Quilter's Academy - Volume 2 - Sophomore Year

Vol 3 - Junior Year

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Vol 2 - Sophomore Final - Finished Top

Here it is - my completed exam top............
The colours are actually a lot brighter in real life
I seem to have rather a lot of black fabric outside of the frame.  I could trim this off and add a border as Carrie has done, but I've decided not to.  Here is another look at Carrie's quilt. 
I've named my quilt "Fade To Black".  Primarily because of the excess black fabric but also as a nod to the bushfires currently raging across Tasmania.  When outside your window a red glow shines beyond the nearby hills and the air is full of smoke, quiltmaking can be a good distraction.  My thoughts are with those who have lost everything in these horrible bushfires.
Outside my window
 So ends Quilters Academy Vol 2.  But I'll not be diving straight into Vol 3 just yet.  As they say, it's not a quilt until it's quilted and I have 5 quilt tops lined up.
I'll blog my progess with these, but despite having quilted over 50 quilts and having attended a 3 day Quilting Master Class, my quilting skills remain rather basic.  This is because I don't practice!  I will really try this year to make the effort and spend at least 10 mins a day practicing free motion.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Vol 2 - Sophomore Final - Frame Corners

I had some trouble making the corners of the internal frame but failed to see where I was going wrong.  The blocks refused to fit and nothing I did seemed to fix the problem. 

The 9 patch on the right side is 1 inch out.  The orange and yellow corners should meet as they do on the left side.
Maybe taking out 4 of the sashing pieces was a mistake.
Or maybe I had turned one or more of the blocks the wrong way when I was sewing them together.
Bad sewing?  Inconsistant seams?  Poor measuring? Crooked cutting?
Not to be beaten, I sat down and unpicked a lot of the almost completed quilt top.

Back in pieces :(
Taking a lot of care to place the blocks correctly, I relaid them back onto the design wall with the removed sashing pieces returned.  This threw out the design and anyway made no difference to the corner frame unit, which still didn't fit.  So the extra sashing pieces removed, I laid out the blocks again,  got the pattern correct and Yes! - it still didn't fit. :(

At this point I was giving myself a score of E for Effort but a Fail on the project.  It was hot - who makes quilts in summer anyway - I was grumpy and frustrated.  Those measurements SHOULD work.

Time to call in the big guns.  John entered the sacred sewing room armed with graph paper and a metal ruler and proceeded to ask numerous questions about 1/4 inch seams.  Drawing on the graph paper he came up with the exact same measurements I already had.  The difference was that on paper they fit, on my design wall they didn't.

Hubby to the rescue

John approached the design wall with his sturdy metal ruler.  "What size is this piece supposed to be?" he demanded.  "15 inches" I replied.  After grumbling about having to work in inches rather than centimetres, he declared "well it's not".  Stupidly, it was only this one side which was out - the other 3 were all exactly 15 inches.  And stupidly it was the only corner I worked on trying to get the measurements right as it was the easiest one to reach.  Sigh.

After making an adjustment and using the same measurements as before, I tried it again - Voila!  Success!

Whee! Hurrah!
The side setting triangles are next but not today.  It was seriously hot today - 41 degrees outside (that's about 106 Fahrenheit) and hotter than that inside my glass-walled sewing room.  The ave January temp in Southern Tasmania is 21.6 C (about 71 F) and my sewing room is not set up for high tempertures.  I retreated to the air con upstairs for the rest of the day. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Vol 2 - Sophomore Final - Internal Frame

Internal frame - done.

So far so good.  There was however a glitch and a small amount of reverse sewing happening :).  Something didn't seem quite right when I looked at the photo.  Removing one sashing piece from 4 of the blocks did the trick.  Now it looks like Carrie's quilt.
 4 offending pieces
Actually I was rather glad for this.  I need exactly eight 9 patches for the frame corners, so I'll recycle these.
I worked on the frame corners today but ended up frustrated as I can't make them fit and I can't figure out why they don't fit.  According to my (dodgy) calculations they should fit perfectly - grrrrr.  I knew this was all going too smoothly! 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Vol 2 Sophomore Final - the blocks

The test block will remain a test block because I'm not sure I like the black/white theme, at least not with a print.  I had a rummage through my stash looking for solids and came up with these - a cheesy yellow homespun and a dull orange hand dye.  They should look great on black........

Using the test block as a guide, I made up the five central blocks of the quilt. 
I don't think I can call my version Ice Crystals - it's more like Fire Embers - lol
Next comes the internal frame, which I haven't figured out yet.  This could get interesting!