Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Barn Quilt Blocks

 I caved! I turned on the laptop to watch a couple of The Great British Baking Show episodes. But I was productive while I watched and got a couple of the tasks done that needed to get done. I wish I could have done more, but that's the way it is. We always think we can do more than is possible in a day. 

For me -- it's the darn admin work that kills me. I did get one homework assignment finished up, and there's one more follow-up handout to work on. At least it's less time-consuming than it was in the past. But I need to address a small stack of stuff beside me and a small one on the floor. I'd better learn to write faster!

But instead of lamenting about what didn't get done or what still has to be done, let's look at what got done -- that's way more exciting anyway. 

I got this small customer quilt done. 

Customer quilt - DONE

And then the barn block needed to be done as the next one will be released this Friday. Yikes -- I was putting it off because I knew there were a LOT of pieces in this block. So while watching the baking show, I cut all the pieces. Then I trimmed the half-square triangles and laid everything out to look like this. 

The barn block laid out and ready to sew

You have to keep in mind that the original blocks assigned by Thimbles and Things are 18" finished. My blocks are 9". Yep -- if you do the math, eight squares across doesn't fit nicely with 9". Each of those units had to be trimmed to 1 5/8". And then, they needed to be sewn together perfectly so the finished block would be 9" (9½" unfinished). 

Let's not forget that I'm a fanatic about the direction those diagonal seams get pressed. We don't want bulk at any intersection. 

Then it got stitched together into four patches, and of course, I twirled the seams on all the four patches. 

Finished step two of the block construction

Then the four patches got sewn together into larger four patches, and all the seams were twirled as I proceeded. Did I measure each of the four patches to see if they were the right size? I randomly checked a few, and once I knew I was on the right track, I didn't measure them all. It doesn't matter how experienced a sewist you are -- it's a GOOD idea to check the size of those four patches before you get completely to the end and realize that your seams were slightly off. 

Step three of the block construction

And there's the finished block, with neat edges and hopefully no mistakes in the pattern. I've run out of that red fabric, and I've already used two different reds in the quilt. I may have to break down and go and buy some. It's a Northcott Toscana, so it should be easy to get more. 

The block is DONE

Here's what the back of the block looks like. Nice and neat, and the block is perfectly flat, even with all those points and intersections. 

The back of the barn block

I wanted to see how all the blocks look together, so time to put them up on the design wall. I'm going to put my blocks on point, and I need 18 of them. The four blocks to the side are directional, and one is a 6" block, so they won't get used in the quilt. 

My barn blocks

We should be getting seven more blocks, and I only need four, so I'll have a couple of extra blocks to play around with. And hopefully, at least four of those blocks can be set on-point. I'm quite pleased with the overall effect so far. 

And my container for this project is getting full, so I looked at what was in the container and decided that I did NOT need the pattern printouts. I've redone them all in EQ8 to get the smaller size, so if I want to make those blocks again, I can open EQ8 and reprint a set of instructions. So all that paper went to the recycling. 

The paper patterns are now in the recycling

Our bonus task this month was to do an online puzzle from The Quilt Show website. I had done one earlier this month, and I should have taken a picture of that one. I think I chose 99 pieces (non-rotating) for that first one. Last night, I decided to do another one to submit everything before going to bed. Good grief -- I chose 300 pieces (non-rotating), and it took a LONG time to get that thing together. Thank goodness I didn't select rotating pieces as I'd still be working on it! 

My finished online puzzle

There's probably a spot where you can see a picture before you start? I didn't look for it, so I had to figure this thing out as I went along. 

In the process of making that block, I got two more hourglass units completed, and they are 5", so I now need to make 7 more before I can start to sew that scrappy quilt together. 

Two more hourglass units

I made progress on my Mixed Media project, not as much as I would have liked, but as I walked, I did more thinking about the logistics. Yes --- this will come together, but there's still much work to be done. I have one presentation tonight, which doesn't require any work, but the French one tomorrow will require a lot of work, so that's the task for today. 

And I have my guild presentation to the Oakville Quilters Guild tomorrow night, which requires a little bit of tweaking. So those two things are on the list today, as is some of the computer work. 

What a difference a couple of days can make with the weather. A couple of days ago, we were freezing, and yesterday, I could almost have walked without a jacket. I certainly took my mitts off and unzipped my coat! Now we are expecting some messy winter weather. I'm so glad my guild presentation tomorrow night is on Zoom. No need to worry about the roads!! They are selling guest spots (not sure if there are any left), but you can always check it out. This afternoon, it's supposed to be 9 C with sunshine. 

And look at this sad sack. For some reason, when I put Murphy's harness on to take her for a walk, you would think I was sending her to prison. But the moment that door is open, she's her happy self. 

Sad sack Murphy

Well, it's off to spin class, and I have my FitBit on! And when I'm back, I'll be at the computer trying to get some stuff done. 

I have to say that my monthly Master TO DO list is working out well. I love crossing stuff off, and I just need to figure out how to reduce the number of things on it. Well, some of it is learning stuff for me, and I like to set stretch goals, so that list will always have more on it than I can accomplish in one month. But at least all areas are covered, so I don't forget to do something - even if it happens next month!

And then I can update the list on the computer during the month, and at the beginning of the next month, I can print a copy. That sounds super easy, right? Well, not if your computer won't talk to the printer. For whatever reason, my computer will not print. It recognizes the scanner on that printer, but it won't print. So I have to send stuff to myself via e-mail and use my phone to print. Can you tell me why that is? I need to call support but haven't had time. 

Well, I'm off to spin class, and soon we won't need to show our vaccine certificates which will be very nice. Masks are still required, and I'm OK with that. It's all one more step to being totally open. Last year, I said things would be open by the end of March (two years after everything started), and by the end of March, things would almost be back to "normal."   OH GOD -- that's something my mother would say! I told you so!! Sorry for that!

But I don't see that my daily routine will change much. I'm pretty happy with things the way they are, and while I need to make three short road trips, I can't find time in the day to make that happen. Two of them are just to pick stuff up and would probably take 2 hours at the most each. But then I don't have two spare hours! Maybe next week. 

Have a super day!!!



  1. check Books In Order best place to start. Here you will find simple lists of books in order by author and by series.

  2. I get the newsletter from The Quilt Show and at the bottom there is usually a link to the puzzle. I do all of them, but I am a whimp and choose the lowest number of pieces, usually 35 or 36. When I started, it took me 5 or 6 minutes to do them, now I can do them in 3 or 4 minutes.
    For your printer, I had a similar issue a while back. I ended up uninstalling the printer from my computer and then downloading a new version from the printer website and then it works again. You might try that.

    1. Hey Linda --- I thought of doing the super easy one and I've done some before, but I wanted a challenge! I sure got one -- it took me 80 minutes to do that puzzle and the pieces weren't even rotated! AS for the printer, I have tried reinstalling a new driver, after deleting the old. I think it needs a call to support to fix it. I have a workaround, but kind of silly to be sure. Thanks for the tip.