09 December 2011

Back in the Saddle

After an unexpected sewing hiatus due to a minor surgical procedure on my right shoulder, I'm finally able to sew again.  I probably should let the shoulder heal a bit more, but I've been itching to get in front of the machine.  Nothing like being told to rest and take it easy to get me motivated to sew!

One block I've been wanting to try (but didn't have enough scraps to make until now) is the string block.  Val at Pink Please! recently put out a call for 10" (finished) string blocks for a charity quilt she's making.  The perfect reason to try it out:

This was a fun block to make, though I probably agonized a little more than I needed to over fabric placement.  It's a scrappy block, so I should just be able to pick up any old scrap that's the right size, no?  But there I was, auditioning scraps, over-thinking as usual.  A 5-minute block became a 15-minute block as I hunted through my scraps for just the right print.  Here are a couple of smaller string blocks made for the Mini Scrap Basket Swap:

These 6.5" took 20 minutes to make.  I'm going to have to force myself to grab random strips if I want to finish 19 more in time for the swap.

I also completed my block for do. Good Stitches.  Before my shoulder surgery, I had finished one side of the December block for the Love Circle, based on this excellent Herringbone Block tutorial from Rachel at Stitched in Color.  After piecing the second half of the block three days later and trying to match the points, I noticed the first half had shrunk about 1/2 an inch.  No amount of re-pressing fixed it. 

And then a light bulb went off.  Normally I press my seams to the side.  I asked myself "Would it help of I pressed the seams open?"  Why yes, it does!  The block grew back to it's original size and the points matched up perfectly.

 I may have to re-think the way I press my seams.  Which way do you press, open or to the side?


  1. I LOVE your blocks,Deborah! Especially the one coming to me, he he.
    I'd be lying if I said I didn't audition my scraps for my block as well! :)

  2. i participated in that charity drive too! that's going to be a gorgeous quilt.

    when i'm lazy, i press to the dark side. when i'm not, i press seams open.

  3. All the blocks are so lovely! It depends what I'm doing, but I mostly press my seams open.

  4. I mostly press open (except paper piecing when you can't) But I've only made 2 quilts, you may not want to listen to me ;o)

    Hope your shoulder is all better soon!

  5. Oh no, I didn't know you had surgery! I hope you're feeling better!

    Your string blocks and herringbone block are awesome! Thanks for the tip about pressing that kind of block's seams open. :)

    I normally press my seams to the side -- I like to nest (lock?) them. I usually press completed rows' seams open, though. Pfft, I don't know what I'm doing! :D


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