Monday, January 10, 2011

12 down, 36 to go...

For some reason, I made the foolish decision to use my math skills. Did you know that at 28 pieces per block, a 48 block quilt has 1,344 pieces in it (before borders backing and binding...).  Knowing that number is a bit overwhelming.  Especially when you consider how many seams and cuts and trips to the ironing board it becomes.


I've learned a lot from this quilt so far.


  • Don't practice your multiplication skills at the start unless you REALLY want to know. Well, other than what you need to do to calculate the numbers of strips/blocks to cut... well I guess you might have to do the calculations early... 
  • Squaring the blocks at each stage, NO MATTER HOW TEDIOUS is definitely important.  When you don't, yo risk wonky seams. And wonky seams in the little four patch blocks lead to continued wonkiness.
  • Even the experts can end up with odd little ends at the seams.  I found the solution to try to fix that in one of the comments on "AZ Quilting Journey" where she posted a response from Harriet - use a shorter stitch length. So I will try that on the next set.
  • Read thrice press once. It took my third pass through the chapter to figure out why my seams for the large four patch blocks ended up in the same direction as the ones for my four patch with red diagonals.  I thought I was doing a pretty good job in following the directions even with the change in color scheme from QA - but for whatever reason, I assumed press to the light blue - which is the common color in both variations of the block instead of pressing away from it.  At this point, I have the large four patches done for the next 12 blocks. So I'll adjust by pressing the seams for the blocks with the red diagonals (smaller four patches) towards the small blocks - which while it does add an element of risk, will reduce the bulk in seams for these blocks.  I've pressed but not trimmed the last set of strips, so I'll re-press to get those going in the correct direction for the final set of 24 blocks. Knowing the sheer number of squares involved, I'm doing this one in smaller sets.
  • Judicious pressing is important. One can screw up what looked like a perfectly good four patch by pulling/warping the fabric.  Go easy on the steam and starch lightly not saturate...  And be ready to unstitch those that really didn't match up to start with.
  • The seam ripper is my friend.

Once I finished stitching and pressing the first 12 blocks, I started playing with layouts. When I sketched the quilt, I assumed that the very center would be the dark blue -

However - the yellow in the center also has some appeal...


The beauty of being able to play around with fabric/layouts.  I'll make the final decision when I get the rest done.

5 comments:

Brenda said...

I'm working on the town square now, and know exactly what you mean about the direction in pressing. I read and re-read the directions and still pressed some blocks wrong, they don't "butt" like they should when I put them together. I went by the picture of the back of the block and had better luck--I'm definitely a visual learner.

Rocknquilts said...

I like the yellow centers - reminds me of sunshine!

Rocknquilts said...

I really enjoyed watching how to bind a quilt on youtube. The visual/talking through it form of communication really made it understandable.

Dirt Road Quilter said...

I love not only playing with the layouts, but also working out the math. I must a closet math nerd. The numbers always surprise me. Thanks for letting me peak into your quilting journey - I love reading about it. Are you to the point where you realize that this is a sickness and there is no turning back? LOL.

Kirsten said...

My bedroom is being overtaken by FABRIC. I need to figure out a better storage system. I'm thinking the books in the under the bed boxes are about to be replaced by fabric... Yes, it is a sickness!