Sunday, 23 June 2013

quilt blocks

Today I am adding 3 more of the tula pink challenge blocks.  Blocks 13, 14 & 15. I have made a bit of a mess with 14 & 15, not sure what I am doing wrong , I do as they say and measure at least twice and sometimes more and cut once but when it comes to sewing the pieces together it does not seem to go to plan.  I am wondering if because they are only 6" square the individual pieces are so small they easily get pulled out of shape,    or maybe it is too much ironing.  I will redo the ones I am not happy with after completing all 100 as by then I should have improved and if I have not then will not do such small ones again.



when I look at the above photos I can see on the last one that it looks as though the fabric has been pulled form here to kingdom come!!,   or maybe I am not getting it cut on the grain but slightly crooked,    any advice greatly received and also positive criticism preferable to negative please!

I have also completed the three blocks for next week, one of which I have redone 3 times and have now given up on it, you will see what I mean when I add it next week.   We are meant to be doing 3 blocks a week and can only load the correct three to the sew sweetness blog each week, of course we can complete as many as we want but cannot add them and if we miss a week I am not sure what happens.

16 comments:

Vintage Sheet Addict said...

I'm a bit useless myself with sewing so not able to offer any advice only keep going, you've achieved a lot so far! :) x

Nana said...

Lovely and they look so tiny... very well done.

Nana

Mary Ellen said...

Margaret, If you are measuring and cutting accurately, then we are back to the third leg of piecing - sewing. You must have an accurate quarter inch seam. If possible, err a thread or two to the meager side. Also make sure that your machine's tension is balanced. I would suggest not using steam as it is way too easy to pull things awry. Use just the point of the iron and run it along the seams. No need to press the entire piece each time you add another patch. And then, please, relax, as your blocks look very nice and when they are all sewn together you will how great they look together.

Queeniepatch said...

I agree with Mary Ellen; if measuring and cutting is done correctly any problem must be down to stitching or PRESSING. I light touch of finger pressing (very popular in Japan) or dry iron pressing with as little movement as possible is best.
Have a look at the last photo. The lower green cross is slightly askew and the blue piece in the middle is puckering. If you took out the stitches, stretched the fabric a bit to the left, the block would be perfect.
Also remember that pieced work is hardly ever completely flat; it will look much more even once the quilting is done.
Good luck and enjoy. You have made beautiful progress so far!

Pippas quilts said...

Follow Mary Ellen and Queenie's advice When pressing a seam whether you press open or to the side it is just a light press. I always finger press first especially if your pieces are so small I would probably only use the iron at the end. I was taught you are not ironing the creases out of the sheets you are pressing the seam. Tension on your machine may be, or the stitches may be to small, it could be so many things. I would be thrilled if I could do as well on such small pieces that you are attempting. To be honest you are learning a skill and the more mistakes you make the more you learn. Done not be so hard on yourself you are doing so brilliantly.

crafty cat corner said...

The red butterfly pattern came from a book Margie. Tatted Butterflies by Adelheid Dangela, its on Amazon quite cheap.
Blocks are looking good...
Briony
x

Claudia said...

Hi Margaret,
your blocks look great!
When i checked the inch foot of my sewing machines I really wondered that an inch is NOT an inch. Have you checked your inch foot? Queeniepatch and Mary Ellen give good advices!
But I think when the quilt is finished and quilted it will be a wonderful piece of work!

Susan Hook said...

You are making good progress, I can see your problem, I haven't done much quilting myself so I am not sure what you can try but you have had lots of good advice, perhaps the ironing is the problem, give it a try and see what happens.

Vicki Miller said...

Sometimes giving your fabric a once over with starch before cutting and sewing can help. It stabilises the fabric. I do this with very thin fabrics to help me.

Gaia said...

Hi Margaret, my knowledge in quilting is still limited to offer suggestions, but the blocks you have made look very pretty !

Annet said...

I like the first pink block, very lovely. Sorry, but I cannot help you with this, I always piece by hand.

Anneliese said...

Dear Margaret, my first thought was: "oh how perfectly done". Only later I saw the puckering - but here you can see that it is not at all an earthquake when something is not quite point to point. I still think you did a great job!

desertskyquilts said...

I like your blocks. On that last one, perhaps the stitching is a little tight? If it doesn't come out with pressing, I would try taking the stitching out and resewing that section. Also, what kind of thread are you using? I have nice blocks when I use Aurifil 50 wt. mako. It seems like it costs more until you realize you get a lot more thread on the spool.

Susan In Texas said...

I think your blocks look terrific and NO ONE will ever notice that they aren't perfect (except possibly you) after they are quilted. That said, I have watched Sally Collin's video "Precision Piecing" multiple times to try to internalize her methods. As other commenters have stated, errors can be introduced multiple ways: cutting, stretching, pinning, sewing and ironing. For me, the easiest ways to screw up are in not sewing a perfect 1/4" seam and using poor ironing techniques. Generally I'm fairly pleased with my results, but I rarely rework things if I'm not pleased. I tell myself to just try a bit harder next time. Quilting is supposed to be relaxing and fun, remember? lol Rework is NEITHER!!! Your blocks are FINE and if you're worried about them, use a 100% cotton batting that will shrink 5% the first time the quilt is washed. Trust me, all that puckering covers a multitude of "sins", and makes it look SO lovely and cozy!

Take care,
Susan in Texas

Jill said...

Your color combinations are very pretty. I'm sorry, but I don't have any advice for your blocks. I didn't notice any issues until I read what you had written and looked at the photos again.

Raewyn said...

Hi Margaret, sorry I missed this post. I think your blocks are beautiful, and I can only echo what other commenters have been saying. I feel the 3 important steps are precise cutting, careful pressing and accurate sewing. Do a little test to make sure your seams are actually 1/4"... it is amazing how much difference a seam just one thread width out can be. Sometimes a slightly smaller block is ok but it depends on the project and what you will be joining it to later. Have fun with it though, try not to stress about it too much or the fun will go out of it!I hope this week's blocks are successful for you :-)