Perfect Everytime

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It only took two years!! I finally figured out what to do to get my seams to abut correctly without tacking them down first.

Number 1: Cut the squares accurately. 😀 Seems easy enough, you might say. BUT I was using the lines on my cutting mat as my measuring tool. The first cut was perfect. Then the next and the next got smaller. Lost some of the inches. I only JUST found this out when my cut strips looked off. Don’t know why I never noticed this before. I am pretty sure this is why the white strips for my Hugs and Kisses quilt were off. Now I measure with my quilt ruler PLUS I measure with my tape measure.

Second. I finger press the seams lightly. No ironing/pressing with the iron until the block is sewn together. I find the “raised” seam abuts better than when it is flattened by the iron.

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Third. Not sure how you insert the pin to hold the seams in place before sewing but I had seen several different methods on the net. And tried them all. I still struggled trying to keep the seams from slipping and sliding. Even with a regular foot and my walking foot. And then, guess what happened? I went back to the way I pinned when I first learned to sew as a child. I pin horizontal along the seam line instead of vertical sticking into the seam. The vertical way just wasn’t working for me. I sew right up to the pin and ease the pin out as the needle advances toward it.

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Works every time!!

Now that I have the 9-Patch down, hopefully I can get my other seams in my other blocks to line up. 😀

How do you get your seams to abut correctly? Do tell.

January “Block Lotto” Blocks

It’s that time again. Every other month. My quilt group runs a block lotto.

How does it work? Simple. You make however many of the featured block and that is how many chances you have to win the pot. I like to participate because I learn something new with each block.

This month’s block is called Crossroads to Jericho and finishes at 9″. Each block is made with nine 2 1/2″ squares and four half square triangles cut from 5 1/2″ squares.

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This is a perfect block for those fabrics you don’t have a lot of. You can use scraps too if you have a piece large enough for the HST. I used some of my 2 1/2″ squares leftover from my Hugs and Kisses quilt.

I have been working on these for a couple days. Most of that time was trying to decide which fabrics read well with black. I ended up making eleven blocks.

This one is my favorite.

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Here’s a few of the other blocks. I just couldn’t get any decent photos today. Crappy outside. No sun, dull and gray and my camera was acting ugly. These are the best pictures I could get.

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Wouldn’t it be great to win the pot. At nine inches per block, a quilt top could be assembled fairly quickly.

And if I don’t win the pot, I can make my own blocks out of the cut squares I have leftover. Like these I cut. But did not use. I decided NOBODY but me would want a quilt with numbers. 😀

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Cross your fingers and toes for me. (Some of my quilt group members read my blog. So I know they have their fingers and toes crossed too. For Themselves!!) Going to be fun to see who wins all the blocks.

Psst… No, you aren’t off the “green” hook. I have more green stuff to show you. Coming up!! 😀 And thanks a bunch for leaving me a comment on my braid quilt.

Disappearing 9 Patch Quilt And The “Stripes” Ruler

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OK, time for an update on the quilt top I am making for American Hero Quilts. The quilt needs to measure 63″ by 87″ and currently I am at 27″ height and 65″ width. So, I still have a ways to go.

Colors are red, white and blue with stars, stripes and dots. And some solids. The quilt block I am using is called D9P. Disappearing 9 Patch.

You start off with nine squares.

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Mine are 4″ squares. You sew them together three to each row. And then cut down the center, rotate and cut down the center again. Producing four blocks.

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That’s the basic way to create these D9P blocks. And then you rearrange them however it pleases you.

My design, as you can see in this next photo, has one striped fabric at top left and a different striped fabric at the bottom right.

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I had a rough start. I kept sewing the stripes in the wrong direction. My seam ripper got a good workout.

To prevent more of the same, I created an aid out of cardboard. The Stripes Ruler.

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Before sewing the blocks together, lay the Stripes Ruler down on top of the striped fabric confirming directionality. This one step saved me hours of redo work. And thread. It works great!! You can see how it works in these next photos.

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This one would have needed the seam ripper. Had I not caught it before sewing.

