Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hinky Happenings on 1.11.11

We are a family who really likes the show NCIS - on every Tuesday at 8 on CBS. One character on that show is Abby, the brainy, goth scientist on the team. 

A word Abby uses when evidence just isn't adding up is "hinky." Well, I've had some "hinky" things going on today in my sewing room as I've been making log cabin blocks. Take a look at these blocks.

They are anything but square - if my high school geometry serves me correctly, I believe the word polygon might apply. The more strips I added, the wonkier they became. Just look at the wavy edges on this bad boy.

I swear, honest! I cut the strips exactly the size that was called for. So, log cabin whiz kids, what's going on? Does it have anything to do with cutting on the crosswise or lengthwise grain? That's my first guess. So, anyway, I don't know whether to go ahead with the rest or start over. I need 36 to make the border on my Dressmaker's Quilt; I made 6 "hinky" ones today.

I've mentioned the Dressmaker's Quilt in several blogs, so I really ought to identify it better. The pattern is by Terry Clothier Thompson, and it makes a 90" square quilt. Here is the picture from her homepage.

Another little bit of work I did today was to make another North Star block for the Civil War Quilt that I've been doing. No wonkiness here!!


  1. Are all the fabrics cotton? It looks like the fabric has puckered from ironing so that could mean that some of the fabrics were not cotton. Just an idea!

  2. Im not sure what to tell you about the LC blocks, other then press lightly, measure and trim while building the blocks.

  3. Helen, all fabrics are cotton, and I've been very careful about the quarter-inch seam. Lori, I did wonder if the size would be altered too much by using your suggestion. I might do it on one, just to see.

    I think all my strips were cut crosswise, and that's the stretchy way. If I were to cut a set of strips from the lengthwise, I could test that theory.

  4. Cute blocks - and I love that pattern!! I'm wondering if it might be in the pressing? That is where most of my stretching occurs - so I don't use any steam - an uber hot iron, and sort of finger press it open first - then just set the iron on it (no scooting the iron around)! Hope maybe that helps! Oh, I wouldn't stitch them over- think they'll be fine! It's going to be a lovely quilt!

  5. I think you have two many lights on one side. In the picture of the block by itself, the gold center has three strips on three sides of it and four strips on one side. If that's confusing, count the number of strips top to bottom and side to side. You have seven strips going one way and eight the other. That's going to give you a rectangle not a square. Taking off that extra light strip should help.

    I have found when making log cabin blocks that if you cut all the strips the length they should be before sewing it helps with accuracy. If your strip is slightly smaller than the block you are attaching it to, put the strip on top and the feed dogs will help ease the extra in.

    If you sew long strips to the blocks and later trim them even with the block, your block can get out of whack quickly. If the block is off, you'll be trimming the strip to the same wrong size. Even just a tiny bit will add up on these blocks.


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