Block 12: The Ohio Star

Yesterday, I finally got back behind my sewing machine, after days of hand appliquéing.

I decided that my first May block  needed to be a machine pieced block. On my list, I only have 5 traditionally pieced blocks. The Ohio Star is one of those blocks that I have always wanted to do. It is super traditional and yet still has a modern asthetic.

As this block has a 4.5 inch square in the center, it was the right choice to showcase one of the few leftover scraps of my feature fabric.

I am happy to report that it was easy to stitch together.

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I used a great tutorial from Tessa Marie Walker’s blog The Sewing Chick. You can see the tutorial here.

Unfortunately, when I was pressing the blocks, I must have scorched the fabric. Together with a dirty iron, I have not only scorched the fabric but got brown marks on it. You can see this  on the left and right star points.

But that wasn’t the only thing that bothered me about this block.

The fabric I used to frame the blue square, was just too white in comparison with the off white of the background. It was also, simply too neutral, to highlight the center square. The swirls were just not visible enough.

Last night my husband deemed the block worthy for my quilt. This morning, before leaving the house, he said “Don’t touch the block!” leave it the way it was.

But under inspection in the morning light, the block was just too messed up for me. I didn’t think I could oversee these little details. I remember my quilt ladies at my LQS saying, about another mistake I had made in another quilt, that I am going to notice it all the time. Maybe no one else will notice, or care, but I will.

This sampler quilt I am making, is turning out to be a very important quilt to me. Not only am I learning a lot of new skills and blocks, but I am gaining confidence in my sewing and piecing abilities. I am trying to put in all of my favorite blocks and fabrics, from my stash.

I have also decided that this will be the last large quilt I do for myself, for a long time, as I want to start making smaller quilts to potentially sell. With that in mind, I really want this quilt to be a stunner and to be as good as I can make it, as it will be shown in my guild’s quilt show in a couple of years.

I have already pieced a few blocks that are not entirely perfect, but for me they are a bit easier to overlook, as they do not contain my most favorite fabric.

So this morning, I sat down yet again to sew the Ohio Star block. First I had to rescue the 4.5″ square . So I took the rotary cutter to the outer units , so that I only had to unstitch 4 seams. My seam ripper came in handy here.

A month or two ago, I might not have been so bold. I might have listened to my husband and said the block sufficed. But now I have realized the importance in respecting my work and my ability. Realizing that, it is just a few hours of work compared with the time I would have to live with the mistakes.

So I re-evalutated my fabric choices and went to work.

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Gone is the white fabric, which showed a scorch stain too easily and in was the swirly fabric which was neutral enough for a background.

Other than the fact that it might be a 1/4 of an inch too small, I am very pleased with how it came out. (I have yet to conquer the accurate 1/4 of an inch issue, obviously!)

I am so happy that I took out my seam ripper and did away with all the scorched fabric and that I changed up my fabric choices. It looks so much better now.

So, what about you. Have you ever risked destroying your work, for better results? I would love to hear from you.

Jodie