my life in the land down under

Quilting Lesson #5 / Words III

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No you haven’t missed the blog posts on lessons #3 and #4 – I didn’t write any. Where has the time gone?!

Since my last update on the quilt project (Made with Love by Wildcraft Farm), a lot has happened but there doesn’t seem to be much to show for it. With my new-found knowledge after the first couple of classes, I put the second block together at home. I was feeling very pleased and proud of myself – until we discovered it was 3/4″ shorter than the first one. I had been very careful to measure, cut and sew correctly so was puzzled and disappointed. After going over the pattern several times, and some discussion with the tutor and other members of the class at lesson #3, I still couldn’t figure out where I’d gone wrong (well maybe 1/4″ but not 3/4″). I decided to unpick some of the shorter block and add in a strip. Its a scrappy quilt anyway and I’m just making it more unique to me! The side borders will also need to be redone as I’ll need longer pieces to match the other blocks. So I put the block aside for the moment, and worked on the appliqué for blocks 3 and 4.

The next two weeks seemed to go very quickly and we were busy with work and other commitments, so I got very little done at home – just a stitched word while working nights (it was a bit crooked). At lesson #4 I put the central part of the third block together; again there were several small strips that needed to be combined. I came home from an evening shift the night before the lesson and decided to choose the colours – this is fun but takes time to get it ‘just right’. John got up and came out to see what I was doing at 12.30am and I had the materials spread out all over the couch!

The day after lesson #4 we traveled to Napier (see Hair). We were staying with John’s sister Joan who has made many quilts, wall hangings, table runners, cushions, you name it – and has a huge pile of quilting magazines just asking to be browsed. I was looking forward to sharing my project with her, but also a bit concerned as to what she would think of it. On the whole she was very encouraging – she did suggest that I redo my stitchery though, and use back stitch instead of stem stitch, as it would look finer and neater, and would be easier to stitch the curved letters. She showed me some beautiful examples of stitchery she’d done. I have a long way to go…!

Yesterday we bought some graph paper and I drew out block #3 to scale with only the final sewn measurements marked on it. We have patterns for each block that are very close to scale, but after pencilling both the cut and final sewn measurements onto the pattern I was becoming confused. After my short block the tutor recommended we draw the pattern out on ‘imperial’ graph paper. The pattern unfortunately is written in inches and the paper is in mm as we couldn’t get any imperial, but I’m doing my best.

I also restitched the third word. The original block #3 used the word ‘Care’, I have changed this to ‘Encourage’ – this and the previous word are now very appropriate, as I will need both commitment and encouragement to redo some of the blocks correctly and beat the measurement problem!

Today was lesson #5. As I said, where has the time gone?! Our usual tutor Brenda was away, so we had Carol overseeing us instead. She commented that we were an unusually quiet group – I said it must be beginners’ concentration – but we were a particularly small group today which meant we were even quieter than normal; one member didn’t attend and another left early, so there were only two of us there for the majority of the lesson.

I worked on block #3 today and with much careful measurement and resewing a couple of seams, was able to complete a 12″ x 12″ block. 🙂

Although I liked the word done in back stitch, the three others present all said they preferred my original stem-stitch attempts!

Quilt Block #3


Author: Janice

Married to a very lucky man (he sometimes agrees), I'm learning to be a better wife, homemaker, & step-mum to two adult children and their other halves. I enjoy thinking, writing, nature, travelling, reading, photography and other creative pursuits, and spending time with friends & family (not necessarily in that order). I work part-time with children & their families. I have too much stuff (working on that) and am not a morning person... that about covers it for now.

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