Friday, December 01, 2006

F-4 Old Windmill

F-4 Old Windmill

I loved this block! It looks so pretty (maybe because I'm still falling in love with that purple?) and it sits so damn flat! (Trust me, it's been a rare thing for some of my seam-heavy blocks to sit flat) And my points matched up good enough for me.

The reason why I chose to do F-3 and F-4 was because I went looking through my bingo board and noticed that I had a lack of blocks in the middle and North-East part of the quilt. Also, I haven't yet done any blocks from the F or E rows (but I have an E block partially cut out). By the end of this year, I'd at least like one block from every row (A-M and 1-13). I figure this is a more reasonable goal to set myself rather than saying "I want 50 blocks done by December 31st!" As it's the first of December today, I can tell that I have a bit of work ahead, but I'm sure I can achieve it.

The thing with goals, as I've found from many things in my time already, is that you have to be flexible. When I started my Baby Jane on July 1st, I wanted to make 2 blocks each week, with a triangle at every 5 blocks. Then, one day after hitting out 6 blocks, I realised I wasn't into the triangles just yet, none of them were telling me that I was ready enough to attempt them and do them any justice. From my first plan, I should have 44 blocks done by now, with 8 triangles, approaching the 9th (and I said I was going to do it by hand. Ha!) At the moment I have 29 blocks and no triangles, and all done by machine (except the two applique blocks.) But I'm having more fun this way and I'm not disappointing myself. My Baby Jane, despite having a "due date" like any assignment, seems to be working better with an ad-hoc work ethic rather than a strict structure. (Can you tell I do management at uni? LOL) But most of all, I'm enjoying doing it this way, and it gives me freedom to do other things. Though I haven't been tempted to do anything new, as with Jane's quilt every block is "new" or different. There's my ramblings for the day!

I have three more blocks partially cut out, so they should be done soon. Cutting is the part that I'm not too fond of, despite being mum's "cutter" whenever she makes a quilt (rotary-cutter fear, I think.) The blocks go together quickly enough when I'm sewing them, as I use my darling sewing machine to assist me with that!

Mum's Jane: 29/0/0/546

F-3 Snowball

F-3 Snowball

Ok, I don't really know what to say about this one. I've never made snowballs before and I think I got lucky with how I pieced it together. I used the corner triangles (which turned out to be the triangles used in the border!) and trimmed the corners for the triangles in the snowball. I don't think this was what I meant to do, but I was particularly lucky because it somehow worked out. The border triangles are a bit screwed up, but the overall design of the block doesn't need to line up those points perfectly. It only really matters when you can see different colours together (eg. two triangles with touching tips) instead of a seam of the same colour (eg. when from a distance, the same is two pieces of the same colour- you can't see the seam.)

It was a cute, quick block though so I'm guessing I shouldn't complain!

Mum's Jane: 28/0/0/533

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

How I store my blocks

Block Storage

This little plastic case was holding several pairs of panties that I bought a while ago. I figured that seeing as the width was perfect, I'd store my blocks here. It's getting rather full at only 27 blocks, so I might have to go shopping for a new storage place soon!

I decided to post a picture of this as I've been asked a few times how I store my blocks. If and when the block storage changes, I'll update again.

The First 25 Blocks - Silver

The first 25.

This is just a photo I took to immortalise the 25 blocks I finished first. It's a bit of a wonky photo as it was taken by me standing on my bed. They were in order, but the photo was flipped so they're on the side. See how cute my babies all look together?

B-1 Bachelor's Buttons

B-1 Bachelor's Buttons

My second needleturn applique piece turned out better than the first, which was good. I kinda cheated as it wasn't solely needleturn- I wrapped the fabric around a circle template (the same way baubles are made) and laid it flat and stiched around it, leaving enough of a gap to pull the paper through. I'm not unhappy with this block at all. I eyeballed the placement of the circles and they turned out really good. I'm actually proud of this one.

