Friday, 17 May 2013

Brain freeze

I have been working on the dog tooth borders for my Morrell quilt. 
I am doing it by machine using the freezer paper technique. 

Sarah Morrell quilt

I have done this technique for many of the block borders in this quilt, with some having a double or  triple dog tooth border so you would think I had this down pat but it still manages to do my head in - brain freeze!

Because it's kind of upside down and facing away I keep making errors, especially around keeping the right sides of the fabric together. 
Spatial relations is not a strong point of mine so I even managed to be-head a bird. 

Sarah Morrell quilt

I was going to leave it as one of my 'Amish moments' but then I had an email from Mayleen, hoping that I had enough fabric to fix it, which made me re-think and re-do it.
Much better now...

Sarah Morrell quilt

I think I've refined my steps as to when and how I cut the fabric so hopefully the rest will be more trouble free and I won't to do any more un-picking. 
My motto should be 'look twice and sew once'.

It's been fun getting out all of the red fabrics. I was considering whether to add some other reds but then decided just to stick to the ones used in the quilt.

Sarah Morrell quilt

I have also been hand piecing the keystone blocks but my points don't go together very well in the centre. I cut the pieces carefully on the bias and do half the 'circle' and then sew the two halves together. 

Sarah Morrell quilt

Any tips for getting the points to come together nicely?


  1. Wow - certainly tricky to fussy cut foundation piecing! Love the fabrics you are using !
    For the corner blocks, I also made up foundation pieces - and machine sewed them together in halves. Mind you - those points look pretty good to me!

  2. Your borders are looking lovely, even if they are frustrating for you.

  3. Your reds are looking wonderful! Of course, I am very partial to that color. I'll be watching your comment section for ideas to make the points match as thats also dilemma for me. Have you tried paper piecing them?

  4. Do your instructions tell you to press the center so it flares out into a circle? Almost always that is what the directions for blocks like this tell you to do. If so, then that is why the center never comes together correctly - when you press like this it is impossible to get the points to meet in the center!

    Do this instead:

    1. Sew pairs of pieces together so you have a "pie wedge" for each quarter of the block.

    2. Sew pairs of pie wedges together to form two block halves and PRESS THE SEAM OPEN! This is so very important.

    3. Right sides together, pin the two haves together for the final center seam. Start by pushing a pin straight down through the center of the seam (at the seamline) on the top half so it comes out at exactly the center of the bottom half (at the seamline). DON'T USE THIS PIN TO PIN THE HALVES TOGETHER! Just leave it pushed through with the point coming out the bottom half. Now, use two more pins and carefully pin through the pressed open seam allowance on each side of the first pin. Make sure that first pin remains straight and true. Once the seam is pinned securely and you know the center of the seams match, pull out the first (center) pin and sew the final seam. Leave the pins in as you sew, carefully and slowly sewing right over the pins. (Use fine silk pins to lessen the chance of the needle hitting one.) Check to make sure the centers still match, then press open the final seam. Finish by sewing on the four corner triangles. I hope this makes sense to you. If not let me know, and I'll try to take some pictures of the process to help you.

    1. WOW - thanks Patti for leaving such detailed instructions! You're right, I had been pressing the centre so that it 'flares out into a circle'. I will try your method and let you know how I go. Thanks again - Carole.

  5. Hi, Carole! Your Morrell work is looking so nice. That's such a complicated quilt - I love watching people work on it! I'm also grateful for Patti's detailed tips - they should come in handy when I start working on the Camelot circles I want to do.