Monday, May 16, 2011

Instant Satisfaction

Do you want instant satisfaction? Make a block and in a hour you can claim that. I think this is why I like making blocks so much!
Tears for Texas

I actually like the whole process of making a block. I enjoy deciding where I will put the emphasis and select a good colour and fabric combination. I like to iron and pre-starch my fabric and yes I love figuring out how many pieces to cut in every size. When cutting I am already planning the order to sew the pieces in and armed with this knowledge I do the first round of sewing. Here I concentrate on keeping my seam allowances just right. I also chain piece so that there is no unnecessary threads to trim.
Little Blue Basket

For me the pressing stage is very important. I first press the pieces on the ironing board before I flip the top patch up and with the side of the iron press it down. Only then do I give it a shot of steam to make it lie flat and not get distorted by the steam.
Ford Sumter
The final round of sewing is make or brake. If you take to deep a seam allowance or pinning push the points that need to meet away from each other instead of keeping them right in place- some unsewing will be necessary. But after some quality control checks and fixing these problems it only need the final pressing before the "Ahah" moment!

I have completed another 3 of the Civil War blocks and is well on my way to catch up to the 20 that Barbara Brackman has already made available.

While making a quilt also provide this satisfaction, it can take days or weeks before that final "Hurah, It's done" feeling is achieved. A quilt where every block count and is a stepping stone towards the end goal is for me far more rewarding than a quilt where I need to repeat the same block a number of times for the striking end product. Therefore I had not made a quilt like that.

On second thought- I has made many quilts with Half Square triangles and there one sew and sew and sew many triangles before you get the satisfaction one block provide! When working on a project like that- it is good to schedule "Making a block for satisfaction" in between.

Do making a block give you satisfaction?



  1. Oh, yes, most definitely!


  2. I'd never thought of it like that, but I guess I do get that small satisfaction of completion each time I do one of Barbara's blocks.

    In between making a larger project, where I do some sewing and then return it to the work table for the next step, I get to finish a block, press it and put it away in it's box, finished!

    Most of the time when I finish a large project I've already started planning the next. That is often the reward to finishing something... getting to start something new. But with Barbara's blocks it's different. I finish the block, I pack it away and that is that (until the next one of course). It's not part of the continual motion of my sewing room. It is a small, finite diversion that is off the main path.

  3. Marie, just wanted to let you know that I ordered Mary Ellen Hopkins book on double wedding ring quilts. Maybe I will reconsider giving the blue & yellow one away after I read her book. Thanks so much for the tip!


  4. Your blocks are so precise and very pretty! Lovely colors you have chosen for them.


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