Before we begin, I need to clarify a couple of things:
First up, I am a self taught quilter. That means I don’t know all the quilting rules, and that of the one’s I do know, I often break them! I quilt and sew purely for my own enjoyment. I have no aspirations to enter show’s or display my quilts beyond my own home, or occasionally within the shop. I fell into both teaching and designing the odd pattern, purely by chance, and am well aware of my shortcomings!!
Secondly, you are all lucky enough to have Helen of Hugs,’n’Kisses, the designer of Nice People Nice Things, on tap. She has set up a site specifically for this project, and she is more than happy to help out with any queries you may have regarding this quilt. She not only enters show’s, she wins them!!
So, if you like, this may be a “what not to do” post!
1. Cutting: I recommend the first option given in the instructions. I haven’t completed my assembly, so am putting my faith in Helen having gone before me and allowing ample fabric. So far I seem to have plenty left over, so am pretty comfortble with this plan!
***Calculate your sets as you go – I’ve found I am fine with the triangles and 1 1/2 inch strips, but need extra 3 inch strips – you may need to designate extra fat quarters for these.
2. Trimming: I so wanted to skip this step. I mean there’s anough work already. Cutting, then triming back?? Isn’t that just double handling? Well, yes it is. But necessary. I recommend you cut your blocks out into 6″ squares, iron or trace design on, stitch, and then trim back to 5 1/2 ” . Firstly, there is an unavoidable amount of fraying when your stitching, and secondly, your design may be slightly off centre after ironing, so this will correct both of those issues.
The same applies to your 10″ square. As it is quilt as you go, you lose a little when you stitch your centre block on. But again, it’s difficult to accurately centre it, so trimming back to 9″ allows you to correct that. I made a simple template to make it easier and faster. By using the square in the centre, you can easily trim to size evenly.
3.The iron is your friend. (Believe me, I never thought I would say these words!) Each step in the process requires ironing, but to make life a little easier, in between proper ironing I used this handy little finger presser. Saved hours.
4. Putting it together. First up, check out Helen’s tutorial. It is very clear and concise. But I just couldn’t get the machine stitching of the final step to work for me. I have to tell you, Mono and I are not friends.I am unable to use the words to describe how I feel about this thread. So I wont. I also was unable to make my seams line up. Not even close. I suspect this says more about my cutting than the design.
Front looked ok:
Back certainly did not:
So, I have handstitched these seams, and am much happier with the result. It actually was very quick and easy to do(just used a slip stitch, the same one you use when binding).
I will add a photo of this soon, and any other little pearls of wisdom I discover along the way…and please let me know any tips you may have as you begin to assemble your quilt. I can’t wait to see these come together – the tiny bit I have done is looking better than I imagined!
And don’t forget to check out the Nice People, Nice Things Blog each week as new blocks are posted.