Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Coffee's On

Late Saturday afternoon I finally got started.  Since the blocks were already cut they didn't fit the dimensions called for in the pattern.  The math had me bogged down for a bit but then I decided to just pick a number and go with it.  I figured I could get a block big enough to cut down if I have to.  I keep looking at the pattern for inspiration but I don't know what it's going to turn out to be in the end.  Here's the progress on the first set of blocks.

Based on the largest of the motif squares I cut 5 inch strips from this pretty yellow fabric.  I starched and pressed the strips . . .

then cut them into 5 inch squares, then cut the squares in half diagonally to get all these triangles.  The starch really helps to stabilize the fabric when working with triangles since the side I'm sewing is the bias edge.

Looking at this picture I'm amazed how many tools are needed to make a quilt.  Although most of the work can be accomplished with as little as a ruler, a rotary cutter, a cutting mat, and a sewing machine, you can see from this and some of the other picture that scissors, starch, a seam ripper, several different size rulers, and a wooden pressing tool were also used.  (Not to mention the remotes for the TV!)

Anyway, the triangles are sewn to the fussy cut squares.  I chain pieced the top then bottom, left side then right side.  I don't know if there's a preferred order other than doing opposite sides so that the seams overlap in a pleasing way.  I'm a big believer in pressing after each step to keep things flat.  I don't use any additional starch unless the block is really not holding it's shape.

The triangles were purposely cut to be larger than the center square so to get them lined up with the centers of the sides of the squares I used this wooden pressing tool.  I just fold the block in half and press down with the tool to crease the fabric.  You can kind of see the triangles in the background have already been creased.  This is quicker than going to the ironing board.

That handy little tool is something I bought at a craft fair many years ago.  It was supposed to be used for spreading jelly or jam on toast.  I found it one day a couple of  years ago in a basket with all my baking things.  I never used it for jelly and hardly ever bake any more, except for holidays, so I decided it would get more use in the sewing room than in the kitchen.

I finished all 12 of these main blocks before calling it a night.

I laid them out on the design wall to be inspired for the next set of blocks. 

Guppy's not sure what to make of the whole thing.  He's wondering if he'll be able to reach the top row and pull them all off the board by morning ;o)

The finished blocks ended up being 8 inches square.  I'm thinking of doing scrappy "checker board" blocks to go in between.  That way I can mix in the smallest fussy cuts.  The medium size fussy cuts may end up as sashing corner stones or as part of the border. 

I'll be back with an update soon.  For now I'm off the tackle more math for the second set of blocks!

Oh yeah, I also started a couple of applique projects so I'll be writing about those soon too.

No comments: