Red & White and Black & White Done!

I reached my goal and have finished piecing the little red and white blocks. All that’s left is to add a small sashing and border and get the little red and white top quilted, which I think I can possibly get done this weekend. So my little Canada Day quilt is going to be ready for July 1!

Even more exciting to me was that I finished piecing the black and white New York Beauty blocks. I love the block, and would have been happy to make many, many more – if, that is, I had been using colours rather than black and white! But it had to be black and white as it works for the border I have planned – sort of.

Why sort of? Initially I had hoped to get a scalloped effect using the blocks but that won’t work without two of the corners looking very odd as I don’t have even numbers on all four sides. So yesterday afternoon I spent what seemed like forever playing with layouts of the blocks in the border – thank heavens for  EQ! – trying to figure out a way to get that scalloped effect in the border with the New York Beauty blocks and maybe doing something a bit different in the corners. That still didn’t work. Then I started looking at setting them on point, which is also a pretty effect, although the corners will still be a challenge. To do that, though, the inner border that has to be added before the New York Beauty blocks is going to have to be just slightly over an inch wider on the sides than on the top and bottom. I think it will work. This weekend I may get all the on-point triangles printed and then piece all the New York Beauty blocks  together on point. Then I’ll see if I can figure out the corners – although I may just end up cutting squares of the white fabric and appliquéing the corner blocks on to them.

I’m very happy Electric Quilt brought out a version that’s Mac compatible. I use it a lot, but yesterday seemed like a marathon as I tried every which way, rotating blocks endlessly, to get that scalloped effect to work and then trying different things in the corners. I can’t even begin to imagine how much time I would have spent trying to do that with the blocks laid out on top of the bed and so depriving the cats of a favourite afternoon snoozing spot. So I guess they’re really grateful I have EQ available too.

After that, I started looking at fabrics that I might use for the Ribbon Flower collection and – oh, my! I think I may have a small quilt that I’ll make of Ribbon Flowers in different colours before I start on the larger quilt that I already know I want to make and that will involve some fussy cutting/printing. I can’t wait to for the collection to be released!

I was asked yesterday about grading my seams. So I got out the Harpsichord Quilt project box and graded the seams on one block. I think, if you click on it to enlarge it, the picture shows pretty clearly that the top fabric in each little seam allowance has had a sliver cut off.

This was the little pile of clippings from that block. When multiplied by numerous blocks, it’s surprising how much bulk it’s removing from the top. It makes the quilt drape better when the seams are graded and that really makes a difference in a quilt made with numerous small blocks. And it’s really beneficial to hand quilters – just a little less of bulky seam allowances to deal with.

I put the sliver I’d cut from the top fabric of one pair of seams next to the ruler.

“Grading the Seams”

Jake was lolling on the duvet yesterday afternoon.

While Baxter had sole possession of the kitty tree.

12 thoughts on “Red & White and Black & White Done!

    • They definitely are and I love the effect, but oh, how I was finding it difficult to work with just black & white!! I love making that block so imagine a larger NY Beauty quilt is in my future – in colours!

      Cathi

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  1. I’m amazed at how fast you get your blocks made when you put your mind to it. You are quick.
    Since all my patches seem to be small I’ll definitely try grading on my next project. I’m hand quilting 1″ half square triangles right now and it’s not pleasant. Hoping grading will make the next hand quilting hst’s more enjoyable .

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    • It doesn’t feel like I”m sewing that quickly – I just get into a real rhythm when I’m sewing one block repeatedly that seems to make them faster and easier. I can just imagine how unpleasant it is hand quilting 1” HSTs with all those seam allowances! At least with grading the seams you would have a little less of that to deal with.

      Cathi

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  2. I graded some of my “Jewels” blocks and had quite the pile of pesky little slivers. But it does make a difference. “Margueritaville” would probably benefit from the same type of surgery.

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    • I keep a Mason jar by the couch where I hand piece and as I grade each block I add the bits to that jar. It’s amazing how quickly it fills up – and sometimes it’s very colourful. When it’s full, I empty it and start over again. Right now it’s very dull with mostly black & white.

      Cathi

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    • I’m really excited about getting closer to the finish of both those tops! Then I can really get going on Peony Quilt and Ribbon Flower, when it comes out, as well as the Stormy Seas and Harpsichord Quilt blocks.

      Cathi

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    • I know – that ‘toon made me laugh out loud too, when I saw it. I’m always amazed at what Mr. Q.O. comes up with for a ‘toon from just a very little information from me regarding the subject of the blog post! Cathi

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  3. What kind of scissors do you use to grade the seams? And is it easier to do before or after pressing? I’m working on some small hand-pieced crystals (like your blue-and-white quilt in the header) and am trying to do the grading as I go, but I feel like I’m fighting to get a good angle for my scissors to cut in one smooth snip most of the time.

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    • I use the 4″ Karen Kay Buckley serrated scissors and always do the grading after I press as I think it’s easier to do after pressing. I don’t really worry about grading in one snip of the scissors if my seam is a bit longer.

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