After the CQFA meeting today, I came home, eschewed the work nagging in the back of my mind and worked on Thoughts on Dots. Earlier this week, I started to sew the squares into pairs. Today I kept on sewing – four patches, groups of two four patches until I was finished with the main part.
Above: The main part nearly sewn. The big problem I had was that the squares were not the same size. Part of it could be the ruler that I used at St. JCN’s. However, St. JCN said that the fabric was stretching as it went through the feed dogs. It was getting really bad as sewed the four patches together. Finally, I decided to take a page out of St. JCN’s book and trim the squares. Nobody will sue me for changing the size of the blocks. I changed my rotary blade and very carefully measured and trimmed the 4 patches. The larger pieces went together better after that, but I noticed as the same pieces went through the sewing machine a third or fourth time that they started to stretch again. While it is possible that my feeding of the pieces through the machine or my pressing had something to do with the stretching, I doubt it as I was trying hard to be very careful.
This is the second time that I am doubting my machine. I guess I need to take it in for a service. I can use the Gem while the 9K is on vacation, but I think it is time for me to really consider a new machine. 10 years is long enough for one machine and it has seen some hard use.
Above: Detail of the main part nearly sewn together.
Above: Finally, I got the entire main section done. I call it the main section, because I need to piece the entire top in sections. Since I plan for this piece to be a cuddle quilt, I think it will be relatively large. My design wall isn’t big enough to do the whole piece at once. Pay attention to the bottom two rows, which are still unsewn in this picture.
The above photo shows the former bottom two rows at the top of the quilt. They will still be on the bottom of the top section (far above photos), but on top of this new section, which is shown directly above. These are new squares that I threw up on the design so I could arrange the bottom part. The rule is that I am not allowed to move the top two rows as they have to coordinate with both the section above and the section below. I know they coordinate with the section above as they are, but since I can no longer see that section, I have to leave them as is to ensure I don’t make any egregious color errors.
I didn’t think I would make changes right away, but even before I got all the squares up on the wall, I began moving squares away from their fellows of the same color and removing squares that were too dull or didn’t look right. The immediate problem is that the colors in this section seem darker to me. I think I will have to remove some of the darker colors and put in more pink, add some more of the fabrics with the white backgrounds in order to make it more sherbety.
There are colors/fabrics that I like, but may not make it into the final piece. One example is the blue 60s dot (left hand side 3rd from the bottom, two from the left.)
I like the weird spiral dot smack in the middle, but it may be too different to include on the front of this piece.
On the back, I may make columns of the leftover squares and alternate them with plain rows – like a row quilt. It would be good not to let those already cut squares go to waste.
I was thinking about binding today and may add a thin rectangular border of various fabrics and pull it to the back rather than making a regular binding. We will see.