Mum's Jane: 27/0/0/516

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A-3 Hunter's Moon

A-3 Hunter's Moon Posted by Picasa

Now this... I can't even think of words to describe this. The stitches (done in the wrong colour, mind you! They were meant to match the top applique piece, not the background!) are tiny and uneven, the shapes are all odd and the only good thing about this block is that it sort of resembles the original pattern.

It only took me about a month to complete this block (well, it only took a few days. It's been exactly a month since the last completed block.) Over a few nights I kept seeing this in my dreams, but this was my first ever needleturn applique piece, and it was my first ever attempt at applique. So for a first effort, this is something I can live with. Oh, and the pen I used to mark the fabric washed off in water instantly, which was a good thing as I had forgotten to test it. I was getting better as I went with the points, and I realised from the start that I will never get this block perfect. I showed mum this and she agreed that it looked fairly crappy, but then she said "Well, applique is hard..." and I finished her off by saying "I'm never doing applique again!" Little does she know, there's more applique that I will do, just she won't see it for a few more years!

Mum's Jane: 26/0/0/511

Sunday, October 22, 2006

A-2 One - Two Buckle My Shoe Revised

A-2 One - Two Buckle My Shoe Revised Posted by Picasa

I'm not sure if I see a massive improvement between the first attempt at this block (see an earlier post) and the second attempt. I know this time that my block lined up better, but it's still slightly off. Maybe this block is cursed? I even pinned this one and it still didn't turn out perfectly. At least only one point is massively off and the others all look better. Does it really look that bad and obvious? Can anyone tell where I goofed? Maybe I just don't like it because there's not enough purple and it was hard. =P

I'm not counting this in the count, as I just pulled apart and re-did the earlier one.

Mum's Jane: 25/0/0/506

J-2 Picture Perfect

J-2 Picture Perfect Posted by Picasa

I made Silver! That means I've hit my first milestone, 25 blocks! Now when I hit 50 I become Gold...

It wasn't until I looked at my bingo board that I realised I have two on point diamonds on top of each other. This one was kind of funny too, but I'm not changing it. I like it how it is. I had to make my seams smaller for it to work, but luckily (somehow) everything lined up without pinning. This was kind of an oddball block, but it was easy, so I'm leaving it.

Mum's Jane: 25/0/0/506

K-13 Brandon's Star

K-13 Brandon's Star Posted by Picasa

This is one of my favourite blocks, just because it looks so nice. And it has a 9-patch too. It went together quickly and easily, which I love.

It wasn't until after the block was done that I realised there were geese units. I really don't mind it either. My pieces count went up! I'm also more fond of the purple fabric so I'm glad that in this block it's the more dominant fabric. Hooray for stars, as they are such pretty blocks!

Mum's Jane: 24/0/0/491

Sunday, October 15, 2006

H-13 Farm Fields

H-13 Farm Fields Posted by Picasa

This block was my first H block. It was fairly easy to sew and press. But I did have to pin this one because the lines didn't match up at first. It was easy and fast to unpick though and I got it right the next time.

Last time I didn't have much time to sew, but I had plenty of time to cut. I've cut out my next two blocks, so the next time I update this I should have 25 blocks complete! A small milestone, but still a milestone nonetheless. After I reach that, I only (LOL) have 200 patterns to go before the quilt is complete. Hooray for progress!

Mum's Jane: 23/0/0/462

M-5 Mother's Point

M-5 Mother's Point Posted by Picasa

I feel cheeky updating this now... Mum's just in the other room and I'm talking to her as I'm typing this while she's playing a video game. She's so cute.

This block was another 'yummy' block, where the pattern contrasts the fabric nicely. It went together really quickly and pressed nice and flat. The only picky bit I have with it, is that the line connecting the 4 quarters is a little off. But oh well! I like the name of this block too. Kinda fits the purpose of the quilt.

Mum's Jane: 22/0/0/455

K-3 Seven Sisters

K-3 Seven Sisters Posted by Picasa

This was another 9-patch. See it in the middle? I thought, "Oh, straight lines, this can't be hard" but I totally forgot about how damn small the pieces are! This, as a result, was 'seam heavy' and didn't want to be pressed. I 'beat it into submission' and made the damn thing sit straight. And eventually, it worked. Yay. =)

I didn't mind this block too much, once I figured out how best to do it.

