Mar 13, 2009

hip to be square--EDITED

Yeah, I'm back---and posting two days in a row

I thought I was finished with enough blocks for two donation quilts but turns out I need four more blocks. I miscounted when I didn't have enough fabric for 4 wedges from three different fabrics, I guess. No problem--I tried to use two shades of the same basic color for the wedge color and could use a stronger purple toned one to balance things out. Not like I don't have any fabric to pull from.

First though---these things are not square. I am not entirely sure how that happened other than you are dealing with a good bit of bias on the wedge even though she tell you to stitch from the straight of grain side. That should have controlled the bias part. I was careful in my pressing on the seams as well so I didn't yank the heck out of the block there.

Did I miscut? Our teachers had told us to cut the background color 5 1/2 inches wide rather than the 5 1/4 because they had found on their pressing that the strip was consistently short and did not meet the end of the template. Makes sense but I just ended trimming it off so won't do that on the next set just to see what happens. The biggest thing was keeping the marked line of the template right over the sewn seam in the strip set, they cautioned. I butted a ruler to the left of the template before cutting and had sprayed the back of the both to control slippage. Doubt I mis-cut.

On just about every side of every block the wedge overhangs the piece next to it by about 1/8 or 3/8 at worst of an inch. Maybe you can see it on the block on the right in the picture?? I already squared up the worst offender before I took the picture. but trust me, it is there. Okay, the 1/8 inch I could probably finagle in and not worry about it. The wider variance, no way! I am using my Jem and it DOES sew a bit wider than a 1/4 inch. I know that but I have used the same machine and same machine foot consistently throughout the same project. I am not anal about it but I try to be accurate in all my sewing.

Okay, the whole pile needs to be squared up or to use an Eleanor Burns phrase "sliver cut" to what looks like a hair under 10 inches. If I don't do it, I will constantly be zigzagging seams to make sure they don't pull apart and the quilt turn into a rag in a heartbeat. I found where the center 3 inch finished square should be and then slapped a Masterpiece Static sticker over it to help line up, trim down right and top and then turn block and ruler. Not my idea---this was something that Fons and Porter instructed on an Album Cross block that did not use templates for the pointy end of the cross part. (They used an over long center strip and then you trimmed with the ruler once the block was completed). If it worked for that, then it will for this too.

I don't normally square up much of anything so this part is a little tedious. I still think it will make a fun quilt(s) for the kids. Just grumping about more work when I would rather be assembly the said top. I'm going to ask my classmates if they had to do the same thing next time I see them. How about any of you reading this? Your edges nice and straight or all wonky like mine??

ED. NOTE 3-14

Here is the completed stacks--all trimmed and ready to join into the two planned tops. I made 4 more purple blocks this afternoon and had the same problems with the same set of variables. I finally came to the conclusion that my wedge sections were just too short. When the teacher told us to cut the backgrounds 5 1/2 rather than the 5 1/4 it says in the pattern I did that BUT I trimmed around the narrow end to the shape of the template. I either didn't hear her say that part or did it anyway but so did everyone at my table.

After I finished up with the one needed for the quilt I cut prepped two more blocks. One I cut the background 5 3/8 and other 5 1/2. The shorter background was just the teeniest bit off but passable and produced a usable block---no real wonkiness. 5 1/2 was even better!

SO I would suggested making a trial block first and see if you need to do the same thing. Unless she has revised these templates on another printing I sure needed to make the adjustments. Off to mark my pattern accordingly!

Weigh in and let me know how yours worked out if you have made one?


  1. I tried to do this pattern a while ago, and I had all kinds of wonky edges (worse than yours, by the looks of the pictures). I made about three blocks and got annoyed and threw the whole thing in my closet for someday when I am a lot more patient.

  2. Squaring up takes a lot of time...but it will make the whole assembly easier! Looking forward to *seeing* your Twisted Sister :)

  3. I can hardly wait to get my template so I can try making this block. Your blocks look great! I am so glad you figured out how to avoid all that trimming in the future.

  4. EDIT COMMENT...glad you figured out a way to make the blocks so they are not so wonky :)


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