Below you will see a quilt I have been working on for the last couple of weeks for my son. He has a spot on a wall in his house that has been screaming to have a quilt hung there. He picked out a pattern from the book "Cabin Fever" by Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting. Log Cabin quilt blocks have always been my first love. This one is a modern take on the classic block. I can do it, how easy would that be?
Well, here comes the "what was I thinking" part. Not only does every little seam in the 4 blocks to complete one 12 inch block have to match up, but they really need to be very even from the get go. Thinking I had a handle on this .. I got one of the 12 inch blocks done, the seams were perfectly in line ... but wait a minute ... did the block look a little lop-sided? Yeah, if you lined it up on the lines of the cutting board, they were a little wobbly. lol
I had 5 full blocks sewn... that is a total of 20 blocks to make "5", I tried to justify that I could straighten them out. I couldn't bring myself to continue on this path ... thank goodness I had bought enough of all the fabric in the beginning to start over from scratch.
Oh boy, what a mess ... lesson learned the hard way!
What I learned? I learned that I had developed a few bad habits some where down the way and just couldn't figure out why my blocks were always a "little off". Repairable, but not perfect. I am not looking for perfect ......... but I sure would like a "pretty darn good job", "looking good" comments from me. lol
First of all .. I thought I had the cutting part of the fabric down good. What the heck, it measures what it is suppose to. Well, here is the lax part I noticed on this project .. not taking the time to really line up the ruler to make sure your fabric is "straight". This turned out to be a biggie for me. Those pieces that were kind of wobbly just made the other pieces wobbly when sewn. This time when I re cut all my pieces, I made sure the fabric was even and straight. What a difference that makes. My pieces actually measured what they are suppose to.
Oh, I think a lot of my troubles ... with the cutting & sewing of my fabric was my "lean". I kind of was centering my body over my cutting board between my cutting and my sewing machine. That was so I could cut my fabric and then sew my pieces together without moving my chair. When did I start this? It is amazing what perfection you can get when you tackle each aspect of the assembly. I now position my body where it is suppose to be .... straight on with the cutting, and straight on (setting up straight, in line with my sewing foot). II just can't believe what a difference these two small adjustments have made this time around.
I think we get so set in our ways, meaning me ... and maybe you if you seem to be having some of these problems. :-) I have been sewing for so darn long ... I don't even want to put it in numbers. I was sewing clothes for me and my children for years. Then late in life, it really wasn't, but looking back now; I wish I would have taken more of an interest in quilting.
So for me, a hard lesson has been learned, I hope. I have 4 more 12 inch blocks to put together, plus all the joining of all the 9 - 12 inch blocks. Say a little prayer for me that it all goes well .....
Until next time ...
P.S.: Also a big thing to making nicer blocks, Mary Ellen's Best Press. Clear starch & sizing alternative. I can't believe it has taken me so long to discover this. It makes sharp, crisp seams. I think it also keeps fabric from stretching when it is ironed!