Friday, April 16, 2010

Loves Pink - Part 4

To continue where I left off...

Lesson 6 - Be as consistent as possible with your piecing. I found that as a beginner I was at times a bit inconsistent with my seams and it didn't seem like a big deal but once my blocks started coming together I realized that even just a little bit off meant that my seams didn't line up together straight when I pieced all of the rows and columns together.  Just remember lesson 5 and try not to stress out about it. It was at this point that Ann said something along the lines of, "No one is perfect except God." So true! I had one of those "he's just not that into you" moments (if you haven't read the book, I highly recommend it - very liberating for me before I met my fiance) where I realized that my creations didn't need to be perfectly executed. They just need to be from the heart!

Lesson 7 - Square up your blocks. This was probably my biggest blunder on Leslie's quilt. If your blocks have nice clean edges it will be much easier for you to piece them together with your other blocks. I have recently invested in several different sized square rulers that I use to square my blocks when possible. Luckily the local JoAnn Fabrics is moving location so I have been able to pick up several of the things I need for quilting at clearance pricing. If my blocks are a different size than my rulers I use my cutting mat, rotary cutter, and ruler to square each block on the mat. I did not do this for Leslie's quilt so the edges of my blocks were not straight and therefore did not line up with my straight pieces of sashing (I have also heard this called lattice I think). I fudged the seams a little bit and you can't really tell but the edges of the quilt came out a little wavy in some places.

Lesson 8 - Distribute your colors and fabric designs evenly across your quilt. I wasn't really thinking about the overall look so much as I was trying to stick to the pattern I selected. I alternated between 4 black/5 pink and 5 pink/4 black blocks (see below). I had a bit of trouble moving around my blocks before I sewed them together because I was trying to get an even distribution of the fabric patterns. It worked out but I have since learned to start thinking about fabric distribution earlier in the process.
Lesson 9 - Stick with a system when you're sewing your blocks together. I am not sure if I was just tired or what but I had to take out my seams a couple of times because I realized I wasn't sewing the blocks in the right order. The system I use now is to lay out my blocks the way I am going to sew them together and then either pick up an entire column or entire row up in the order I am going to sew with the left-most or top-most fabric on top.

Lesson 10 - Iron down your seams. I should have put this a bit earlier because you want to iron all of your seams. Ann taught me to press the seams down in alternating directions but this is something I still struggle with. I have found that if I mess up or my seam flips the wrong way while I am sewing, I can usually press it down pretty flat or make a little snip on the seam where it is flipped the wrong way and press. If you do try this snip method be careful! You don't want to accidentally cut your seam. 

Stay tuned! More to come in my next post!

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