Happy Groundhogs' Day! I heard six more weeks of winter. Is that what you heard?
I don't mind. I actually like winter. Here in North Carolina...the winters aren't that extreme weather wise. We have the occasional snow and the occasional very cold but for the most part...it is pretty mild all things considered. Today's high was supposed to be in the sixties. It feels great outside. There is some winter weather on the way but it shouldn't last more than a day or so...then back to mild.
As part of my intention setting exercise for 2014...I made a goal to improve my quilting skills by working through my list of UFOs. This actually accomplishes two goals for me....finishes some of those lingering projects as well as improves my skills so that I can take on more challenging projects...hopefully in 2015.
Last night while I reviewed all my goals as part of my journaling, I decided that a goal for this week would be to perfect my quarter inch seam allowance. So when I finally made it to the Quilt Room this afternoon...I made that my objective for the day. Sew a perfect quarter inch seam allowance!
Has anyone actually seen the Quilting Police??? You know...the people who check the quarter inch seam allowance. Are they as fearsome as I think they may be???
Craftsy's 2014 BOM is about color theory but they start the year with a little exercise to determine if you can sew the scant quarter inch seam allowance.
If you don't know about Craftsy, you should really head on over there and check it out. There are numerous free classes...like the BOMs.
Back to this quarter inch seam allowance thing...in the 2014 BOM intro...they discuss how to determine if you sew a true quarter inch seam allowance.
You basically take three pieces of scrap fabric... 1.5 by 3 inches...
...and sew them into a three piece unit. Then you measure...it should be 3.5 inches wide. So mine is pretty close there...
Is pretty close good enough for the Quilting Police??? Or should I be worried?
I sewed 8 of these units and was pretty consistent...getting pretty close. During my sewing, I googled "quarter inch seam allowance for quilting" and there were several great hits...which I read through...and even attempted several during my afternoon quest for the perfect quarter inch...but I never got any better than "pretty close".
Then I started to wonder...is it my sewing or perhaps my cutting...where is the problem?? Or perhaps it is my pressing...or the fabric...or my needle...or my thread....SO MANY variables!!!
I decided to use my 8 little units in a quilt block (maybe a mug rug)...need something to feel good about at the end of a couple hours of sewing, right!
Isn't it pretty purple???
As I am typing out this post...I wondered how far off my "pretty close" would be in the end. Then I could determine how close is "pretty close".
Let me tell you...it isn't close enough! I am almost a quarter inch off!!! The Quilting Police are definitely going to issue a citation for that!
So while I have determined that if I don't end up with the correct size block, I can't be certain that it is my sewing skills and not my cutting skills that need work...or maybe I just need to make an adjustment for the thread or the fabric.
At the end of the day, I am not closer to the elusive quarter inch seam allowance.
I think for my next block of time in the Quilt Room, I will focus on the cutting and see what I can learn there. Perhaps make this block again with more focus on the cutting skill and the sewing skill...and see if I can get closer.