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Thread: Hello All, New here with a block question

  1. #1
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    Hello All, New here with a block question

    I decided to try the 100 blocks - 100 days challenge using the Tula Pink book. I love the colors and the designs and really enjoyed seeing other people's work last year. The problem is... I hate those tiny pieces. It took me hours to cut out the many tiny pieces for the first block and the small 6" finished size drives me crazy. Is there a way to proportionally size these blocks up? I don't mind the finished piece looking wildly different, I just know I can't spend my time cutting tiny pieces and sewing them back together. Am I just not someone who should be quilting? I have made smallish blocks before, but using a pinwheel pattern or half square triangles. A block the measures 6" finished and is made up of 20 pieces makes me not want to sew. Thank you so much in advance for your advice.

  2. #2
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    I don't have the book, but I do know that 6 inch blocks are a fairly easy size to upsize. Doubling up the size to 12 inch finished blocks shouldn't be that hard. The key thing is to look at the finished size of each piece, say it's 2 x 2. Normally, you would cut 2 1/2" squares. To double that up, you would do 2x2 = 4 for each side of the block + 1/2 inch seam, so you would cut 4 1/2" blocks. You have to allow for the seam allowance separately. I use EQ7 when I want to do that. Graph paper works just a well.

    To do a 9 inch block, you would do 1 1/2 of the original finished size. So, a 2 x 1 piece, would end up 2 x 1.5 = 3; 1 x 1.5 = 1.5 so you would cut 3 +1/2 inch for seams 3 1/2 inch by a 1.5 +.5 = 2 inch.


    And, no, I wouldn't make a block with that many pieces as a 6 inch block. Quilting should be some fun, and that would only be tedium for me.
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  3. #3
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    Welcome from Ontario, Canada. Pieced 6 inch blocks are not my cup of tea and I have been quilting a long time. Doubling the measurements should give you a 12 inch block but you can also draft bigger blocks using graph paper.

  4. #4
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    There is nothing that says you have to continue working with those blocks right now. It is ok to set this project aside and continue your quilting journey with a different project, one that you enjoy working on. After you have gained more experience, you can try it again, if you want. I like to use a plastic art box from Michaels to store the pattern and fabric for a specific project, on sale for about 3 dollars often and it will be there for you later. Or you could just enjoy looking at Tula's book as an art piece and use the fabric for something else. I'm just throwing this out there as another possibility since the idea of trying to increase the size of intricate blocks, even with all the great suggestions you've been given, really gives me a headache And welcome to the board!

  5. #5
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Some people just love those tiny pieces. So far I am not one of them.

  6. #6
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    I would double the size of the block to 12", as Barb describes. Or find another project. There are all sorts of different types of quilts out there that not liking one particular type doesn't rule you out from quilting altogether. Try different things until you find what you like best.

  7. #7
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    Is there a pic somwhere of this challenge. Which Tula pink book are you talking about?

  8. #8
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    I may have to look up that book. I'm one that loves small pieces. I've got the "Nearly Insane" and was going to replace all the 6" blocks that have less than 20 pieces with more complicated ones.

    I think the "worst" has something like 200 pieces, it's mostly HST that are really small.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  9. #9
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    I have the book you are talking about, and I also decided the blocks were too small. I didn't realize they were so small when I ordered the book, but I just decided to not make them. I want quilting to be fun, not stressful. But doubling them is the way to go, if you still want to make them.

    Just make it fun. Fun is good.

    Dina

  10. #10
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    There any many different patterns that don't have such small pieces. You just need to find a size you are comfortable with the let those creative juices flow! I just am not a small piece person. I don't find it enjoyable either!

  11. #11
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    Wow, you guys are awesome. Thank you so much for the great advice. I made one block and it turned out ok, but I honestly feel that the over all effect is not so great that it makes the tedium worth it lol. I did the same thing Dina did and didn't realize how small the blocks are. The book is very interesting, but most blocks in the book are 20 pieces or so I may just look through and pick a few that I like and scale them up.

  12. #12
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    Red Square, you could make a few of the blocks and put them together into a wall hanging and not do the entire quilt. I found that to be true of the Dear Jane that I was working on. I wanted to stick with it and do the entire quilt but found I was not enjoying it at all. I decided to take the blocks that I had done and plan a medallion quilt and turn it into a wall hanging (and I am still working on that). There is such a variety of quilt patterns and many use precuts and this makes the experience much more enjoyable. Enjoy the journey.

  13. #13
    Super Member WMUTeach's Avatar
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    Nix the Six (inch squares with mini pieces). If the blocks with little pieces keep you from quilting, stop those blocks or do only those that do not have the tiny pieces. My guild is doing these as a monthly project. I have chosen to skip it. I still have about 35 Farmer's Wife blocks to make to fill my time. I chose to invest my time in what brings me pleasure.

  14. #14
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    well, if one of you that bought the book and decided the small pieces aren't for you, PM me if you are interested in selling the book.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  15. #15
    Power Poster ube quilting's Avatar
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    So sorry you are dismayed by small pieces. Quilting, like all creative endeavors, is a bit of an experiment. We all go through stages of trying new things out and decide whether we enjoy it or not. A lot of searching and trial and error go into discovering what we enjoy.

    Keep searching for the style you enjoy. One little block can't get a quilter down.

    I like your idea of upscaling them to a size you like. I would never have thought of that as a solution to this pattern.

    Keep us posted with your progress.
    peace
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  16. #16
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    I don't do tiny pieces. I will do 4 patch using 2 1/2" squares but that is the smallest. I do have some 1/2 square triangle blocks that are small but only because they are bonus squares.

  17. #17
    Super Member Irishrose2's Avatar
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    I don't do pieces smaller than 2 12", so I understand your problem. If you like your 6" block, put it in a frame, hang it in your sewing area and move on. I have a stack of less than 2" pieces waiting for someone who wants to make a postage stamp quilt - it won't be me.

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