Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tedious and Precise...

 I hope you dear faithful readers will enjoy my FW QAL posts from time to time.  I am on a challenge journey for myself and practically before I began I said to Mr. C, "I don't think this quilting will be for me.  However, I shall continue to try and do my best."  His remark is not for publication.  LOL  To paraphrase...he listed a ton of creative ventures I have tried and not stuck with and how much money and supplies are sitting idle.  "How Rude!"  Of course he is absolutely correct.  :o}
On to my quilting journey.  I cut out these pieces with my little paper templates.  Once sewn together I realize that my paper pieces are not exactly the same size each time I cut as they seem to get cut along with the fabric along the edges.  
I have also learned that a 1/4 inch seam is very very hard to keep precise.  I learned to sew when I was a girl and everything was sewn with a very generous 5/8 inch seam.  I really should order another accessory foot for my Pfaff since I don't have the 1/4 inch quilting foot that might make it easier to keep my seams accurate.  Hmmm...maybe I should wait on that order until I see if I will keep trying my best.  :o)
 It is a really good thing I have a lot of cotton quilting fabrics in my stash.  I wanted to practice and make a Friendship Star block.  After tedious cutting and careful sewing and un-sewing with my vintage plastic seam ripper...I think I will also need to obtain one of the new ergonomic ones...I very carefully placed my pieces "just like the photo in my book". Oops...
The I carefully sewed the pieces together.  Oops again!  What happened?  This does not look like the book.  More un-sewing and re-sewing and finally I think I have succeeded in making a block.
Ahh yes, this does look like a Friendship Star block that is correct according to my Farmers Wife book.  If practice makes perfect I am well on my way to perfection.  Bahahaha
This is not much to show for one day of play time in the cutting and sewing room.  Am I proud?  Yes I am!  I think I shall try to get busy on some of the actual blocks that have been selected for February.  We can make all or only the ones we wish to make.  I will take my book and study which ones I shall attempt.
I am grateful to others in the FW QAL as I read their blogs and see their blocks and left comments.  I had some very nice encouragement and offers of help if I get stuck.  Such a nice group of quilters participating.
I welcome your comments and constructive criticism .  I am here to learn and also enjoy this challenge.
Do you quilt with fabrics or have you ever quilted or do you want to quilt in the future?
We do have a quilt guild here locally so I could join and learn however I am not ready for that at this time.
Today was a beautiful 64 degrees with blue sky and sunshine.  Our pond is full of frogs enjoying their annual conference getting together and meeting one another.  I really love to hear them carrying on.
May the Creative Force be with you...


  1. What a funny post!
    A 1/4" foot is a must have for machine quilting today - it is worth the money believe me... if you don't want to invest in one than you could make yourself a seam guide: tear about 10 pieces of masking tape about 5" long, stack them on top of each other and then use your rotary cutter and ruler to cut it in half lengthwise. Remove your presser foot and measure 1/4" away from the needle (to the right) and place the masking tape so the cut edge is right at that point, and coming toward you on the machine bed. That way, you have a guide to run the edge of your fabrics along...(i hope this makes sense - it's far easier to get the foot!
    Good luck Sherry - it's looking great!

  2. Jillayne had a great idea for you. You really do need those seams to be perfect or cut every thing a bit big and recut to perfect after stitching. The quilt will be a beauty when you finish!

  3. your friendship star block is perfect!! i know that mr. c and all those happy frogs must be as impressed as i am!! you go girl!! xoxo

  4. Hi Sherry,
    Your friendship block looks gorgeous. I am not a quilter but I admire and appreciate those who do. Is it something I might like to try one day? probably yes, but added to the list of everything I'd like to try, it is very long!! LOL
    Sounds like Jillayne gave you some good tips. She is so talented too and helpful.
    I also LOVE your spring scarf below. How gorgeous it is and the colors are so spring inspiring.
    You are very creative and talented my friend. And, you are not the only one who has tons of crafting supplies sitting idle!!

    Blessings to you,
    XO Celestina Marie

  5. Ah yes, the 1/4" seem is so tiny at first! It took me a while to learn how to do this. I was lucky I had extra material too : )
    I think your first square looks fab! Well done! You stuck to it and did it! It gets easier as you go along.

    It was a beautiful day here too. I am about to start on the actualy "quilting" of my quilt top. Wish me luck!

  6. Hi Sherry. I applaud you for doing the quilting and learning a new skill! Way to go. I tried making a quilt....once. Let's just say that I do better with crazy quilts. There's no pattern, or precision needed. lol
    Your friendship block looks wonderful! Kudos.

  7. Jillayne had a good tip. You can also put down some blue painter's tape on your machine first so that it doesn't get sticky. You can also use the thick padded double stick mounting tape.

    Your block looks great!

