Thursday, February 21, 2013

160: Lesson 4: Interlacing Circles

Interlacing Circles is a project designed to continue our precision piecing while working on something incorporating almost all the techniques learned to date. Here the pattern looks complicated, yet is simply a combination of rail fence blocks, nine patch blocks, and solid blocks.Here is the sample as shown in our assignment:
 This quilt required  a dark red, dark pink, paisly, and cream fabric.

My husband and I were out running errands together and I slyly stuck in a trip to JoAnn's. My dh was patient with me last time, and he is good with colors, so I convinced him it was an easy in and out.  (hahaha). Well, we couldn't find what we were looking for, or even close, in reds. In the mean time, our cutting number was coming up (because this time, he knew the routine... walk in, go get the number, then start the fabric hunt :)  He went over and traded his number for a later number with another man waiting in line :)  When our number came up again, and we were STILL not ready, I told him not to worry, they'll work us in anyway..

Back to the fabric hunt.  I decided to change to an Orange color scheme when I looked over to a fabric bunched together in another spot and they just looked cheery!

Dh informed me that we still didn't have a good "cream", but I decided I liked the cream with the flowers too much to go plainer. Besides, we couldn't find one with more cream, less color.   And, that was my favorite of the bunch!

We hurried over to the cutting counter, and found we were only about 5 numbers behind.... And, the nice lady at the counter worked us in next :)

Turns out when I went to align my fabrics, the light orange felt SO different.  I'm hoping it is 100% cotton, but is not tightly woven and is thin, thin, thin. I was worried it wouldn't sew nicely up against the other fabrics.  Turns out, it was a bit of a problem.  I will have to Slow Down when in a hurry to get some fabric and move along on the errands!

Making the blocks was simply an exercise in getting it right, because there was nothing really new here.  Assembling the top on the board took more time, as the pieces had to be placed just right.
When I got done, I was missing one piece and had an extra of another.  I looked carefully, and couldn't see that I had anything wrong, so I cut another rail fence of the one I needed, and started looking again, and THEN saw where I had swapped the pieces. These type of configurations really need several different looks.

Here is a block:

And, here is the finished top sans the border in cream.

Maybe a little busy?  But, I think it still works. I didn't lose the circles anyway! Had I gotten a cream color that wasn't so busy, I think it would have been a perfect Orange colorway substitute for the Red.

This week, I've been working on upgrading my quilting space.  My little sewing desk isn't big enough to hold up the quilts. I need a place for them to go after they go through the needle. So, I picked up a small 4'x2' folding table at Costco. It will work just fine as a resting place for the piecing and quilting.

I also searched the internet for a cutting table and came up with NOTHING :(
I've currently got a 72"x30" folding table that also folds in half.  It is also from Costco a long time ago. I have an issue with the "folding" crack in the middle of the table. It can be felt through the cutting mat, and I am always having to rearrange my fabric to stay away from the hump and crack space.
I must be able to disassemble for when guests come. I was hoping there was some great product or inspiration online, but just couldn't find it. Then, I went to JoAnn's and they had a "craft/hobby" table.  Not much info about it on the box, and no display.

They lady reminded me that if I didn't like it, I could return it, no problem. (Must have receipt within 90 days, blah, blah, blah)

I should have checked JoAnn's online.  I wonder why this table didn't show up when I did searches?

So, I got it, came home yesterday and spent 2 hrs putting it together.  All to find out that it sits on wobbly spindle metal legs with wheels that rock back and forth.  Ugh.  When I went to look at reviews to see what people said they did to fix it, all I found were 0-2 stars with almost everyone saying that they returned it, wished they returned it, or it broke within months.  I could just kick myself. It is so unlike me to not check first. And, although I did consider checking reviews BEFORE I put it together, I decided I wanted to make the decision myself since it was returnable anyway.

My dh got out his drill and the thing was disassembled and restored in the box within 10 minutes!
My chore for the day, to return it.  I'm disappointed, because it was the perfect size for the room, could fold down for space saving and rolled so I could move it around in my small space. Oh well.  Back to my table on wood blocks with a crack and hump down the middle.

Any brilliant ideas out there?


  1. Oh Dawn I love, love , love it!!!
    when i was first reading and saw your fabric choices laid out, I loved the print you chose for the cream/print in the design. And then when i saw it all sewn up Wowsers!! I'd say you hit a home run on this one!

    sounds like sewing it up was pretty easy too, no major problems, other than the block moved around , but thats an easy fix when its not sewn together yet!

    now what about your cutting table , would something like a piece of firm foam cut to fit in the slot between the table sides work?
    or what about a thin piece of something firm over the top of the table , then put your cutting mat on it? that's about all i can think of at the moment. I lucked out my parents in law had a wooden table about 3 feet by 4 1/2 - 5 ft that we got after my FIL passed away 4 years ago and my MIL moved into a seniors residence. we painted it so it was smooth got some table legs that have a bend in them at the bottem (the kind that go on folding tables )and cut pvc pipe to raise it up to a good height for me and then you sit each leg into a pipe and voila a higher table. Here's a link to show you what i am talking about

    I'm lucky i dont have to worry about taking it down when we have visitors.

    anyways great job!
    I hope to have an update tonight or tomorrow.

