Wednesday, January 30, 2019

don't scrap it yet - border it

***this is a post i made during the gypsy wife 2016 quilt along that never got finished or published. as there is a new 2019 qal going on, and i have had visitors checking in on my gypsy wife posts, i am adding it in to help the new gypsy ladies.

 gypsy wife has produced it's fair share of blocks that went wrong or pieces that are extra.

for example, there were extra triangles that resulted from fussy cutting a goat from a fabric scrap for the center of a bordered sq-in-sq block. i was able to use these red floral triangles for another smaller sq-in-sq block, even though they weren't exactly the right size. all i had left from the fabric scrap were 4 oddly sized triangles. one of the triangles even had a nipped corner. but i checked my required measurements for a 4.5" sq-in-sq block and found they were big enough, or even bigger than needed, so i was able to incorporate them into a block. the triangle that had a nipped corner was usuable because i placed that triangle so the nipped corner would be behind another fabric and wouldn't show at all.

also, i found a square of that green and navy AMH fabric i had fussy cut slightly off, which was also slightly too large for the center sq of my sq-in-sq block. by carefully cutting down a bit to the right size i needed, i was able to correct the fussy cut at a smaller size and use this piece, too. once i assembled all the odd pieces, i was able to trim it down to a perfectly sized block. i love my little make-do sq-in-sq block.

some of the extra hsts that have been made during the production of various other blocks, i simply used in the large hst blocks called for in the pattern.

and then there were the blocks that just got made wrong and were altogether incorrectly sized, like some sq-in-sq blocks i made in the very beginning. i simply read the directions wrong and got some blocks that were off in measurements.

i goofed this one twice! but i didn't like that border anyway, so it worked out

 this little center block here is one of them. i decided i could still use it by trimming the excess blue outer square away and adding another border. originally, the outer square was just too big at more than 1/2" away from the points of the inner square. so i trimmed it down to 1/4" from the inner square, which will give me points right up against the next piece. any time you have a block that is too small, use this formula:

((required block size - actual block size) divided by 2) + 1/2" = width of border strip needed

that looks complicated, but really isn't.

for example, i have a 3" block but i need a 4" block. (all measurements cut/unfinished)

((4"-3") divided by 2) + 1/2" =
(1" divided by 2) + 1/2"=
(1/2") + 1/2" = 1" wide border strip

in the above photo, i only added 1/4" for the seam allowance, when i needed 1/2" because i forgot both fabrics would be loosing 1/4", not just the border. you can see my block is still too small!

 when it came to this block, which was slightly too small (again, used wrong measurements), i just put it up against a ruler of the correct size. you can see i'm 3/8" shy overall.

divide that in half, and you have 3/16". that was a bit fussy for me, so i rounded up to 4/16", which is 1/4". so my border strips were 1/4" + 1/2" wide, which = 3/4" wide.

that gave me a block slightly too big. using my ruler, i just lined up the points of the inner square so that there was an even amount of fabric on each side of the points and trimmed.

and there you have it - three nice blocks i would not have been able to use that i made usable. the bordered blocks will be slightly different than the pattern called for, but in this busy quilt, who will notice?


  1. The blocks are beautiful. Yeah, I feel your pain with the goof. I have done that a few times.....
    Either way, it looks very very pretty

  2. Beautiful blocks and great tips,thanks you.


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