Mum's Jane: 21/0/0/441

I-2 Kaye's Courtyard

I-2 Kaye's Courtyard Posted by Picasa

See how nice 9-patches are? I found another one, which luckily was quite large. And I think it looks really good with how it's set out on-point with the triangles. This block actually pressed very well too, when I thought it wouldn't. So yay for the block behaving itself!

When I first thought about starting Jane and was asking questions to the 'goddesses' that had finished the quilt, several told me to pick fabrics that I could stare at for more than 5 years. I love the contrast between the purple and cream, and it reminds me of blueberry muffins. It doesn't help that whenever I finish a block I get hungry for muffins, but it is a yummy combination. And I'm lucky with the fact that I can pick any block to do and not need to identify which 'colour' it's meant to be, like Jane's original quilt. My quilt only has three colours, so yay for me. =)

Mum's Jane: 20/0/0/412

I-3 Family Album

I-3 Family Album Posted by Picasa

All I can say about this block is LOL. And I don't care. This looks like a family album made by kindy kids. The lines aren't straight, the block never pressed flat because my seams weren't perfect 1/4", but you know what? They never will be. Maybe it's old fashioned to display 'humility', but this quilt is teaching me not to be a perfectionist!

On the other hand, I have started ripping up my A-2 (see the post in the archives). As I have all my blocks lying in a pile in the order that they go in the quilt, A-2 was constantly staring at me. And I couldn't handle things being that far off. I believe I can do a much better job with that block, even though you can't be perfect with this quilt. Jane wasn't perfect, so why should I be? The answer, of course, is now that I've insulted a civil war quilting genius, I'm probably going to be haunted, and the reason why I should be perfect is because this isn't my quilt, it's mum's quilt. I'm making it for her. But I've come to reason with 'perfect'. No one should try to be 'perfect', but we should all try to be 'better'. Aww, Jane's taught me a new philosophy.

Mum's Jane: 19/0/0/399

I-1 Ralph & Nelda's Wedding

I-1 Ralph & Nelda's Wedding Posted by Picasa

After looking through the book for more 'easy' blocks, I discovered there were more 9-patches than I'd originally noticed. These were easy to cut out and sew, so these were my next steps of confidence. In the last two weeks I've done 6 blocks, and I haven't really been updating like I should. That's why today I'm spending time doing all the web updates!

Like I mentioned before, 9-patches aren't hard. I don't pin as much as I should, but I've been lucky with these minatures that my points usually match up. Pinning is a last resort. This block came together quickly and nicely, which makes me like it even more! =)

Mum's Jane: 18/0/0/382

Sunday, October 01, 2006

J-7 Chicken Tracks

J-7 Chicken Tracks Posted by Picasa

Now this one I chose because the cutting plan was easy. No fussy 5/8ths or anything like that. Only pure inch squares. As I should have learnt from J-6, small pieces means bulky seams. But I must have been lucky yesterday as this one actually wanted to sit flat too. Things were lining up more than not and it came together very fast. I had no problems with it. I think this is the first pair that I've got next to each other.

Unfortunately for me, my family gets back tonight, so I barely got to catch up on my DJ like I'd originally planned. But, on the bright side, 4 is better than none. In a few weeks time, uni has finished for the year, so hopefully more blocks will be pushed out over my very long break.

Mum's Jane: 17/0/0/362

J-6 Granny Weaver

J-6 Granny Weaver Posted by Picasa

This one I chose because it looked quick and easy, straight seams, with no triangles. Well, it was easy to sew. What wasn't easy was the pressing. It looked like it wasn't going to sit flat. But somehow, by some strange miracle, it actually did. I have it sitting in a pile with my other completed blocks so that should straighten it out even more. The 1-inch block 9-patch in the center was a bit bulky, but everything lined up and matched so I'm not complaining!

