Saturday, 8 May 2010

Part two - Rainbow spiderweb quilt block

You can read Part one here.

Having sewn the yellow corner of this quadrant of the finished block, take your work piece and turn it so that the yellow side now lies on your left. This means that you will now be sewing in the opposite direction to the yellow side. You will see that written in pencil in this paper corner is the word red, which means that all your red strips will be sewn on this side of the grey centre piece. Place your first red strip onto the grey centre piece, matching the edges and sew it on, sewing through both layers of fabric and the paper. Then take your work piece, turn it over, and just like you did with the yellow side, fold the paper backward on the (grey/red) seamline.

Fold your paper out flat again, fold your first red strip open (right side up) and place your next red strip face down onto the first red strip, matching the edges and making sure that it covers the paper foundation. Pin the two red strips together, do not pin them to the paper. Before you place the work piece under the presser foot make sure to fold the paper back on itself again. If you look at the photo above you will see (at the bottom left) the the folded piece of paper is sticking out and only the two red strips are under the presser foot. Continue adding on and sewing red strips together until you have sewn enough that they cover the paper when it is folded open.

When you have sewn all the red strips together and you turn the workpiece over you should be able to pick up the two outer corner of the paper and lift them up and when you do this the fabric will remain flat on your working surface.

Sew the designated colour strips onto all four quadrants, take them over to your ironing board and gently press your seams. If the fabric sticks to the paper backing don't worry because with a very gently tug it will loosen and come away from the paper. Once they are all pressed, take each quadrant in turn and place them fabric side down onto your cutting board. Using the paper backing/foundation as your template, trim all the excess fabric off.

When you now look at the paper side f the trimmed quadrants (like the one above) you should only have two rows of stitching and a written reference of either 'left' 'right' 'top' or 'bottom'. These refer to where you place the quadrants in the process of assembling your block.

To place your quadrants, imagine a square on your working surface. Pick up each sewn quadrant and if the reference written on the paper side says 'left', then place your quadrant on the left side with the longest side of the triangle forming the outside line of your square and the grey piece pointing toward the centre of your square. Place each of your pieces in this manner. You will know if they are placed correctly because you will have a grey star shape in the middle and your yellow corners will be together and the red corners will be together.

Now pick up one of these triangles, flip it over, and fold the paper backwards and forwards a few times on the seamline. The object is to weaken the paper. You only need to do it five or six times and then placing one finger on the edge of the seamline and pressing down gently pull one of the sides away. It's a little bit like tearing a cheque out of your cheque book. Once you have removed the pieces from both sides, gently put your finger between the paper and the fabric of the centre piece and it will also lift away at the seam line. This is where my OCD tendency kicks in again, I tear off the little piece that sayd 'left' or 'right' etc and pin it to the top side of the triangle and them put the triangle back in its place. Pick up the next piece and do the same until you have removed the paper and marked each ones position and put it back in its place.

By pinning it's placement reference on the front you make sure that it always stays where it is supposed to be. Now pick up two pieces, pin them together face to face and sew them together. Do the same with the remaining two pieces. Now you will have two large triangles. Place them one on top of the other and pin them ensuring that your seams meet properly, especially where the grey bits end and the colour bits start.

When it comes to sewing the two large triangles together I place the piece under the presser foot and instead of sewing from edge to edge I start just above the centre seam and sew downward toward the corner.
Having sewn half the seam, remove the piece from under the presser foot, turn it round and sew the second half by starting and half inch above the centre seam and sew downward toward the corner. This means that in the centre of the block you will have, for about an inch, have one seam sewn over the other one. The reason for sewing this final seam in this manner is not to strengthen the seam (although it will) but it ensures that all the underneath seams from the strips remain flat and don't sneakily turn in the opposite direction.

Et voila! This is what your block will look like when you open it up. All that remains is to gently press it .... and of course start sewing the rest of the blocks.

When cutting my fabric strips, the width of the strip was irrelevant, what was important to me was to get the correct colours together. I chose grey for the centre because I want the corner colours which become the spiderweb, to stand out. Time will tell if it was the right choice.

If you follow this method I'd be really pleased to hear how it went, and of course to see piccies of what yours looks like.

Until next time,
Take care

1 comment:

  1. This looks amazing - love the detail of your description and the clear photos - can hardly wait to see more!


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