Wednesday, June 24, 2009

green tiles - part three (last one I promise!)

whilst I am finding the quilt making process enjoyable, it is teaching me a lot of things about myself which I probably knew but managed to avoid confronting in my everyday life.

for instance, I am so NOT a perfectionist. I really, really want this quilt to be wonderful (and perhaps I have put too much pressure on myself making my first quilt so laden with meaning), but far out my seam ripper and I are fast becoming firm friends! 

Perhaps I am sewing too late at night? Perhaps my measurements were off when I cut the fabric? Perhaps I cut the fabric incorrectly in the first place making some squares too stretchy?

but this keeps on happening ...

not all the time mind you but enough to be frustrating. And that's when I realise I am a 'near enough is good enough' kinda gal - if I've sewn it twice and it's still not lining up I'm figuring it's all going to add character to the finished product. Right?

any hints on what I might be doing wrong? And please, feel free to tell me if I really should pick it all apart and start again, especially if it's going to making the sashing part difficult. Or if you think it just looks really bad. 

oh and here are most of the completed squares

I received some Denyse Schmidt "Katie Jump Rope" fabric in the mail yesterday from the etsy store, Pickled Pear Lane - (totally copying Kate!). I bought these because I felt there was a lot of aqua and light greens and thought these more 'true' greens would help to lift it all. Again I am open to comments if you feel these fabrics are standing out a bit too much. 

And finally I just wanted to share with you, photos of one of my other 'helpers'

I think he's trying to tell me something. Either that or he just knows that his eyes co-ordinate perfectly with my squares ;)


  1. Quince and QuireJune 24, 2009 at 2:29 PM

    I think the squares are coming together beautifully! My thoughts on the challenges of getting the corners matched are as follows (and I know very little myself, having made only two simple baby quilts):

    1. Do you have a quarter inch sewing foot with a guide? It makes it much easier to sew reasonably precise seams.

    2. Do you press the seams in each row in alternate directions? This helps match up the corners because the fabric "meshes" together nicely.

    3. It looks like you are working with wee little squares. It is natural to have some variation, since any slight difference in size will be amplified. I think it just adds character. You know, hand of the maker and all that. Really, they look very skillfully done.

  2. Oh Mel, they look gorgeous! I learnt a lot about my personality too...I wish I was a perfectionist but I get so caught up in the wanting to finish that I sometimes go a wee bit too quickly. Personally, I wouldn't worry about the seams not meeting. It's your first quilt, you are learning and I think its all about the fact that YOU created it...well that's what I keep telling myself..wink wink. I love the DS in the quilt. Am just reading your comment from QUince & Quire...need to get myself one of those quarter inch feet and I should also probably iron seams in alternate directions!! Fabbo...just learnt something that may get my bloody seams to line up!!!

  3. RED PEPPER QUILTSJune 24, 2009 at 5:16 PM

    Hi Mel, I think your quilt is going to be great. Love the colors/fabrics you have chosen. I too wouldn't worry greatly about seams not meeting just right, it's your first quilt! An amazing effort for a first quilt (I dare not show anyone my first quilt!). Definitely use a quarter-inch sewing foot (available separately for most sewing machines) and iron seams in opposite directions. Both these tips will help a lot. I know that my sewing is terrible without these two.


  4. Well seeing as I have never attempted a quilt I won't be able to advise you on how to line things up. All the previous comments sound pretty good to me!

    However I can offer advice on the thinking side of the quilt. You have to make the quilt the way you want the quilt to be. If the squares are not lining up or unpicking it is frustrating then take a step back and remember why you are making the quilt. You don't want this quilt to not get finished or be a journey of frustration. You need to enjoy the process. Red Pepper is right, it's your first quilt so it's a learning process.

    I know it will be beautiful because it's made from the heart. =)

  5. Making a first quilt is always a challenge but the reasons why you are making it but will be the biggest memory.
    The hints that have gone before - alternate pressing directions & 1/4" foot - will help in future. For now, enjoy the process & have fun
    Chris x

  6. Your Blocks look Great & so do the Fabrics..they are Not too Loud at all...when you butt your 2 seams together it will help to pin either side & sew over the pins...I wouldn't worry too much as they are only out a's looking Great for a first quilt...keep it up.

  7. I think it is going to be an amazing quilt. I wouldn't worry too much - yes it will definitely add character, but you have also been given any advice I was going to share.

  8. I love the funny joins. Mine are exactly the same!!!! Maybe they can be our type of perfect :)

  9. There is this test....

    Cut three scraps 1.5" wide and a few inches long. Stitch together along the long edges.
    Press. The centre strip should measure exactly 1" wide!

    But I think your squares look great!

  10. I'm a newbie quilter too so am taking great interest in your replies. And I do think that the 'true' greens are giving a lovely bit of oomph against the more subtle tones. It's looking fan-tastic!

  11. I just love these colours, so peaceful. It looks fantastic.
    The thing I did that helped me line my seams up was stick a pin through the seam on one side and then out through the seam on the other piece. This worked better than trying to 'feel' the seams. Once I had them lined up I took the pin out and sewed. And as Rita says, use the special 1/4 inch seam foot, I am in love with it! Also I don't think I'd like a perfect quilt. I can buy one like that. Susie p.s. thanks for your lovely comments about my first quilt :-)

  12. I think it looks as though you are not pressing the seams in the opposite directions. One set need to go the other way. Since you have the white in the center....try the top and bottom the other direction. This will press the seams together as you sew them. You can put a pin in where the seams meet until you get comfortable with sewing them. I am enclosing a picture(if it comes through) and hope that you can see that the seams run in the opposite directions.
    Your color selection is wonderful. Keep up the great work.

  13. It looks gorgeous! I love love your fabric choices. And no one is going to notice if seams aren't matching up perfectly. I'm still quite a newbie too when it comes to quilting and patchwork but I try to pin on the exact spot where the seams meet. Also some fabrics tend to stretch more than other fabrics so use that to your advantage when your measuring is a bit off. Your quilt is going to be beautiful anyhow I'm sure of it. :)

  14. oh and I forgot to add I love your cat!

  15. I'm taking a quick break from making Betsy McCall's new dress and I noticed your helper showing off your beautiful green tiles.
    I have helpers like that, too!
    Thank you for sharing the photos. I love visiting your studio and seeing what you're up too.
    xo, Nancy


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