Mum's Jane: 16/0/0/321

Friday, September 29, 2006

M-2 Duff's Bluff

M-2 Duff's Bluff Posted by Picasa

This one was slightly hard, but only because I haven't yet figured out an easy way to do the x shaped middle part, which sucks because there's quite a few of those in the DJ blocks. And there was a bit of 'lining up' which resulted in me unpicking just one little bit. I'm happy with this block though, out of all the things that could go wrong, nothing did and it lined up kinda nicely. =)

Mum's Jane: 15/0/0/296

M-12 Hopscotch

M-12 Hopscotch Posted by Picasa

I'm so far behind in my DJ! Last month I only completed one, this month I've just completed two blocks. So much for my 2-per-week goals. =/ I've been home alone all week too, so I really should have gotten more completed. But these two only took a little while to sew, so I'm lucky about that. Hopefully I should pump out more this weekend. =D

Mum's Jane: 14/0/0/275

Sunday, August 06, 2006

G-2 Mohawk's Trail

G-2 Mohawk's Trail Posted by Picasa

This was the first time I tried pinning my triangles before sewing them. Needless to say I loved the results because the block actually came out the right size! I'm relatively happy with how my points joined up too, some are off but you can't really tell. I'm slowly starting to get over this perfectionism and realising that finished is better than perfect! I have two more blocks cut out and ready to piece, I just couldn't get them done because mum went to an engagement party and I was unsure when she was going to get home. I'll probably get them done on Monday when mum goes to play tennis in the morning.

I showed dad and he said "Haven't you made a quilt like that already?" He got confused because I've shown him so many blocks. LOL

Mum's Jane: 13/0/0/256

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A-2 One - Two Buckle My Shoe

A-2 One - Two Buckle My Shoe Posted by Picasa

Now this... was a piece of work. LOL It frustrated me from the start. I got better at my Geese, but I think I rushed it a bit and wasn't careful with my seams, hence why they didn't match up. I tested it against my brother, standing at a distance I asked "Can you see anything wrong with this?" And he looked blank, stared, then finally answered "No." "So it's not obvious that it doesn't join up?" He shrugged and said he didn't notice. It's position on the quilt, top left corner, means it'd be in the overhang on the bed. It may not be so obvious. But, if worst comes to worst, I can always take it apart and redo it when I'm going over all my finished blocks. For now, this is good enough for me. =)

Mum's Jane: 12/0/0/228

C-1 Trooper Green's Badge

C-1 Trooper Green's Badge Posted by Picasa

This block gave me so much trouble because things weren't lining up. But then I thought "Bugger it, it's only looking obvious because it's just one little block" so I left it as it was. I thought it was actually not that hard. And it doesn't look so bad. I'm tired now though so everything looks good because I can't be bothered fixing it. When I wake up tomorrow I will most likely change my mind. =P

Mum's Jane: 11/0/0/188

A-5 Cathie's Campfire

A-5 Cathie's Campfire Posted by Picasa

This was my first ever attempt at Geese- I had never made them before. Hence, I kinda screwed them up. But I wasn't in a perfectionist kind of mood tonight- I just wanted to get things done. I think I like that attitude better. "Finished is better than perfect!" Jane's weren't perfect, so why should mine be? =P

Mum's Jane: 10/0/0/175

A-8 Florence Nightingale

A-8 Florence Nightingale Posted by Picasa

I got 6 blocks done in a day! That's double what I had previously. The first block I had sewn completely in my second round of free time was this one. Mum and dad went out for dinner so I had a few hours after uni to sew. Maybe it was the extra motivation from uni that got me to sew more? It was fast and it lined up well. It didn't have heaps of seams either, so I quite liked this block.

Mum's Jane: 9/0/0/146

Monday, July 17, 2006

C-12 Family Reunion

C-12 Family Reunion Posted by Picasa

Bah, I didn't like this one. The tiny 9-patches were so thick from the seams when they were finished. The whole block still isn't pressing perfectly flat, but I figure it has to sit under my bed, sandwiched between my other blocks, for a long time and this should press it a little more flat. At least my points are matching up- it'll look good from a distance, just not up close. =) PS. Yes, my scanning and cropping skills leave much to be desired.

