Caliper + Protractor = ACCURATE HEXAGON!!!!!!!!!

OK, those who follow my blog know that when I start a quilt and run into problems it means that there is a BIG problem with the pattern.  If you read my previous post you know that I had issues with the small templates that come with the pattern so I reversed engineered the templates for rotary cutting.  It took a some time to make a few samples until I achieved perfection! I was on a roll!  Well, little did I know I was on a roll like a large ball of twine that was heading downhill.

This is where I was yesterday, after I called a quilting buddy for some guidance and tips Thursday evening on attaching the first ring to the middle hexagon!

Notice I stopped working on the melons….. I realized that there was a problem with this pattern.  Not sure what, but a problem.  Puckers, star points cut off, and the hexagon not matching up with the seams on the triangles!!!! Grrrrr

This morning I decided to do an early morning house cleaning and then I am free to work the problem out!  Well, it has taken me 3 more hours to work on the problems.  In order to find the problem I cut out 6 each 3 1/2″ squares, marked the 1/4″ seam line, and 6 each setting triangles and marked the 1/4″ seam line.  NO PROBLEM – right – WRONG.  When I pinned the first square and triangle together the triangle was about 1/8″ larger than the 3 1/2″ square.  But I worked around that for the purpose of just getting this test started!  Here is the ring made from the background fabric!  Looks good doesn’t it – well now the problem is on the outside of the ring – the triangles are off about 1/8″ or 1/16″ of an inch and we all know what that will do if I continued on with the 2nd ring of the Medallion.

Test Pattern for the first ring in Robin’s Nest

After sewing the test ring, I thought – OH BOY – time to sew the test center hexagon on my new improved ring!  WRONG AGAIN.  I went to the pattern and started checking the pattern for the large hexagon – and it is off at least 1/8″ or 1/16″ on 2 or 3 sides.  I called for my Engineer and he brought his protractor and caliber and I pulled out Marti Michell’s large hexagon template and between us we now have a perfect Hexagon pattern for the center that should patch all points!  But that does not help the fact that we still have an issue with the lovely triangle template that came with the pattern.  Now the issue is the outside of the ring – to try to continue on without resolving that issue the entire Medallion will be a total disaster.  Thank goodness I stopped working on this quilt at this point because to continue on would be another total disaster.  Here is the hexagon pattern that was provided.  IT has the problem.  All sides should have been 3″ but the are not!  Another Grrrr!

Original hexagon pattern

This is the one that Clay and I worked on and it is perfect – 3″ on each side with 1/4″ seam allowance added.


Here is what I am working toward:

Robin’s Nest Medallion

I have now turned over the triangle template problem over to the Engineer – good project for him to work on in the morning!  ME – I am headed for my chair and watch a movie and forget that I have put a lot of hours into a quilt pattern that has problems.  Jaydee sent me a picture of Robin’s Nest being made by another quilter and it is easy to see that they had issues but kept going – Good Luck to them!  Maybe I am just too much the perfectionist, but when I pay good money for fabrics and patterns and have to totally revamp the pattern by making corrections that the Designer should have caught, it tends to be upsetting.

Tomorrow is another day and I will be ready to move on and hopefully it will work out.  I will have to remake by 6 red stars – too much ripping on the current ring!  When will I ever learn to double check anything these Designers publish?

Have a great week-end.

POST SCRIPT:      Quilter Error – I double checked the triangle template against the ‘test’ piece this morning with a fresh look.  I think I may have picked up 3 of the triangles where I did not cut them accurately – So now I  have CAREFULLY cut out a new batch for the ‘start over’!  I will also be making my notes that I have to pay close attention to when cutting, sewing the ring together.

Robin’s Nest Project Has Begun

Our internet service has had issues the last month or so and the service finally went belly up for good last Saturday.  I enjoyed the quietness and think I did progress in quilting…. Hum!  Today the technician came out to fix last week’s technician and customer services boo boo’s.  So now back on-line and in the fold again!

I started Robin’s Nest this week-end.  I have studied this pattern for 2 years and it has been on my 2017 Goals for 4 months now.  This is a fairly complex quilt and not as complex as Ms Billings and Phebe, and others, but it is a striking quilt.  Templates are provided, but when one is making 3 1/2″ UF stars, using small templates and a rotary cutter is not for me.

