Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Farmer's Wife—Lessons Learned In Week 6

Didn't I say I was going to stick with templating these blocks, rather than trying to piece them on my own? Didn't I say that just last week?

Then along came the Broken Dishes block, resulting in unpleasant flashbacks to Birds In the Air. And I thought, no, I simply cannot and will not template another 32 triangles. So I pieced them like I usually do with HSTs. And you know what? Birds In the Air (templated) came together a lot better and more easily than Broken Dishes (not templated). My points just aren't aligned as well as they could be in this most recent block. And I'm not sure my method resulted in much time savings anyway, since I still had to trim the HSTs.

So once again, I'm convinced that the templates really are the way to go. This block is a pain no matter which way you do it—I might as well do it the "real" way, right? In the future, I really will stick to templating. Cross my heart this time. No more short-cuts.

I used the templates on this week's other block, Broken Sugar Bowl (what's with all the broken things this week?), and I'm really happy with this one.

Here's the thing (and it only took me 6 weeks to figure this out): When I use the templates, I've found that the vast majority of the work is in the cutting. These blocks generally don't take more than 15 or 20 minutes to piece, once the cutting is done. Something I have to keep in mind when I'm tempted to get lazy about those darn templates.

20 comments:

stefanie said...

Your blocks are looking really great. I have not used the templates since my first attempt at Block 1. I have been using a combination of paper-piecing and freestyle. Glad you are finding a method that works best for you.

Bree said...

I'm really loving the colors of all your blocks. I think your Broken Dishes block is my favorite so far.

Melanie said...

I completely agree about using the templates. In the end, I think my triangles look better when I use the templates, but they are a pain!

Yours are beautiful! I love the colors you're using!

sukie said...

Looking great Lee!

Anonymous said...

What's with all the broken things this week? The blocks in the book are in alphabetical order. :-)
BTW . . . either Marti Mitchell or EQ7 generated templates with "engineered" corners are even more FABULOUS for blocks that will come together well.

karenfae said...

I have to get back to my quilt - I have the first 14 blocks done I need to prep another 3 or 4 today so they will be handy.
Love the colors you are using on your blocks.
Karen
http://www.lindafranz.com/blog/

Elizabeth D. said...

I'm right there with you - the templates are a pain, but they do make sense in the end of things! I love how your blocks are looking, and I see more of that sketch fabric that I'm swooning over in your blocks - yum! I especially dig your Broken Sugar Bowl thing (and seriously, where did these names come from!).

Megan said...

Your blocks look great! I'm actually enjoying the templates, just for a change. At least I'm not always second guessing my measurements like I usually do.

Jessica said...

Agreed! I so want to resist those darn templates just on principle, but really, my blocks always come together when I use them! <> anyways, your blocks look great!!

LynCC said...

Templates with engineered corners are marvelous, yep. All the broken things - maybe the Air Force moved you from Florida to Colorado? My poor friend is in the middle of unpacking the most disastrous move I've heard of. :/

Leila said...

Love the Broken Dishes! I keep putting off starting this because I Hate templates. Well, I guess I have never used a template, but I sure am convinced that I hate them. :)

Susanne said...

They look great!! Some of those blocks with the tiny triangles have just kicked my butt!!!!! : D HA!

Jill@northstarquilting said...

Your blocks are gorgeous. They colours remind me of an ice cream parlour (or maybe I've just got ice cream on the brain - it is rather hot!).

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

you're too hard on yourself....both look perfect to me

Tiffany said...

Thanks for sharing your dos and don'ts with us... I'm taking mental notes as I plan to start this sometime in July or August :)

Love the newest broken dishes block tho, the colors are fabulous together!

Linz said...

I think both blocks look wonderful!! Good job!!

QuiltyGirl said...

I was determined to use the templates as well. Mostly to keep in the "spirit" of the FW. But then last night I wanted to squeak out just 1 more block and I didn't have the template ready. But it was the bowtie block, surely I could do that without the template. Um, or not. The bouquet block with funky angles turned out perfectly (using templates), and I had to take the bowtie block apart to redo it b/c it was so bad!

Your blocks are so pretty! :)

Live a Colorful Life said...

I totally get this. I was trying to "work" ahead for my Farmer's Wife Friday posts, and there was a block with rectangles. Rectangles don't need to be templated do they? Um, yes they do. Because one of the measurements was kind of funky. After trying to figure out the problem (thinking it was the triangles) and tearing it apart (twice!!), I am now remaking the whole block. With templates.

Carla said...

I've been using the templates from the beginning. I knew it was going to be more work but it would be worth it at the end. So far so good and since there really is not time line on completion, templates are the way to go.

pasqueflower said...

More gorgeous blocks! I just LOVE your color combinations! I'm planning to make a little girls' ruffled jacket using a mix of red and turquoise fabrics.

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