Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Taking stock in quilt blocks

I had a bunch of quilt blocks arrive at my doorstep this past week. I told myself after the STASHTACULAR was over I'd tackle them.  Tackle them I did. Here they are ready to go back to their homes…..
Always Bee Learning {Bee} for Megan
Completed 24 pane window. This is a large (25 x 25") block. The background is Kona Charcoal and the windows are Anna Marie Horner's Lou Lou thi fabric 

The back
Lessons learned: I didn't realize until I was partway through ironing the squares used to assemble this "block" - that there is no batting and backing- that the piece we were working on were the front back and middle. I did find the size a bit cumbersome, especially with pinning (they kept poking me)- I dislike spray baste, so I was stuck {literally} with the pins. By the time I was done, this was wall hanging size, or a really large pillow size. If I could have figured it out I would liked to have worked on this in pieces and then assemble into the larger size. I chain pieced the panes in the windows after my first try. I didn't like all the starting and stopping on the back, and although not all the points line up perfectly, at least it's a continuous design on the back.

Christmas Bee for Cassy

Inset circles- luckily for me I had done this before! Patterned center

white center
Lessons learned: read the directions!!!!! (you would have thought I would have this drilled into me by now). Cassy allowed for some trimming of the 4 parts of this block before reassembling them into a big circle block, just in case there was some trouble getting the concave and convex portions to play fair. Problem is, since I'd done this before (for my daughter's quilt), I didn't need to trim so much, but then, my block turned out to be WAY bigger than what was stated in the DIRECTIONS. So, I ripped them apart and put them back together after making them the size Cassy wanted. I may need to get a new sea ripper because after al this ripping apart, mine has got to be dull.

Christmas Bee- for Kari
block #2 (my sewing tiny little pieces of fabric skills improved)- notice that the intersecting squares are actually doing so in straighter lines.

block #1. the "solid" red gave me the fits.
Lessons learned: 1.  reading complicated patterns slowly is preferred.
2. If the pattern shows different colors of blocks (even though they both say A2) they probably are (different blocks).
3. sorting little fabric squares when they have fallen out of their nicely labeled zip lock bags is not fun.
4. try not to make the same mistake 4 times- even though I think seam rippers are a wonderful invention, I wasn't calling it a seam ripper when I was done.
5. No matter how closely I read the directions, or how many ways I tried and failed, and ripped out, I could not get the center square to behave (it's an off set square, set into one piece and rotated and aw heck). I bailed and put it in by hand. I had to stop torturing that poor little piece of fabric and get it done.
6. It's a really pretty block, just not one you can put together without really paying attention and taking your time. (Which is why I will likely never have a quilt this complicated). Unless Kari is giving this to me when she is done with it. (also not likely).

I am waiting for one more bee block for August- hope it gets here soon. I'm on a roll!!!


  1. Really nice work!! Love the Christmas bee blocks!

  2. Your cathedral windows are lovely! Plus, you made me realize that those are a great way to use some large-print fabrics I've been collecting so that I could make a quilt for my mom. Thanks! :)

  3. give yourself a pat on the back, these are difficult blocks and they turned out great! Your bee partners will be pleased!

  4. Simply amazing(no surprise there)! Love all those pretty blocks :) What Kelley said too!

  5. They all look great, although I am chuckling at the idea of you torturing that tiny bit of fabric, I have visions of you threatening it with the pointy end of a seam ripper... (what can I say, I seriously need more sleep!)


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