I can answer that in two words....... SCHOOL HOLIDAYS
Yes, you read correctly.... once again, my son is on school holidays! So, of course, my days just disappear into thin air! (along with my money!)
Anyway..... I finally found time to make last Sunday's Civil War Quilt block.... # 13 LITTLE BLUE BASKET ...
This block gave me some real problems! I made two versions and these are the things I learnt...
--following the cutting and piecing layout from HERE...
1. The "B" rectangles could be cut a little longer, say 5-1/2" and trimmed later
2. The "C" triangle needs to be positioned EXACTLY, otherwise you lose the 1/4" seam allowance at the point of the dark triangles. You could make this triangle slightly larger and cut it back later.
3. I used a normal 1/4" seam allowance on all piecing until I got to the final stages.... adding the large and small light triangles. I used a "scant" 1/4" for those.
I found the most difficult area was the part where you add the rectangle with the dark triangle sewn on one end. It is most important to add that triangle accurately with a true 1/4" seam allowance and then to pin the rectangle very well to the side of the basket, making sure it does reach the end (this is why I say it might help to cut this rectangle a little longer). Precise pressing at this stage also helps (it's important ALL of the time really!!)
I tried two methods of pressing the seams. My first attempt I pressed most seams open but didn't like the end result so on the second one I just pressed to one side as necessary.
I constructed my HST's using my wonder-cut ruler and as usual, they were fine. I found piecing the actual blue basket had no problems, everything went together well, it was just those final bits with the rectangles and light triangles where things can (and did!) go awry!
Some of the Flickr photos show handles on the basket, but I have kept to the original pattern - so mine is a bowl!
Making this block really brought home the fact that precise cutting, piecing and pressing all go together to make an accurate block. Another important thing! - don't change rulers during your cutting stages - it's amazing how different the measurements can be between one ruler and another!! Start with one ruler and stick with it!!
I am now making BLOCK # 14 - FOX AND GEESE ... and would you believe it????? "Gone with the Wind" is on tele! now, I could drag my little tv into my sewing room, but then I don't think I would get any sewing done!!!