Saturday, January 26, 2013

Class 150: Lesson 6: Four Patch Blocks

It's Winter. And, although yesterday we had our first day above freezing since Christmas, I am in no mood to hang outside. In hopes of continuing with my quilting class I headed back to the book to see what else I could accomplish considering I don't have the fabric for the Lesson 5 Fabric mock-up blocks. 

I think the book needs a little tweaking, so I'm providing my solution here :)
Lesson 5 is the fabric mock up for lesson 7. In between these two, we have lesson 6 on piecing a four patch block on our sampler unit.  I think I'd rather do the mock up as the first step in lesson 7. That's where we get our information about the project, and it makes for practice of the drafting lessons we did earlier in the class. So, no need to sit and stew about having no fabric on hand!

Which gives me something I could work on today.
Step 1: cut the 2" strips, Step 2: Sew together,  Step 3: Press, Step 4: check measurements. Here are my 2 strips. I am SO jazzed because they measure perfectly!!! (um... my left strip got moved, but it IS perfectly measured)
 I think I've finally got all the kinks worked out.
  1. I purchased a smaller 2.5x12.5 Creative Grid ruler. I was using an Omigrid 6.5x12. Believe it when they say a smaller ruler works better when cutting strips like these. Don't know why, it just does. Which is why they tell us in the book to have these different sizes!  Don't try to skimp.  I also should stick with the same maker of rulers. Anyone using Omnigrid and have a Creative Grid they want to trade? I'll pay shipping :)
  2. I have determined that I should use the outside edge of the lines gaining the full measurement. I was trying to line it up down the middle of the line, or to the line.
  3. I wasn't steaming the seams to set them. I got a tiny spray bottle and give the seams a squirt before I set the iron on them.

The next steps gave me stress!  I was completely confused. So much that I came downstairs to the computer and checked all the blogs I could find to see if anyone described these next steps. No such luck.

Step 1: I had no problem cutting the strips and sewing the 32 segments into 16.
Step 2: I opened the units and checked to see that all seams butted tight. Yeah. They look great.
Step 3: Check width of block.  EH?? We always press after sewing. There is a yellow "Fanning the Seams" block of "how to" .  Considering step 3 did not incorporate this info, I decided I could do a couple different things.  Once I started writing it out as a question on a blog comment, I decided I would do this:
Step 2.5: Cut apart the chain stitches(we usually don't do this), set seams as usual, and then fan blocks as described in the above "highlighted block" and press.
Step 3: Now move to checking measurements.   Perfect!! Oh, this is exciting! And, fanning the blocks was really neat.

This is what it looks like when completed:
And, I didn't even have to square up my blocks. That's a first for me.  I'm really happy with how much my accuracy has improved so far. I should have taken pictures of the back side. :(

I'm also happy with my new purchase. This is my new rotary cutter. My old one was "old" in that the screw on the back would continually back out with every roll of the cutter. This one was 50% off at Joann's and I had a 25% coupon. I also had $4 remaining on my Joann's card from my birthday so I paid $4!  I really like how it automatically engages/disengages when the hand grips the bottom. I'm sure it is not even close to an Olfa, but I was using a Fiskars before, and this one works great.

I have been selling off our homeschool books that are no longer needed. I have $93 from sales in the last couple of days! I have put bids on some fabric bundles on Ebay. I just have to be patient now and wait for the wonderful fabrics to come.  I figured I could get some good quality fabrics at a better price this way so I won't have to use the cheap stuff I've been buying.  Afterall, the projects are getting more interesting.

Next up: Projects from Lesson 7 (and 5) Carrie's Country Lanes Table Runner and Town Square Quilt.


  1. Nice job. I love Creative Grids and am gradually switching over. The 2 1/2 x 12 and the 3 1/2 x 12 are my favorites. 8 1/2 x 12 is very useful too.

    1. Thanks Sandra. It was so much more fun to be learning something new, and find that the result was better than the last time.

      I've used Omnigrid since the beginning of my journey. The yellow was always difficult for me to read. Now that I took the plunge with the Creative Grid, I'd never go back. It hard to believe how much difference there is in a ruler!

      I'm surprised to hear you like the 2 1/2" and 3 1/2". They seem so close to the same size. I see the next on the list for must have is the 4x12. I was thinking of that one next instead of the 3 1/2. What do you think? It's only a 1/2" :)

  2. Cutting 2 1/2 strips, I like to have a line to put on the edge of my fabric rather than the edge of the ruler. I took a class from Harriet in April 2011 and this was just one of the little things that she thinks matters. I got the 3 1/2 ruler that day to use in class. The 4x12 would work fine for that too.

    1. How much fun was that to take a class from Harriet? Was it in CO? I'll have to go to the quilt store and get them to show me how each are useful. Then I can decide which one is next to buy. I know I can't get along with the 6 1/2 square and 2 1/2x12 for long. I'm surprised QA doesn't go into the tools more, when to use them, how, etc.

  3. The class was awesome, we worked on the Town Square Quilt. I live in MO and took the class in KC. She is not coming to MO this year. You live close enough to Harriet's store to go in? How great is that?

    1. No, I don't live in CO. I just meant I should go to my LOCAL quilt store ;)I've asked the ladies there before, and they really didn't seem to want to spend any time explaining what all those lines are for. Maybe they don't know either? Too bad the rulers don't come with instructions! I don't think Harriet gets up this far north, I've looked at her schedule a few times. She's always too far to travel to. What a great day for you though, to get some hands on with the Mistress of Quilting.