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Section One, Complete

Section One, Gypsy Wife Quilt

I’m not wholly thrilled with this section. I discovered that the quarter-inch foot I have been using is more than an quarter inch. I have also discovered that this pattern requires a scant-quarter inch. A scant quarter inch is an imaginary number, and I am just supposed to magically know what the imaginary spacing is and sew at it consistently? Seriously?

I love Jen Kingwell’s designs, but I don’t think much of her patterns. She leaves far too much to “guess” to suit me. If I am buying a pattern, I expect it to actually provide direction, not approximation. One of our group quilt along admins is an engineer and even she has admitted she’s had trouble figuring out the math and translating the ideas for us. If I were doing this alone, I probably would have quit by now.

As it is, a good many members of our group are substituting blocks when they can’t make things work. Plus, a significant portion of our 2876 members are waiting to see if we’re actually successful before they even begin, and several people have already “noped” out of the group. My advice to anyone tempted to do The Gypsy Wife Quilt is to find the pattern, read it carefully and be sure you know what you’re getting into (it’s a 36 page book and it is not put together in order), then find or form a support sewing group and everyone work together. I have my online sewing group, and Amoeba. By the time I’ve finished this quilt he’ll have about as much invested in it as I do (maybe even more since I tend to use his wallet when I go shopping).

Section Two begins on March 2nd. I don’t know that I’ll be starting on time. My sewing space is a little out of control and needs some tidying. I think I’ll spend the weekend trying to stuff it all back into dust- and light-proof storage containers and onto shelves.

One section done. Only nine more to go.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. It’s going to be beautiful. I love what you’ve done so far. Seems to be so difficult however. I would have probably cheated on a lot of it, and just gone my merry way.

    1. Nathalie, there is a good chance I’ll end up doing just that. I’ve figured out how to always get the same seam allowance, but it has come to late and I suspect I will have to do something creative to get this section to match the next ones. I have yet to decide what that creative thing might be. I’ll wait until section two is complete and attaching time arrives.

  2. Why on earth do they use “scant” 1/4″ seams in quilting? Luckily both my machines are old so they their straight stitch foot is 1/4″.
    I would be doing some twiddling & fiddling too.

    1. I think designers use scant quarter inches to tick me off! It can’t be to save material. How much material would one thread width save?

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