Helping you create a home by hand.

March FNSI – Update

Well… last night’s sewing session for this month’s Friday Night Sew In started out really well.   I was so pleased to find that I only had to trim just the tiniest of slivers off my blocks to square them up to 13.5”.    Giving myself a little imaginary pat on the back, I thought to myself, “Sue, I think you’ve finally got this 1/4” seam thing figured out.”

I got the horizontal sashing strips all cut out at 1.5”X13.5” and started sewing rows together.  They went together perfectly, without having to adjust or ease the sashing pieces to fit the blocks at all.

I got all the rows sewn together and pressed.   And I’m really impressed with how the black sashing is setting off the blocks and can’t wait to get the vertical sashing attached.   I gave myself another imaginary pat on the back.

I calculated how long I need to cut my strips for the vertical sashing.  There are six blocks in each row so that makes 4 times the finished block size of 13” plus 2 times 13 ¼” (the end blocks) plus 5 times 1” for the sashing.  52” + 26 ½” + 5” = 83 ½”.

Then I decided to measure my rows to make sure.  Sigh… I have two rows that measure 83 ¾” and two that measure between 83 7/8” and 84.”  Now what do I do?

I decided to sleep on it and try figure it out in the morning.  So this morning, I measure each row again but this time measuring each block and sashing strip.

And now I really can’t figure out where I went wrong.  Each sashing strip measures exactly 1”.  But when I measure the finished blocks, I’m just a smidge over 13” on each and every one and a smidge over 13 ¼” on the end blocks.  But that doesn’t make sense… if the sashing is coming out the correct size that means that I am sewing with an accurate ¼” seam.  How are those blocks not coming out to 13” and 13 1/4” respectively?

The perfectionist in me thinks I should go back and unpick and resew.  But instead, I’m just going to cut the vertical sashing at 83 ¾” and ease in the difference on the last two rows.

Here are the rows all laid out ready for me to attach the vertical sashing:

D9P with black horizontal sashing

I’m going to spend the rest of the afternoon, piecing the vertical sashing strips and getting them sewn on.  If I get that done before I lose the sunlight, I’ll post a second update.  If not, then I’ll post one tomorrow.

And when I need to take breaks, I’ll be checking out how the other FNSI participants fared last night.


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  • Laura
    March 22, 2011 6:45 am

    Doesn’t it make sense that the last row is 1/4″ bigger – you still have to sew a seam on the last row … after you sew the 1/4″ seam then they should all be the same ….

    but really, w/stretch in fabric, I don’t think you can ever get it PERFECT! But to me, that is the beauty of the “quilting” part – it can be easy to hide the little mistakes b/c it gets all puckery in the wash anyway 😉

  • supermom
    March 20, 2011 6:43 pm

    Thank you, everyone for your comments and support. Once again, you’ve made FNSI just the best experience.

  • Crystal
    March 20, 2011 12:45 pm

    Wow what amazing colors!! 😀

  • cheryl
    March 20, 2011 10:11 am

    A very productive Sew-In!! Love your blocks and I agree no picking out…your solution was a good one!

  • dawn
    March 20, 2011 9:25 am

    Nice work and progress on Friday night! The colors are great!

  • Natasha
    March 20, 2011 7:46 am

    how wonderful that looks. I love all the colors!

  • leah
    March 20, 2011 3:14 am

    It looks great… the colours looks great together.

  • June
    March 19, 2011 9:33 pm

    I would not unpick anything. It looks beautiful! Recently I heard on 2 different quilting podcasts that finished is better than perfect. I agree.
    The black stips really do set off the blocks nicely.

  • Sandi
    March 19, 2011 8:33 pm

    Do NOT pick out your sashing! If every block is trimmed to exactly 13 1/2″, you still have added 10 seams to each row with the sashing. You are off between 1/4 and 1/2 inch on the rows. Divide that by 10 seams and each one could be off as little as 1/40th of an inch! At the most you’re off 1/20th of an inch. For calculation’s sake, let’s say each seam is off 1/24th of an inch. Look at your ruler – see the 1/8 inch space? Your seams might be off 1/3 of that AT THE MOST. That’s nothing – 2, maybe 3 threads. Your 1/4″ seams are amazing! With all of those seams (plus the natural stretch of the fabric) you can ease that little amount over the length of the rows by pinning at the intersections. You’ll never know they weren’t exactly the same length. And by the way – gorgeous blocks! I love that you used such a vibrant color palette.

    • supermom
      March 20, 2011 6:41 pm

      Thanks Sandi for breaking it down like that… I’m a math person and it really helped me to see things from a new perspective. This is only my third attempt at making a full sized quilt top and so whenever the math doesn’t work out real in life how it does on paper, I think I’ve done something wrong.

  • Christie, Describe Happy
    March 19, 2011 7:25 pm

    This quilt is just beautiful. I know what you mean about measuring and correctness and getting things square. It may have been your cutting? Who knows. Part of me treasures when that happens because it adds to the charm of it being made by hand. (Or at least that’s what I tell myself so I don’t have to re-do it.) Can’t wait to see what you select for the quilting and binding!

  • Mary Grace McNamara
    March 19, 2011 5:40 pm

    Gorgeous! You had a productive night last night! I took pics but haven’t posted mine yet.

    I would do exactly what you did to fix your little problem. Once it’s all sewn together and quilted, it will look just perfect!


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