I can't take credit for the clever name, my friend Thelma came up with it first. We are both working on this pattern called Metro Lattice, from Sew Kind of Wonderful, using the Quick Curve Ruler. Thelma made an executive decision to leave out the pieced lattice the pattern calls for and to set the blocks on the diagonal. I loved the changes she made and copied them.
I think leaving out the pieced lattice gives the quilt top a cleaner look, with kind of a Cathedral Window vibe. My fabrics are fatquarters of Circa 1934 by Cosmo Cricket for Moda. What the heck happened to them? Are they just designing paper now? I loved the collections they did for Moda when they were designing fabric.
My solid fabric is Moda Bella Butter, which of course I didn't have enough of. Thank goodness for speedy deliveries from Fat Quarter Shop. I should get what I need by Thursday, finish up the blocks and get the side triangles on.
The piecing for this pattern is super easy. No major square up issues at all. The blocks are made oversized and trimmed down, so there is plenty of wiggle room for blocks that seem wonky at first. No intersecting seams that have to line up exactly and make me crazy. I am relaxing and enjoying the process with this project!
This finish of Metro Hoops by Sew Kind of Wonderful, using the Quick Curve Ruler is truly a happy one for me. I thought I would share my thoughts on the construction experience and give credit to some things that were helpful to me.
At the start I had a lot of issues with the pattern instructions and my inability to grasp them. The curved piecing was easy, it wasn't that. Before I even got started on making the blocks, Dawn White sent me some notes containing a few tips to make the curved piecing a simple matter. The Sew Kind of Wonderful website also has some helpful video tutorials on sewing curves.
My issue was that the instructions how to square up the blocks was very confusing to me, and I was close to tossing the entire project in the trash until a clever reader (Liz A.) emailed me a tip that made all the difference. You see, the blocks have corner squares that absolutely need to match up, or you will be very frustrated with the look of things.
Once I started trimming the blocks properly things lined up and went together very nicely.
After getting through making this project I have a couple of tips of my own for those of you brave enough to tackle it.
1) Start with a simpler Sew Kind of Wonderful pattern, such as Urban Winter. I actually set Metro Hoops aside and made Urban Winter to see if I could achieve good results with the curved piecing and squaring up instructions. No issues with that pattern. After that, I went back to Metro Hoops with more experience and a better mind set.
2) If you do decide to make Metro Hoops, use fabric that isn't your most precious. In other words, you won't be sick if it gets wasted. Because you will waste a lot of fabric. There will be plenty of blocks you have to toss because you can't square them up right or have some other issue with.
3) Have lots of extra fabric. Because as I said in point #2 you will be wasting it. You need fabric to spare.
4) Use spray starch and plenty of it. Spray starch is the only thing that is going to get these blocks to lay flat and behave.
The fabrics I used were a jelly roll of Oh My! by Sanae and a gazillion yards of plain unbleached muslin I had in my stash. I had plenty of fabric left over and could have made extra blocks to make the quilt larger (and also wasted about a dozen blocks that wouldn't square up right).
My spray starch of choice was Mary Ellen's Best Press.
Am I pleased with the end result of this pattern? Yes, definitely. I like it a lot.
Would I recommend the pattern? Hmmm, yes, but it would be helpful if the square up instructions in the pattern were revised to be clearer, or if Sew Kind of Wonderful would post an additional tutorial on how to specifically square up blocks that have these tricky corner triangles that must line up perfectly. I would not recommend this as your beginner Sew Kind of Wonderful pattern choice.
Will I use Sew Kind of Wonderful patterns and the Quick Curve Ruler in the future? You bet I will. These patterns are some of the most interesting looking ones I have seen in a while, and it was fun to be challenged. In fact, I have been working on a third Sew Kind of Wonderful pattern called Metro Lattice that I can't wait to show you more of.
Best of all, I have to once again thank the generosity of my readers for sharing their tips and experience with me. The staff at Sew Kind of Wonderful was also very responsive, emailing me back with ssuggestions when I communicated with them that I was having issues. The internet makes this sewing experience like one big class, doesn't it?
I made this little thread catcher a couple of years ago. (Tutorial here). It is cute, makes a fun little gift for girlfriends, and is fine for hand sewing or to take to classes or on retreats. The problem is, it is too darn small for general purposes. We haven't really quarreled, but the bloom is off the rose. It is just not suitable for my needs. I have been thinking of breaking up with this thread catcher for awhile now, and when I saw a blog post by The Quilt Barn yesterday, my mind was made up. Tara linked to a tutorial created by The Sewing Chick for the perfect (for me) thread catcher.
