Thursday, June 23, 2016

Traditional Quilt Class - Diamond Bars Quilt Block


Remember when I said I was going to sew everyday to create a habit?  Well, I gotta tell you the sun and pond call to me and you know what they say about the best intentions.day. However, when I do sew, I am uninterrupted and focused.

Here is the latest block I learned to build in Kathy Shaw's online traditional quilt class. I have decided and been approved to discontinue sewing mug rugs and focus on using the blocks in another way.  I'll be saving them to use on kitchen appliance covers and a table quilt.

My seams look wonky here, but they are straight in person.  I just can't get a great pic of these blocks.


After completing each block I think about what I learned in the class, besides how to cut and piece each one.  I check each cut for accurate size.  I stitch each seam with a 1/4" allowance.  REALLY, I DO. I have a 1/4" guide foot on my machine.  I stitch slowly.  But when it comes to stitching the rows together I have had to rip a seam or two to make seams match.  Even though I analyze where I made the mistake, it is not apparent to me.  But rip and restitch and it all works.  Brother.  As I was restitching I was thinking these little pieces stitched together with precision is just not for me.  Maybe larger blocks would be easier.  (these are 6")    But that is silly. The problem is not in the size.  After re-sewing the seam it all matched perfectly.  I had a supreme feeling of satisfaction. I guess I WILL continue on to the next class after all.

So, I sew on to the next task.  Learning to cut and piece a Churn Dash Block.

Do you quilt?  I'd love to here ANYTHING from you.  Any tip or comment will do!!  If you don't quilt, well you all know I love your comments.

14 comments:

  1. I have the same issues, but no solution! I measure twice before cutting, I have a guide on my sewing machine, I do all the things I'm supposed to and I still end up with seams and points that don't match. Maybe that's why I like hexagon epp and crazy quilting!

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  2. Carol! This is great. It's a typical 6" sized block, but I agree, there are a lot of pieces. It reminds me of Gene's square in a square in a square, but not exactly the same -- actually this is probably harder. Rip and restsitch works, but my tried and true formula adds "stretch" at the end. I'm sure that's shocking to some, but it works for me! Lol!

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  3. PS...forgot two things -- I agree with Pamela, any kind of quilting that doesn't require exactness is my choice as well. I'm not good at crazy quilting, but I love making strip blocks. Also, the sun never calls to me. I do all I can to stay in the shade. I melt in the sun. ;)

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  4. I haven't quilted for quite a long time -- and it was short lived for me. I'm probably addicted to instant gratification *smile*. This is quite lovely and the fabric is too.

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  5. I'm not a traditional quilter but I have been sewing since I was 6 and have done a lot of different projects over the years. My mum was a professional dress maker. She learned her trade in Scotland after many years of apprenticeship. She always told me that practice makes perfect. Matching seams perfectly is a skill that takes lots of perseverance until you get to that point that it just happens. It becomes an instinct. You just know how to do it. You get the "eye" as she used to say:)

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  6. Smaller blocks with many pieces give me a fit! I think larger blocks are easier.

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  7. No matter how hard I've tried, my seam ripper has always gotten a workout and/or corrections made by trimming when squaring up a block. I'm really more inclined to improv quilting--you know, kinda liking what I get. :)

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  8. Just remember that we are human and not machines. As Jenny Doan from Missouri Start Quilt Company says, finished is better than perfect. Every time I learn a new technique (a half square triangle, flying geese, etc), it’s not until I stitch lots of them (as in a quilt pattern) that I realize that there are certain ways to do things. Not tricks, exactly, but things to watch for, a certain order, bad habits (did my ruler slip again because I was being too lazy to turn the fabric?) Coming from a crazy quilting background (anything goes!), I thought the quarter-inch seam would intimidate me. I thought there was no way I was going to struggle to match points, etc. But traditional quilts and projects stitch up so much quicker than CQ, that once I felt comfortable enough with the basics (and that DOES take a few months), I was sewing like the wind! You will too, dear one!

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  9. I can relate to your quilt block issues. It frustrates me sew much to cut up fabric into precise little pieces and then try to sew them back into a correct pattern and match all those seams and points! I have no tips but to keep at it it you really enjoy it.

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  10. Sometimes quarter inch guides are off a tad. The only way to know is to put your fabric under the guide, see how much you are leaving to see on the cut edge because that can make a difference and measure your seam after making a row of stitches to see if it's really 1/4 inch. If not, you might be leaving to much showing on the edge and if you need to see that then move your needle slightly if possible. Mainly, check to see if how you put the fabric under the foot and see if you are consistent. I will "stretch" as Barbara June says if I am off less than 1/8 inch. I am just not a perfectionist. Actually, I can't see to sew well anymore even with the magnifying helper (the light isn't bright enough where I need it and it's just not all that magnified) so I have a crazy quilt 1/3 done and it's going to stay that way. Frankly, the pond sounds better right now; winter will come soon enough and then you can concentrate more on your indoor activities!

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  11. Your block looks great, and the fabrics are just plain fun. Pressing seams in opposite directions and then butting them up against each other always helps me. I haven't gotten to this lesson, so I don't know how Kathy had you piece it, but I also don't piece by making rows. You can go to Churn Dash Tutorial and scroll down to see how I put the squares together. The corners, if you have no stitches in between pieces, will match perfectly if your pieces are all the same size, and your seam is a scant quarter inch - meaning slightly under. SLIGHTLY. The fabric and thread takes up a little space, so making the seam half a millimeter smaller helps account for that.

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  12. There are no quilt police, as long as it works for you it's good

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  13. This is looking nice. I think appliance covers and a table quilt are a great idea. I find you can only use so many mug rugs! I'm looking forward to seeing more of these :)

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  14. I'm not a sane quilter as you know, but when I was working on those three quilts my friend introduced me to some amazing pins that made matching seams SO much easier. http://www.joann.com/fork-pins-35-pkg/9620840.html You put each 'arm' of the pin on either side of where a seam meets and it cuts down dramatically in how many times you have to reverse sew.

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