Friday, June 29, 2012

Finally Cracked The Code

I have been participating in the Modern Blocks Bee since January and every month I've been trying to figure out why my blocks are not finishing up at 12 1/2 x 12 1/2 per the block instructions.  Each month I have added another fine tuning step to my process:  pay very close attention when I cut fabric, turned off the steam setting on my iron so not to shrink the fabric and have been sewing slowly - taking my time through the process.  Six months in and the June block was a mess.  Way off in what the overall size should be. But I have good news...

I cracked it - I finally figured out what was wrong.  My (excuse me) &$^#$ 1/4" foot is about 1/8" off.

I will not be using my 1/4" foot anymore.  After realizing that this foot was the problem, it annoyed me to no end how in the two+ years I've been using this foot, my sewing has been incorrect.  Has this ever happened to you?

The upside?  By figuring out what was wrong I made it right - the July block is accurate! So it needs to be ironed a bit but it's the right size.  Hallelujah!
Binary by Angela Pingel 
In other news, I finished up the skirt from the pattern and fabric I purchased last week at Joann's. A perfect summer skirt that came together very fast although I wish that pattern makers would make zipper directions more clear. The zipper was a bit challenging but I made it work.

A new summer skirt
Have a great weekend everybody - I'll be on the soccer field sidelines, playing on a soccer field and watching the Euro 2012 final with Italy v Spain.  Go Italia!


  1. GREAT job! I am glad you figured out the problem. The skirt is great looking! All in all a GREAT day!

  2. I have one 1/4" foot for which I have to move the needle a bit to the right for it to be a true 1/4". Another one is dead on. If you can move your needle back and forth, you might want to try doing so, find where that 1/4" is, and then leave yourself a post-it note somewhere with the needle position setting. Save yourself spending money on a different foot if you can!

  3. Sandy is right. You can use your 1/4" foot still and move the needle over when you sew. 3x5 lined note cards are exactly 1/4" between the lines. This is a good way to check you 1/4". I always have one with my sewing supplies and check it periodically. I NEVER use the one with the flange. I just take that flange off and measure my 1/4". Your block and skirt are both great.

  4. oh dear. I've had similar issues. My 1/4" foot is definitely of the 'scant' variety, which is not what you need for these bee blocks. Glad you at least figured out what was going on! The block is AWESOME by the way! ;-)
    And great skirt - good for you!

  5. as I never had and still don't have a 1/4" foot I'm happily guessing my seam allowance - so far that worked just fine ... that's a nice cheery skirt ...

  6. Your skirt is very cute! Bummer about your foot but glad you got it sorted out. The block turned out great!
    I got a little template thing at the shop hop that checks your needle placement for 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4". I haven't tried it yet though.