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After solving the “redo” problem, I moved faster getting the blocks sewn and sashing added.

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I figured I need at least six strips of blocks to reach 87″ height. Crosswise, with six blocks and sashing, measures 64″. So, I am about a third finished. The balance of the sewing should go faster… Now that my mistakes are behind me.

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Stay tuned. More photos coming up. Thanks for stopping by. 😀

You can read more about my project here….

Linking to…

Umbrella Blocks: I Think I Need More Borders

My four purple umbrella blocks are finished.

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There are three borders.

  • strip of 1 1/2″ squares
  • 2″ purple border
  • 3″ purple/white border

The blocks are up on my design wall (think closet doors, 😀 ), pinned to a small piece of purple fabric.

All have the same dimensions. 19 1/2″ by 21 1/2″. I have never measured anything as much as I measured these. Every step of the way. I didn’t want to make the mistake of over trimming only to have to retrim the others. So slow going it was.

Now… what to do? Add more borders? Add sashing?

I think I will add a border of white and then a second dark purple border or sashing. I have enough of the purple/white border fabric for two more umbrella blocks. That will move the size from wall hanging to lap quilt.

For the back, I was thinking of one GIANT umbrella. Wonder how that would look.

One thing I have to revisit is how I attached the rick-rack. I am going to go back over the handles with handstitching. Just to make sure it doesn’t curl when washed. So I will do that before the sandwich stage.

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Hubby came into the room as I was taking photos. He said, “that is pretty, Donna.”

So with that… the Stamp of Hubby Approval… off I go to try to make it even prettier. 😀

Have a safe 4th of July!! Enjoy your holiday.

Linking to…

A Perfect 11″ Gift Box Block

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Third time is a charm. Keep trying. Never give up.

All of the above. I knew I could do it. These are all a perfect 11″.

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I only made four since that was all the fabric I had. It was about 16″ by 44″. In the eBay scraps. I didn’t realize how many pieces were Christmas until I sorted them out. Quite a few to keep me Christmas sewing for about a week. 😀

Anyhoo….. I sent these “perfect” ones off as my entry to the Block Lotto in my Quilt Group. My four will get me four chances to win the block pot. That would be cool to win them all. And then I can make a little Gift Box Quilt.

I finished up the red and green one I showed you two days ago. Made four.

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Again, that’s all the fabric I had. Too bad. I like them. Maybe I will make Santa Mug Rugs. Or a long table runner.

The first two gift box blocks I made but weren’t quite up to snuff, I turned into these. I am thinking doll quilts. Or table toppers.

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They are quilted and ready for binding. I am leaning toward rounded corners. But that means a bias binding. We shall see.

Here’s a Sneak Peek at something I am working on in between all my other projects. I am trying something new with more of my scrap blocks. A block I haven’t tried before.

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And I haven’t shown you any Idea Sandwiches in a good while. Here’s one.

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I like this arrangement but think the green fabric could be more interesting. I have to go to JoAnn’s today for thread so I’ll check to see what they have that will make the other fabrics “pop”.

Stay tuned. Keep that dial here. More to follow…

Switching To Christmas

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But first….

I finished binding these two little doll quilts yesterday.

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And since I had LOTS of black and white scraps left, I started on a few more.

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Did I tell you how much I enjoy making doll quilts!! 😀

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Just about out of the pink so used mustard gold polka dots on this one.

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I REALLY love how this is turning out. This will be the back.

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I would like to make a second one but am out of the white with black stars fabric.

OK… Now on to Christmas.

My first Christmas blocks. I made this for a Block Lottery I signed up for in the Quilt Group I belong to. We are all making the same block using this Moda Bake Shop tutorial.

It is supposed to true up to an 11″ square but mine turned out a bit short. About 1/4″. So I am going to use them myself for something. Not sure what.

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Those were the first ones I made.

These next ones, the second batch, were still a bit shy of 11″ square but I am finishing them (made 4) and sending them off anyway.

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For the next ones I make, I will remember to add a teensy extra when cutting and then trim down to size when finished.

What sewing are you doing for the holidays? Sprucing up the homestead or making gifts.