Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

Quilt Step 2: More Cutting!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

I locked myself in the dining room last night away from the TV, dogs and nosey hubby so that I can get my homework done for quilting class this week.  In my last update on this project, I had already cut the initial fabric strips out.  They don't call it the "Strip Around the Block" pattern for no reason.  LOL.

This week's homework was to pair up 20 dark fabric strips together and 16 light fabric strips and then sew them lengthwise in pairs (dark with dark and light with light).

Finishing a strip. I've got a cotton rug under my sewing machine to protect my dining room table.

My instructor gave me a great tip during class last week.  Since I haven't sewn in awhile, I was a little worried about keeping my seams straight.  If you look closely at the picture above, you'll see a strip of what looks like cardboard in front of and slightly to the side of the foot.  It's a narrow strip cut from Dr. Scholl's moleskin padding - you know, the stuff you put on corns and bunions on your feet?  It's self-adhesive (but can be easily removed) and provides a great guide to run your fabric up against as it feeds through the machine.  I felt alot better about my first seams using this and they came out perfectly straight!  So, if you have a beginner sewer in the house, you might try this trick.

10 dark and 8 light fabric pairs sewn together
The next step is to press the seams open.  This goes pretty fast even thought I pressed the fabric front and back 3 times:  (1) set the seam as it is with the two fabric fronts facing each other, (2) then I opened up the fabric by folding one of the fabrics over the seam and pressing it (as shown below), and (3) I turned the fabric over and pressed it again just to make sure I had a clean, crisp press. 

Pressing the seams open.  This is my least favorite part of sewing - right up there with folding laundry on the list of most boring things in life.
 Finally, using the Shape Cut or a ruler, cut the strips into 2 1/2" wide rectangles (so each rectangle is 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" with the sewed seam in the middle).  We'll be using these pieces to make the center of our squares.  As you cut them, stack them by colors.  (Sorry....I didn't take a picture of this step!).   If you're making this quilt along with me, stay tuned later this week for the next steps.

Tonight, I'm starting my "Food Not Lawns" class and hope to bring back some interesting garden tips for everyone. In the meantime, I'm off to work to find out if the job offer I extended yesterday to a potential new member of our team will be accepted. 

It's 63 degrees at 7:30 this morning and it's early March.  Spring is here.  Hope you enjoy your beautiful day!


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