Saturday, May 05, 2012

Lesson 7 : Winter Wonderland - Part One

I was getting excited about doing the first quilt in the book. Lesson 7-  Harriet's Winter Wonderland quilt.  but had been having a hard time finding what i wanted for the fabric. I also planned to do Carries Cowboy Corral quilt too and had already gotten fabric for that...... but i digress .

Harriets Winter Wonderland

I found some fabric at fabricland the first weekend in  march that i thought would work.. the horse head print wasnt really what i wanted but I  hadnt found anything at Kathys ( a local quilt shop) , either. So decided it would work okay as i was chomping at the bit to get going on this one.

  I got a denimy blue with horseshoes and a light tonal denimy blue print.  okay i guess!

I liked the combination but didnt love it, if you know what i mean! LOL
another week passed and with work and grandgirls didnt get a start, but did do some research on an iron.  I had pretty much settled on getting a Velocity by Reliable, heard nothing but good stuff about this, but nobody here carried it.  so i decided to take a trip to Vanderhoof the next saturday to see if they carried it.  I could have phoned but hey its a fabric store! and there is another quilt store there as well sooooooo . Saturday morning I dropped off my 18 month old granddaughter Ainsley at her other grandmas (with her mom) after she had had a sleepover with us!  then headed off to Vanderhoof, a nice drive of about an hour, especially now that the snow is pretty much gone off the road! 

Look what i found............. and i was just what i had been looking for! but not the iron :(

Now i was in love with the fabrics i had chosen!!

I straightened the fabric early the next week but sewing time stalled for a bit when my youngest son  came home from Afghanistan the following wednesday after a 5 1/2 month deployment . so it wasnt until after he and his family left the monday after that, that i was able to get some more time in the sewing room.

I made sure to review the instructions carefully before starting and i did a couple of test strips with my chosen fabrics to make sure my seams were good to go.. they were!!
First I had to cut 12 - 3 1/2" blocks from the horse fabric, 49 - 3-1/2" blocks from the light blue and make 60 pieced blocks from the strip sets made from each fabric. Whew seemed like so much and would take a looooong time,  hard for a newbie chomping on the bit :)  cut all the blocks one evening and then cut the strips for the pieced blocks.

got back to the basement sewing room a day or so later and started sewing the 5 strip sets I needed. I think it went fairly well,  had to do some slight trimming in a few areas and a couple of places were a bit narrow so i didnt use those and made another short strip set so i would have enough.  It's somewhat confusing when you cut everything to the size you need, have a decent quarter inch seam allowance, iron carefully and still odd places are too narrow, or too wide!   I guess all those things i just mentioned are not quite as precise as they should be .... YET!
my strips also seem to be somewhat bendy, curvy after pressing too. not sure what was going on there? if its the sewing or the pressing, i suspect the pressing. but is it the way i am doing it or the iron or a combination.

It took about a week to get the strips all sewin and cut to size. I checked every block to make sure it was the right size and trimmed or resewed as necessary. Man! this sure is time consuming LOL  but hopefully as my skills increase it wont take so long!  It's hard to enjoy the process when all you want is to see how the quilt top looks when put together!

Now it was time to lay out my blocks for chain piecing together, i just followed the instructions in the book step by step and finally the light came on! well duh , how easy could this be!!

here is a very brief explanation.  you take all the blocks in row one (top row) and stack them with the top left block on the top.  repeat with each row.  I pinned a piece of paper with each row number written on it to the top edge of the stack so that i knew which way was up.  Then line up all your stacks of blocks , in this case 11 (11 rows of 9 blocks) on the right side of your machine. find something to put on the top of the stack to mark your place. I have a little black racoon statue that i am using.
to start sewing pick up the top two blocks from row one, move your racoon to the row 2 stack . sew blocks one and two together ,  dont cut thread pick up blocks 1 and 2 from the row 2 stack and sew them together. keep going with out cutting your thread until all eleven rows have the first two blocks sewn together.
press seams towards unpieced block.
now starting again at row 1 take the top block ( 3rd in that row) and attach it to the second block of the first row.  You will now have the first 3 blocks of row 1 sewn together, repeat as before, press seams and the add the 4th block to the rows.  Keep on this way until all nine blocks are sewn to each other and you will have this..

I managed to get to this stage during the work week . and i really likeed how it was looking!   I found putting a safety pin in the upper left corner block, first block in row one, as a marker to orient yourself when chain piecing the rows together. I found after the first pressing when i just had the long piece with just 2 blocks i had to really check that i had things the right way round before adding the 3rd row of blocks .  They want to twist and all manner of annoying things between the sewing machine and the ironing board!

well thats it for now i will get part two up  soon!

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