Sunday, July 28, 2013

Don't Laugh!!!

So I tried out the Little House Blocks.  Please be kind when you look at the pictures.  I had no clue how to go about doing this.  Oh, and excuse the yellowish pictures.  I took the pictures on my cutting table under a lamp.

First, I got everything stamped.  I pulled some really old Robyn Pandolph fabric from my secret closet.  This is so old that Moda didn't even print the name of the line on the selvege back then.  I cut five inch strips and stamped.  Fabric decision and stamping - one hour.

I stamped each template twice because Jeanneke said you could do it twice from one inking.  I used my rotary cutter to cut apart the itsy bitsy pieces.  Cutting apart the pieces - two minutes.

Then I laid out all the pieces.  I don't remember now if this is the correct lay-out or my first attempt.  There was some switching around that took place.  Lay-out - five minutes.

Okay, how easy is this to sew together?  Right?  I machine sewed all the rectangles, everything below the roof.  I used my regular stitch length which was way too long.  Should have shortened the stitches.  Machine stitching - two minutes.

Anyway, when I got to the roof, I realized, "Houston, we have a problem!"  Yikes.  Those are Y-seams!  And those two pink do-dads up at the tippy top, the chimneys, are only about a half inch.  I gave it the old college try.  Four times!  Nope, it didn't work.  Failed attempt at Y-seams - 30 minutes.

I finally had to admit that I needed to hand piece that roof.  I have never hand pieced anything.  The very first quilt show like four months after I started quilting, I signed up for what I thought was a hand quilting class.  Turns out it was a hand piecing class.  I escaped the room very quickly.  In hindsight, I shoulda stuck around! 

I had no clue - none - on how to proceed.  So I just double threaded a needle with the cotton thread that was on the sewing machine and gave it my best shot.  Hand piecing the roof - 15 minutes.

ROFLOL.  Obviously this is a reject, a learning block, but it's hilarious.  All of my stitches are showing.  Go ahead, enlarge the picture!  I dare you!!  I don't know what kind of stitch to use.  The whole darn house looks like it barely survived a hurricane, but it did come to the right size .... 3.5" unfinished.  Hey, that counts for something, doesn't it?

I do know that ironing the seams down doesn't work when you're hand piecing.  But it was too late because I had already ironed them down.

I'm going to try another one and hand piece the entire thing.  First, though, I need to dig through the tons of quilting books I have to see if any of them will shed light on this subject.  Lots of light!!

Total time wasted -- just under two hours.

Total fun time playing with the block -- just under two hours!!!


I went to Amazon to see if they had books on hand piecing.  The first one on the list was Quiltmaking by Hand, Simple Stitches, Exquisite Quilts by Jinny Beyer.  I have that one!!

I'm going to fix lunch and READ about hand piecing for the rest of the afternoon!!


Another Update:  I tried again hand piecing the whole block.  It's still horrible.  But at least I put it together correctly.  The one on the left is the first one I did, and it has the door and window reversed.  The one on the right is the second one that I hand pieced.  It must have gone through the same hurricane as the first one.  They were probably next door neighbors.

Obviously this will be a long learning curve for me.  I need to get the Brrrrr Park finished and then I can try a third time.  They say, third time's the charm - but I'm not betting my next paycheck on that!!


BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Cute little house. I hate "Y" seams

Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts said...

For a first ever attempt~ you did great! I'm serious! And that is a cute teeny tiny house. :-)

Darlene said...

Hey, I think that cute, little, pink house looks wonderful. I'd live in it. LOL :-)

Mary said...

Sorry but I'm laughing! What a comedy of errors. You are hilarious- again.


Janet said...

That wave of houses that took over the quilty Internet last year was so tempting. If it weren't for those y seams I'd have jumped all over that bandwagon. You are brave to try it and brave to blog about it and I bet with practice you will have piles of adorable little houses and have learned a new skill.

SallyW said...

Well I think they're the prettiest little things!! All you have to remember with Y seams is to start and stop at the 1/4" mark. Don't go all the way to the end. That's it!
You could have found a real nice little (really little) take along project! I think you did a great job!

RubyNi said...

Hi I just love that block however like you I am not too fond of Y seams. Not sure if this will help or if you want to do this but for what its worth this how I tackled the last House block I did... I split the big piece on the outside into a triangle which I attached to the side of the roof and a rectangle to the side of the chimney; I added a quarter inch to the piece to allow for seam allowance. Then I continued to piece each "row" and put my block together. Yes, an extra seam but no Y seam!

mascanlon said...

I am impressed! I have only hand pieced the one block that was part of my very first basic quilting class. Was pretty much self taught and then took a sampler class.
So I think these look pretty good!

Anonymous said...

Great 1st attempt! I learned hand piecing when Cindy Blackberg came to our guild last year. She was great! I worked on perfecting my stitching first with a relatively easy pattern, her stamped tumbler, before tackling a more challenging pattern that I had to mark myself. I have since completed that quilt & started to hand quilt it (my first attempt to do that as well, other than "big stitch" quilting). It was so much fun and ADDICTIVE. Loved the portability of it. Stick with it. I think it'll become second nature to you and you'll end up loving it.
Mona R. (

suz said...

not a bad job! Handpiecing is really pretty easy. I just take 4 or 5 tiny running stitches, then back stitch and do it again. With a "y" seam, stitch the first section and then knot off. Manipulate the 2 pieces of fabric so that it appears you are sewing a straight line and start from the outside edge. Make sure your last stitch goes into the same hole the last stitch of the first section went (hope that makes sense). Once you get more comfortable, you'll find you can get to the inside corner and just move the fabric - somewhat like you do when sewing hexagons together. Actually, that system will work on a machine as well. In the meantime, because it's really hard to explain handsewing a "y" seam - look up some YouTube instructions - there are some pretty good ones out there! The nice thing about hand piecing - you can do it in front of the TV!

Donna said...

The second one looks better from here.

Edna said...

There is a great video on YouTube on Y seams both for machine and hand piecing. Look up Jinny Beyer Studio for the tutorial Perfect
Set-In Seams (Y-Seams). Hope this helps.

Charity said...

This is gorgeous!