I made one block using the templates and was not pleased.   So I decided to reverse engineer the templates and convert to rotary cutting. I made 3 other test star blocks to ensure my rotary cutting measurements were accurate.    The 4th one appeared to be perfect (until I looked at the picture I took) and realized that one point was off.  So back to the drawing board on size of the strips.   The hexagon is 1 inch, so you can see how small the pieces are in making this star block.  Notice the bottom two points – Amazing how we do not see our little mistakes until we take a picture!  I have had problems with flying geese before, but now I know the secret in getting them perfect!

The “OOPS” Star
Points Corrected – I replaced the Flying Geese that was off!

Here are the measurements for a 3 1/2″ star block using rotary cutting and no templates!

There are 17 pieces in each star.

  • Cut 4 each 1 1/4″ squares for the corner from a 1 1/4″ strip from the light fabric.
  •  1 each 2″ square for the Center from a 2″ dark fabric strip.
  • 4 each 1 3/4″ squares cut once diagonally for the Star Points from a  dark 1 3/4″ strip
  •  2 each 2″ squares cut diagonally for the Flying Geese background fabric (light)

When I sew the Flying Geese I use a scant 1/4″ seam allowance, then I go back to the full 1/4″ seam allowance to put the rest of the Star Block together.  It comes out perfect.  I am using 50wt Aurifil thread and a Husqvarna Designer I.  (this is important because all machines are different)

I cut the center hexagon out using freezer paper (I do cheat on this – I purchase the pre-cut Jenkins freezer paper and print the pattern out – it saves me a lot of time).  The leaves, or whatever they are, will be hand appliquéd in either blue or black fabric.  I have 2 more stars for this portion to be completed and then I will cut out more triangles in black that will be the next “border”.  I am using the template for the triangles to connect all the stars.

Next will be 12 more Star Blocks and they will be in Blue.  I am using a mixture of Barbara Brackman’s Union Blues, Richmond Reds, and Pam Buda’s Cassandra Crossings.  I will probably be using more from other reproduction fabric lines as I work on each border in the quilt.

I have not loaded the Grace frame as of today, but maybe tomorrow or this afternoon.  Things appear to now be settling down and I will have more time to quilt.

We have a “cookie” sheet bird feeder.  Hubby took a picture of the Doves feeding – it is so much fun watching the birds and the deer feeding while I am sewing!  The cat next door sits on the ground just wishing for one of the birds to drop off the feeding tray for a good snack!  LOL

Doves on a Cookie Sheet – and One in Flight!

Have a great day and Happiness is peace and quiet and sometimes boredom! (well only today!)

RSC 2017 – Beat the Clock!

Today I found a pattern that I really like and am going to use it for my RSC 2017 project!  YEA.  Happy To Be Scrappy  has the quilt on her Blog and I have been admiring it along with Gretchen.  So I did some research and Deb gave me some information on how she made the quilt and now I have finished 3 of the blocks this afternoon.  Now remember, I am not a scrappy person, so it will be interesting to see how this works out.

There is an off-setting block that will go with each block, but I am no longer “Wonder Woman” like I used to be and am calling it quits for today – the last day to post the Purple Blocks.  I am going to do something with my 4 patches, just not sure what!  Both Gretchen and I have added a quilt to RSC 2017 project.  It amazes me how we can start out on a project like this and then at the very end change directions.  But isn’t if fun to do!


I am now pleased with this and enjoyed making the blocks.  It is really a very easy quilt to make so I will enjoy the process.  I am going to try to make the 3 off setting blocks for the blocks and hopefully can post them on Tuesday.  Wish me luck.

Starting another project tomorrow Robin’s Nest by Karen Styles and hopefully I will be in the Applique mood tonight!  The next bi-monthly quilt will be the Quiltmania Mystery Quilt.  It will be a nice slow project and the first 2 blocks are reverse applique.  I am trying to find the background fabric that they are using, but of course the 2 places you can order them from US are not selling any of the fabric because they are only going to use them for the Kits.  DARN!

IF and I say IF, I can get caught up on my Stonefields,  Margaret Potts Quilt, and A Bountiful Life then I will start Rowdy Flat Library Quilt.  It is a very intense appliqued quilt designed by Susan Smith.  I have my fabrics, just need to double up on my quilting time!  Hummmm  guess I need to clone myself!

Have a great week-end.

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