Monday, October 23, 2017

Bricks and stones


I'm piece piece piecing away here. A couple days ago I finished this relatively fast flimsy. It's a free pattern from Timeless Treasures called "Marvelous Maze" by Osie Lebowitz and is part of their Broome Street Patterns collection.

There are lots of free patterns put out by the fabric manufacturers, which makes sense. It's in their best interests to make it look fun and easy to use their fabrics and nothing shows off a new line like seeing the designs working together in a quilt. At least that's the theory. Very few of the free patterns appeal to my eye, so when one does, I download it and save it for later. Since the patterns feature a particular fabric line, the older ones tend to disappear. If you can't find one that I've used, feel free to ask me for a PDF copy. Passing it along to another quilter for personal use doesn't violate the usage agreement on most of them.


Back to this one, which I've named Bricks and Stones. All the fabrics are prints of bricks and stones, except one that I think it supposed to be leather but looks quite a bit like stones to me. The blocks are really simple, just a square with the accent color sashed at a 45 degree angle across opposite corners. They can then be laid out in a wide variety of settings, including kind of randomly which then looks a bit like a maze. I kept thinking about wandering through Home Depot's outdoor paving section while I pieced this.

I did a quick layout on the design bed, mostly to get the lights and darks scattered nicely across the quilt. I then carefully stacked each row and column and carried them upstairs to sew. After stitching all the pairs and taking them to the ironing board, I discovered that my matching of all those sharply contrasting black accent angles was, um, really lousy. And then I discovered that these fabric, which were someone else's scraps bought on eBay, were really el cheapo low quality fabrics that stitched fine, but whined and complained when I ripped a bunch of seams out. Oh, wait, maybe that was me whining and complaining. And squinting since I used black thread on black fabric. Ugh.

Somewhere in all the ripping and whining, I lost track of my initial design layout since the rows weren't labeled. Eh, it was fairly random anyway, so I soldiered on. When I got the finished flimsy hanging up for a few photos, I realized that my lights were a bit clumped together, but decided I could live with that.

Then, I noticed that my random placement resulted in a giant swastika in the middle of the quilt. ARGH!! Once seen, it couldn't be unseen! No, I didn't take a photo. Fortunately, I realized that I only had to rotate a single block 90 degrees to fix that, although (of course) that single block was right in the middle. And that single block was (of course) the el cheapiest of el cheapo fabrics that practically shredded under the seam ripper. But I got that sucker ripped out and turned and all's well that ends well.


I certainly learned my lesson about keeping better track of my rows and columns! So the project I'm working on now, the strippy scrappy rainbow blocks, was handled differently. I put pins in the first block of each row: one pin for row one, two pins for row two, etc. I was so proud of myself until I sewed row two to row three...yes, that's one of row three's pin heads sewn right into the seam. The Juki punched through the plastic flower head pin like it was butter and didn't even hesitate. Oof.


Fortunately, the stitch length was short enough that it basically perforated the pin head so I was able to pull it out of the seam easily. Now I'm looking for other ideas for marking rows and columns. What method do you use?

20 comments:

  1. Well after all that suffering your quilt sure looks good! I love the pattern. I had to look twice to see that it really is the same block, just rotated! Here's a post about how I mark my columns: http://katandcatquilts.blogspot.com/2016/11/quick-tip.html

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  2. I use the numbered flower head Q-pins by Marilee -- available on Amazon or Missouri Star or any other number of venues.

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  3. I tend to do what you do...one pin, two pins, three pins, etc. But since the brain fog hits me now and I get very confused, I have resorted to squares of paper pinned to the first block and then I use the large clips to hold the rows together.
    The bricks quilt turned out cute! Glad it worked out.

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  4. Oh wow your bricks and stones is so effective and great use of those fabrics... looks very complicated and reading through what you had to go through!!! sorry, couldn't help having a giggle!!!
    Hugz

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  5. Sorry the fabrics didn't like having surgery performed, but the final product is certainly worth it. A beautiful finish!

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  6. I too have sewn over one of those pinheads! You could use painter's tape and write on it-put it below your seam;) I love the maze quilt, I have not seen that pattern before.