So there you have it. Sorry little thread catcher, you have been replaced. My new thread catcher was easy to make with materials I had on hand, is cute as can be, and is big as a bucket.
That's more like it. Plenty of room not just for threads, but little snippets and any other trimmings.
I did make one change to the instructions, which called for canvas duck fabric, which I did not have on hand. The canvas is used inside the basket for stiffining. I took muslin instead and used Steam A Seam to give it more body in place of the canvas. It worked fine.
My brown corner square fabric arrived yesterday, so I am now ready to finish up the remaining four blocks of Metro Hoops and with luck, wrap that project up this weekend. Hope you all have some great plans this weekend to do just what it is that will make you happy.
I tell you, I am obsessed with this Quick Curve Ruler by Sew Kind of Wonderful! I keep wanting to try it out on pattern after pattern. Just so you know, I bought my own Quick Curve Ruler and am not being compensated by Sew Kind of Wonderful in any way. My opinions are going to be frank, and not always lauditory if I have had a less than perfect experience.
If you have been reading my blog, you know I have completed a quilt top from the pattern Urban Winter by Sew Kind of Wonderful. I had a great experience with that pattern, with the Quick Curve Ruler, and the curved piecing technique. I am also working on another SKofW pattern called Metro Hoops, and had some major issues with squaring up the blocks. In my opinion, the square up instructions in the pattern could have been better. The measurements given for squaring up were vague, and I somehow lost the point of just what I needed to focus on to get the blocks to square up so the corner squares would match when the blocks were sewn together.
Liz A., a helpful reader with a better sense of spacial awareness than myself showed me just what was necessary. Enlarge the photo below for Liz's marks and notes on what measurement you need to be aware of when squaring up your Metro Hoops blocks:
But I digress from what I wanted to tell you about the THIRD Sew Kind of Wonderful pattern I want to make! I totally stole the idea from Thelma of Cupcakes 'n' Daisies, who is working on a pattern called Metro Lattice, with a major variation. Thelma is calling her version "Metro, Hold the Lattice", and I am loving her blocks. Go check out her progress, it is gorgeous!
Basically, what you do is make a pinwheel block as shown at the top of this blog post. Then, using the Quick Curve Ruler, you trim it up into this scary shape:
I know. Whoa Nellie. But don't be scared. Using the simple curved piecing technique demonstrated by Jenny Pedigo in her tutorial, you sew on another unit.
Trust me, it is easy, I promise.
After squaring up your blocks to 9 1/2 inches (no tricky issues there), you have the cutest little pokey pinwheel blocks. I made two and can't wait to fill the design wall with them!
I have completed 16 hoop blocks for my Metro Hoops project, using the Quick Curve Ruler by Sew Kind of Wonderful. I have to admit I earned a few more grey hairs when I started this project, but am happy to say I persevered and with the help of a smarter-than-me reader, licked the issues I was having with these blocks.
It makes me so happy to see them on the design wall! The fabric collection is so cheerful and bright, and I am satisfied with the way the corner squares are matching up. More than half of them are perfect, and the rest are just a thread or so off. It isn't noticible, even with the strong contrast between the dark brown and cream. Let's hope when I go to sew the blocks and rows together things will line up.
I didn't order enough brown corner square fabric, yet again, so am waiting for it to arrive so I can finish this project. I was thinking of making a total of 25 blocks, but am running out of steam. I may just make the quilt as shown in the pattern, for a total of 20 blocks, four across and five down. The finished size will be something like 60 x 75", which is a respectable sized quilt.
Here is another opportunity for custom quilting! What would be a cool design for those hoop centers?
After a super busy week, I was able to sit down for a couple of quiet hours on Sunday and sew my rows together on Urban Winter. The quilt top is now a flimsie. (Is that how you spell flimsie, or is it flimsy?) I am very pleased with how well this pattern went together. If any of you are considering purchasing the Quick Curve Ruler from Sew Kind of Wonderful, this is a perfect first project to begin with.
The instructions were very clear, the blocks squared up easily, and everything went together without a hitch. And it was fast too! I wish I had started my education of the Quick Curve Ruler with this pattern.
Don't you think those large cream colored blocks will show off some pretty custom quilting? I do too.
Don't worry, I haven't given up on Metro Hoops. It too, is coming along well. My corner square fabric arrived and would you believe I didn't order enough? Again. Those people at Park Bench Quilt Shop are going to be wondering about that strange woman who keeps ordering half yard cuts of brown Oh My! fabric every week.
Hope you all had a great weekend. After a grueling week, I spent a lot of time sitting in my chair with my feet up!