Thursday, December 3, 2009

Perfect 1/4” seam

The secret to getting a “perfect” block is a “perfect” 1/4” seam – or so they say. Well, I found out it’s true!

1330The above block is the first time I ever made a block with rotary cut patches (other than a square) and templates and it turned out to be the perfect size! I have always shied away from rotary cut blocks and templates cuz when I sewed the patches together, the completed block was always a little bit off. This one measures 12-1/2” square – as it is supposed to.

It has 29 patches and a whole bunch of points. Lots of places to make a teensy error that multiplies into a big error as more seams are sewn.

I usually make my blocks divided into Paper Piecing parts, which I then sew together. The only time I use rotary cut is for squares. HSTs - I make by sewing 2 oversized squares together on the diagonal. Odd sized patches are usually in the Paper Piecing parts.

My secret for the perfect block -- I used a new foot on my Janome 6600 -
It’s a “Clear View Quilting Foot and Guide Set”, $16. It gives the most accurate 1/4” seam I’ve ever done on this machine or any other machine.

The block is one I saw in Quilters Newsletter Magazine, July/August 2005. Starry Star was designed by Judy Martin. The article had lots of “blocks within blocks” that Judy designed.

I belong to the Sunshine State Quilters Association, Inc. and also am the webmaster of their website. SSQA is a statewide guild for the state of Florida. SSQA was collecting blocks for Quilts of Valor and then distributed the blocks to member guilds who will be making them into quilts for Quilts of Valor to give to wounded servicemen and servicewomen.

Whenever I make donation blocks, I like to make unusual blocks, such as this one. It’s good for a personal challenge and gets the block out of my system. Cuz, when I finish one of these unusual blocks, I usually find out I don’t want to make more than one!


paula, the quilter said...

That is such a wonderful idea to make a block like that. I suppose if one kept the background the same or similar a whole quilt would be the result. Our guild doesn't do blocks like yours does but cuts simple quilt kits for donations.

Sunnie said...

I actually saw this block in person and it IS perfect!
I like the star-in-a-star design, too.
Guess I'll have to be looking for that new foot soon....I love my Jamome travel-size machine and would like to have a better 1/4" foot for it.
My Pfaffs (1475 & 1473... soon to become vintage computer modelsat 15 years old!) have a mysterious line on the A foot that gives a very good seam allowance.

Jackie said...

What a gorgeous block! It' stunning.