It might seem unbelievably boring to see each of these blocks as I put them together. However, they make me so happy that I can’t help sharing.
I am particularly happy with this block. I started out with a cool center, which I love. Adding the dot fabric, which I thought would be warm, fits perfectly. It takes on a warm cast, I think.
I also counted up the dots I have and found 11. That is one short of those needed for the number of blocks in the pattern. I don’t mind repeating one, but I may make more blocks, which means I will have to repeat others. Stay tuned.
I wondered about whether I would enjoy making this block after finding the ruler and the pattern the other day.
It has a lot of curves, which can be problematic in general. I also had to use a special ruler. Sometime special rulers create great effects and sometimes they are a disaster.
I started out easy with 4 blocks that create the center. All of the center blocks will be dots and stripes. Sewing four squares together was easy.
I dove in and started cutting curves. I had some issues but it was mostly operator error. Cutting the first block took me a long time as I attempted to navigate the pattern and fabric choices.
I am planning on using dots on the outer part of the block, but I don’t know if I will have enough dots to differentiate the blocks enough. I am scared of trying to line up the stripes, but I might try one block with stripes to see how it looks.
I did realize that the pattern is called MetroSCOPE not MetroScape. Well, I am going with MetroScape regardless. I don’t have a better name and it kind of reminds me of landscape.
I felt like I needed a piecing project. I have finished (or prepared for quilting) quite a few projects this year. I decided I could start something new. The project I started was on my Dream/Future projects list.
I looked at a couple of the projects on my various lists, but the Quick Curve Ruler project floated to the top. I looked at the Goodnight Irene project. This is a project from Missouri Star, though it has been around in other places as well. I have a lot of 2.5 inch squares already cut, so I could have started pretty quickly. There was something about it that didn’t grab me.
I also looked at the Thirty Something project. I have been cutting 1.5 inch squares for the center blocks and have enough to make a start. The problem was that there is a lot of other cutting required. I don’t mind doing some cutting, but I didn’t want to have to spend a whole weekend cutting before I could actually sew. I need to add some different pieces to my cutting list so I can make some progress on this project. I have to say that the 1930s fabrics** used in the project in the magazine are not appealing to me. The fabrics might have been a bit off putting. I don’t know.
I looked in my book and saw the Quick Curve Ruler project. I didn’t have a specific pattern in mind, but wanted to try the ruler. The YM bought it for me a few years ago and it was time to get around to trying it out.
Even though I don’t use patterns much, I have a few for this ruler and thought it would be a good idea to follow one. I chose MetroScape after looking at the two I could find easily.
Stay tuned for some progress.
**Nota bene: I don’t dislike 1930s fabrics; they just aren’t a favorite and this 30 Something project is overwhelmingly 1930s fabrics. The overall look was too….something.
Gerre brought her blocks to the meeting last month and laid them out. I talked about this process earlier in the week (better late than never!). During that process, I realized that my shard was not among the ones she brought. I looked up all the Color My Quilt posts and don’t think I ever made her a piece. I was really sad about that, so I got busy.
This one isn’t as long as I thought it would be and is more buttoned up than the other shards, but I hope she will be able to use it.
Marty tried to torture me this month with her request.
I couldn’t believe it, but it was true. Fortunately, I didn’t have go to the indignity of beige or baby poop brown. I had a chocolate fabric with the most fabulous lime, turquoise and orange dots. Haha!
The shard is a little bit of an odd shape, but that is ok. Marty will just have to deal. I hope she likes it.
I had made some fabric using browns sometime ago. I can’t remember for what reason, so I just decided to toss that into the pile for Marty as well. Despite my best intentions, I am not going to make a journal cover from browns. I might have been thinking of making another Henry, but that can wait. I want to make a white one first.
Last month, Gerre brought her shards to we could all look at them. Gerre has left her handbag at home, so didn’t have her phone and couldn’t take photos. I volunteered and texted her photos as I took them. There are a lot of photos!
