Why make a sample block?

Sample block from Scrappiness is Happiness book by Lori Holt

Happy mail arrived this week from the Fat Quarter Shop – Lori Holt’s newest book! This one may surpass Vintage Christmas as my fave book from her. In case you’re interested, Fat Quarter Shop features a video preview of the book on its YouTube channel. Tutorials of several of the blocks can also be found on Lori Holt’s YouTube channel, as well.

I was itching to try out a 6-1/2″ block, so I chose the Grandma’s Donut Block and dug into my stash. While cute, this practice block is not one I would include in a quilt (see #4 & #5 below). I’ll turn my sample into a potholder as a thank-you gift for a friend.

Here are my notes to self moving forward:

  1. Remember to press seams OPEN on 6-1/2″ blocks.
  2. Set stitch length for 1.8 – 2.0 & backstitch so seams don’t come open when joining rows.
  3. Folded corner trimmer ruler speeds up the process!
  4. More contrast is needed in center economy block. Solid, mid-dark fabrics on outer triangles would be a better choice. White on white fabric for center and corners if making an entire quilt perhaps?
  5. Pay closer attention to match points on center economy block.
  6. Good candidate for die-cutting multiple blocks.
  7. Perfect project for FW or Elna STAR.

In summary, you take the time to make a sample block, so you can “practice” before cutting into your “good” fabric. This allows you to check seam allowances, cut measurements, fabric selections, sewing sequence and tools required before you get started on the “real” project.

  1. Die-cutting pieces will require slightly more fabric.
  2. No need to draw lines on back of squares for triangles if using folded corner trimmer.
  3. Due to amount of cross-seams in the block, use FW or small Janome machine. The 1/4″ foot on those machines has an easier time going over the thick seams.

Do you prefer background noise or complete silence while you sew?

I prefer a little background noise in my studio while I sew – podcasts, audiobooks or a playlist on Spotify. This way, I can continue listening as I move around the house or need to travel somewhere in my car. I did learn that I cannot listen to foreign language lessons while driving. I get too involved listening to the speaker and don’t pay enough attention to driving.

Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com

As mentioned in previous posts, I’m making the most of my library cards. If I see a book at Barnes & Noble or on amazon.com that interests me, I check to see if one of the regional libraries has a print or digital copy available. One of them usually does. My hold on The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz audiobook finally came available this week. I tried to read the actual book as part of a professional development initiative at the former day job, but just couldn’t get into it. My neighborhood book club leader suggested listening to audio versions of books we couldn’t seem to get into, so I gave it a try. The particular version I checked out was a condensed version of the actual book. In less than an hour, I listened to all the main ideas and important takeaways from the book. Perfect!

In case you’re wondering, the Four Agreements are essentially:

(1) Your word (communication) should be impeccable. [No gossiping, keep opinions to yourself]
(2) Don’t take anything personally.
(3) Don’t make assumptions.
(4) Always do your best.

I liked the book summary in e-audiobook format. Going to have to see what else is available!

Keep quilting!

Dealing with trolls

Fortunately, I don’t get too many spam comments thanks to the authentication process in place in the comments section. Reading through my spam comments is always an adventure. I can only imagine what a FB group admin must encounter when moderating posts for various groups.

One of yesterday’s spam comments led me to believe the poster may actually know me somehow (a former student perhaps?). If you wrote the profanity laced missive of yesterday – get a life. Keep on scrolling, my friend. Clean up your language. Doubt your grandma would be happy with your choice of words.

The delete key is a powerful thing.

Keep quilting!

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com
%d bloggers like this: