Day 194: Big Progress! And A Little Danger

Wow! I got half of the full blocks done for the quilt today! They’re looking pretty good, if I do say so myself.

Here’s today’s progress in pictures:

First, I stitched the half-triangles together to make the triangular sub-units.

Day 193: Triangle Subunits
Day 193: Triangle Sub-units

Next, I stitched the triangle sub-units together to make the square sub-units:

Day 193: Square Subunits
Day 193: Square Sub-units

Finally, I stitched all the dark blocks together:

Day 193: Dark Blocks
Day 193: Dark Blocks

I discovered once again that I have trouble with cutting, stitching and/or pressing accurately. The blocks turned out to be a bit wonky, and measured anywhere from 5 1/8″ to 51/2″, and most of them weren’t really square. So I ended up trimming them to square them up to 5″, so piecing would be improved. I’m pretty sure it helped a lot. However, it also reduced the main design, especially across the middle and along the vertical center. Still, not bad!

The whole quilt takes 20 blocks, and I made 10 dark blocks, so I’m halfway there. Tomorrow I hope to finish trimming and stitching the light blocks. Once that’s done, I can start piecing the blocks together into the final quilt top. Then I’ll add borders before I start quilting it. Not bad for just over a week’s work!

I definitely need more practice cutting/stitching/pressing so I can match seams better. I’m thinking 4-patch and 9-patch blocks will be in my future. Good thing I have lots of jelly rolls…



Now, some people of the masculine persuasion might make the mistake of thinking that sewing and quilting are “girlie” pursuits. Well, I’m here to tell you that this is dangerous business. You get to work with sharp, pointy things, power tools and tools that heat up and produce dangerous steam. Due to my past experience with all this, I try to be very careful. But once in a while, even I sustain an injury or two. Observe:

Day 193: Cut Finger
Day 193: Cut Finger

It doesn’t look like much now, but this little cut bled profusely for about 10 minutes. An hour later, I had to put a new bandaid on it. What caused it? A tiny slip of my super-sharp rotary cutter. I swear, if anyone ever breaks into our house while I’m home, I’ll grab that cutter and shred the intruder before the cops can get here!

Day 193: Burnt Finger
Day 193: Burnt Finger

This happened a few days ago, and is already healing. I managed to tap the edge of my iron with the back of that knuckle when I was reaching to pick up the iron. It could have been a lot worse.

Power tools? The sewing machine. Try sewing through your finger nail, then tell me that sewing machines aren’t “dangerous”. Or break a needle, and hope you have eye protection on as tiny bits of metal go flying.

I’ve known men who sewed their own clothes, and I’ve read about men who quilt (and even men who design quilts), so I know there are a few men out there who get it, that quilting is not just women’s work.

And just to show that other skills are handy if you want to design a quilt, I just learned that trigonometry would have been helpful to know for a particular design I want to make, in order to get the angles right. Thank heavens there are online calculators for that sort of thing! I barely passed geometry, and had to look up basic formulas for figuring simple angles and lengths. I still have no idea how I’m going to manage to make this design, since I don’t have a printer that can handle paper larger than 8.5″ x 11″, and the blocks I have in mind would be about 20″ squares. With the crazy angles I’m hoping to use, a template would work best, but it doesn’t seem likely at this point. Hmmm…

Anyway, that’s about it for tonight. My shoulders and back are a bit achy from all the sewing and pressing today, so I’m going to call it a day, and see how far I get tomorrow.

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