|Beginning blocks for Gypsy Wife|
It has been two months since I wrote on the blog! I hate letting that much time go by, but life happens! My attention has been very focused on my Facebook page: Sewing With Sandi, It has been a lot of fun building a community of quilters from around the country, and even overseas. We are currently doing a couple of sew alongs right now, and a lot of my time, when I am not quilting for my Lone Tree Designs customers, has been spent working on pieces and parts to post on the Facebook page.
The Jen Kingwell pattern, Gypsy Wife, has been the focus of our Mondays. I was amazed at the response when I suggested this pattern as a sew along! It turned out that a lot of people had the pattern already, or were interested in doing it. It has been so much fun to see the fabric choices and the progress being made. This is a "no pressure, do what you can when you can," type thing. I had a bit of a head start as I started making blocks two years ago at a retreat! This sew along has given me the much needed kick start to keep at it, and get 'er done! At this point, I only have Section 7 to finish and then put it all together. I can't wait to have it finished and bound!
The blocks for this quilt range in size from 3" finished up to 9"or 10". The majority are small. Most of them are block patterns that I have not made before. It is absolutely crucial that the cutting and the seam allowances are as accurate as possible. Every time I begin a new pattern, I recheck my seam allowance and make a block to see if it turns out the right size. Some patterns expect that the quilter uses a scant quarter inch seam. Some patterns expect a more exact quarter. The reality is that every pattern needs to be checked. Every seam needs to allow for the thickness of the thread and the bit of space used in the fold when the patch is opened and pressed. If pieces are cut accurately and sewn accurately, everything fits together quite well.
This quilt does provide several challenges, in addition to lots of different block patterns and sizes. Those challenges include: the strips of fabrics in the background must run top to bottom as if they are running behind the blocks, the quilt is put together in 10 sections that do not necessarily line up causing a need for partial seams, there are no written instructions on how to put the quilt together-only pictures, to get the strips to run where they are supposed to run, there are more partial seams, and some of the strips finish as small as 1/2"!
Making this quilt has not been without its mistakes for me. I have had to make friends with my seam ripper!!! After sewing several sections together, I took the photo below and realized that I had made two errors where strip sets had been flipped and sewn in incorrectly. I ended up ripping out all four sides, flipping the piece, and sewing them back in correctly. After all of the time and effort put into making this quilt, there is now way I could settle for knowing that it contained a mistake (or two) that I did not fix. This quilt is tough, and I want to be proud of the end result! I may take it to state fair!