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  7. Another pretty quilt, Louise! I use Post-It Notes to mark my rows, and I pin the notes to the first block of each row. Once I have my layout the way I like it, and if I'm working off the floor or bed, I stack each row's blocks so that the top block in the stack is the first block on the left (or first block of the row). Then I pin a note to it "Row 1, Top Left". I pin it to the center of the block so it doesn't get in the way of the seam allowance. The top row marker stays throughout the whole stitching of the top, so I don't lose orientation. The rest of the notes on the other rows are removed once they are sewn on. Hope that makes sense. It's a bit fussy, but it works for me.

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  8. What a great post! Love your final quilt! Be glad that pin head wasn’t your finger!

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  9. That is a great pattern and it looks perfect in spite of all the issues you had with it.

    I tend to use pins with different colored heads to mark my rows. I go red, white, blue, yellow in that order and place my pins in the middle of the first block - well out of the seam line. When the first four rows are together I repeat. It works for me.

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  10. Oh, Louise, you poor thing! Wish we all could give you a big group hug. But you finished! I use painters tape with the number written on. I also leave the top row one on until the finish for orientation. Even with the numbers I still mix up when I flip one over to stitch them together.

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  11. Your quilt looks so great! Without your story I wouldn't have known there was anything funny going on in it's making!?! I too use Marilee's numbered pins. And yes, I've sewn over those flower pins, too!

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  12. You sure are getting a lot done this month! Kind of like a quilt retreat on your own. I'm always amazed by your fabric finds and your wonderful sense of what to do with them. When I first saw the quilt I wondered how on earth (on boat?) you had collected and stashed those stone-themed prints. I do what you do with the mulitple pins to mark rows, but sometimes I stick a numbered post-it note on (along with a safety pin to make sure it sticks). I've never sewn through a pin though. That sounds a little scary. I've been intrigued by the numbered or lettered pins, but so far I haven't bought them. I've also bagged up rows in marked ziplock bags.

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  13. Your bricks and stones might have had its nightmare moments but it has turned out really well. The black lines create a very complex looking and striking effect. I pin rows but still sew them wrong! With crochet blocks when I'm trying to even out the colours across a blanket I've started laying them out and taking a photo. I'm glad your machine was ok after the pin. I suspect mine would not have fared so well :)

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  14. I found your blog (finally) after seeing all the lovely comments you have left on my post. I'll be following you on Instagram now. The funny thing is that I have read your posts but did not make the connection it was you. Believe me , I remembered a quilter living on a boat. I'm glad to see your quilt turned out lovely and understand all about mishaps. I keep track of my blocks by using flower head pins that I numbered myself and thankfully have never sewed over one of them. Each set of 10 pins are a different color, white, red, blue, yellow and green, then repeated so I can have 100 pins because sometimes that's how many blocks I have. Hope this helps--happy quailing!

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  15. Another great quilt. I've also sewn through those pins. I use small squares that I've labelled A, B,C or 1, 2, 3 etc. I also pin them in the centre of a block so that I don't make that same mistake again - hopefully! Happy sewing.

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  16. This quilt is so pretty with its fall colors. Man, I've been there with the tons of ripping and sewing through those flower pins! My fabric has an undesirable vocabulary when all that is happening. ;D

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  17. Love the way you describe that cheap fabric LOL! I've used this method
    http://www.mmmquilts.com/2014/01/book-it-aha-moment-tip-1.html
    forever and it works like a charm. I either put a piece of masking tape at the top of column one with "1" on it and number like that across the columns, or I've numbered the columns in the seamline. It's so slick because of the chaining and the nesting of opposing seams. LOVE that maze quilt. I have quite a few PDFs of free patterns from fabric companies too! Need to remember to go through them more often. You are just churning out the product girl!

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  18. All that ripping and resewing paid of, looks fantastic! Wow, your eye really travels around the quilt! Nice job, Louise!

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  19. Before I even finished reading this post I went right over to Google to get this pattern. Love it! Looks like a fun, fast project. I think your layout is great. I actually use your method of marking rows -- 1 pin for row 1, 2 pins for row 2, etc. Some good ideas from your followers, though!

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  20. Ohhhh! I forgot to mention that another thing I do is always take a photo of the layout, and then I constantly refer to it as I sew the blocks and rows together. Otherwise, I can end up with a mess!

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