Being the opinionated ladies that we are, we all had opinions about placement. It was kind of fun to work with other people moving shards around. I think Gerre was kind of excited, too, as it gave her ideas about placement.
I had issues with the plum (see upper part of first photo, left). I thought the plum should be dispersed throughout the quilt.
We also tried to move the white around so it wasn’t all clustered in one place (see bottom two rows).
There was advice about putting the pieces together into chunks and cutting pieces up. I think it got people excited about layout.
I worked hard on the Aqua-Red Sampler quilt over the weekend. It was great to have a nice long weekend. I made a lot of progress and will be glad to get this quilt out of my hair.
You will notice that I rearranged the blocks since my last layout. I also did not include the Cathedral Window block. It was just too thick. I have another test block from this quilt and I think I will make a pillow from the two of them.
I made a new block and needed to rearrange the blocks because of the colors. I didn’t want all the big red dots and daisy fabrics lumped together in one area. This quilt has been one problem after another and I hope that the borders will cut me some slack.
I found a bright white (Pure Elements Snow, which is different from Kona Snow) that picked up and highlighted the other bright whites in the blocks. I tried not to include too much cream where possible. I’m not sure about the width of that white border (2.5 inches). I may rip it off and make it smaller. That is not my first choice.
I thought the daisy fabric would be exciting, but I would have to struggle with making sure I used every scrap if I can’t find the rest of the stash of it that I know I have somewhere. The solid turquoise would be a solid choice. By that I mean that it would work, it would probably hold in all that is going on in the quilt.
As part of the Sampler Quilt Class and other tutorials I have on this site, I want to add one about putting a quilt together. I thought it would be good to include information about sashing at the same time. Since I have been using this quilt to write the Sampler quilt posts, I thought I would use it to create the latest tutorial.
Process can be a difficult mistress (boy toy??) and she had both fangs and talons out for me on Sunday. I really wanted to just piece a bunch of stuff together, so I took Who Am I? off the design wall and started checking out sashing options for the Aqua-Red Sampler. I thought this would be a relatively easy task and I would be sewing in no time.
HA! I should never think that.
I started off thinking that the version above with no sashing just wasn’t quite right. I have a stack of fabrics that I keep for backs and sashing (larger pieces) so I started to look through them and try them out.
I always use Lorraine Torrence’s rule to “make visual decisions visually”. Well, when I do that I usually get good results. When I don’t, I ruin the quilt.
I pulled out the most likely option and pinned some blocks up on my design wall (2 layers of fabric don’t stick). You can see how optimistic I was that this would work based on the number of blocks I put up. It isn’t terrible, but I didn’t like the way the red was interacting with some of the reds in the blocks.
I thought maybe some blue and I have a nice turquoise solid that I got out. Not terrible, but nowhere near great either. The blocks with the lighter blue backgrounds stick out like sore thumbs and the blocks with the medium blue backgrounds wash out. I wasn’t daunted yet.
I thought maybe I should introduce a new color. I know I wanted this to be a, basically, two color quilt, but I started to think, perhaps, that there was no way to keep that dream alive with the two colors I had chosen. I thought about the green in Stepping Stones n.2 and I picked out a nice floral without flowers that included that green plus the blue.
I couldn’t yank that fabric off the design wall fast enough. It made me think of my man, Phil, though. I tried one of his prints. Also hideous. Well, not hideous, but it really didn’t work. The blue was wrong. The pink was wrong. It looked messy and slapped together.
I decided to try some white. It wouldn’t be my first choice because it is too predictable, but I was starting to feel desperate. Just a little. The white is wrong, too. I am not sure why, but it doesn’t add anything. It was too white as well, as if THAT makes any sense.
Since I liked the dots and was still thinking the white might just too white, so I pulled out a different dot and tried to like it. It isn’t terrible. It does add a bit to the whole piece, but the black dots just aren’t right. There is none of that fabric in the whole piece. I put it aside as a possibility.
Still thinking dots would work, I pulled out a different red dot print. The red wasn’t exactly the shade I would have chosen if I had all the fabric in the world, but the dots were larger and that was promising. Also, not terrible, but also not exactly right.
