Friday, November 19, 2010

Doin' Harriet Methods With Other Blocks

Well, I have quite a few projects that I need to be working on, but my Quilter's Academy Adventure still continues.

I decided to use Harriet's methods to do the blocks.

I wanted to do some Block Lotto blocks, and this month is Quilter's Choice.  Our blocks are to be 12" finished with a center block of purple and white that is 8" finished.

First of all, I drafted my own patterns for the blocks.  This is something that Harriet teaches in Quilter's Academy but I already knew how to do it.  Here are some sketchy drafted blocks.  They're really simple.

From there, I established the straight grain of my fabric.  The purple was mostly fat quarters, so I tore one end and pressed as suggested.

I cut my strips and triangles and sewed it all up.

The first block that I made with HST (half square triangles) I cut the squares 5" and then cut them in half, but for the second block I made, I took a leap of faith and cut the square 4 7/8" like you're supposed to.

The first two blocks came out perfectly, but the third one, I forgot to trim one of the 4-Patch units and that skewed things a little, so it didn't come out perfectly.  You probably cannot appreciate it, but it was just a few threads off.

"Why do you care about a few threads?" you might ask.

Well, a few threads in each block add up to quite a bit in a huge quilt...especially the smaller the pieces in your blocks.

So, with the middles finished, all I need to do is to add some strips to the edges of the blocks, cut them to 12" finished and then I'm done with Block Lotto for this month.

I have the fabric picked out the the next project in QA1 (Quilter's Academy Volume 1), so I will be working on that sometime this coming week, I hope.

I have several projects that have a timeline, so as important as I hold this project, I need to fit it into my quilting time.

I have found that I'm getting quicker and quicker, which I thought would be impossible when I first started.

I still can't imagine doing this for a whole quilt, though.  I just think that it would take SO much more time.

One conclusion I came to was this...

Harriet suggested that when you do strip piecing, you should trim back the strips before you cut them into sub-units.  I think that would be faster than what I'm doing, which is trimming the subunits right before I sew them into the four-patch units (or whatever).

Of course this only works if you have perfectly cut, perfectly pieced, perfectly pressed strip sets.

Ahhhhhh, becoming a Master Quilter is not for the faint of heart, lol.

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