Monthly Archives: January 2013

Weekend Wrap up Pt-2


Class 160 – lesson 4

Sunday morning after a nice breakfast of pancakes that dh made I hit my sewing room and got busy  cutting strips for Interlacing Circles .I needed to have 3 strip sets with different colour combinations to create the 9 patch blocks. Grid size was  1 1/4″ finished so the strips were cut at 1 3/4.

I have been noticing that my strips/blocks have been just a bit , like a few threads ,  too wide or to narrow recently. So before starting the nine patches I decided to test my seam allowance again. I cut my 1 1/2 inch strips and sewed them together and I took a smidge more seam allowance while sewing them together and perfection the middle strip was exactly 1 inch.  So apparently I had drifted a bit since I did that exercise back at the beginning of the book and my seams were not as precise as i had thought recently. that’s what happens when it is almost a year since starting LOL

Back to the nine patches , sewed the first 2 strips together of each strip set, pressed and then measured them,DSC_0659

each strip was exactly 1 1/2″ wide ! perfection!

Filled with confidence  went off to  sew on the 3rd strip, pressed them and took them to the cutting table to measure and …….

***insert curse words here***

The middle strip which should have finished at exactly 1 1/4 inches was  too narrow. I could not believe it. I used exactly the same markings on my machine to sew each seam and it should have been right!! I just don’t get it sometimes!!

So I did what anyone would do I met a friend at Starbucks for coffee  🙂

so unpicking them all had to be done, and then I resewed them with just a slightly narrower seam allowance ( maybe 3 threads or so) they turned out much much better!


this is what they looked like after cutting all the segments I needed for the 16 blocks.  I’m liking the colours!

Very carefully I laid out the segments to start sewing the blocks, they had to be just right to make the circles in the design.

I got it right! first time!

I noticed when I was sewing the blocks that the majority of the centers matched pretty darn good, which has been an issue sometimes for me.

I only had a couple where I had to kind of ease and pin them to match  AND I also figured out when I do that….. that is what had been causing the unevenness on the edge of some previous blocks.

So note to self when things don’t match up really, really well,  REDO them and I will be happier in the end!


All 16 of the 9 patch blocks done!

I wasn’t totally sure the blue fabric was a good fit, but I really like it . the colour in this picture is way bright, it really is like the ones of the strips above.

The Learning curve continues 🙂

monday evening I got the strips cut for the rail fence blocks and also the plain blocks are cut out ready to go.

went to a movie last night so no sewing done and as I have a meeting tonight not likely to get any done then either!

But watch out thursday evening!!

cheers and thanks for dropping in.



Weekend wrap up! pt 1


I got a lot accomplished this past weekend! feels good too 🙂    Did some reading friday evening., the first couple of lessons in the next class in Quilters Academy are read only and to do with fabric, values, intensities, colour and also building a stash…. shouldn’t be a problem LOL

but first i finished up my granddaughters jammies for her birthday in feb..


After they were done i went to work finishing off the round the world baby quilt




It is about 37 ” square and is made from 6 fat quarters from a bundle i had in my stash.  Turned out pretty cute i think , i plan on binding it with the dark red/pink fabric.  I didn’t have too many issues with this design. I used the method where you sew your 2 1/2 inch strips  together then sew the first and last together to make a tube. Then you cut them into the correct width 2 1/2 ” for me and unpick the seam between 2 colours and start sewing together. All good until you pick out the wrong seam. So yes i did have to do a bit of resewing on this project.

Then i got to work on the practice sampler for the current lesson. Making 12 9 patch blocks which will be set on point (Volume 2)

The blocks have a 1 inch finished grid. which meant i had to cut my strips 1 1/2 ” wide. 3 of the darker pink and 2 of lighter is what the book said.


I cut 3 of the light pink because well it seemed like i would need the third one….. one for the center of the other strip sets which were opposite of the colour layout here.   so 1 strip in dark/light/dark strip set and 2 strips of light pink in the one above.


here you can see the segments all lined up next to my machine ready to sew.  I had no real problems with the seams not butting properly or anything so i was real proud to get them all finished on saturday evening!


Here they all are finished up!  I flipped a few over so you  I could admire my fanned seams!  I have tucked these away with the rest of the sampler till i get to Vol. 2 and finish it.

I was going to tell you all about the project that i started but it would just get too long . so i will leave you with a pic of the fabrics and the design !

DSC_0645 DSC_0647

The design is called Interlacing Circles and i am using the cream print for the light part of the design.. borders and background.

the dark red of the narrow border is the burgundy, which is also used in the central design. the lighter red around the dark red squares is the dusty pink and the lighter pink print in the design is the blue.

cheers , gotta run dh has supper all ready!!!