    1. Thank You Vicki :) I'm not sure I consider it a home run, but I like the cheeriness and it isn't too feminine for my man filled home! And, I did get all my seams butted up nicely.

      My table is hopeless. It has T bottoms, so it sits on big blocks for the correct height. I would have used the pvc like you did if it had stick legs. But, mainly, the edges where the table folds has a bump before the crack. So filling it wouldn't fix the hump. But, thanks for the thought!

      I'm thinking of simply buying a new improved version at Costco. It has adjustable height legs up to 36"! and is all one piece so no fold in the middle, but the legs fold down in case I get the visitors. Link here:

      I can probably sell my current one fairly easily on CraigsList. I was just hoping to get one about 60" long, rather than 6 foot. It would fit better in the room, but I can't find anything that size.

      As soon as my college boy decides he's moved out for good, I could convert his room to the guest room :) In the mean time, he keeps drifting in and my quilting room is the guest room when family comes into town.

      I'll watch for your update. You're getting close to the finishing up class!

  2. Boy, you are moving right along. I had a lot of thoughts about your last post but am not always so good at verbalizing them correctly. You can see how I addressed the problems you mentioned in my comment on that post. I think you are doing amazing work. I did have the same experience with the Joann's cutting table. I kept mine and use it when I spread a top out to pin before machine quilting. It stays folded up 98% of the time. I found a great stable pressed wood table @ Hancocks but it is not portable. I like it very much. My sewing room is in our extra bedroom too but not big enough for a bed too. So we don't have a guest room. My hobby comes first:) though we don't have many guests. I love this project, it may be my favorite you have done so far. The background fabric worked out great. Love it.

  3. Yes, I'm moving along and anxiously preparing for the finishing of these projects! I wish I could see yours! Where are you at now?
    Mostly, I'm anxious to get the borders on these quilts to get a better idea of how they are turning out.

    LOL, you bought that table?? It IS a great idea, size, solution but just not executed well enough. I WANTED it to work. I see Home Depot has a nice Martha Stewart craft table. Very pricey, and not moveable, but sure looks nice :)

    We don't have a constant run of visitors, but we moved away from family and when they come for holidays and summer, they ALL seem to come together, so I need lots of space at one time. They came last fall after I had started putting the quilting room together, and it worked great to just fold down the tables and blow up bed.

    My sister is allergic to my dogs, so this room with the wood floor and NO dogs allowed is perfect for her to retreat to. So... For now, I need to keep it non permanent. :) I just need to find the solution that works. I asked my dh if I could take over the upstairs bonus room. He had a quick reply for that request. haha. It would have fit everything, spaced out and room for very lovely furnishings. Oh well. I guess having a couch and tv is more important to the rest of the family. LOL.

  4. I did not finish Vol 1. The projects I did never got the borders or quilted. I had to follow Harriet & Carrie's color plans because I have some cognitive problems that make it hard for me to translate different colors to any instructions I am following. I have read all the QA books but I don't know if I will return to working the exercises & projects. I have so many, many UFOs. I am still quite interested, so I still follow Leslie's blog and was happy to find you and Vicki. You two are lucky to have matched up.

    I am a huge Bonnie Hunter fan and am working on Orca Bay right now, in Bonnie's suggested colorway. Re the craft table, it did not cost very much, a 50% sale + additional 20% off, about 5 yrs. ago. For a year or so it was all I had, I cut a lot of fabric on it, wobbles and all.:)

  5. Oh yes, I got the table at a great price too. Better than buying the folding table at Costco even, which is why I really wanted to keep it, but dh saw the problems and nixed it. Men seem to solve problems that way, if they can't figure out another tangible way. :)

    I actually totally understand the difficulty with the changing of the colorways and matching them to the instructions. This particular assignment I really had to work hard at keeping it straight. The instructions don't use actual fabric swatches, but just colored strips. In some assignments in the past, but especially this one, I had to write in the book what colors I was using over the instructions because there were so many different blocks color combinations. It gets confusing for sure.

    I had decided on the last assignment to keep closer to the examples, but then, I had a really hard time coming up with something close enough and I still had issues. It was getting too frustrating. Sorry you haven't gotten to finish your projects. I am very happy you and Vicki are following along and helping me out with your suggestions and comments :)

    I've bookmarked Bonnie Hunter's blog and website and I'll take a look!

  6. Oh Sandra! Bonnie's web site is a treasure trove. Scrap quilts! I can see why this would be more interesting to you. I'm going to start saving all those little strips and pieces :) Thank you for referencing her.

  7. I will just warn you ahead of time, it is very addicting. But great fun.