RSC: Block #1 Finished

RSC_Blue1

For several years I’ve followed the rainbow scrap challenge participants vicariously on my lap top. This year I’ve decided to join in. I don’t have a ton of scraps — I’ve not really sewn up enough of my fabric stash to have a lot of scraps (although I’m astonished by how quickly so much accumulates) — but I am trying to get a handle on organization generally and it seems like using them up is better than hanging on to them for no reason. I’m not doing the row by row challenge, just making one or two blocks each month in the allotted color. This month is blue.

The block design I ultimately decided on is the scrappy trips block. I am piecing it from 2.5″ squares rather than strips and I am once again confronted with how TERRIBLE my piecing is. This block is trimmed down to 12″ (should be 12.5″) and I’m adapting my plan to now sash the blocks and include a cornerstone. I seem to have more trouble with squares than I do with triangles, oddly enough. I have marked my seam on my machine, after measuring out from the needle. I’ve tried a couple of different presser feet; a quarter inch foot isn’t made for my machine, but I thought maybe I would have better luck with something different. Nope. I am really getting kind of frustrated and worst of all I’m pretty sure that it’s operator error more than anything else. I’m just not sure of the next step to take.

Anyway, I had hoped to have more done this week but I’ve been sick and just off. I may still get the back pieced for Bri’s quilt but probably won’t get much further than that. I also want to put together a list for the First Quarter Finish Along — another online group challenge that I’ve watched for a while and now plan to participate in. That should be up by this weekend. I just need to take some photos. I’ve noticed that some folks list a ton of things and that long list motivates them to get some of their projects finished, while others are much more circumspect but tend to finish most projects. I think I will be somewhere in the middle. Enough projects to stretch me, but not so many that I just think of it as a fairy tale!

Linking up this week at Needle and Thread Thursday (My Quilt Inspiration) and Finish It Up Friday (Crazymom Quilts).

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9 thoughts on “RSC: Block #1 Finished

  1. Hi Lauralynne. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I think you may be inspiring me to try the rainbow scrap challenge. Especially if i did it like you – just a block or two. I understand your frustration with the piecing. Sounds like you have tried just about everything. Sorry I don’t have a suggestion for you. :) Hope you have a good week!

    1. Thanks Laney! Small measures is a little bit of a test for me — working at something steadily for a whole year is not exactly my forte, so I’m hoping this challenge helps me develop that skill.

  2. I like the fabrics you chose for your block.
    I’m not an expert but do want to help. You say you have tried marking your machine. Are you using tape? If not, try that. Use a longer piece, at least three inches and make sure your fabric stays along the edge of the tape ALL the way through to the end. Also, I use a “header” piece to start before sewing my pieces together. My machine always starts with a knot of thread on the bottom and this will effect the 1/4 inch seam. My point here is to make sure your seam is 1/4 inch at the beginning through to the end of each piece. I hope that helps. Good luck.

    1. Hi Karen,

      Thanks so much for the tips! I do have painters tape on my machine, but I probably need a longer piece. My machine does the same thing with the knot so I’ve been trying to remember to use a header as well. I didn’t for this block, and that may have contributed to some of the errors. I have really been thinking about this a LOT over the weekend, so I appreciate your taking the time to share some advice!

  3. My machine has a 1/4″ line but I always sew the seam narrowly enough that I can just barely still see the line. I followed an online workshop through the Connecting Threads website a few years ago and the instructor emphasized that stitching even one thread width too wide would make a difference. Also, just remember that fabric is a flexible medium. Use pins to line up the seams and stretch on side a little to make things fit between the seams.

    1. Thanks for the tips, Valerie! I do think a scant 1/4 inch seam is what I need to strive for. I’ll have to check the Connecting Threads site to see if that video is still available.

  4. I took a beginners class and the instructor handed out small strips of the thicker mole skin, like the stuff you find in the foot department of a drug store, to use instead of tape. This way there is something to actually push on versus just trying to watch to make sure you don’t cross the tape line. I’d also try sewing 2 squares of known size together, press them and then measure the finished size and then adjust your tape so that you will get the right size once you are done. Good luck! I like the colors you’ve chosen for your blocks :)

    1. Thanks Eleanor! I will look into the mole skin. Having something actually helping to keep the fabric in line would probably be helpful. :)

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