Shades of Grey…. done!


Yes i finished it a week ago! just havn’t had time to get some pics done and posted. but that is what is on the agenda this evening!
I went over some issues i was having when i made block A and here is how things worked out when sewing Block B.
1) I must be more careful with pressing strips, especially the narrow ones. the strips for the small 4 patchs are cut 1 1/2″ wide and then sewn together, they seemed to get a bit curvy here and there . Will have to watch that! less of an issue on the second set of blocks, still a few wonky bits here and there, but overall an improvement.

2) follow the pressing guide given in the lesson! I had no problems on Block A, and will follow again for Block B. managed not to have any huge issues with this, if i had one the wrong way when piecing things together i was generally able to repress in the opposite direction. I did piece all the larger 4 patches together incorrectly and they had to be un picked and resewn!

3) I must pay extra attention to sew the small 4 patch/plain square units together! check them out before sewing and pressing.
Much much better, they didnt seem to be sewn on at angle this time , and i left a little more room between blocks while sewing them to the strips.
4) make sure i am using the same side of the line on my ruler when cutting strips/or trimming blocks. I think i am cutting things properly but a few segments were a bit dodgy size wise, that is mostly a bit small , usually near the ends or beginnings of seams…. Not sure what I am doing there but will keep an eye open for it and try to resolve what it is.

5) take extra care to keep seams straight at the beginning and end of a row of stitching. I had a few areas on the odd block that were a bit smaller than they should have been IE: when squaring up the block a small bit, usually on the corner that were not out to the line on the ruler. never a huge amount. and i tried to make sure i compensated for that on the next seam. But i need to be more careful to avoid things like that.

6) Slow Down! this is my hobby , and i am not in a race!! this is a hard one to do especially when getting near the end of a project! LOL  a person just wants to keep working and get er done!

I did get a few pics of the blocks in progress..

DSC_0631 Sewing the small 4 patches to the 2 1/2″ strips to create

these units.


Below is the picture from the book on which way to press the seams on these units and then sew together.


I finally hung a sheet up in the spare room downstairs , as a design wall! I knew i would need it for laying out all of these blocks and make sure i had it right.   when i had all 48 blocks done i put them up on the wall , first the way the quilt is  in the book with the light colour in the center..


Nice, but i wanted to see how it looked with the darker grey in the middle….


Sooooooo, which one did i pick ? I’ll get to that in a minute.

I had to be really careful when sewing the blocks together so i wouldn’t mess up the layout.  so i sewed 4 blocks together ,


and ended up with 4 rows of three larger blocks. that was monday evening of last week when i started those and i only got 7 large blocks done that evening* sigh*  I wanted to be finished  🙂  this is where i had the most problems with the seams being the wrong direction and having to repress, but didnt have to re-do any seams.

Tuesday evening after work, supper etc i got back at it thinking i might not get done that evening either  as it took so long to get 7 large blocks done the night before.  But it went very quickly , the bottem half of the quilt top had more seams pressed properly and butted up against each other very nicely, not sure why that was. but less time spent at the ironing board and i guess i just got into a rythm and things went along quite nicely!


When all 4 rows of the large blocks were done then i sewed the 1st and 2nd row  together and the 3rd and 4th row together and finally the last seam was done about 10:15 sewing the 2 halves together!  I usually make myself stop at 10:00 on work nights so i can get to bed as 6:00 am comes pretty quick. but at 10:00 i was so close to being done i just couldn’t quit.  I knew i was getting low on bobbin thread when i was ready to start the last seam and i decided i should just have enough to finish before running out….. but sadly I ran out 4″ from the end of the seam! Yes ! I really did LOL

so here it is hanging back up on the design wall and you can see that i went with the dark center, I just liked it best for some reason.


Shades of Grey
finished Jan 15/13

closeup of the center area


I had to do very little easing in on this one, all the blocks were pretty darn close to being exactly the right size.  that made me pleased. On the small version of this one that i did, I remember having to unpick a few seams and resewing them either a bit wider or narrower to make them fit nicely with the neighbors!

Up next is Class 160 which has us learning to do 9 patches among other things as well.  And i have started a baby quilt ( none of the next class projects really worked for me as a baby quilt) so I am doing a little trip around the world.  I will have some pics of that in my next post and fabrics that are picked out for the next class project.



Shades of Grey…… update.


