Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A learning curve - Trial and Error Tuesday

I finally got a chance to try out the Urban Nine Patch block from Jenny at Sew Kind of Wonderful.  I plan to make these blocks for the 3 x 6 Bee that I joined, and I figured I better try out the pattern before I set to making these for OTHER people. 

Of course, after I made these three blocks, took pictures of them, and started to write this post, I realized that I had actually sewn the edges of the blocks on BACKWARDS, DOH!  The curves are supposed to bend outward, like the one on the right below!

I'm not sure if I am going to go through the process of picking all three of my blocks apart yet.  I was going to make a little Memorial Day table runner out of them.  Do I really need them to be right??  Yes, I AM THAT LAZY!  I'll make sure the ones for my hive-mates are the right way.

OK, Jenny's curved ruler is cool.  I was a little worried throughout the process because my components weren't beautiful, flat curves.  Luckily, Jenny's method leaves some room for error and you square up several times during the making of the block.  Still, I thought they should be more flat, so I emailed Esther over at Threads on the Floor.  Her Urban Nine Patch is stunning!  Sure enough, she gave me some great tips.  For instance, I was trying so hard not to stretch my top piece of fabric, that I didn't even realize that I was holding onto the bottom fabric with all my might!  Also, piecing them the wrong way made a bias edge join with another bias edge, leaving way to many stretchy parts together.  Thus, some of my curves were a little wavy.  In the pics above you can see it around the nine patch especially.  These aren't really puckers, and they will likely quilt right out of the block, but only time will tell.  Plus, I use a cotton blend batting, so once washed, it will look a little wrinkly anyway.  I am not that much of a perfectionist for the stuff that will be living in my house, but I would prefer the stuff I give away look, well, perfect.

I tried to take pics outside, but the wind kept blowing my blocks away!

Would I recommend this pattern to another beginner?  That's a tough one.  The ruler does help you cut the curves easily, but putting them together on the sewing machine requires a bit of coordination.  Jenny's suggested method has you crossing your hands, putting them together as you sew, and you have to watch the top and bottom fabric while keeping an eye on your 1/4 inch seam, while trying not to pull, etc., etc.  I'm not sure I would have been able to do all that a couple of years ago.  As you can see, I still didn't pull it off perfectly.  However, Jenny's pattern does leave some room for error because you square up the pieces as you go along.  Even my first block came out the right size.  All that said, if you are accepting of a little waviness here and there like I am, you should give the pattern a try!

What are you quilting this week?



  1. I totally commend you for posting your mistakes. I have a hard time doing that, but that is how we all learn. I am glad you figured out what you did wrong, and I like the new block you made by mistake, and want to try to work that one out with Jenny's ruler. Great blog by the way.

  2. I have been enamored by the quilts churned out by Sew Kind of Wonderful but was not sure if I was upto the challenge and if I should buy the quick curve ruler. But I think I JUST made up my mind to. Thanks for the inspiration Jen !

  3. LOL That picture makes me laugh. My house is on a big hill, it's always windy, and I have the hardest time taking pictures outside where the lighting is so good!


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