Saturday, May 9, 2015

It’s Easy Being Green

I love green.  This time of year, everything is green. And if you live in the Salt Lake Valley, it is not only green, but wet and overgrown.  We have had steady rain for a week, with a couple dry mornings - long enough for some (who are home on weekdays) to slosh their way through mowing the lawns. But I am not complaining. Our veggies are in and the new BBQ is on the covered patio, and we are poised for outdoor living to start. Soon. Hopefully.

And this month at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, where Andrea so skillfully directs us through using our colorful scraps of fabric creatively, the color is also green. I have started sewing...

This past week, I worked out a quilt pattern with these scrappy log cabins I have been making.  Have you seen the site called Grid Paint? Basically, I laid out a quilt using my scrappy log cabins as the blocks, planning colors and sizes along the way. It turns out that for a queen-sized quilt, I will need 30 squares (16” squares, made up of four smaller blocks like the green one, above). With 2” sashing (and cornerstones, of course), that will give me a quilt about 92x110”. Yes, I could do that math in my head (and have). But I wanted a plan for the colors - where they would be laid out and how many I would need. And it worked great!

So, it turns out I will need more than 2 blocks of every color, and have some catching up to do. But since we will have two months on blue - we already did dark blues and will do lighter blues/aquas later - I will catch up on those later.  And we will have another month of lighter greens, so I will just work through my dark/bright greens now.  I don’t know all the colors that Andrea will select, but if she chooses one that doesn’t work with my plan, I can use that month to get caught up on one more block each of pink, yellow and purple.

I am also participating in Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet’s Farm Girl Vintage Stitch-Along. I am doing 12” blocks, and we are going in order. The first week had one block (the Apron Strings Block, below).

The second week, and from now on, there will be two blocks per week. At this time I only have one of those done, and I have until next Friday to stitch up the next one. Below is Autumn Star.

Am I allowed to say this? .... I hate this block/pattern.  Why? Only because I am an inexperienced piecer (of complicated patterns) and cannot do it justice.  I spent hours and had a meltdown (a nice way of saying an adult temper tantrum, alone in my sewing room, complete with whiney tears) before I got this block done. And I I still didn’t get it properly matched up, flat and cut off corners.  So, before I do the next CUTE CUTE CUTE block (a baby chick), I am going to do this one over, with more autumny-colors. Until it passes!!  :-)

OK, I have a question for you experienced quilters (if you are still awake at this point in the post).  I cut my pieces for the above block precisely as instructed and used scant 1/4” seams. But it still seems to be short; there is not enough background fabric to allow a 1/4” seam around it (when attaching to the next block) to avoid cutting off pieces even more. Should I cheat and cut the pieces another 1/8 - 1/4” larger? Or will that throw off all the measurements and diagonals? Is there a secret to this that I haven’t learned yet??  I want to get this block right, even if it kills me!!

Well, that’s enough for now. I am looking forward to some more quality sewing time over the next several days.  And quilt market is next week, so we will see all sorts of new and fun fabrics and photos!

Life is good!

Cathy maroon


  1. It appears that your block incorporates a chevron component which can be tricky, even for experienced piecers. Another thing that can affect your sizing is the fabric. Are you using 100% cotton? Polyester shrink when pressed. Ask me how I know!! LOL

  2. no short answer unless it is to go maverick on it and slice into it, add strips willy nilly. I always make lots of half square triangle blocks larger then cut them down to the right size to leave seam allowances. There are a meeelion ways to make them. Either your pattern measurements were off, and that happens, or your seal allowances are off. Those are easy to check.

    Then again, some blocks are not fun and should be avoided. Chicks are fun. Make chicks.
    LeeAnna at not afraid of color

  3. I wonder if the pattern piece for the coral-colored triangles was too big? That's where the seam allowance seems to be missing. (?) kathy h.

  4. I love how your log cabin blocks are turning out.

  5. I'm with LeeAnna on this one. I have a box of blocks which a} were maybe a bit off in the measurement or b} decided I didn't lime them! I have made a few small pieces by chopping into these sorts of blocks, inserted strips and so on, just have a play you'd be surprised what come out of this playtime!

  6. The chick is a lot easier and fun. I had squares going the wrong way on this one and had to rip. Not fun on the tiny 6" blocks. Yes,myou can make your HS blocks bigger and cut down to size.

  7. I totally sympathize with you. I have decided that some blocks are just not worth my time and frustration, HSTs at the moment. If you do get good advice, please be sure to pass it on, Cathy.

  8. Ditto LA Payor.
    I have been known to substitute blocks I don't like with blocks I do like.... just saying.

  9. It looks like the problem is in you half square triangle units.. It is easy to mess these up as they are sewn on the bias, and straying from an exact quarter inch seam allowance is easy to do when you get close the the points of the triangles. There are a number of cut it bigger and trim it down methods that work great for these tricky units. Making sure that your subunits are the right size before you combine them can save a lot of heartache. Good luck. In the end, only you will know that it isn't perfect.

  10. That block can be made completely from half-square triangles, and it would be easier to do it that way. Especially if you do like LeeAnna said and make your triangles a little big and cut them down to size after stitching.
    And, yes. Make chicks.
    Good luck!

  11. Hmmmm. It looks like something is wrong with the hsts. I'm not sure how you can make the point on the inside of the block and yet not have 1/4 inch seam allowance on the outside of the block. I cut my HSTs using an EZ Angle ruler and they almost always turn out perfect (if I'm paying attention to what I'm doing). I'm not sure what the block construction method was but there should be an easier way, it appears.


I appreciate your visit to my blog and love your comments!