I have havn’t had a particularly productive week in the sewing room. But I have made some progress… let me recap a bit.
Tuesday evening I sewed the 1 1/2″ strips of light grey and green together , pressed and then started cutting 1 1/2″ segments from the sewn strips. I needed 192 for block B…. A very daunting number indeed when just getting going LOL I had calculated I needed 7 strip sets for the small 4 patch blocks so wasn’t i surprised when i had cut all 7 strip sets and only had 189 segments!!
and virtually NO green left either. First i figured out how to get 3 more segments out of the leftover bit of green from when i had straightened it and aligned the grain. Most of it was too narrow but there was enough to do 3 more !! YAY!!!
Then i was left to ponder how this could happen,…… the wheels turned and turned and i finally figured out I only got 27 segments per strip set NOT the 28 as described in the book. Of course Harriet does tell you to measure your fabric and figure out what your actual usable width is after cutting off the selvedge. Calculating with a usable 42″ width you could get 28 segments per strip and would need 6.8 strip sets, rounded up to 7. Based on my actual usable fabric and only getting 27 segments per strip set , i would need 7.1 ! So theres a tip for the day!!! Follow the damn directions and measure your fabric so you will have the correct amount of strips that you need 🙂
I remembered that the green seemed to be narrower than the greys when i was sewing strips together ….. so mystery solved, lesson learned. I hope!

Didnt’ get any sewing done wednesday as i spent quite a while shoveling the 8   million feet   inches of snow that had fallen tuesday night and all day wed.  It always happens when dh is out of town.  Yeah so I hit the tub afterwards and then watched some Downton Abbey instead.

Thursday night i finished sewing all the small 4 patches for Block B and trimmed and pressed them as well ! I  had 6 where the centers did not match up so i redid those. Not too many other issues, was more conscious of how i was pressing, and don’t have as many blocks with a bit of wonkiness on the edges. And by wonkiness i mean edges that are a bit uneven especially near the seam, one colour might be a bit narrower than the other.

I will have to figure out what is causing that and try to correct it…. all part of the learning curve i guess !

I have been stressing out about a couple of things recently, I need to make a couple of baby quilts.

I have a friend whos daughter is expecting twins in the next 3 months. I  have already done a boy theme one and also a girl theme. but obviously she could have 2 of each . But i also really , really want to get Vol 1 of Quilters Academy done as i started about 10 months ago. I needed to figure out a way to do both! And I did  🙂  What i will do is to adapt the next 2 quilt projects in Quilters Academy to be baby quilts, I have fabric picked out already for the quilts in the book but i can use it for something else . this way I  can sort of kill two birds with one stone, as it were! Or I could even go back and do one of the earlier quilts in the book, just resize and use baby appropriate fabric, that is cute fabric.  Might be good for my learning curve too!

And I feel somewhat lighter for having made that decision!!  Now to just get shades of grey done, then make a nightie for one of my granddaughters 6th birthday in february and then on to the next project in my lessons.

Oh and it was about   -18.5C  last time i checked the outside temp, maybe an hour or so ago!  so no new snow !!! Just COLD !!

Off to the sewing room!



Asian Nights: Block A…….


Or as i am calling this quilt now, “Shades of Grey”    I  was going to call it 5o shades of grey but didn’t think there were that many shades! This quilt only uses 4 different fabrics and here are mine, I really love the green i got for this quilt.


I got busy on wednesday last  week and did most of  the small 4 patches, there are 4 in each of the 24 blocks……. seems like sooooo many , well 96 to be exact! they didn’t really take too long. I did have to cut one more strip of the green and med grey to get enough units to make the patches. In fact i thought i might run out of the green but thankfully i didn’t.  Saturday morning i really got going and finished up all the 4 patches for block A.

pats pictures afghanistan 355

Next each of these 2 1/2 inch blocks is sewn onto strip of the med grey fabric which is cut 21/2 inches wide and then they are cut and squared up so you end up with units like this.

pats pictures afghanistan 359

there are 2 in each block, for a total of 48 , all sewn together before i noticed the error……. Do you see it?  The green is supposed to be running diagonally in a line through the middle!!!  I don’t know how i missed it ! I spent a quiet 90 minutes watching a british murder mystery with dh while unpicking all 48 units and pinning them back together ready to be sewn up properly .

All pinned ready to be sewn correctly!!

All pinned ready to be sewn correctly!!

Sunday I got back to it with the intention of getting all the block A’s done .  Everything went pretty well I paid very close attention to the pressing directions in the book and all the seams were butting up properly for the most part. I did have a couple that although they were pressed the correct ways the alignment was off a bit so i un sewed them and re did them so the seams matched up and everything was hunky dory.  I did need to cut one more strip of the light grey and charcoal to make the larger 4 patch blocks in block A. Not sure where i went wrong but at least i had enough fabric.  I didn’ t quite get them all done on sunday evening.  Still had about 10 to finish sewing up when i had to end for the evening and head  to bed.After the movie ended I went down to the sewing room and sewed them all back together the correct way and then called it a night!

