"A very Merry Unbirthday to you, to you. A very Merry Unbirthday to you." from Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland"

Sunday, May 20, 2012


I had to remake the Long Nine Patch block for the Treasure Chest Quilt because the size was off by an inch and one/half. I had posted a comment on the QIAD facebook page to see if anyone else had difficulty with the block directions, and learned a few things in the answers I received. And I confess (but only here on my little blog) that I went from thinking I was a fairly good quilter in the intermediate stage to a downright amateur because I misinterpreted "finished size"  when squaring up.  I'm over it though.  I spent yesterday making blocks for the Quilt of Valor I'm putting together and my confidence is back. 

What did I learn from this experience?  First, there are some very helpful and kind people in the quilting community who can zero in on a problem and help make it right.  This is one reason I would like to join a guild or find a class to join. 

Second, specialty rulers are a pain the dupa!  When directions call for a certain brand of ruler that is for a particular configuration, I have to figure out how to comply with the directions without the ruler since I don't have that many.  Sometimes I'm right and sometimes I'm wrong, like this time.
My QAL and blogging friends Hazel and Lesley brought up the ruler issue recently and it's no doubt that certain of the rulers make quilting easier, especially when it comes to squaring up a patch or a block.  http://hazelsquilts.blogspot.com/2012/05/perseverance-good-news.html
But even though I am physically a 21st century person, my quilting mind goes back to women who made quilts, that now hang in museums, using feedsack cloth and I suppose simple templates.  I have more tools in my sewing room than those women probably ever saw and yet I don't always have what I need. 

I apologize for the venting.  As I said I did learn a few things and that's why I like to join qals.  Fortunately for me learning is enjoyable.  Good thing because I'm always doing it the hard way;-)

Hope your quilting and crafting is going smoothly.  If not, I hope you are enjoying it anyway.
God Bless. 


Donna said...

I thought I had to have the specialty rulers until I found patterns/designers getting the same effect without. The specialty ruler can be easier or faster. Not buying the ruler frees up my money for fabric! I prefer more fabric!

Your block look great! Happy quilting.

Hazel said...

My first quilt instructions called for a 'special' ruler, Joanna, and I had to email Sue to ask her to check if what I planned to do (without the ruler) was correct. I could easily have got caught out without the expert help.

I'm not keen on amassing a load of 'gadgets' which I'll only use once - like Donna, I'd prefer to spend the money on fabric or threads instead.

I've always found everyone really helpful if you are in a fix - which is lovely!

The blocks look brilliant - I think I may have asked before (but can't remember!), how many will make up the quilt? I would guess twelve, with sashing between maybe?

Lesley said...

Your quilt blocks are so gorgeous! Sorry you had to remake a block...every day I make some kind of little mistake...luckily it usually only needs the use of a seam ripper to correct! However, I did just purchase a new ruler and promptly cut my unit on the wrong line! I think I need a tutorial to use it! So I put it away for now and used my tried and true square ruler and all was fine! Guess we all have our favorite gadgets!

SewCal Gal said...


I do think you've identified a big benefit of such a quilt along. It is a good challenge of a quilter to do such designs/blocks we may not necessarily pick, as well as have the ability to chat with others to see how best to approach making such a design, that the designer may not have shared in their instructions.

Your blocks are really looking lovely. Great job!


QuiltSue said...

I agree, learning new things is all part of the fun of quilting, and the quilting community is great when it comes to giving help and advice. As for specialty rulers, I did recently buy one to cut curves with, but other than that i work with the standard rectangles and squares.

Your blocks look great, and I must admit, I actually prefer the 2nd version of this latest one.

Soggibottom said...

Want to borrow our soap box :-)
Mrs perfectionist... :-) As it should be.....
I like the idea of someone being creative, with their work on their laps, no hi tec gear, poor light, it shows real skill.......
I do that anyway :-)
x x x