My go-to high school graduation gift is a pillowcase. It’s easy to make, and you can customize it for the recipient. (I like to point out that it also makes a good laundry bag.) When a co-worker’s daughter graduated last spring, she had already decided she was going to decorate her dorm room in llamas and turquoise. I was tickled when I found the perfect llama print.
I had enough left from the pillowcase to add a few 6.5″ squares to my Thrifty Quilter bin. At a recent retreat weekend, I played with an idea for a 10″ quilt block. That explains the first part of this post’s title. The rest will be clear shortly.
Here are the TQ pieces needed for this block:
One 6.5″ square Novelty Print
*Two 3.5″ turquoise squares
*Six 3.5″ brown squares
*Eight 3.5″ white squares
Cut two 3.5″ brown squares and two 3.5″ white squares diagonally twice, and sew into four quarter-square triangles (QSTs). Trim each one to 2.5″ square. Unaffiliated endorsement: If you don’t have one, get yourself a Tucker Trimmer®. If your local shop doesn’t carry them, you can order direct from Studio 180 Designs.
Cut the remaining brown squares, white squares and the turquoise squares in half diagonally. Sew into eight brown and white half-square triangles (HSTs) and four turquoise and white HSTs. Trim each to 2.5″.
Sew a brown and white HST to the brown sides of each QST as shown.
Just so you know, this is where I made my boo-boo. We’ll see if you can figure out what I did.
Hint: I did steps 1 & 2 on one day, and step 3 a few weeks later.
Sew a strip to the left and right sides of the 6.5″ novelty square. Sew the turquoise and white squares to the ends of the other two brown and white strips, and sew these to the top and bottom of the center unit to complete your block.
So now you see my mistake. Actually, it’s an honest mistake that I made worse by not addressing it immediately.
Here’s what happened:
I was using a machine that has a little quirk. Even though I have a quarter-inch presser foot, I still have to move the needle three positions to the left to have a true quarter-inch seam. Of course, I turned the machine off at the end of the first day of the retreat, having finished Step 2. When I switched the machine on the next time, the machine went to its default settings, and I forgot to bump the needle over before beginning Step 3. That was my first mistake.
When I sewed strip to the left side of the llama square, I noticed that it didn’t fit. I should have unsewn that seam, measured the strip and figured out why it was too long. (Because I didn’t move the needle, my seams when sewing the HSTs to the QSTs were too narrow.) That was my second mistake.
Instead of addressing the problem, I told myself “it won’t be that noticeable”, and simply trimmed the end off flush with the larger square. That’s was my third mistake, and for this block, the fatal error. I know better than that! For pity sake, I’ve been doing this for over 40 years. I have no excuse.
I will forgive my quilty friends if they snicker when I say, I am not a “point prude.” I know all quilters are human, and imperfect points happen to us all, but this one will haunt me for a while.
Live and learn.