Monday, April 4, 2011

Frustrating day for the new quilter

Today was a little frustrating.  I realize that I am learning.  I am working on making a 12" block for the Block Swap Adventure.  That's a 12" finished block which should measure 12.5".  I can make this block 12"... I can make this block 13"... But 12.5 didn't happen.  I love t his double aster block!  Here's two blocks for the orphan block box.  I also bought a new special plastic box to store my orphan blocks... looks like I am going to need it.  Can you tell that I did one completely backwards from the pattern?  On the 12" block I then added a strip so that they were both the same...

Then I decided to switch patterns.  Again, this water wheel block measured 12"!  Dang.  A call to my friend (Brandy) and she shed some light in to what I was doing wrong.  Duh.  I need a 12.5" pattern until I can learn to convert the patterns that I have.  Next I stepped back to look at this block and I put a whole row on upside down!  Yikes.  Time to stop quilting for today and maybe tonight after work while the little one is in bed I'll be able to do some more...  Oh dear.

Don't worry, Nat, these aren't your blocks.  At this point they may not even be your colors.  But then again you wouldn't be able to tell because the black and the saffire in the photo don't really show as the colors they really are.  I'll have a nice 12.5" block for you before the end of the week!

But it is what it is.  I am new to quilting.  What you see with me is what you get and sometimes it's just not right.  Everything can be fixed or started over.

On a happy note I put my block lotto blocks in the mail today.  Congrats to all the March Block Lotto winners.  I got to mail my blocks to Kate in England, Kathie in Allentown, PA, and Cathy in Australia.


  1. We've all been there at one time or another so don't dismay. And as far as putting one of the rows on upside down.....I've done that many times over my ten years of quilting - did it just last week, in fact. A good place for blocks is The blocks are listed at 12" but they all work up to 12.5".

  2. I think you've discovered why making blocks for exchanges is actually more challenging than making blocks for yourself because everyone has to measure and cut and sew and press in the same way in order for all the bee blocks to come out the same. If you were making a bunch of blocks for your own quilt, it would be OK if they ALL came out a little too small (or too big).

    Linda is right, don't despair and don't necessarily decide that you're cutting/sewing the block wrong. If the block is a little too small, try being pressing the seams meticulously as you sew them. Sometimes pressing can make all the difference.

  3. Linda and Sophie -- Thanks for the support! I recently found Best Press the alternative to starch for quilting (you both probably discovered that). It makes such a nice block and I have been pressing as I go. It's practice practice practice! I have also been using the site

    for my 12 inch blocks. I will try another today. Try try try again.

    And yes, maybe that is why I felt confident enough to join a couple of swap groups because my own blocks were coming out so nicely. I didn't measure the finished size because when I stacked them they all came out the same.

    I'll get it! I hope to join our local quilt guild when my schedule allows me to attend the meetings. I hope to pick up some tips there as well. Regardless, the quilt bug has bit me for sure.