Friday, January 31, 2014

There Are Times...I'm a Doofus

Do you ever have times when you really start questioning WHY you do this quilting thing?

I'm having one of those moments.  Maybe I just have too many things I'm trying to focus on including my mom's issues, and now my Aunt Irene's 80-year old husband landed in the hospital too, same one as my mom!

My January NewFO is Twisted Sisters by Ami Simms.  I've had this pattern and the template for a good many years.  She has spoken at our guild, and is a very good guest speaker and also very, very funny.  If you're not on her newsletter or blog list, you should be.  Both can be accessed through the link provided.  And to access the linky party for our January NewFO's click right here for Cat Patches, our wonderful host blog.

Cast of characters, sets of 4 on left to be cut using acrylic template, 3 1/2" center squares, and strip sets to be cut into sets of 4 as on the left.
First two blocks...before measuring, but you can see where they don't align at that lower seam.

When I pulled the pattern, and the fabrics, and sewed my test block, I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out why I couldn't get the block to the same size she says they should be in her pattern, 9 1/2", they were too big.  I began sewing really fat 1/4" seams, and still couldn't get close.  I was convinced that something must be wrong with either the pattern's measurements, or the acrylic template.

My attempt at artistic photography.  Stack of sets of four.
I sewed a second, and a third 'test' block and still just couldn't get it right.  Today, I determined it must be a faulty measurement, so I thought I'd start with the center square which is called out at 3 1/2" and took a scrap and cut it to 3 1/4" instead to see if maybe that was the culprit.  I sewed on the four blades, used my regular scant 1/4" seam and they seemed to actually look like they were fitting better, but.... I finished one block, measured it and whoa, wait, what?  It measures 10" square, exactly. Now come on, how on earth can it be still close to the same size as the other blocks when they're supposed to be 9 1/2"?  OK, so a scant quarter inch on 1/4" smaller square equates to a fat 1/4" on a 3 1/2" square, so nothing gained, except...hold it, it was time to pick Nick up from school so I left everything as it was and left.

And a slightly different angle.
When I came back, something started clicking in my head.  I was frustrated though that the blocks just weren't matching up with the directions, but then I started thinking, 10" square?  Hmmm, did I erroneously get it into my head that the squares were to be 9 1/2" before sewing into rows, or did that pattern say 9 1/2" finished squares?  Where's that pattern?  Let me find that line in the pattern instructions. Oh shoot, oh shoot, oh shoot!  Well now, do I feel like a real doofus, and I think maybe I ought to go back and take remedial reading lessons.  Of course, it IS 9 1/2" FINISHED, so 10" is the correct measurement of the raw blocks.  Why didn't the pattern SAY that:!!?

I have eight blocks now from which to completely pick out the sewing, carefully press flat again, and then resew.  I'm so thankful it isn't more than that!  Oh, and I didn't mention that there are a lot of bias edges, so I really do need to be extra careful while pulling out thread, and pressing.
Ok, some hours later after dealing with the family issues going on up looks like I'll head that way and hopefully, hopefully, miss snowy weather in the passes as I drive, probably leaving Sunday, maybe Monday...lots to work out tomorrow.

A remade block...still problematic! Ugh!

I finished picking the eight blocks apart and have resewn one, but using my scant 1/4", here's a picture of how it looks. It's 10" square - sorta, right?  Wrong!  OK, time to make another one with a regular 1/4"...back in a few...

Well rats! The next one isn't going together right either, and I think I need to just give up for now, and ultimately, will give up until I get back from up north. I'll post more info over at D.O.O.W about my travel plans.

If you've done this pattern and have some tips, I'd appreciate them.


  1. Everything will come together. Always does - eventually. Your quilt will be lovely.

  2. I like your artistic shots. Good job. And this is going to be a great quilt. Take a deep breath.

  3. Step away and come back to it later. it will come together!


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