This block is full of a lot of simple piecing. But because of that, your seam allowance needs to be so accurate for the block to come out the right size. Every time I change the foot on my machine to piece, I grab a couple scraps and check my quarter inch seam allowance, to make sure it is right on. I don’t usually use a 1/4″ foot, but a t-bar, like this.
I say always, but when I started to sew this block, I got lazy and didn’t check it. I sewed the whole block up and then measured it. It was 1/8″ too big in all direction. When you are sewing a medallion quilt, you really need the blocks to be right on, so that they fit on each round. If all my blocks in the border had been 1/8″ too big, then the completed border would have come out nearly 2″ longer than it was supposed to be! Those little inaccuracies really add up!
After that hiccup, I went back to basics and tested a few scraps until I had it perfect again. And then I was diligent about measuring the blocks as I went to make sure they were coming in at 5.5″.
I’ve written many times about how chain piecing is my happy place, and this block really scratched that itch! I watched a lot of Midsomer Murders while stitching away. And since it was blisteringly hot outside, I didn’t even feel guilty for tucking myself away in my sewing area, with the fan blasting. I quickly learned to set big rulers over my pieces so that they wouldn’t blow away!
Even with very carefully pieced blocks, I still had to ease those borders in so that they fit the white inner border. There are just so many seam allowances that can easily stretch with this block. But with a lot of careful pinning (I mean, about 50 pins on each side!), they did fit. I will be happy to get the next inner border sewn on and have them all locked into place.
It was a wonderful trip to Shoreview and I’m so pleased with how this quilt is shaping up. We are getting to the end of our adventure, but I’m still excited to share the rest of the journey with you.