Calico crisis

Well, here’s one more Calico Star for the pile…


Now I know what you’re thinking…. “But Valerie, I thought you said you make these blocks two at a time? Where’s the other one?”

You’re right, I said that. And I do, because these are made using the eight-at-a-time HST method, which gives you enough for two blocks.

Because it’s a lot of HSTs at once (72 in total), I break the making up over two sessions. In the first session, I make all the HSTS – sew, cut and iron. In the second, I trim, and then sew the blocks together.

So this round of blocks started out as usual… I sewed all my 10″ squares with big double Xs. My machine was being fussy (tension issues), so it took a little longer than normal. Burton was also being a pain… getting in the way left and right. But I got through it, and piled my squares up for cutting. I worked through them all with no issues, until the last one… I don’t know if I got complacent, was day-dreaming, or what happened – but the ruler slipped and…


I didn’t cut through the stitching, but it still wasn’t going to be enough seam allowance – one good tug and that seam would split right open. And I couldn’t resew it. The eight-at-a-time method leaves very little room for error.

I was already in a foul mood from the earlier issues, so I threw my rotary cutter up in the air (don’t worry, I retracted the blade first), and stormed out (after I unplugged the iron). If there’s one thing my mama taught me, it’s know when to walk away.

I let the HSTs sit in a time out for a few days, as I mulled what to do. I could cut another 10″ square of a different fabric, and sub it in. But then it hit me… the quilt only has nine stars. But I was going to end up with 10, by virtue of the way I was making them. I wasn’t planning on making the 10th star, I was just going to throw the HSTs in the orphan block bucket and use them in another quilt. I wasn’t planning on making the single block until the first eight blocks were done, but there was no reason I couldn’t make it right now.

So that’s what I did. The other day, I got back in the sewing room and trimmed up the remaining 71 HSTs. I tossed 35 of them in the orphan bucket, and the other 36 got sewn into the above star.

Crisis averted! Just four more blocks to go!


8 thoughts on “Calico crisis

  1. Araignee

    I’ve done that too and what a pain it is. I had to go and count all the hst in that block. Wow..that is a lot. I could NEVER get them all lined up as perfectly as you have. I am in awe.


  2. Shirley Elliott

    That is such a beautiful block! I love your fabrics and the layout. All of your points are perfect. What a wonderful solution to the slip of the rotary cutter.


  3. So far during this quarantine I have sewn over 400 HSTs!!! That’s cut, mark, sew, trim and then sew into blocks. Oy, I may never make another, until tomorrow when I put two more blocks together. LOL!


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