Saturday, November 27, 2010

Class 150 - working with Four Patch blocks

Over the past few weeks, I've been working my way through the opening lessons in Class 150 - Base Grids, Grid Sizes, Drafting and Mock-ups.  I utilized those skills (along with the valuable table on log sizes in Class 140) to enlarge the log cabin quilt to baby play mat size rather than table topper size.  Conveniently, the carpet in my office has 3 inch squares, so I could measure off approximations of how big the quilt would be using various size logs.

Last night I was moved on to lesson 6 - the four patch blocks.  This first involved locating the bag in which my sampler is stored - though while I located the bag for the fabric, the sampler itself appears to be AWOL. Fortunately I don't actually need it until I reach the Sophomore year, so I have time to figure out where I've stashed it.

I'm actually quite pleased with the way my four patch blocks turned out.  I did first attempt to fold the seams so that they would be on the darker fabric as is generally done and it just wasn't working the way it should - so when folding the seams towards the lighter fabric, I realized that the reason you get little four patches at the center of each block is that a few stitches are released to open those seams.  The blocks did open better for me when I first used my fingernails to set the seams since I wasn't pressing them to one side first. Otherwise they didn't press all the way open and had to be re-pressed.

Butting the seams to initially create the four patch blocks, it was easy to do as suggested to let the seam allowance lead in to the presser foot. Once I moved on to joining the four patches into eight patch blocks, I could not figure out how to do that again - looks like the seams didn't let me do it again - so had to be careful to butt them before feeding them in.

I did stop to check and trim the widths of the strips and blocks and happily had very little trimming to do along the way.  Finally, it was time to join the eight patch blocks together to create the 16 patch blocks.  I only had to undo one seam - as I managed to twist the alignment for one of the eight patches - and then had to redo the same seam as I didn't do a good job butting the seams together the second time.  Once again, the twist to open the center point seams worked out nicely - and I finished the evening measuring the blocks to be sure that they came out correctly.  The blocks are now safely bagged with the remaining material waiting for the next steps.

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