A Quilting Tutorial - Page I

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Now I'm working at home - I have 7 more blocks to piece!

Oy - repeat after me - wrong sides TOGETHER! How I sewed the whole thing without noticing, I have no clue. This is when I became intimate with my seam ripper! Okay - MUCH better! Sheesh - this WAS the advantage to the classroom environment - no 'helpers' ... Thanks Smokey!
An example of all the pieces for a block being pinned, and ready to sew. Here are the pieces when they get to the point of having 4 identical squares. Each block is so different - I love how this fabric kaleidescopes!
And another block :) Backing up, here's what to do with your whacked triangles. If you've decided, like I did, that you won' require your blocks to go all one direction (clockwise or counter-clockwise) then you have a decision to make with each set. I would set up two half-keiledescopes like this to see which pattern I liked better.
In this case I liked the clockwise version better. So I laid it out with all the triangles in the same orientation. Then I took my rectangle pieces, and laid those out at the edges of every other triangle. Then I placed the triangles in the spaces, as pictured.
Here's the whole block laid out, before pinning or stitching. Now I'm going to flip the triangle over the main fabric, as pictured, getting ready to pin. It's hard to see in the small picture, but I've started pinning down the right edge.
This is the corner of the same edge. I've rotated it on my lap about 90 degrees counter clockwise. I'm trying to get the corners to match up well here before pinning. The instructor said "just make all the points match - stretch them." This works remarkably well all throughout! Here it is, pinned, with the edges, but especially the corners, matching. The flower-headed pins are really nice for this, I found - if I accidentally pinned too close to the sewing line I was able to let the flower-headed pin slip under the sewing machine foot. Here are the same pieces, pinned, back in their place in the kaleidescope.
Getting ready to pin the next part, I'm flipping over the rectangle onto the edge of the triangle its next to. I pinned the edges, and yes, the rectangle is longer than the edge of the triangle. You'll trim the excess after! Here it is back in its place in the kaleidescope. Three more of each to do.
Here are all 8 pieces (4 of each kind) ready to stitch. Doing one of the rectangle ones...there probably is a better way to do this so you know just when the end of the triangle is, and you can stop, but I had the rectangle on top and couldn't see the triangle, so I just guesstimated and went long for safekeeping. This is called chain-stitching - between piecings you don't cut the threads, you just go right on to the next one. When you're done you just snip inbetween the pieces and cut the connecting threads. This set of threads is a bit long for demonstration purposes. I got better as I went at making them really small, which made the snipping much more effective, when it was close enough to separate with one snip, instead of two on either end of a long thread.
If you click and see the large version of this, you can see how they're all chained together - sort of ... single threads don't show up THAT well on digital photos. Here I am pressing the seams open. In class people did this towards the darker fabric, whichever it happened to be. I'm not sure it makes a huge difference. It was a little easier later in the centers of the kaleidescopes with the open seams, so that's my official recoomendation ... I think! More pressing - same thing - press it open..
Now to take each kind of piece, and make a square out of it. You'll do this 4 times for each block. First line them up the way they're supposed to be. Now flip one side over the other (doesn't really matter which.) Now get those edges, and corners lined up. If you need to, stretch one of the pieces to make the corners match. This was truly the best piece of advice I got in the class!
Pin it, making sure the corners are still matched. Once pinned, you can safely trim the excess off that rectangle. I have to say, this is just one of MANY pictures that was physically difficult to take! I'm right handed, and the button on the camera is on the right - I became a bit of a contortionist documenting things with scissors and irons during this project! Here it is with the excess trimmed.
This is definitely more visible in the large picture, but I'm showing how I'm about to align the corners. You get the corners aligned, pin them, and either stretch it, or ease in the excess fabric when stitching. Here it is, pinned and all aligned.

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