Monday, March 19, 2012

Paper Piecing Sedona Star Month 2

If you're wondering where I posted my picture of my completed Month 1 blocks, the answer is that they aren't finished yet!  I am still experimenting with my turned applique by machine technique.  In the mean time, I went ahead with paper piecing Month 2, and showed my practice block yesterday.  The practice block was made with the real fabrics, so you can see where I am going with it.

As I promised yesterday, here is how I altered the Month 2 template to accomodate paper piecing:


I left the image fairly large, so if you click the photo you can see all the details.  Here's a description of what I did:
  1. I assembled the template from plain copy paper and drew on all my revisions.  Then I copy each quadrant onto the Ricky Tims' Stable Stuff.  The edges were trimmed down so that each side, including the centre seam, fits onto just two pages.
  2. I pieced it in two sub-units, sewed the centre seam, and then added the appliques and outer border.  You can see that I extended one side of the centre point both up and down.  I am indebted to TQS member FLAero52 for this idea.  She did it slightly differently, but the sub-unit idea is key.  I added a cutting line on either side of the seam, mainly to remind me that it IS the seam.
  3. I extended the corners of the grey background grid out to the edges, and also added a trim line parallel to the grid on all four sides.  This is to speed the assembly of the templates.  I trim the copies at the trim line, butt the edges against my Olfa mat, and line up the corner extensions at the 0" and 16" marks on the mat.  Then I know for sure that the assembled template is exactly to scale. 
  4. I also added some small lines across the seam line at precise right angles to serve as pin markings when I sew the centre seam.  That seam has to be dead on, or the final shape of the block may be distorted.
  5. The background pieces 4a and 4b are an awkward shape.  Rather than using a very large rectangle and then cutting away most of the fabric, I traced the shapes onto wax paper (freezer paper) to use as pattern pieces.  This allows me to cut the angle for the seam so that the fabric will flip up exactly into the right position.  Yes, it IS tricky.  But it works great once you get it.  Please let me know in the comments if you want to see a picture, and I will take one once I get going again.
I ordered this cute iron from Keepsake Quilting today, and the pressing surface too.  With my small sewing space, I think it will be a better solution than a full size iron.  Maybe there was a silver lining to my misadventure yesterday!

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Happy stitching!

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