I am loving how they are looking…..


I did have some help in my sewing room on sunday . My cat Roxy hung out in the sewing room with me but it didn’t taker her long to reveal why she was there!…. everytime i got up from my chair at the sewing maching to go press and trim , Roxy would jump up on my chair, curl up and start snoring!!

Roxy  making sure its safe to take over the chair!

Roxy making sure its safe to take over the chair!

Doesn't take her long to get comfy!!

Doesn’t take her long to get comfy!!

I got all of the 24 blocks finished up monday evening after work!

24 Block A's

24 Block A’s

What have I learned from doing these first 24 blocks? and how will I apply that to making 24 Block B’s?

1) I must be more careful with pressing strips, especially the narrow ones. the strips for the small 4 patchs are cut 1 1/2″ wide and then sewn together, they seemed to get a bit curvy here and there . Will have to watch that!

2) follow the pressing guide given in the lesson!  I had no problems on Block A, and will follow again for Block B.

3) I must pay extra attention to sew the small 4 patch/plain square units together!  check them out before sewing and pressing.

4) make sure i am using the same side of the line on my ruler when cutting strips/or trimming blocks.

5) take extra care to keep seams straight at the beginning and end of a row of stitching. I had a few areas on the odd block that were a bit smaller than they should have been IE: when squaring up the block a small bit, usually on the corner that were not out to the line on the ruler.  never a huge amount. and i tried to make sure i compensated for that on the next seam.  But i need to be more careful to avoid things like that.

6) Slow Down! this is my hobby , and i am not in a race!!

Before heading down to the sewing room this evening i would like to share a couple of pics of my oldest son Andrew with the pillow i made him for Christmas. It is called “Scythe Pillow” designed by Katy of  I’m a Ginger Monkey.  When i first saw the name for the design i knew i had to make it for him. We both love the british series “Blackadder” starring Rowan Atkinson and there is a line in one of the episodes that refers to a scythe and we both quote that a lot when we get together.  So it was perfect, he laughed a lot when i told him the name of the design and  knew why i had chosen it for him!

pats pictures afghanistan 349



Thanks for dropping by!

Vicki B.

A Whole New Year!!!


Happy New Year!!! Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! DH and I , spent a fairly quiet holiday at home. Our oldest son and his partner were here and we had a great time drinking wine, eating, drinking wine, playing games, drinking more wine LOL
Back to work this past wednesday and on thursday went home early with a stomach bug! spent the afternoon either in bed or on the couch napping. Went in this morning but only made it until noon…… stomach is feeling more normal now and i might just go down and do some sewing.

So did you make any New Years Resolutions? Among the usual for me, eat less, move more…. are organizing my digital photos into some kind system where i can find them when I need them! and to blog about quilting on a more regular basis! I set myself a goal of at least one post a week… should be doable.

Currently working on a quilt top from Quilters Academy Vol One by Harriet and Carrie Hargrave . It’s called Asian Nights and is part of Class 150, lesson 7. Basically 4 patch quilts which i have enjoyed immensely especially learning the trick to fan the seams on the back of the 4 patch blocks.

there are 2 projects to work through in this class as well as the sampler we are making. You learn how to make a 4 patch for the sampler and then carry on to make a couple of other projects using 4 patches.

I did a runner called Country Lanes



and a tablecloth (Town Square)  so far.



Asian Nights is the same design as the tablecloth above but larger. It is an optional project and i decided to do it because i did have some issues with my seams on this one. According to the directions in the book, all my seams should have ended up butting together perfectly for this design and well they didn’t…….. so i had to do some fiddling and repressing etc to get it together. Not sure exactly where i went wrong but am planning on following the steps very carefully, even though i thought i did before 🙂   and i guess we will see what happens.

I am using 2 shades of grey, with a very dark charcoal grey and a med green for this design and have cut all the strips, after figuring out myself how many to cut… that took  a while let me tell you. Math is not my strong suit alas! and i did make an error cutting the 1 1/2 ” strips for the small 4 patches, I needed to cut 7 strips of each colour for block A and 7 each for block B.  I had only cut 6 each and was in danger of running out of the green fabric but am pretty sure i am okay now.  Got a bunch of the strips sewn together and sewn into 4 patches on wed evening but haven’t made it downstairs to the sewing room since then.

The original Town Square called for 8 each of Blocks A & B , Asian Nights calls for 24 of each  going to be one of the bigger quilt tops i have made so far!

Also on the charts to get sewn this month are: A nightie for one of my granddaughters for her birthday in Feb and also a  cover for her (parents) dining room table to turn it into a play house! should be interesting fun!

I should have some pics of Asian Nights for the next post so stay tuned and thanks for dropping in!