Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Shakespeare in the Park - Assignment Week 3

This week's assignment:

1. Make six more variable star blocks in the opposite colorway ... these
will be dark background with light stars.

The finished blocks should measure exactly 6.5"

Have a good week!

Assignment Week 2
Assignment Week 4

Shakespeare in the Park - Assignment Week 2

This week you are going to be putting blocks together. As you look at
the components of the Y and Z blocks, how would you suggest putting them

What method(s) did you use for the Flying Geese? and why did you choose
that method?

Are all your flying geese measuring the same? If not, what difficulty
did you have?

And your assignments:

1. Cut patches A, H, F, G (F and G depend on chosen method of Flying

2. Put 6 Star Blocks together

Your completed blocks should measure 6.5" square. If they don't, check
your seam allowances and check that you cut pieces A and H accurately.

Assignment Week 1
Assignment Week 3

Friday, October 9, 2009

SITP ....And we're off.......or things I have learned so far

Today Linda and I got together for a sew in. I wanted to start the Shakespeare in the Park project and as always I wanted her sage wisdom. I am so glad I talked with her before starting, and I wanted to pass on some of the things I learned today.


As anyone who knows me can attest, I have 2 speeds: on and off. I have the personality that wants to get things done yesterday. Today with this project I have hit a much needed personal speed bump. I have decided to follow the pattern as the book has presented it. Sure I have 15 different ways to make flying geese, but Judy Martin has a way of making a quilt block that is pretty dam close to perfect. Her philosophy is (as stated in the book) why trim it down, why fuss and force a block, just make the block right from the start. I did not know this. I think I started with that let's whip out another quilt attitude.

If you use her method, cut precise, sew precise then the blocks will come together perfectly. No need to trim or pull. This method requires a little extra time. This is the reason that Linda has broken it down into so many lessons, so we don't throw our machine out the window, snap at our significant others or mainline espresso in our attempts at perfection.

Lesson one - no Nonja, you are not finishing this quilt tonight - SLOW DOWN

2. Measure, Measure, Measure..

Again - What? Measure after I sew .... are you sure - I just measured when I cut the fabric....

Yes -You need to check your blocks. I was having some issues and realized that I was not using the scant 1/4 inch. Use a "scant' 1/4 inch seam. What is a scant 1/4 - I wanted to be right in my definition so I goggled it - How surprising 7,500 hits - Basically it is a little under a 1/4 inch. How best to achieve it? If your needle moves on your machine - just move it over one to the right - If not this is the best way I have found was on the web from Patricia Margaret and Donna Slusser:

You are very wise to be concerned about your 1/4" seam allowances. And by using that term, right away you can get in trouble.

If you use exact 1/4" seams, you will find that your blocks will be a little small. The reason for this is that some fabric is lost in the turn of the cloth when you press the block. We need to learn to sew and use scant 1/4" seam allowances.

To do this you will need to place a marker on the throatplate of your machine. Don't rely on a special 1/4" sewing machine foot. Always determine that scant 1/4" mark for yourself.

Cut a strip of four-squares-to-the-inch graph paper. Trim it along one of the lines. Place the graph paper under your presser foot and pierce the paper just shy (by a couple of threads of fabric) of the first line. Place a piece of masking tape or adhesive-backed moleskin right along the edge of the graph paper. That will give you a scant 1/4" seam allowance.

So today I have learned that I do not need to mainline espresso (but I can if I want to). This quilt will be broken down so that we all can do it in little pieces, so I plan on doing it right. I vow to cut slowly, measure and recheck after every block. I will not throw my machine out the window (I just got it out of the shop) I will take my time and I will ENJOY myself but I might still yell at my husband - just for good measure!

So far so good - I had a great time today - Thanks Linda!!!!

Here are my flying geese and my colors - Pink, Chocolate and Cream