Growing Up QAL Block 2 

I recently discovered that I had a plethora of red, white, and/or black fabric stuffed everywhere about my craft room. I found them while looking for a scrap to cut up for a block. I was stunned that I had so much within that color combo!

What can I say? I’m addicted to reds!

But this works to my benefit because I’ve decided to use them for my Growing Up QAL blocks. This way I stick to my crafting resolution to not buy any new fabric.

For our February block, we had two choices: Birds in the Air or a Lady of the Lake and while both were cool, I went with the Lady of the Lake for more practice with half square triangles (HST).

I was pretty proud of myself because I did all the cutting from the start. I cut and pressed everything right off the bat so that I could work step by step instead of my usual way. Usually I’d cut a color at a time and then work at a square at a time. But not this time…

I was in it for the night so I set up my favorite binge watching show. I’m currently working through Friends from the beginning. It’s not a first time through but it’s one of my favorite shows to watch while I’m sewing.

I did it all in one sitting and it came together pretty easily. I made a few mistakes and sewed right sides to wrong sides on some of the smaller squares. Looking at it in person I felt like some of the corner squares were a bit off but in this picture it doesn’t seem so off.

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Growing Up QAL Block 1

This year for 2017 I’ve join a QAL (quilt along) or two from around the web. Now, my past experience with QAL’s has not been so great. I tend to lose interest or get so busy that I fall behind easily or I find myself in a QAL  and learn that I’m not interested in the type of blocks being made and thusly drop out.

This would be my reasoning for leaving behind the Splendid Sampler QAL. I learned through that one that I’m not fond of small blocks. Too fussy for me. And it makes sense, I’m not a fan of  patterns and following direct instructions so not only doing what I already don’t like PLUS making super tiny squares wore thin quickly.

But I’m not a complete quitter. I do intend on making it through a QAL at some point so I joined up with Alida from Alida (TweLoQ) Designs for her Growing Up QAL. Now these blocks are MUCH bigger (12 inches, yes!) and there is only one a month which is more manageable for me (at least I thought so). And I’ve already completed the first block which was an appliqué rose or heart.

My goal this year is to dive into my stash and only work with fabric I have on hand. I’m trying NOT to buy anything new. I had made a block the night before in some red/white/black combo that I love so I decided to stick with this. Because both QALs are the same sized finished blocks, maybe I can piece them altogether in the end and make a big sampler for me.
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So I went with a tiny red pattern and a cream background. The appliqué kind of intimidated me because I instantly saw the cuts and corners and felt that strain of “Ugh, too fussy”. But it was beautiful so I cut it out and pressed it on. I chose to machine stitch it down with a dark crimson Aurifil thread that matched the small crimson pattern on the flower.

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It was a bit stressful managing those corners and as long as you don’t stare too closely, you don’t notice when I went off roading a few times (just a few).

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It’s now complete and hanging out on my design wall with my other blocks.

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But I do have quite the mess to clean up. I can never do anything simply. I alway shave to get in there and just Tasmanian devil the place.

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And thankfully I had some gift cards because I didn’t have any fusible webbing to trace and iron on my design. With our weekends being so busy I had no time to pop out and grab what I needed till this weekend when we had no weddings, baby showers, or soccer games.

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The Splendid Sampler: Block 5 Simple Simon (Not!)

It’s time again to share with all of you, our readers and friends, my recently finished block from The Splendid Sampler quilt along. If you’d like to see my past blocks, check out block 1, block 2, and block 3. I have jumped out of order and skipped block 4 but I intend to get it done soon as I can get the appliqué parts drawn up!

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Block 5 arrived and I instantly knew I could blow through it in a flash. Maybe it was all my past success or maybe it was because I recognized the 9 patch in the background and felt confident that this block wouldn’t cause too much difficulty.

Boy was I wrong!!

To start, this block is the first in my series without the red focus color. And, still, it looks wonderful. I’m adoring this fabric set and really love the combinations, no matter which I choose to use.

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My rows came together quickly and I made sure to starch them like crazy because I’m finding the starch really keeps the fabric flat and easy to sew with once I start combining multiple rows with thicker seams.

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My 9 patch alone was gorgeous and I could have stopped right there and I would have been completely satisfied. It’s the same pattern but with different colors and the way the fabrics play together is really beautiful.

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I mean look at those points!!

And then came the Great Chopping. I had to cut the block into four squares so that I could add the borders in the middle. Now, had I been thinking outside the box (pun completely intended) I would have just measured to the center, marked it, then sliced right down and then flipped it around to do the same across the middle.

But no, for some reason I decided to measure in and cut to the measurement in the pattern and not the true size of my block at that point. I didn’t take into consideration that the measurements in pattern would not match up exactly to my very own block in reality. There are too many variables that can come into play and a small crooked cut on one small piece can cause the block to measure differently.

Either way, I went by the pattern and when I measured for the cut, it wasn’t right. It was a little off. So when I applied the middle borders, some of the corner pieces didn’t line up as was as I would have liked them to.

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But looking at it here you can’t even tell and that’s all that matters to me. I know what I did wrong and now I know how I’d fix it. As for this block, I’m leaving it just as it is! It’s a good looking block with well balanced colors and fabrics. Other than some trimming that will happen when I want to fit a border to it, it’s still very beautiful and I’m happy with the outcome!

And now I’ve learned, don’t take a “simple” block of granted. All blocks have their difficulties and need to be respected thusly!

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