Friday, 31 August 2012

Bee in my Bonnet Row Along - Row 1


 There is very little that gives me more enjoyment and satisfaction in crafting than learning something new. Just following instructions, not knowing how it will turn out, but trusting that I will be satisfied with the results or spurred on to try again is such a relaxing way to spend an afternoon. And, that is exactly what I did yesterday.
I started the Row Along Quilt over on Bee in my Bonnet. I had seen this about a week previously, wondered about doing it and then forgot the idea. When I saw this week's post however, I knew I had to join. I was going to learn loads! The first row is just postage stamp size blocks, but I have never made blocks this way before, and it's brilliant!

I chose some fabrics from my stash, mainly fabrics picked up many years ago, or given to me from people who no longer quilt. 
Some are VERY vintage! Does anybody remember these? I forced myself to add the purple. I really don't like it at all, but I've quite a lot of it, and as we were working small scale I convinced myself this was a good opportunity to use up a bit. It also amused me whilst I was pressing and cutting this fabric to think about the person or people it once belonged to. I tried to imagine what their sewing areas looked like, why they bought these particular fabrics and what they did with them.

These pieces are 3" square, and it starts off in the normal way. You pair up the blocks and chain sew one seam.
Then without cutting the links, you sew the opposite seam

Then you cut them apart and cut them all in half.
Press them open.

And sew them together, end to end in one long string.

Now comes the really clever part. You cut the first block in half, discard the bit you have cut off and let the remaining half fall over onto the second block (these are in their unpressed state, so it naturally fallls into the right place. You then line your ruler up along the stitched seam and cut the first complete block away.

What I find so clever about this is that you have the chance to straighten up any less than perfect blocks each time you cut. See that little yellow overhang sticking out from under the ruler? It gets cut clean away aand I have as near as possible a perfect four-patch, which at this minute scale I could never have done normally
I know I was relaxed, taking my time, and just enjoying the process, but these are most definitely the most accurate four-patches I've ever made, and the completed size of each will be only 2" square!
Aren't they cute?
I then joined them all together to make the first row of the Row Along quilt.
I can't wait to see what next week's row is. If you are thinking of joining in, I totally recommend it. The instructions are clear, with lots of photos, and not knowing what the final outcome is going to be just adds to the fun. For more detailed instructions on this, or to find out more about the Row Along, hop over to Lori's blog and see for yourself.
Till next time............Julie

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