I’m happy to blame my scattered brain for my troubles with the Gypsy Wife Filler blocks (specifically the pinwheels and the hourglass blocks), BUT… some other people have expressed frustration, too, over on the Flickr discussion group. So thank you, other people. I feel a little bit better.

I started to work on my hourglass blocks, and I got tripped up on part of the instructions.

Hourglass Starts

The instructions said my hourglass portion should finish at 3″ and my trimmed/sashed hourglass would finish at 4″. The sashing was 1″, and with seam allowances, I just couldn’t get things to add up correctly in my mind.

I realize now that anytime I see “finished” in this pattern, I should add 1/2″. Anytime. EVERYTIME. I’m sure this occurred to me on the feature blocks, but I forgot it when I was skipping around the filler block section. If you don’t have this pattern, please understand there’s a fair amount of skipping around – you create the center components first and then pull them back out a few pages later. It’s a little confusing for me, but I’m getting better.

For the hourglass portion, I’m giving myself the following advice when I read the pattern:


When I trimmed my pinwheels, I had strong reservations about trimming my pinwheels down so small, but, unfortunately, I double-checked and proceeded anyway.

So now, this guy

Pinwheel-in-square 1

…and this guy

Pinwheel-in-square 2

…are both too small.

I will probably frame these two blocks with another round of courthouse/logs/sashing to get them up to size. I might redo them, but both contain fabrics that I acquired through the Intrepid Thread BOM, and without extra fabric, I’m reluctant to redo these. I need to feel like the BOM fabric doesn’t seem out of place, and part of my strategy is to use them as often as I can.

Now that I’ve confessed my mistake and shared my solution, here’s a bit of a progress report.

A courthouse steps filler (and one of my surprise favorites so far):
Courthouse 2

Another courthouse steps filler:
Courthouse 1

All together:
Gypsy Progress Report

I was a little worried that a coherent color scheme wouldn’t emerge, but I think it’s coming together better than I expected! It’s a little scrappy, but I think as I make more blocks, I can fill in and tighten up the colors in a way that pleases me.

Update: I’ve realized I might STILL have this wrong. If my math or approach is off, please say so! I’m hoping I have this figured out, but if you have advice, I’ll definitely take it and say thank you!


  1. Erica

    Your blocks are gorgeous and though I perceive you are a bit hesitant about the colours coming together I think the mix is perfect and evokes exactly the look the quilt is intended to have, IMHO. I have no insight for you on the math. =( I did, however, notice there is an errata posted on the designer’s website – I’m sure you saw that already and to be honest, I don’t recall what sections it pertained to. Either way, your work is lovely and I added this quilt to my “must do” list because you introduced it to me on your blog. I look forward to more Gypsy Wife posts here.

  2. nicole - aka snips ;)

    Your blocks are all looking so fantastic! I had a lot of problems with the way the pattern was written. Some things i found could have been worded a little better to make things less confusing. And i’m pretty sure there’s instructions missing for one of the square in square filler blocks. I think i also added on more borders to some of my blocks to bring them up to size. Don’t remake yours!! They’re gorgeous, just add on more borders! And i’m not sure it was mistakes i made or not, but when i started assembling the quilt, i had a couple of blocks left over and was missing others in different sizes. I really wish i had of made more notes for the blocks, it seems they would have come in handy for more people, as well as myself. I plan on making another! I do have a blog post planned with some tips and tricks on assembly and the crazy 1.5″ strips. But i want to get mine quilted first.

    1. Daisy

      This is so helpful, Nicole!  I can’t wait to see your blog post with tips and tricks on assembly – I have no doubt it’ll be useful.  And, your gypsy wife is stunning; I LOVE IT!  If anyone else skims these comments – go take a look at Nicole’s sneak peek of her hand quilting on her blog here: http://snipssnippets.blogspot.com/2014/04/q2-fal-list.html

  3. Kim S.

    Your blocks look lovely together! I definitely would not remake them, if I were you. They are too special as they are! You can embellish with extra width if necessary when you lay it all out, as you suggested. I have not started on the filler blocks yet, but I’m glad to now be aware of the “finished” reference. Actually, I’m hoping that my color wheel and pershing blocks are the correct size. . . I’ll have to go measure them now!

  4. Joanna

    The fabrics in your blocks do look scrappy but they really are pulling together! I think the repetition of some of the stronger fabrics (the mustard Corsage print, for instance) stand out and combine everything really well.

    It is going to be really interesting once we start putting this together with the strips and finding all of the ‘off’ pieces… I’m kind of terrified about it lol!

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