Review of Daily Craft TV and the winner!
|All revved up and ready to go!|
So I figured, I should probably do a review of the tutorial website first before I announce the winner, so the winner will be even more pumped about their prize, right?
Sadly, my computer decided to just about keel over last week. It turns out my graphics card is on its way out. Which I kind of need in order to edit the pictures from the quilting session! Luckily, one of Glenn's coworkers very kindly lent me his card until I have enough for a new one, so I'm back in business!
Before the card died last week though I had a chance to watch the video I'd chosen, Master Inset Seams and Miters for Perfect 8-Pointed Stars. I thought it was the perfect choice because as you know, the one block that's been holding me up on the JT2 quilt has been the darn Lemoyne Star block. Rather than shell out $30 for a ruler, I thought I'd use this lovely opportunity from Fons and Porter to try and nail the block once and for all.
This particular episode is hosted by Diane Tomlinson and Jodie Davis, two very lovely and enthusiastic ladies who clearly have a love of quilting! The quilt they're demoing techniques for is called Tranquil Stars, and it is absolutely stunning with a gradient star pattern with diamonds. It's definitely a great inspiration for the beginning quilter, and something I wouldn't mind taking a stab at making sometime in the future.
The technique they describe is easy enough to do--essentially, rather than rely on guesstimating where one should stop sewing, you use the quarter inch line on your ruler to mark exactly where to start and stop stitching. The video very clearly demonstrates how to do this, and then goes on to show how one joins them together including the all important back stitching.
Diane and Jodie keep everything light and comfortable while acknowledging that this can be intimidating for quilters. However, they not only make this look easy, the technique they demonstrate is actually 100% easy. Heck, I'm measurement impaired, and I still managed to do it!
When I chose this video I originally was only interested in the inset seams bit; while I've done them before I've never been completely satisfied with my work, so I welcomed the chance to branch out a little bit. But as an added bonus, you also get instructions on how to do mitered seams for lovely pointed borders. This is actually going to be incredibly helpful for me as I embark on several major sewing projects this fall that will all benefit from these techniques.
The mitered border is a logical expansion on the technique taught in the first half of the video, and it really adds to the value of the video because it doesn't just give you one technique, it gives you an evolution of that technique so that you can continue to grow, and gives you new ideas for how to improve your quilting and other directions you can take it.
The one complaint I have about the video (and I'm sure this is a problem with the other videos) is a lack of closed captioning. It might just be my work coming through in my personal life, but I really think more video content like this should be closed captioned. It would certainly help the older ladies who don't have the same hearing that I have (though according to a recent test I have the hearing of a 40 year old, go figure!). PS: Fons and Porter, my captioning rates are very reasonable! ;-)
So, with the official review bit out of the way, how did I do?
|All marked up and ready to go.|
I printed out probably my 15th copy of the darn block, and traced the pieces onto the freezer paper templates. I got everything all cut out in no time, and had everything all drawn up and ready to go. I used a regular mechanical pencil for this, because I know it will wash out and it's darn cheap too!
And with those little hash marks, it made it super easy to put the diamonds together accurately. I pressed the seams open because that's what I usually do, and that's what was recommended in the video.
One thing that I will say is that right away I noticed a difference in how the star came together--it was much more accurate than it has ever been before, and all the seams lay beautifully flat. So I was super optimistic that I would finally get this block to be the 6.5 inches it needed to be to fit into the quilt proper.
|The back. Look at how accurate it is!|
|Gulp. The first white bit. How did it go?|
I swear, I've never been so happy to see a seam come out so lovely. I had a few issues with the later seams, though that was entirely my fault. In the end, I came out with a lovely Lemoyne Star. :)
|Look at how lovely it is! Okay, that bottom right seam isn't the greatest, but it must be 6.5 inches, right?|
And this is where I threw my hands up in surrender. I don't know what I'm doing wrong here. I've checked my templates, they're all 100% accurate to the paper I printed out, the paper I printed out is at the right scale... I don't know what I'm doing wrong here! There's just no way that I can consistently come out a quarter inch short every time. The picture with the ruler above is after trimming perhaps 1/16 of an inch off the sides to catch the dog ears.
So I threw my hands up and fudged the 6.5 by adding a tiny little border to the block. It's a little messy, but it meant that at the end of the day I could finally take this picture.
|Take that Lemoyne Star!|
I won't be able to work on it again for a little while, but I'm proud to say that I finally got this far and put it all together. I really can't wait to see it finished, but I've got several of those mystery projects to finish up before the wedding, not to mention the wedding itself (which is only a month and a half away aaaaaaahhhh).
So now that you've read through all of my babbling, I'm sure you want to know who won the contest!
|And the winner is...!|
Mandy, who I believe came over here from reddit.com/r/quilting! I will be emailing her shortly to let her know, but I wanted to thank everyone who entered, and I hope you will continue to visit from time to time to check out what I've been up to.
I'd also like to thank Fons and Porter for giving me this opportunity, and I urge you all to check out Daily Craft TV. The videos are very reasonably priced, and are wonderful demonstration videos with great techniques and great production values.