I've got a few more blocks cut out and waiting their turn patiently- hopefully next weekend I'll knock out more than just 3- mum and dad are going to a dinner dance on Saturday night, I have plenty of time!

Mum's Jane: 8/0/0/135 (I've hit the 100 pieces mark!)

B-13 Four Corner Press

B-13 Four Corner Press Posted by Picasa

This block was so simple but I still managed to screw it up. I made the center purple square an inch bigger than required and as a result the whole block was big. I didn't even realise until I compared it with my other finished blocks. It would have been finished Saturday, but I unpicked it, trimmed it, and had it sewn on Monday. Once I knew where I went wrong it was smooth sailing. PS. Mind the dodgy scanning- I was in a rush.

Mum's Jane: 7/0/0/86

C-3 Rayelle's Fence

C-3 Rayelle's Fence Posted by Picasa

I managed to complete three blocks this week. It would have been 4 if mum went out with dad on Saturday night, but she didn't so I had an hour only to sew while she took my brother to his basketball game. She was out on Thursday night though for a few hours and I managed to do a lot of cutting. In total I cut out 8 blocks. I was piecing B-13 Four Corner Press, and after finishing that and Rayelle's Fence, I realised that I massively screwed up B-13, it was a whole inch bigger than it was meant to be. So I unpicked it, trimmed it, then stitched it right today. Rayelle's Fence was one of the blocks I cut on Thursday, but it was sewn on Saturday night. I finished sewing C-12 Family Reunion and B-13 today. I nearly finished C-1, Trooper Green's Badge, but that one had seams that were way off, so that will need to be unpicked too, so I can finish that next time. I still managed to get three done this week, so I'm still on the right track. And yes, I didn't do any triangles, I'll do my first triangle when I hit 50 blocks.

Mum's Jane: 6/0/0/77

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Cutting Night & Change of Plans

Tonight I didn't get any sewing done, because I didn't have enough time. It would have been too risky because I wasn't sure how long mum would be out. But, I did cut out another three blocks which I shall sew on Saturday night when mum and dad go out again. I need to draft more pieced blocks and cut them out, as I find that this is the step that is taking the longest.

My plan may slightly need to be changed. There are no 'easy' triangles. There are enough challenging blocks without having to deal with the triangles yet, too many curves and uneven triangles. So instead of tackling a triangle at each 5 blocks, I will just stick to the blocks. =) Hence why I just cut out 3 more blocks. I keep looking for 'easy' ones to boost my confidence, and have found heaps. Enough to keep me happy for a while longer.

I have started making a booklet to go with the quilt. It's in pearl cream and pearl purple paper, that will be a journal while I make the quilt, showing small pictures of each block. I'll get it all laminated and bound. I figure that it's fine if mum knows about the quilt, which I'm sure she suspects, but she won't know about the journal. Hopefully my thoughts while making the quilt will be more valuable to her. It'll be a nice companion to the quilt as well, and will give my descendants knowledge about why I made the quilt. This is something I believe all quilters wished Jane did. I would have loved to know what she though of each block as she made it.

I go back to university this Monday. I'm hoping that I can juggle the DJ and stay focused. I shouldn't find it too hard, it's just a matter of good time management. =)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

L-5 Chattanooga Charlie

L-5 Chattanooga Charlie Posted by Picasa

I liked this block because sewing smaller triangles is something I haven't really done yet. I'm gradually dipping my feet into the water. This was what I considered my 'challenging block', although it came together pretty easily. Cutting wasn't a problem and I've now remembered by heart the half-square triangle rule: add 7/8ths. Works like a charm. Sewing was a bit distorted because the triangles kept wanting to run away from each other, but at least it's finished! Finished is better than perfect. I can see why this is the DJ mantra. =P

After finishing this block, my 5th block, the plan is to do my first blue triangle. For every 5 blocks, a triangle will be done. Now I just need to find an easy triangle! Oh, and I exceeded my weekly quota, I was aiming to get only 2 done per week, but this week I conquered 3. Go me.

Mum's Jane: 5/0/0/52