A Lesson Learned

About a century ago, I promised Sarah that I'd make two Churn Dash blocks for her Siblings Together Quilt. With six months to make them, I figured there'd be no problem whipping them up at some point. In hindsight, I now see that I should've made them as soon as I'd made my promise, but life intervened, and I kept thinking about just how much time I had to make the blocks. Of course, when I finally sat down at the end of August to make them, my machine promptly broke, and it was still in the shop when the big move took place. Long story short, it was only last week that I got to return to the pieces I'd cut back in August and put these two blocks together.

There was a third block involving a striped fabric that defied all attempts at uniformity. There were stripes going every which way, and my brain just couldn't wrap itself around how to get them all to line up with each other! So, that block's gone into the scrap box. Otherwise, though, I really enjoyed making these blocks and think they look pretty good. At least, I did, until I realised that they're both ever so slightly smaller that the desired 12.5 inches. It took me a little while to figure out what I'd done wrong, but given the tiny bit by which these blocks were off, I reckoned it has something to do with seam allowance. And, what do you know, a 1/4 inch foot does not always and necessarily a 1/4 inch seam make. I'm probably the only patchworker in the world not to know this, but I'd always used my 1/4 in foot when piecing blocks and chalked up any discrepancies in final block sizes to user error. (Precision obviously isn't my forte!) Anyway, I now have a big wedge of duct tape to guide me in sewing true 1/4 inch seams, and, luckily, Sarah reckons she can use these blocks as they are. (I hope she's being truthful and not just nice!)

xx Tina 


  1. Bugger on the 1/4" foot. If it is any consolation I once got halfway through piecing a quilt top, grumbling about everything coming out smaller than it should (more than a little) before I finally realised I didn't have the freaking 1/4" foot on the machine but a much bigger one.

  2. My 1/4" foot is out too. I use my ordinary foot to sew for anyone else. It is Sao annoying to find out that the block is small when it is to go with other peoples blocks :(. They are lovely churn dashes. Di x

  3. They are pretty!. I gave up my 1/4 foot because I tend to push the fabric to the edge and made everything bit too small. Normal foot with 1/4 mark does perfect work for me.

  4. These are great T! Most block patterns assume 'scant' 1/4" seams, but most 1/4" feet aren't scant! Jxo

  5. Can't I be truthful and nice? They look great and I'm sure they'll be just great in the quilts. Thank you for persevering to make them with all that's been going on for you.


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