  8. Oh Sherry, I can offer you no help at all!! I am Remedial in the Measuring Department. As for quilting(shudder), I think you're a HERO for having a go!!
    Sherry there are some REALLY helpful You Tube videos if you get stuck .
    They have them in piecing, cutting measuring...all sorts.I found(You Tube), Alicia Merrett had some great tips on curved seams etc.I used them in a fabric book page.
    Bye dear lady

  9. Hey Sherry. You are doing a great job. Just keep on trying. Like they say practice makes perfect.
    Have fun.

  10. to me this work seems very difficult, and I think that your work has been perfect!
    Have a nice day,

  11. Hi Sherry-
    Your quilt block is beautiful- the cord are fabulous! I'm not a quilter- but I'd love to be--- just don't have time for another obsession!! My Mother and Grandmothers were excellent quilters.

    Thanks for your visit and sweet sweet words-- means the world to me--

  12. Woot! You are certainly on your creative way once again! Tedious and exact... Sounds scary to me! I used to quilt...way back when, and funny thing is, I cant remember how...boy, am I old!

  13. quilting is one thing I have not tried. I think it is the precision you talked about that scares me away. I am kind of a fly by the seat of my pants girls...Jack of all trades master of none! Good for you for trying it, I SO believe in continually trying new things and challenging ourselves! PS: Looks great to me!


  14. Hi Sherry, looking so great,- and have to tell you, that my husbond ,would have said exatly the same r....thing to me, :)

  15. Hi, I think your friendship block is really nice. You will get the hang of it. It took me a while to use that dratted 1/4" foot. Practise, practise practise. I have done small things like door hangings and table runners and one of these days I am gonna do a quilt... Good job. LJ

  16. I think its wonderful Sherry that you try new things. It keeps our minds strong! Your quilt blocks looks great ! I've only made one quilt in my life took me over 800 hours. I documented it on the quilt itself so someday, someone will know how much Love I put into it! LOL
    hugs Lynn

  17. I love the look of quilting but I don't sew and don't like to follow instructions or patterns to a tee. Looks to me like your persistence paid off. Best wishes as you carry on with more blocks. Have a fab Friday. Tammy

  18. Hi Sherry, first I must say I LOVE your springtime scarf in your previous post - it's divine! You're so talented - at all crafts, even quilting! Your finished block looks fine to me. I'm not a quilter, although I have dabbled a little here and there. I find exact measuring difficult - but it does help to have the right tools I suppose. Regardless of what your dear Mr C says (lol), I think you're going to do wonderfully!! Enjoy your warm temperatures xx

  19. Your star block looks fabulous and what lovely colours you chose :)

  20. Sherry - All I can say is super congratulations on your very first block!!! You should be proud of yourself!! And remind Mr. C that he was a new "creative adventure" of yours at one time too, and now look how wonderful he is after all your practice with him!! LOL!! I LOVE your colors!! You just keep on practicing and get a 1/4" foot!! :-) Kris

  21. Oh I am laughing! Brave woman! Your first square looks great to me. Started quilting once, discovered the only part I really like (well I do love finished quilts LOL) is putting the fabrics together. I always did the foam tape on my machine..kept the fabric in line better than anything!
    Thanks for the visit!

  22. great job! I really like the colours you chose!

  23. Yes! Get the 1/4" seam foot! If you don't, mark 1/4 from your needle with a strip of moleskin (sold at the drug store to patch blisters on the feet). Also there are lots of much easier ways to make those half-square-triangles than using templates. That way your are sewing on stretchy bias - yikes! a recipe for disaster.

  24. You will indeed get better as you go. I gather this is a sampling of blocks and techniques so you won't be probably using the faster methods for making multiples. So take a big breath and celebrate each little block individually. With samples of many blocks accuracy is important so to end well you need to begin well. I am not so careful so I cut things a tad bigger. If the piece is 2 7/8 inches I cut 3 inches, sew reasonably accurately and then I use a small square ruler to trim each finished component to the perfect size. This adds a bit of time but it also takes time to sew accurately and this works best for me. SEW, lol, enjoy the process. You'll have a lovely end project.

  25. Well, your block is looking good! I'll be back to share my blocks soon.


  26. You are doing just fine. I've been quilting for several years and I have had to take a couple of blocks apart so far!

  27. Well done!!! Your first block is just great... I'm sure the process will get a lot easier for you, and I do recommend that 1/4 inch foot. I look forward to seeing more of your blocks.

  28. Hi Sherry, glad you joined the group. This will also be a challenge for me, but it will get me to get out of my comfort area and do something different. I have been quilting for almost 25 years and I am not at all good with the pieceing part, I am a totaly devoted to my aplique...........looking forward to getting to know you. Hugs Mary

  29. Looks like you are well on your way to becoming a quilter! Fabric is my first love, of everything I do...AND, treat yourself to that 1/4" makes ALL the difference in the world, and you will wonder how you've survived without it!


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