Another little Schnibbles project--tuffets! I've used a charm pack of Oh Cherry Oh! fabric for these, and I think they look quite cheerful. Tuffets can be used as pincushions, or they can be made just for decorative purposes to fill a bowl or basket. Tuffets were the December project of the Year of Schnibbles group. I'm planning to make a few more when I have a little time between other projects.
I wanted to tell you a couple things about making the Madeline quilt, but it was just too late
last night this morning. I was having so much fun, I guess, I never even felt tired, so I was up until after 4 a.m. finishing the quilt! And thank you for the compliments, but I have a secret or two to divulge.
First, when I was making the blocks, I decided to do something different from the pattern. The pattern instructs us to add the setting triangles to the four sides of the star blocks--instead, I decided to treat those as separate blocks, similar to the broken dishes or quarter square triangle blocks. You can kind of see in the photo in the upper right quadrant where I've pulled a couple of the blocks away from one another on the design wall.
Some people have a hard time putting together rows of blocks on point, but that's never bothered me, so I thought it would be a good method. I think this way of doing it makes all the corners intersect better. I ran into a problem though. I pulled two star blocks off the design wall to measure them so I could figure out how large to make the quarter square triangle blocks. Unfortunately, as luck would have it, the two blocks I randomly picked ended up being just a tad larger than the rest--a little more than 1/8" larger. And because the decision to make quarter square triangle blocks came after the pieces were cut and I was using charm squares, the outside edges of the quarter square triangle blocks were bias edges. The result of all this was that when I sewed the blocks together, I was doing a lot of easing and stretching--and in the end, the quilt top didn't lay as flat as I would have liked!
Now, here's why I'm telling you all this. I'm pretty sure just about all of us make a mistake or two in quilting, right? Before I'd had as much experience, I think I would have been so frustrated with a quilt top that didn't lay flat that I would have just put it away at that point and forgotten about it. The thing is, though, that there are usually ways to fix mistakes--as there was with this one.
When I layed out the quilt for pinning, I tried to make the lines that draw the eye as straight as possible and I pinned at the intersections of seams. If that meant the top puckered a little here and there and didn't quite lay flat, I didn't let that worry me too much. Then, when I started quilting, I stitched along the lines I KNEW would look square--right outside the star blocks. And where the fabric bubbled a little in the quarter square triangle blocks, I used swirly free motion quilting--it tends to take up the loose bits of fabric and helps fool the eye into seeing straight seams.
By the time I finished, the quilt was laying nicely. DON'T, however, take a really wonky quilt to your long-arm quilter and figure she can save it for you--I've heard lots of horror stories about that and she's more likely to baste and stitch YOU! But if it's something small like this and you're quilting it yourself--try it and see! It turned out so nicely that even I was surprised!
Sadly, the weekend has some to an end, but I've had a nice time in the Sweat Shop and I've gotten a few things done. I hope you've had a great couple of days too!