|Jingle BOM Pieced Block #2, Finally!|
|Erin Russek's Jingle Quilt BOM, patterns and instructions available here|
Erin's pattern for the central poinsettia applique medallion for this quilt is available for $10.00 here. The remaining blocks, 8 applique and 8 pieced, will be posted one at a time as free downloads on Erin's blog, One Piece At A Time, between now and November, and so far she has posted two applique blocks and two pieced blocks. I'm a little behind already, but if I focus on just one block at a time, I should have a beautiful new quilt just in time for holiday decorating. It's kind of fun not knowing what the whole quilt will look like until the end, too. I love flowers, birds, Christmas, and red and green color schemes, so I know I'll really enjoy this project.
So far I have purchased the center medallion pattern and downloaded the four block patterns that have been released so far, and I finally picked out all of my fabrics and collected all of the supplies I'll need for the applique work, so it's time for me to catch up! Naturally I am too chicken to start out with the huge 27" square center medallion for my first-ever applique, and even the smaller cardinal and floral applique blocks look kind of intimidating. But the pieced blocks? I've done plenty of pieced blocks before. I'm good at pieced blocks. Piece of cake, right? WRONG!
|Pieced Block #2|
|First Try, After Ripping and Restitching Twice, Still a Failure!|
Well, when I get stumped, I go to my books to find solutions from people who actually DO know what they are doing. This time, the expert advice I turned to came from Sally Collins' book, The Art of Machine Piecing, available from Amazon here. Collins specializes in piecing on a very small scale, reducing traditional quilt blocks down to just 3" blocks, which requires fanatically accurate piecing skills.
The biggest light bulb for me was Collins' recommendation that you determine the grid for each block and from there, calculate the size of each and every unit of that block including the seam allowance. Collins measures her block units after sewing every single seam, so that if something is off she discovers the problem immediately and knows that it had to be the last seam she stitched. Why didn't I think of that? The block I was attempting was a 3x3 grid, and my pieces were all supposed to finish 3", 6", or 1 1/2" (plus 1/2" seam allowances).
|Chalk Lines for Positioning Triangles|
|Perfect this time! No "Squaring Up" Trimming!|
|Measuring Each Unit As It's Sewn: A Perfect 1 1/2" HST Unit|
|#57 Quarter Inch Patchwork Foot with Guide|
And finally, after three days, I have finished the block AND it measures 9 1/2" x 9 1/2" just as it should. Yay!
|Finished! Perfect Triangle Points! Perfectly Square, AND 9 1/2" x 9 1/2"!|
Before I can move on to the next block of my Jingle quilt, I'm going to have to get back to that lederhosen costume I promised to make for the school play. In fact, I need to head to school right now to pick up my kids from rehearsal and hopefully get Augustus Gloop to try on the muslin shorts I whipped up over the weekend. They are enormous, but the plan is to have him try them on inside out, pin the side seams and mark the muslin, and then use that for my pattern when I cut into the microsuede. I'm reconsidering the embroidery, though -- this is a costume that will be worn for 3 performances, so it doesn't make sense to slave over them and make myself crazier than I already am!
Yowza! That's a lot of little piecing. I've used the trick of finding the centers and matching them up like you did in try two. That's always helped. That quarter inch seam thing is very tricky and I finally bought a tool to help me set mine for the machines that don't have a specialty foot with a fence or guide. Be well and enjoy. I'm loving how your fabrics look together. Lane
Buy a Judy Martin Point Trimmer, much easier than chalk.
Thanks, Lane. And Dar -- I never heard of the JMTP before! I just googled it and found it on her web site, but I'm not sure I understand how to use it. How do you know whether you need an "A Trim," a "B Trim," or a "C Trim?"
I have an instruction sheet somewhere with color illustrations on how to match up a set of patches and choose the correct trim. I'll search for where I found it. But I just use the C point for everything, it works as sort of a generic choice no matter the configuration. On Judy's website, under "Community" and then "FAQS," she has a tip for making a paper template for trimming points on isosceles triangles, if you ever needed that. :-)
Thanks, Dar! I ordered the trimmer tool online. Hopefully it comes with instructions. When I googled Judy Martin Point Trimmer I found that Harriet Hargrave recommends it in her Quilter's Academy book series, too, so maybe there are tips for using it in those books as well?
Your block is absolutely perfect! Love the fabrics too.
Rebecca, the Point Trimmer does come with instructions, and when you actually have the tool in hand and are working with specific patches, it should all make perfect sense. The basic thing you need to keep in mind when using it for trimming right triangles that will be attached to squares is this: If the square will be attached to the short side of the triangle, use the A trim; if the square will be attached to the long side of the triangle, use the B trim, and when in doubt, just use the C trim. In the 6th photo down, where you are attaching the gold triangle to the center square, you would use the B trim.
I hope this helps.
Judy Martin Books
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