Hi there, I’ve been seeing some wonderful photos on Instagram since last blog post and serious progress is being made as we speak! Welcome to week 11 (9.-15.11.2015) of Tokyo Subway Map QAL :)

Nina With Freckles - Tokyo Subway Map QAL week 11 2015-11-09

Tokyo Subway Map QAL - Button 2015-08-05 500pxToday I want to discuss sewing from a block grid, as I had screwed up the two first blocks somehow, and only fixed them the other day. The block size is an 8×8 grid, and my system is different from the one in the tutorial pattern.

Let’s say that columns (vertical) are numbered 1 to 8 and rows (horizontal) are A to H, starting from top left corner of the grid. To make chain piecing possible, I place column 2 on top of 1, right sides together, column 4 on 3, column 6 on 5, and column 8 on 7. Then I stack from the bottom, row H, one pair on top of the next, such that you end up with row A as first pair (pieces A1 and A2) to sew.

In the little QAL logo that I’ve designed, A1 would be white and A2 light blue, whereas H8 is violet.

When chain piecing, to show where column 1 ends and column 2 begins, I add a little leader in between H1/H2 and A3/A4 pairs. This I repeat when all new columns start.

Then, when clipping threads, I place in a similar way A3/A4 on top of A1/A2, right sides together and continue down the column to H3/H4 on top of H1/H2. Stacking begins from the bottom once again so that the A pair is the first to be sewn.

The final step to create full rows of 8 pieces is to place A5/6/7/8 on top of A1/2/3/4, right sides together. Once all 8-piece rows have been created, I start stacking from row H, with A being on top.

In the photo above, you can see this arrangement for blocks 3-6. What remains is to press open all seams, then sew rows together starting from the top once again.

Sewing the week 11 blocks:

  • Block 8
  • Block 9
  • Block 10

I feel like we’ve moved past some kind of hurdle and even though sewing might happen slightly irregularly depending on other life circumstances, it still seems like a quilt is actually happening. Thoughts?


2 thoughts on “TOKYO SUBWAY MAP QAL – WEEK 11 BLOCKS 8, 9 AND 10

  1. nevynevster

    Hi Nina – I can’t remember what the tutorial said but my quilt teacher told me a similar method to yours. The only difference is that I do from left to right (maybe because I am left handed?)

    I also clip each column when I finish it – but it has not been perfect. I have reversed a couple of “pairs” and had to unpick. So I now check each time I sew a row that it’s correct!

    I totally agree that progress is being made. I was sooo happy when I blasted through a few blocks and laid them out together … it really made a difference to see it put together. I am quite excited now.

    My main concern is how on earth I am going to quilt it – I have a small sewing machine and I am really not sure I am going to be able to actually fit in when I am quilting the middle of the quilt. I was half considering a long arm quilting service … not sure if that’s not in the spirit of the QAL though!!!

    Thanks for the motivation – I really am enjoying this qal … it’s so nice to have a schedule and someone to jolly us along

    1. Nina With Freckles Post author

      Hi Nevy, it really helps to have the block layout close to the sewing machine, doesn’t it. The funny thing about these blocks is that they shrink so much once finished! As for quilting, why not send it to a longarmer if you think it’s too much on a domestic? I’ll have to see how big it is, but the plan currently is to do straight-line quilting at home with the walking foot. I hope to blast about three lines through each square, but we’ll see. It’s quite a bit of thread…


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