I went to bed last evening quite late... about 2:00 am . Why was I up so late? I was trying to sew together the Merry-Go-Round quilt top that I began a few weeks ago and blogged about here. I got all the blocks I could get peiced together a while ago and was quite pleased with my arrangement. Putting it together was another story and I learned a lot of lessons. Here is a sample of what kept me up so late.
DO NOT USE UP THE SCRAPS UNTIL THE QUILT TOP IS DONE.
I had a few scraps left over from my original layout and made this:
Cute but when I came to the final assembly I found that I needed a few more triangles to complete the quilt as originally planned. I came up with a new configuration but it was not fun.
PONTS MUST MATCH ...
except when the fabrics of the points are exactly the same. I spent a lot of time re-sewing the seams with a lot of points until I realized that mismatched points got hidden in the fabric. Perfect points look just the same as mis-matched points if you t see the points because there are buried in the fabric .... especially if you squint!
QUARTER INCH SEAM ALLOWANCES ARE A MATTER OF TASTE.
Well, maybe not a matter of taste but everyone has a different quarter inch seam allowance. Consistency is what is required. Mine tend to be a bit smaller so my 6 1/2 sqare blocks usually come out a hair larger. It doesn't make a difference as long as you consistent.
PRESSING SEAMS TO A SPECIFIC DIRECTION IS A MATTER OF TASTE.
Quilters are all taught to press our seam allowances to the darker fabric where possible. In some cases this creates a lot of bulk when you go to join the pieced units. In those cases, pressing seams open is perfectly acceptable. The only problem with pressing in either direction is if by doing so you lose little guidlines that help you to piece the blocks together. I started out pressing the seam allowancesopen until I realized I got better results (for me) by pressing them to one side. I found that by pressing to one side I got a lot of little sign posts in the previous stitchng which I lost when the seams were pressed open.
Y SEAMS ARE NOT SCARY.
This particular quilt was designed so that all sewing could done in long straight lines. I found that I had trouble doing that given the first step was of joining slanty edges together. I, instead, completed each Hexagon completely and joined them one by one into the quilt instead of joining half blocks then sewing the long sides together. I did have some trouble with some of the blocks but, in general, it went quickly.
GUEST ROOM BEDS ARE NOT GOOD DESIGN WALLS.
I laid out this quilt completely on my guest room bed and was quite happy with the arrangement. By the time I actually started assembling the quilt Alex and the Girls had been playing with the pieces so the arrangement was all bunged up. Design walls are very good things. You can lay out a whole quilt and the dogs won't mess it up. Of course, Alex could raise his leg on one but that's a chance I'm willing to take... if I ever get a design wall!
HEXAGONS CAN MAKE CIRCLES.
My Hexagons should have been made into a rectangular lap size quilt BUT after Alex and the girls re-arranged everything for me and after I decided that Y seams are my friends, then the notion of a circular quilt became a natural. Since my dining and kitchen tables are both circular, this quilt will probably become a topper rathen than a lap quilt.
CHRISTMAS QUILTS CAN BE USED ALL YEAR.
This quilt will have a lovely red fabric as the backing so I can use the back side as the right side the rest of the year ... if I want. Heck, at a distance you can't tell the front side is for Christmas. On the other hand, I remember when my Dad didn't take down the Christmas lights for a few years and how others mocked him for it. Could I take the mocking If my friends did the same? Not sure but why add to my eccentric reputation?
So those were my lessons learned. This is not a Quilt Show quality quilt or one that I would enter into a prestigious show. It was made as a lesson in hexagons and I learned a lot. Tonight I will finish it up and post the results tomorrow.
I hope your weekend is going well and that you are getting lots of time to enjoy your holiday sewing. Have a great Sunday!