Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Row by Row Revisited

My readers are so intelligent. The flowering shrub is a weigela. I've never heard that name before, but it's pronounced wedge-eelia. I've got a lead on where to get more peonies, and the next thing I need is mulch—lots and lots of mulch. 

My schedule for June looks pretty good—one five-day trip away and then a few classes here and there, but it's pretty quiet. I love quiet! I have some personal stuff to catch up on, and I will try to get that done! And let's not forget the decluttering! 

Does anyone remember when we drove around the countryside collecting license plates for the Row by Row Experience? I went mad that first year (2014) and in subsequent years to collect as many license plates as possible. They are printed on fabric and were quite a hot item. We swapped them like mad! 

I made a quilt from the 2014 plates. Here's a link to that quilt and how it was made. 

The rest of my plates are stored in a box. 

My By-row license plates

Here's a side view so you can appreciate the quantity. Yes, I know—there's nothing like excess! 


So why was I looking at that yesterday? When we went to Maui, I had purchased a license plate. They had leftovers from previous years, and I looked through them and picked this one. 

My license plate I bought this year in Hawaii

I spotted this one from the same store when I looked through my collection! I could have ended up with the SAME plate as I'm sure they also had leftovers of this one. I wonder if they are from the same year. 

Already have one from Hawaii

When I was searching for something else in a different location, I spotted this license plate, which I know is a duplicate. 

Crazy Quilter license plate

I hung this one on my design wall so I could enjoy it rather than it being stuffed in a box. 

It was so much fun to go through all those plates, see the stores where I personally went (some are now closed), and look at all the slogans. Great memories! 

There was a real run on this from 2014 to about 2018, and then people got tired of it? We all spent gobs of money as we hit each store, but had loads of fun swapping them. The pandemic took a big hit on this event, and I see they are trying to resurrect it again. You can check out this link, as several stores in Canada are participating again, but I don't think they have the license plate thing happening. It's like a big shop hop as you can get a pattern and buy a kit to hang a wall. 

I managed to fill those two plastic totes with novelty prints and stacked two cardboard boxes on top. It's much less precarious now, so hopefully it won't collapse again. Yes -- I need to be working on using that up, but there are a few more priorities to deal with first. The bottom line is that it's neatly organized and out of the way. 

Four boxes of novelty prints

I had to "wreck" my fun configuration in Studio B this morning. I have a Facebook Live on Thursday about applique, and I have a dry run for the cameras this morning to make sure everything is set up and connected. I think I got it all done to my satisfaction. This time, it took about 15 minutes. Last time? It took days because I didn't have the right bits and pieces, but I eventually connected everything.  

This is my last Zoom or Facebook Live, which required some reconfiguring of the space until the fall. So all is good, and I'll be able to enjoy all that empty space soon.  

OH - I found two more yardage pieces when I moved some of that novelty fabric, so those are labeled and on the shelf with the rest of the quilt backings. I'm sure there's going to be more that I find, but for the moment, all is good. 

Two more yardage pieces for quilt backings

Back to the wonky quilt - I had a look at the pattern. The pattern is called Adjustable Size - Jelly Roll Race Quilt. I totally disagree with that title because it's misleading. It implies you are making a jelly roll race quilt that you can make bigger or smaller. However, to me, the term "jelly roll race" means I'm sewing the strips together and then folding that long strip in half and sewing it together and repeating that 5 times, and voila - the quilt is done. Right? Isn't that what we all perceive as a jelly roll race quilt? 

This pattern has you sew all your strips together (with an addition between the strips). That's no problem. But then it tells you to cut a strip X inches long, cut a second strip (the same length), pin them together, and sew. That is NOT the jelly roll race method. It's a strip quilt made with jelly rolls, but the methodology is completely different. 

So, while the pattern tells you to cut the strips to the same lengths and pin them, it tells you to start at one side, sew the two first strips together, and keep adding the next strip to what you already did. It tells you to start one row from the bottom and the next from the top to prevent the bow, but that doesn't stop the multiple handling the first row gets compared to the last. Never mind the excess bulk for pressing and sewing. 

And finger press as you go. ACK!!!! 

Here's what I would do: 

  • Join all the strips into one long strip, including the inserts if you want. The inserts are just spacers to increase the size of the quilt. More on that another day. 
  • Once the strips are in one long strip, cut the first length. Then, cut the second length and sew them together. Set them aside. 
  • Cut the next two lengths and sew them together. Always start these seams from the top. 
  • Continue sewing until all the pairs are together. Carefully press the seams as you go, ensuring they are straight. Draw a line on your ironing board if necessary to keep the seams straight. 
  • Then start joining the pairs and start your seam from the bottom. 

Let's say you have 24 rows or columns. After the first pass, you will have 12 pairs, and each strip has been handled the same number of times—ONCE. 

Next, you'll sew the pairs together, giving you six groups of four strips each. Press those seams and repeat the process, remembering to start sewing from the bottom. 

You should now have three groups of 8 strips. Sew the first group to the second and then add the third. All the strips will be handled pretty much equally. You never have to deal with the entire bulk of the quilt until you sew the final seam, and it makes it a lot easier to press with only a small portion of the quilt at any given time. 

I haven't had a chance to watch the video. My friend mentioned that she did not read the PDF but went by the video, and the video is different from the pattern. I'll check it out for tomorrow. 

So here's the moral of this story - just because you can, doesn't mean you should. And just because someone makes a video does not make it right. There are too many poor-quality (filming and techniques) videos on YouTube. Everyone wants to be a star and earn money by creating videos. I went back to check that $8K monthly. I don't know where that came from because I spotted another piece of information about this company: they only earned $1K monthly from their videos with almost 1,000,000 subscribers. So PLEASE be careful --- not every video is worth doing! 

If in doubt, double-check with someone else. There is so much wrong with this particular pattern (the name, the pressing, the piecing) that I can only imagine the "fun" when I watch the video. 

YES—I know I'm opinionated, but my friend was all excited because they made a jelly roll race quilt when, in fact, they did not. They made a quilt from jelly roll strips, but the method was NOT the jelly roll race. Am I being too picky? The methodology is so different. 

And if you want to resize the quilt using the jelly roll race technique, I know how to do that, and I'll share that later this week. Yes, I spend loads of time thinking about this stuff! 

On that note, I'm out of here!!!

Have a super day!!!


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