressed all of mine open. What a lot of quarter square triangles!
Happy Lord's Day

Pokey said...

The blocks you shared have me wishing to give it a go, we love our reds!

The last sampler I did was the twelve days one posted on Temecula Quilt Company (you would love that shop!), and I found the same thing regarding accuracy. New blocks keep you on your toes and is good practice for us who love sewing.

And I say the same thing about ironing, steam those puppies flat!
:-}pokey

Lorri said...

Love the pattern and of course the red! I find that I gravitate to reds everytime. Thanks for much for the post. I have been using steam with my blocks, but afraid I may have been ironing not pressing. Will take care today to make sure I am using the right technique. I posted my giveaway, come visit me.

anneke said...

I love the colors you used. I'm a bit scared of the difficult blocks so I'm staying with simple at the moment, with a difficult one for a crazy moment (the Nearly Insane)...

Carrie P. said...

A very good start to your new project. Love the blocks so far.

Christine said...

Wow this is an amazing quilt - I so admire your patience in taking on these piecing projects!
Have fun!
Christine

Nancy said...

A new pattern is not breaking any thing it is a helper to stay on task the cross stitch seem like a big task