Saturday, February 27, 2016

More Splendid blocks ...

Fortunately I can use the sewing machine pedal with my bandaged and booted right foot so I've  made progress with my sampler project blocks. Not all of it has been good but I've learnt a lot about preparing fabric for accurate cutting and sewing and I'm grateful to have had some time to obsess about flat seams, even points etc. etc.

Here's block two, lots of Half Square Triangles, HST's to use the jargon, so lots of points to match and plenty of opportunities for inaccuracy. The result is a not good, not totally bad and of course, one corner block is different to the other three.

I'll probably leave it like this and hope the quilting disguises its quality and somehow I'll cope with the fact that it measures less than 6.5 inches when the time comes to join it to adjacent blocks!!

The butterflies need some attenae, not yet decided whether to embroider as suggested by the designer or to use metal foil and pressure sensitive glue.

The 3rd block was a real challenge for me, with 48 pieces to make a 6” square! I wondered what would help improve my accuracy and produce matching points and seams, and a final block of the correct size.

In my research I came across these articles on fabric preparation, on the merits (or not) of using start and sizing

The results for me is that I still experimenting. As I started the project with unwashed fabrics, I shall continue to use them unwashed. But I did use Best Press for Block 3 and found it made a big difference in terms of flat seams, easier handling of the fabric and, woopee, the finished block is the correct size.

OK, the points are all perfect but they are much better than I’ve achieved before with such small pieces of fabric.   The next time I need to piece like that I plan to use Spray Starch and to compare the commercial can with my own solution.  Watch this space for the results.

Meanwhile, block 4 is much more my style and here's a peep at the fabrics ... 

I'm trying to use a little of what I'm calling the key fabrics in each block to keep some overall cohesion.

Watch this space for the finished block ... another design arrives tomorrow but I always knew I'd only be ahead at week one. 

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