The Splendid Sampler: Block 6 Focal Point


I am distractible. I can get easily pulled way from the task at hand and while it’s not always a bad thing, sometimes it can really cause problems.


After wrapping up blocks 7 and 4 with all the hand embroidery, I was high on these small accomplishments and decided to ride that wave. I started up block 6, Focal Point.

Things were going so well at the beginning. My fabric choices were looking beautiful and really singing to me.

And then, my luck ran out.  I changed out my bobbins and noticed a lot of fuzz stuck beneath so I figured it was time to give it a good dusting with my compressed air canister I keep close at hand. After I whisked away all the mini dust bunnies in my bobbin area, I put things back together. But something funky started happening. Rosy began making loud noises and my feed dogs would not grab my fabric.

Something was wrong. After hours of working to fix the problem, I gave up and left my block 3/4 the way done and broke hearted that my block was SO CLOSE to being finished but it would just not be that night. I needed to walk away, sleep, and come back the next day.

In the process of fiddling with my machine and TRYING to get her to work, I broke my favorite seam ripper, too. Time for a new one!

But the next morning I woke up with the same resolve and discovered that in my need to clean, I had placed my bobbin casing back in wrong and my machine was fighting with each stitch.

Another reason why cleaning is no good! (I kid….kinda).

Here is my finished block. Look how beautiful it came out! I’m so happy with the end result and the simplicity of this pattern yet the complex look I ended up with. The black polka dots really frame the perfectly matched up center points and the light/dark corners really pull my eyes out.

So, what did I learn this block?

  • Don’t break your machine just trying to clean it up.
  • Make sure your needle is in the correct position before reinserting your bobbin case.
  • Clean in between projects, not in the midst of one.
  • Making the points meet perfectly has a satisfaction like nothing else!
  • Don’t use your favorite seam ripper to repair the much stronger innards of the machine. The seam ripper will lose. Every. Time.

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