By this time, I was starting to feel disheartened and needed some input so I posted to Instagram to get some feedback. People were very kind and had some good ideas.
One person suggested navy, which might work, but I don’t like navy much and don’t have any navy fabric – yardage, at least. I might have some scraps. Amanda suggested yellow. I had a nice sunshine-y orange, which I just thought I would try to see. Not terrible, but not right either. It came across as gold in the photos (even the one above, I think). You remember the hunt for yellow in which I engaged for the basket quilt? I really didn’t want to go out and buy fabric. I really felt I had to have something that would work.
I found some cherry fabric, again by my man, Phil, and thought I would try it. The first Philip Jacobs option was still on my mind. I wasn’t ready to give up on him again. This fabric is actually okay. I think ‘okay’ is a step above ‘not terrible’. Still it didn’t scream YES! at me.
Much more sighing went on.
My last option for the day was a grey. I was not hopeful. I really wanted to sew and I had used most of my sewing time on an unsuccessful attempt to choose some sashing.It didn’t work. It doesn’t look much better than the white
I gave up and went to sew the latest donation quilt. I am starting to think this quilt does not want sashing and I’ll have to make the tutorial with another quilt.
I decided to make this block after finding I needed one more block to complete my Aqua-Red Sampler. I have never made one of these, so I thought “what the heck?”. I had seen some directions for it and it caught my attention. As mentioned, I had to cobble together instructions from at least three different tutorials to be able to make the block. Below is my version. The tutorials I referenced are noted below.
Finished Block Size: 12 inches (12.5 unfinished)
In this tutorial, the background is turquoise and the foreground is red.
Thread – you might want to use your regular piecing thread for the first part of the directions, then switch to a thread that matches the background fabric for sewing the curves shut
1/4 inch foot
applique’ foot (foot with a center mark)
square ruler at least 12.5 inches square
long ruler at least 12 inches long
snips or scissors
Tool to poke out corners
A pen or pencil you can use to draw on fabric (I like Sewline pencils)
Stiletto or dental pick type instrument (something thin and pointy)
hand sewing needle
Instructions for making a 12″ (finished) Cathedral Windows block
1. Cut 4 squares of background fabric 12.5 inches by 12.5 inches
2. Cut 4 squares for inset pieces 4 inches by 4 inches.
3. Fold each of the 4 background squares in half. This will make your 12.5 x 12.5 inch squares into rectangles (e.g. do not fold NOT along the diagonal).
Hint: I sew all four one after another, but you can sew one at a time, if you prefer.
3A. Sew along the short side, backstitching at the beginning and the end.
4. Open your rectangles and match up the raw edges.
Hint: I nest the center seams and pin, starting in the middle
Hint: leave an opening 2-3 fingers wide for later turning. I mark this with two pins right next to each other.
5. Sew your pinned seam shut except for the opening you have left.
Hint: I backstitch at the beginning and end of the seams including next to the opening. Yes, it is a hassle to start and stop, but I don’t want the edges of the seams to come apart when I turn.
6. Place recently sewn squares on the ironing board and smooth out wrong side out (above). They should make nice squares.
7. Press nested seams in opposite directions from the center out.
8. Press long seams in one direction, being careful to line up edge of opening as best you can. You can press this seam open if you want.
You should now have 4 nice flat squares with wrong sides out.
9. Turn squares right sides out.
10 Poke out corners carefully. I use a knitting needle whose mate broke.
Your squares are now on the bias, so be careful when you handle them.
