March 6, 2012

Lesson Learned...

Exact 1/4" seam on block on left. Regular 1/4" sewing foot block on right (smaller). 
You may think that it doesn't matter whether you're stitching consistent 1/4" seams, but today I can tell you. It matters.

You may also think that it's cool to be working on two quilts at one time, going back and forth between the two. It's not cool if you're stitching an exact 1/4" seam on one, and just using the measurement of the 1/4" foot as your seam guide on the other. And, then you forget to reset your needle between projects.

I completed twelve Scrappy Dresden plate blocks using the 1/4" machine foot to define the seam allowance. At the same time, I had determined where my machine needed to be set to sew an exact 1/4" seam on the Farmer's Wife Blocks. (Once I knew where the needle position needed to be for that project, I hit the "memory" button on Miss Ellie to default to that setting whenever I turn her on.)
Significant difference when using two different 1/4" seam measurements
Having completed those needed dozen blocks, I laid the Scrappy quilt components on our guest room bed to decide how I wanted to position the blocks. Once they were previewed, I realized that I needed six more blocks to fill in where I was originally planning to place empty blocks. (Too much "empty" on those blocks.) Back to the sewing machine I went.

I put together all six blocks, hand sewed them to the background fabric and pulled out my centers, which were ready and waiting. But, wait...what the...? This isn't right. The centers weren't fitting the plates. They should have, as I made them all at the same time and the others fit the original dozen blocks just fine. I finally thought to place one of the new blocks on top of one of the originals to see if the plates were the same size. No. They. Were. NOT! The new ones were too big!

I sat in front of my sewing machine trying to figure out what I'd done wrong, when voila! I realized that I hadn't reset my machine between the Farmer's Wife settings and my Scrappy Plates settings.

I pressed "reset", selected fabrics and laid out another plate. I made a test block on the new setting to confirm what I thought I'd done wrong. I sighed a sigh of relief when I checked the new block against the originals. (They matched again.) Then I sighed a sigh of "mild peeve" realizing that I'd need to make six new blocks.

I made the new plates yesterday, and I'll spend the next couple of days stitching them to the ground fabric...again.

I think I've learned two valuable lessons:
  • In future, use the same 1/4" criteria on any projects that I work concurrently, and
  • Think twice about working on more than one quilt at a time
My goal is to finish the piecing on this quilt next week. Then, I'll concentrate on the Farmer's Wife quilt blocks!

11 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

Dária said...

I loved their work. Pay a visit to my blog there put various craft techniques from Brazil and all with step by step. Kisses Darya Vaz

Vickie said...

Oh no!! It is quite enough for me to work on one quilt at a time thank you very much! :)

Claudia said...

I've had my share of problems with an inexact 1/4" seam before!


Snoodles said...

Oh, this is so familiar! I have had this happen, too! :)
Love your post on Tag the Tenacious, below! He's adorable.

Deb said...

Oh this sounds familiar. I use two different machines for piecing and I found never to do one quilt on the other machine once it's started. Both sew a tad bit differently, and I've learned that the hard way!

Anonymous said...

"Mild peeve!" Sista I'm seething for you.
Mary Fioretti

Minimiss said...

Don't you just feel like banging your head on the table when you realise you have done something like that? We never stop learning eh?

Rettabug said...

Hell, I can't keep a consistent 1/4" seam from one block to another so don't feel bad if you did it between 2 quilts!!! LOL I recently had a devil of a time doing that coffee quilt that I bought last time you & Carol & I went shopping. I was ready to tear my hair out!! It had two borders made up of 6 nine-patch blocks. Do you know how many 1/4" seams that is????? Yikes!

I'm sorry you had to redo yours. Bummer!
You have my total sympathy & understanding.

DeeDee said...

Lovely fabrics, and beautiful work.. sorry for the new blocks you need to make... but coodos for multitasking this way.... I know they will both turn out so beautiful.... :D time for a jenni nose rigth...

Createology said...

Oh Dear! Thankfully you have enough material to make more. And maybe you can still use the mis-sized plates for a runner or pillows or something lovely. Who knew such a tiny adjustment could skew so much!!! May you stitch one project at a time and be joyful...

Madame Samm said...

Lesson learned....I am liking dresdens more each time I see them


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