Wednesday 17 January 2024

To Do Tuesday #57

Hi there!

I have had an interesting week. My goals for the week were:
- make a test block of the new pattern (and take some notes this time!)
- put my plan for the next 3 months on paper starting with the wholecloth quilt (which is still waiting to be printed)
- continue on my sock
- pull out the fabric for a new Fox quilt and get ready to tackle that.

I did sit down and did some major planning...too many projects in my head. I lost count after the 13th project. No wonder I was getting so confused! Carefully went month by month and really thought about what I can and cannot achieve. Split some tasks across the months and also build in the charity quilts which do take on average 2 days to complete. Used my Goodnotes App on the Ipad for this and spread out the projects over the year...will be interesting to look back on what I did and did not complete. Hoping that some projects will take less time as there are a few other things which are not even in there, but we shall see. Feel less out of control with what's going on in my head 😂

So, started off with making a test block for a pattern I am looking at doing for my Etsy shop. Posted about it HERE. Well, after I thought that I had it all worked out I went ahead starting to make the blocks.
It is a simple block that really should not have given me a lot of trouble, but after yesterday I thought that I might have to go back to Quilting School. I started off on the premise that I could actually piece this starting with two Square in Square blocks, cutting them into into quarters and using this to construct the unit. That worked and I arrived at a measurement of 6-1/4in for the finished block. Went with that as I had spent hours calculating this through. Also checked this with EQ8 and yes, this seemed to have been correct.
Yesterday I did piece a few blocks using the Freezer Paper Piecing method for those coloured units and started to have problems with squaring off the block. When I checked my measurement I seemed to be ever so slightly off when I measured those squares of the block. Checked my foundation print out...also off by a few thread widths. Now, this got my attention as the EQ8 program is never off! 
Went through the printer settings...did I inadvertently change something on there? But no, all was as it was supposed to be, so I went back to the EQ8 program.
Well, learned a few things! I still got the older EQ manuals in book format, so started searching and ended up in a section which talks about 'How to avoid rounding mistakes in rotary cutting. In essence, EQ8 applies conventional quilters wisdom to its measurements, i.e. it adds 1-1/4in to the finished size of quarter square triangles for cutting, just like you would when working it out yourself. The inaccuracy produced by rounding of to 1/8 or 1/16 however can become significant when the size of the finished patch cannot be easily measured on a common ruler. Had another look at my setting was set to rounding of to the nearest 1/8. When I went deeper though and rounded of to the nearest 1/16 and to 'no rounding' at all it showed me that my square was in fact uneven, meaning that I had a block that did not easily fit into a grid of any kind and the unfinished block was somewhere a bit less than 6-3/4in which explained why I had such difficulty squaring this up. In short, my amazing calculations were wrong somewhere.
I did test this further and made my block 6in...checking this on EQ8 produced a consistent value of the square, rounded to the nearest 1/8, 1/16 and with no rounding at all, coming out at 2-1/8in in the finished block. Checked my foundation print out...yep, all correct and sewed the block.
The block came out perfectly and the problem with squaring up had disappeared. Who would have thought that such a simple block would give me so much trouble. My work space looked like this which shows you what was going on in my chaos!
This has taken so much longer than it should have but it just goes to show how important it is to spent the time on making a test block, for any project really.

Also spent some time printing my revised version of my wholecloth and spending a bit of time with the Affinity Designer program again. Good fun...did a few more lessons as I am still thinking about purchasing the program for the desktop. It is a one-off payment which is more attractive than the Adobe Illustrator subscription service. At the moment I am still working on the Ipad which is great but when it comes to printing I need to export my drawing, then get it onto the desktop as I need to print the thing as a poster, i.e. spread the design over multiple pages to get a 100% copy of my drawing which is somewhere around 35in.
Spent some time sticky taping this together...always painful as you get slight inaccuracies on the home printer but we got there in the end.
Looks crooked, but is actually a perfect square. So now I am ready to mark this onto the fabric and think through some of the elements...its been a while since I looked at this, so some of the things might change. Happy with my measurements though and the revisions I made.

For this week I am planning to:
- start the new pattern with the block from above
- start the marking of the wholecloth and maybe
- do a little bit more knitting
- baste another charity quilt 

That's probably enough...we are in summer down here and the weekend will be uncomfortably hot, so I might just fade out.

Linking up to To Do Tuesday #57 over at Quilt Schmilt


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