Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Learning Experience

Lately I've been envying posts of quilters with excellent little pieced stars and other intriguing little blocks. I haven't made a quilt out of blocks except for big pink and half of those blocks were squares, and the other half were 4 triangle squares, pretty simple stuff. So, I found a book of blocks and thought I'd just work my way through it. First I picked out some fabrics in some fun colors to work with.
One of the first instructions was about using some certain ruler to cut the triangles. Yeah, whatever, I'd use my regular rulers, they have 45 angles marked on them. Well, it turns out that the rulers they are selling make the seam allowance automatically on the triangles. The first little triangles went together nicely. Isn't that little guy adorable? Unfortunately, the rest of the block didn't go so well.

It's pretty darn cute still, but so wrong. The base of the stars don't meet at the center, the points go off the block or too close to the edge, which means they'll get chopped off when it's joined to another block. So, I got out another book. Which walks you through each block very methodically with templates and very precise cutting and sewing instructions. I'm still a little frustrated because my regular sewing machine is in the shop and I'm using an ancient Singer that goes from zero to too fast all of a sudden, or jams on the first couple stitches causing a lump that's practically impenetrable with a seam ripper.

Well, honestly, things got better. But I'm out of time for messing with this, and haven't taken photos of the better things, so maybe that'll be motivation to write here again, soon. I do feel happy to be learning and improving in this skill.


  1. Note to self: beware of books that go with special rulers... instructions are probably only for special rulers, not the ones *I* have. ;-)

    Gee, any prognosis for the lady pfaff?

  2. Yeah, I'm still frustrated, because the special triangle book has some really cute blocks, which I'm not sure I can translate to make them work without the rulers. I envision wasting lots of fabric. And Ms. Pfaff is home and apparently well, they couldn't replicate the foot pedal problem, but gave her a good cleaning and replaced a screw, $131.00 later. :)

  3. Carolyn -- I've been wondering why you haven't been posting on your blog, then I realized I had only bookmarked the first post, not your blog ... so I've missed all your last few posts. Sorry about your brother's quilt ... what did you decide? I really hate pinning if I'm sandwiching, so I would definitely recommend spray basting. The best spray is 505; I buy it at my quilt store, they don't carry it at JoAnn's. If I was quilting a quilt like that with a problem area, I would start out quilting from the center out; stitch in the ditch first to set the seams sort of ... that way they won't be able to stretch too far. The good news is that once you wash it and it puckers, you won't see it as much. Like you said, is it really worth taking apart to redo since your brother will love it anyway? Glad I found you!!!