Sunday, February 3, 2013

Block Three - Jelly Roll Sampler Quilt

Well, I've finished Block Three of the first Jelly Roll Sampler quilts.  Three more classes and nine more blocks to go.

I learned a couple of things "over again" on the first block.  Do NOT use two different rulers to make your cuts.  Especially when you are cutting from strips, the pieces are so small that any deviation at all will play havoc with the finished product.  When I was at the Stripping class, I forgot/couldn't find my triangle ruler, and so Karen showed me how to use my 6" square ruler to cut triangles from my strips.  Then halfway through the class, I discovered that I had not cut enough triangles, and borrowed Lisa's triangle ruler.  Naturally nothing fit because my triangle ruler cuts were more precise than my block ruler cuts.  I found this out last weekend when I was trying to put block one together.  Bummer!  I had to cut new triangle segments to get the blasted thing put together.  And wouldn't you know it, my triangle ruler was in my sewing tote all along!

The next thing that I learned was that whatever ruler I was using tended to slip as I was cutting from the strips.  This was on Block Two.  So before I began cutting Block Three, I remembered that sometime last year I purchased a roll of InvisiGrip, made by OmniGrid.  But where in the world did I put it and would I be able to actually find it without completely tearing my sewing room apart?  Only a search and destroy would tell!  So I searched.  Didn't find it.  Took a frustration break, then went back into the sewing room and Lo and Behold, opened a drawer and there it was!  Now I can't even remember where I found it.  Actually followed the directions and put that clingy stuff on the back of my Fons and Porter Half & Quarter Ruler and my 6" Creative Grids square ruler before I made ANY cuts.  Guess what?!?  It actually DID help my rulers from slipping!  Still have to be careful, of course, but it did help.

Next, I needed to choose three colors from my Double Chocolate jelly roll.  Got a tad frustrated there because one of the colors needed two strips and there aren't any doubles in the roll that I can see.  So I chose a fourth strip that coordinated.  Yipee!  On to cutting!

Got all of my pieces cut and then discovered that I mistakenly put the wrong strips together to cut my triangles.  Where I was supposed to be using brown, per my strip choices, I used blue.  And where I was supposed to be using blue, now had to use brown.  Ok.  We can make that work, as Tim Gunn says. 

I didn't take any pictures of my triangle chain piecing, but here is a picture of the center of the block:

 You can see the fabric substitutions in the rectangle pieces and the beige triangle pieces.  In a perfect world, I would have had two strips of the triangle fabric.  Now it should also be said that I got in a hurry and forgot to look at the diagram for putting this block together, and so had to improvise yet again!  The block should have been put together in rows, rather than building from the center out.  Maybe I was a little dyslexic yesterday!  But I forged on and made it work!

Here are portions of the side rows and a completed top row:

Again, I got a little ahead of myself and pressed the side units before I got through with them and matched them up to the center square, so I had to unpress and set the seams in the opposite direction so that I could lock seams.  You can see here that I haven't yet pressed the top row.  Usually what I do is put the units together on the ironing board so that I can look at what I'm attaching to and iron appropriately.  I'm not sure how others do this, but this method works for me - yes, when I remember!  I also ironed the seams open on all of my triangle units because my Marie hates bulky seams and I thought this would help me put everything together (lesson learned from block 1!).
For part of this block, I cheated and used glue to make my seams stay put when going under the needle.  This method of using Elmer's School Glue has really helped me in getting my seams to match and not shift while I'm sewing.  BUT...I do feel like I'm cheating, because I'm not really learning how to get matched seams all on my own.  Last night, after the great Marshall Chili Fest, I watched one of my Craftsy courses, the 2013 Mystery Quilt, and the instructor showed how she locks her seams together and then pins on both sides.  So this morning I decided to give that a try on the final two rows of this block.  It worked!  It took a lot less time than locking the seam, adding a dot of glue, ironing it to dry the glue, and moving on to the next seam, and repeating, before sewing.  I also used another tip that I learned from My Civil War Block Craftsy course, because I discovered that the center triangle units had just a little more fabric than the rectangle unit.  There I learned to place the strip with the extra fabric on the bottom when putting it through the machine, to let the feed dogs do the work of making everything fit.  It also worked.
So all in all, I'm pleased with the end result of this block.  Considering all the blunders I made in cutting, it turned out ok.  Nine more blocks to go.  Maybe this will become Jordan's bed quilt since he's moving and needs blankets.

Now...what to sew for the rest of the day?  Well, I could work on quilting my New York Roundabout wallhanging, work on January and February's Craftsy Mystery Blocks, or start something new!  Decisions, decisions!  LOL!  It will keep my mind off Jordan's impending departure.  I've already cried buckets.  Can I have a do-over on raising my kids?  Please?


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