FNSI February 2012

So I have only blogged this year after FNSI. Ah well…at least I’m getting at some projects.

My youngest had a friend sleep over last night and my oldest went camping with the boy scouts, so I took the opportunity to work on some bee blocks.

February’s do. Good Stitches blocks are the retro-mod Granny Square blocks I’m seeing all over the Internet right now. We’re so cutting edge ;).  I believe it’s an original pattern and while I don’t actually see the granny square-ness of a crochet block, I do appreciate how pretty these are when they’re sewn together so the designer can call them whatever she wants.

Many of the bee members, myself included, struggled with these blocks, because, though beautiful, they’re tricky little buggers. The key I found out after 2 failed attempts is to sew with a scant 1/4″. That’s hard. The result if you sew with a solid 1/4″ is that they’re a solid 9″ (or as I kept repeating last night, “shit! they’re short”).  They’re supposed to be 9 1/8″.

So I made 2 lovely but unusable blocks. Actually, they’re not lovely at all and as my husband pointed out, they’re off-center.

See those notches on the left and bottom? In addition to the block being just too small, those nips are too big to hide in the seam allowance. So a too small block + big nips = total reject.

Apparently the other block was too embarrassed to be photographed so I can’t show it to you.

I did manage to make two that are actually good, the right size with minimal nips (small nips are apparently unavoidable, even by the designer).  These can be hidden in the seam allowance.  I measured to be sure.

Kristen from the Milwaukee Modern Quilt Guild asked us to make log cabin blocks framing the sweet Little Apples fabric.  So cute.

OK, full disclosure because my guilty conscience won’t let me get away with anything else:  I was too clever by half and decided to trim the light pink strip to 2″ because I thought all of Kristen’s strips were the same width (2 1/2″) and I didn’t want them all the same width and I thought in the end it would be more than big enough to trim the block down to 12 1/2″.  Wrong.  The strips weren’t all the same width and the dark pink strips were already only 2″ (remember the old quilters’ adage measure twice cut once?  Remember it!!) thus my block was SHY of 12 1/2″.  Ugh.  I’m going to have to rip the dark pink and sew it back with a scant 1/4″.  Are you seeing a theme here?

The biggest news of my night was that I did (almost) all of this with my new sewing machine!  I’m so excited to have something so nice.  I’ve only barely scratched the surface of what this gal can do and I can’t wait to do more than just piece on it!!

I’ve been sewing with a very old and very basic Singer since I started quilting.  It was a hand-me-down from my sister and I really made it work for me.  I darn near burned it out making Christmas quilts for my boys in December.  It works OK to piece (and apparently sews a very fine scant 1/4″ seam) but it was toast for actually quilting or doing anything that required my walking foot.  Plus, it only had 5 stitches and one of them is a non functioning buttonhole stitch.   While I’m sure I won’t use all of the 60+ stitches on this one, I will use more than 5 for sure and I SO look forward to creating new things with it.

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6 Comments

Filed under Friday Night Sew-In, Milwaukee_Modern Quilt Guild, Quilting, Quilting bee

6 responses to “FNSI February 2012

  1. Rebecca

    Scant should be a dirty word, hey? I mean, what’s the point of the 1/4″ foot when we still have to sew them scant? I feel your pain! Your blocks turned out great though, love the colors in your granny squares.

  2. Kristen

    Linda: My block looks great. Don’t worry about it being short. I’ll probably sash them anyway!

  3. Kristen

    Love your granny square blocks, but glad to know it is a tricky block. My scant seams are terrible, so maybe I won’t try that block (though I love the look).

    • Kristen, you should definitely try the block – it’s a nice pattern. Anyway, if you’re doing them all yourself it won’t matter if the blocks are 9″ instead of 9 1/8″. The only reason they had to be 9 1/8″ for me is because they’re bee blocks and had to match the others. Besides, as I realized after I finished the second block on my old machine, my new machine has a setting to move the needle off to the side; hence, an easy and consistent scant 1/4″. I bet yours does too.

  4. Awesome new machine! Congrats to you! What are your plans for it? FMQ?? Applique??

    Also…. I think that your granny squares are beautiful – and thanks for the tips on the scant 1/4 seam (which may be a 4-letter word for my machine, my feed dogs hate scant seams). Love that you’re not lying about frustration in coming up short, either. It makes me smile because I know I’m not alone when my blocks are less than perfect. All kidding aside, your blocks are absolutely lovely. 🙂

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