Foot²Freestyle: September Roundup

Yes, it’s that time again – already!

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 7.32.54 pmWe’re all on time this month, the last blocks were posted today. It’s been a fun month; Sue’s colour choices made for striking results, and I certainly hope she puts them together quickly so we can see the amazing colour and layout combinations everyone has come up with in real life.

In the meantime, you can go to the F²F gallery page to browse through all the blocks from June – September.

Next month is Lynn’s turn, and she has opted for an interesting and understated colour palette:

Background: dark grey. Colours: pale grey, white and turquoise/teal blue with little bits of coral

Lynn has been extremely organised and I have her blocks for October up in the gallery already, so that everyone else can see what she has in mind. I really hope she has some of that lovely grey left for when it’s my turn…

A quick reminder to the F²F participants: please don’t post about the blocks you’ve made for Lynn until she confirms they’ve been received. We’re mostly following each other’s blogs, so the photos will appear in the Reader or our email inboxes, and the surprise of what she’s getting will be spoiled for her. I will post the photos in the gallery, and Lynn can avoid looking there if she wants to be surprised. Once she has them, it’s safe to post!

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Simple perfection

I Pinterest.

And the other day, this love and the hours I spend trawling for inspiration were fully, fully justified when I discovered there a tutorial which has been a total game-changer for me.

My quilts are more known for being colourful or an interesting concept or design than for the perfection of my piecing. I freely admit that my favourite mantra is “Finished is better than perfect”. This lack of skill (or perhaps my stubborn refusal to unpick something just a bit wonky when I’m on a roll) has put out of reach my long-time ambition to create a postage-stamp scrappy double quilt. Can you imagine the escalation of non-matching corners across a full size quilt? It didn’t bear thinking about, and knowing myself thoroughly, I sadly put the idea on a very distant back burner.

But look at this baby!  Check out those corners!  See how crisp and perfect and lovely it is!

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Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 12.30.50 pmOK, I’ll stop taking the credit now, and give it where it’s due. I used Elizabeth Hartman’s postage stamp block tutorial. It’s beautifully explained and photographed, all laid out with the kind of detail and clarity any moron or person in an extreme hurry can understand, and it uses no special tools, only things that any average sewist will have on hand. You need only the smallest amount of patience at the start, and after that, it goes astonishingly quickly

It’s so wonderfully simple: cut your squares a tiny, tiny bit smaller than a 2″ grid marked on a square of lightweight iron-on interfacing. Arrange all your squares with edges touching. Press. Crease the interfacing along the gridlines and stitch along the creases. Gently slit the interfacing to open the seam allowance and press open. Do the verticals, then the horizontals. Result: Perfect squares that line up exactly.

I did one thing differently from how she suggests you proceed; instead of making a fabric grid to place under the interfacing, I drew my grid directly on the back of the interfacing with a fine tip biro, and placed the whole shebang on a white cloth so the lines showed through. Oh, and I made mine much smaller, on the assumption that as I could easily stuff it up, there was no point spoiling lots of interfacing. As it turned out, I needn’t have worried! I may eventually make her white fabric grid, because it’ll save ruling lines on every block, but for now, it’s quick and easy to do it my way. I’ve already made this cutie’s big sister, and have another big pile of colourful scraps pressed and lined up on the cutting mat. Obsessive, moi?

The upshot of all this unseemly glee and self-congratulation is that I have now added the postage stamp quilt to my To Do list. Best of all, because I can make it one scrappy block at a time, I can do it almost by stealth, and as part of the monthly ScrapHappy block post that Gun and I do on the 15th of each month. Watch this space. One of these days, I’ll be doing a “Tah-daaaah!” post, and there will be a beautiful postage stamp scrappy quilt to show off.

And a whole lot less scraps to store, not that I’ll ever stop creating them….