March Gypsy Wife

Well, it’s only taken me until April, but I’ve finished my (brights) Gypsy Wife blocks!

Gypsy Wife

Here are all my blocks – February and March (plus one bonus hourglass from the future…) – so far. You can see a tiny bit of a couple of my lower volume blocks too down at the bottom, but I haven’t started on those blocks yet…

Gypsy Wife

I started out with the easy blocks, more pinwheels, tiny little pinwheels (I think those central units are 2.5-inches… or maybe they were 3… anyway, small). I really like the framed pinwheels – it sort of makes me want to add more to the quilt somewhere, but then I’d have to start adjusting the sizes of other things to make things fit. The lovely Mari-Ann (@rockislander on IG) sent me some scraps in exchange for some Mendocino scraps I sent her and I bunch of those popped up in these blocks! I’m mostly aiming to cut into larger pieces of fabric for the big blocks in the quilt, but to use scraps in the smaller blocks. There are a lot of little square in square blocks in the quilt, so I think they’ll be great for using up random triangles and weird bits like that.

Gypsy Wife

This is the block that I let hold me up for a long time, the Pershing block. It’s… not as a bad to put together as I expected. But you have to be very careful of all those bias cuts and it helps to sew scant seams throughout and then trim the unit down so that it’s square before adding the next round. It would be really helpful if the pattern had more instruction, like what size each unit should be as you construct it. I kept thinking throughout that I was going to wind up with a too small block and that I’d have to add a half-inch border around it to bring it up to size, but it only wound up about 1/8″ too small all around, which I can live with. It would also be useful to have some instruction on how best to piece the block. I’ve done a lot of traditional piecing in my years of sewing, so I didn’t have issues getting it together, but I think if anyone who was fairly new to traditional piecing were to try it, it would be pretty intimidating. I think pattern writers always have to find that balance between too much hand-holding and not enough, but even just a basic explanation of what to do and when would be helpful for a lot of people.

Anyway, I think I’m going to try to get my April brights blocks done first, then I’ll backtrack and get into the lower volume ones for March and April – I have a week’s holiday in April, so it shouldn’t be an issue, I hope!

Linking up with the Gypsy Wife Quiltalong, being hosted by Ashley at Wasn’t Quilt in a Day:


This month’s prize is being sponsored by Fresh Modern Fabric:


Why not come link up too! I know there are more of you out there stitching along than have popped by to link up!

9 thoughts on “March Gypsy Wife”

  1. With the Pershing block, I think it really missed the mark in the pattern with not explaining how to line up the pieces. The way the diagram looks, is that you butt the traingles (D an E) right up together so if you’ve never done triangles like that before, and don’t have the internet to help you out, you’re kind of screwed. On the Sew Mama Sew facebook page they linked a couple of discussions about badly written patterns, and reading through it, I unfortunately kept thinking of the Gypsy Wife, because I feel like it misses so much — especially the basic things like how big you should be trimming up your pieces before you attach the next part! It’s all well and good to tell me to use X size squares to make HST but how big should my HSTs be?!

    1. Yeah, that’s exactly it… just little basic things that could make a huge difference in the end. All those little HSTs and other units that should probably be trimmed back that extra 1/8″ stretching things out and then all these other things, like the Pershing block that might be clocking in just a little too small add up to much bigger problems. I think most people could ultimately figure a lot of this stuff out, but it’s frustrating for people with a lot of sewing experience, so how much worse must it be for people without a lot of it?

      1. I don’t think any of my blocks so far are the right size. Some are a smidge too small, others a smidge too big! I’ve been too scared to trim as I go in case I make a huge mistake and have to start again (apart from obvious trimming where you can line up a 1/4″ seam around the edge. It’s going to be interesting at the end when we add the strips but I do also think the strips are going to be a little more forgiving when joining pieces together than if it were a ‘regular’ pattern of blocks next to each other. It’d be easy enough to make a strip a little thinner or wider to compensate for an oops.

        1. That’s a good point about the strips – you’re probably right that it’ll be a bit more forgiving (though maybe also a bit harder to square up 😀

          I’ve been trying to remind myself to cut things just a smidge bigger (like the width of a thread or two) and then trim the units down so that they’ll come out the right size, but mine definitely vary a bit. Oh well… a little tug here and a little extra tucked into the seam allowance there….

    1. Thanks Sarah! I look forward to seeing it done and all crazy-cakes and stuffed full of different prints and colours. Hopefully it’ll be as awesome as it feels like it’ll be 😀

    1. Thanks Audrey! I was really happy with how that one came out! I was so scared of it, but it really wasn’t so bad, and it does make an impact, doesn’t it?

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