11. Fold corners into the center. Do this with all four corners and make a new square. The square should be 6 inches.
12. Lay out the blocks in a 2 x 2 grid, so you can see what you have
13. Pin the center triangles of the two top triangles together. Do the same for the bottom triangles. Now your 2×2 grid will be pinned together in two rectangular sections
14. Using a ruler (I use a 3.5 x 12.5 Creative Grids), and your marking implement (I like Sewline pencils), draw a line in the crease under the triangles you are about to pin
15. Line up squares with backs together and triangles pointing to the right.
16. Put your applique’ foot on your sewing machine.
17. Sew along the crease on both sets.
18. Lay out the 2×2 grid again. Now you will have two ‘rows’. You are going to sew the rows together.
19. Fold up the top triangles from the bottom row and the bottom triangle from the top row.
20. Draw a line along the crease at the bottom of the two triangles.
21. Sew along the line. After, you will have your 2×2 grid of squares sewn together and the triangles will be flapping around.
22. Take your foreground triangles and lay them on top of your background
23. Tuck the flaps in towards the center and pin in place. Watch out that the edges of your foreground squares don’t show. Make the edges curve slightly
Note: this was confusing to figure out and it turned out that I did not have all the sewn triangles in the right place. After you sew the triangles together, make sure you flatten them back in their original places, e.g. one layer of background on top
Note: I had to use a thin sharp tool, like a stiletto or dental instrument to tuck in some of the foreground edges. I sometimes use a seam ripper, which is a very bad habit, because if you aren’t careful, you can rip your fabric. You can definitely trim the foreground fabric, but trim a little at a time very, very carefully
24. Pin each edge in three places with the heads of the pins facing the center of the foreground fabric. This is not micro management; this technique will allow you to sew as long as possible with the pins in place
25. Sew very close to the edge of the background. I sewed slowly and carefully. I used the above mentioned sharp tools when I needed a little help. Leave LONG tails so you can knot off and hide the threads
26. Handstitch the other triangle flaps closed with a few stitches. The other tutorials said to use the machine, but 2 stitches is a pain and an irritant on the machine, so I hand sewed the flaps closed when I was sinking threads.
I never thought of making it before, but this block did kind of take my fancy. This is kind of a strange block, partially because of all of the layers. It is lumpier than I expected. Warn your longarmer about it.
Fons & Porter Cathedral Window block– I originally found the instructions in one of their magazines as part of their ‘learning to quilt* series’. I had to go looking for other instructions when I found the directions had no sizes or actual cutting instructions. Directions are brief.
Sometimes Crafter Cathedral Window block – some missing detail, but has the instructions for cutting the right sized patches. I also don’t like it that the viewer cannot enlarge the photos to see the details.
*Nota bene: not sure if this is the correct name, but it describes the basic idea of the series.
Yes, I worked really hard over the weekend and finished the top!
I also finished the back and binding, so the piece is ready to go to Colleen. Yay!
I started playing around with colors in 2012, so this quilt has been hanging around for longer than I thought. Those first tests were a lot different than what this quilt turned out to be. I am pretty pleased with the colors, though the darker turquoises do stand out. At least they are evenly spaced.
I have another group of fabrics destined for this pattern. Regardless of whether I actually use those fabrics for n.3 remains to be seen, but I don’t think I am quite done with this pattern yet. I’ll need a different border. This one is fine, but not for a second quilt.
I realized that I don’t talk much about ripping out stitching. I do it all the time and this week was no exception.
I have been eager to finish the Stepping Stones n.2 top as it has been on my design wall for too long. In my rush, I put a block together wrong and then put it in the quilt. With one seam to go to finish the top, I had to rip out a bunch of seams. Yes, I had to. I looked at the quilt for a long time time, trying to decide if I could live with the mistake. I didn’t want to rip when I was so close to finishing, but I just couldn’t live with the problem.
The look is almost right, but if the viewer looks hard, there is a disruption in the pattern. Also, all of a sudden two like fabrics were placed together, which I really worked hard to avoid all through the piecing process.
I am sure you can’t avoid the big circle, but refer back to the photo above to see the problem. Look down and to the left one row to the see the duplicate fabrics (not circled.
Yep. I ripped. I thought I would just take out one row from one block and sew it back in. I ended up taking part a good portion of the lower right hand corner. The photo with the arrow is before I ripped out some other pieces.
I am in the process of sewing the bottom back together and finishing the top.