Sunday, October 11, 2015

FW 7: Augusta and 14: Betty

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Ere we go. Another week and my first big disaster in quiltland. I have really tried to catch up and get organised, or rather try to. I seem to be failing. I've even been dreaming about blocks. I am not sure why. Last week I managed to make one block from both of the quilt a longs; block 1: Addie and Block 8: Aunt. They were fine. See the post here. I felt good.

Block 14: Betty


This week I made two blocks but I began to notice all the things I was doing wrong and wish my blocks were more perfect. Some of my seams are tiny due to bad lining up of fabric. Some points are off because, well I donn't know. I haven't been starching. I should starch right? I do usually, i just wanted to catch up quickly. I feel like I could be doing better basically. So i feel a little disheartened. But I did get a mention on GnomeAngel's link party roundup! Yay! So i am trying to be upbeat.

I do seem to be learning a lot with each block which is definitely good. With the first two I learnt that using tracing paper to print out the foundation pieces onto is great. This week with block 7: Augusta (from the UK QAL) and block 14: Betty (from the US QAL) I learnt that tracing paper is in fact rubbish as soon as the blocks become complicated. It's too thick and heavy. Either I pull my stitches apart or I make my stitch length so tight that it sheers the paper in two. I am going to buy me some proper foundation piecing paper or just revert to bog standard computer paper.

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I also learnt with Augusta that I need to be better about my seams and trim as I go along by folding the paper as shown on verykerry's blog. It really tidies everything up nicely.

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I'd also like to iron my seams open as some of the joins are very lumpy. But I am not sure if it's possible with foundation piecing. I did realise that some of the blocks are so simple that you don't really need to foundation piece them. I also realised after I had constructed Aunt above that I should have used my preferred method of making multiple HST's at once. I have actually never tried sewing them from triangle shapes. It's rubbish, they just stretch. But with fussy cutting you don't have a lot of choice.

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I also need a small rotating cutting mat. It would just make a big difference. Then I could trim at the sewing machine instead of getting up every five minutes to go trim something. It's annoying as I really don't want to buy more quilting stuff. I just don't have the space nor the funds. but some things are just really useful like this ruler above. I bought it on a whim to go in my project bag. I really didn't need it and now it is really useful as it has bold 1/4 markings to trim my seams with and is a great small size for cutting.

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I have also started to do a bit of chain piecing. Not too much as some of the blocks are just too complex. I can only think about one section at a time. I swear I have been doing Block 3: Alice for an age now.

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I just keep putting it down when it does my head in. I need to have a better system. I think the coloured pencils on the foundation paper might have to come into play as I can barely understand my current marking system.

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But back to my disaster. This week I printed out my template with 'fit to paper' selected and it shrank it every so slightly to fit on A4 paper. Sigh. So my block was 1/2" too small. So I made it again. The one on the far left is the new block. And I got to change my fabric around which is always interesting. Not too bad as it was an easy block but I was hoping to get another block finished from the backlog. I can basically only just about manage one block a week currently so catching up is hard work. I think the first block on the right is nicer though which is slightly annoying.

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Truth be told, when I lay out all my blocks together I don't really think they go! I am hoping as I repeat the fabrics and change the combos though that the whole thing will come together. I promised myself I wouldn't play safe and just use one colour way or fabric range. Of course when I look on Instagram I fall in love with many people's versions doing that very same thing. And part of me is sad I am not using repro fabrics as the ones I am seeing are really lovely.

Block 7: Augusta


But on a positive note, Block 7: Augusta was much easier than I anticipated. I was really pleased with it, even though it's a bit more garish. I love the blue print. I was really elated when I went back to Birmingham a year after buying a small fat quarter and there it was again.

1 comment:

Alex T. said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and dramas with these blocks. It's good to know other people think like I do!