Sunday, March 30, 2014

Value of 1/16th of an Inch

I have wrapped up my 6 month Techniques workshop at Fabric Etc.  We used the pattern  Old Glory and I rewrote the instructions using my preferred methods of piecing.  We started the series with talking about the value of a true 1/4" seam allowance.
There is no criticism in this next statement as we discussed it at great length in our last class.  Something you wouldn't notice until I point it out is that in the block above, there are 15 blue squares in the checkerboard sashing.  In the piece below, there are 16 blue blocks.  The piecer of the above piece was puzzled as to how she was short one piece.  She went back and recounted many times, as we all did.  We double checked the pattern and I checked my sample.  16 was the number that kept showing up. How could she have 15 and have her piece work? Well, there are 15 seams and if you are off 1/16th of an inch, that equals one whole inch.  She lost the last row to seam allowances.
I loved teaching this workshop and as much as I shared, I learned.  Quilters are amazing women (and men).  We are resilient, strong, caring and kind.  I'm blessed to be part of this wonderful group of people.
My students were amazing, everyone stayed on task and each month learned something new.  My goal was not to teach them how to make this quilt, but to make them a better quilter.  Here is the email I got from one of my students a few weeks after our last class.

Sharon, thanks again so much for the wonderful techniques class! I've just been working on sewing the blocks together today and they go together so easily! I have always had trouble in the past, especially with different blocks fitting. The blocks with more seams were always a little smaller than blocks with fewer seams. You would have thought I could have figured it out, but I just figured I had stretched the fabric somewhat. Now I know I was sewing the seams at 1/4 inch, but by the time the seams were pressed, the seam really took up slightly more than 1/4 inch and all those "little bits" added up. I really learned a lot in your I just have to practice.
 So mind your 1/4", it really does help get your blocks "flat, straight and square".


Friday, March 14, 2014

Latest Machine Quilting

Here is the full reveal of the last few quilts that I've finished. The Nest, pattern here, is a really cool quilt.  The pattern needs some adjustments, jmho, but that's why there is chocolate and vanilla.
I just think there are easier methods to get the eggs in the nest that will yield nicer results.  This quilter is going to have to remove the eggs and applique them.

See how much extra fabric is in the eggs?  Or she could stuff them *vbg*

I used a variegated purple to silver thread on the outside of the nest and did random ruler lines through the colored strips that surround the nest.  Now should you think these are random strips, let me reassure you that the pattern designer includes templates for every strip.  (no kidding)!  I hand drew the spiral with chalk and then free motion quilted it, shamelessly copied from the pattern.  Hey, if it's not broke, right?
Next up is a star quilt.  This one is mostly black background and the star is in the lower corner of the quilt.
I can't resist feathering 1/2 sq triangles, and JT wanted this paisley all over in the background for texture.
I love this quilt and the variety of fabrics she used was wonderful.
A perfect fall quilt, this one could stay out right up until you put out your Christmas decor.
Thanks JT for allowing me to quilt this lovely quilts. 
Hope things are quilty in your world.  Spring has arrived in the Pacific NW, the crocus are blooming, daffodils are blooming and we are slowly drying out!