Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Importance of Being Ironed

The big gap between last post and this one is largely due to becoming unemployed and enjoying a break from the 9-5 hustle but that has given me the opportunity to do some concentrated sewing and now all the blocks are finished. Phew!

I have taken a few photos while I've been sewing mainly for the technical nature in assembling this complex project. I counted and each block has 100 pieces of fabric cut out for the various 45 squares and rectangles to come together to make the rose block.

One of the things that I've learned over the past few months assembling these blocks, apart from realising that I always choose the hardest projects to complete (A'La Tin Cup and the River), is the vital importance of ironing and using cotton fabrics for their stretch and flexibility.

Especially with the last few blocks I found that to get the best finish for each section, it was best to iron the pieces flat before assembling together. And yes my fingers have been slightly singed on many occasions this month.

Also, the idea of ironing towards the light fabric works in some instances, but I had to combine this method with ironing seams out flat (as in the photo) and then I also needed to consult the pattern to judge where I could iron creatively so that there wouldn't be too many heavy joins because these made it difficult to get a flat front.

Quilting Truth #101: The foundation and background is just as important as the finished pieced front.

My Grandfather used to embroider in the evenings. He made these beautiful pictures with wool and silk thread and he used to say that the back of the picture should be just as good the front. I used to think this was a level of perfectionism that was just silly, but I can now see the sense in being just as neat and tidy in the background so that the finished front picture will have no unsightly bumps or skewed seams ruining what could be perfection.

Now my next task is assembling all the individual blocks into the quilt top and then when that is done I can work out what I can do with borders as I can't source additional fabric for some of the fabrics used in the quilt. Time to get creative.

By the way, laying out all the quilt blocks was a chore that almost twisted my brain the wrong way around. It had to have taken at least an hour, making sure that no two same blocks were too close together. Another task that was harder than it could have been because of my use of different fabrics. I am so in love with scrappy looks!

Below is rough look at how it will come together. There are 32 rose blocks; 16 pale rose blocks and 16 dark rose blocks. There are four different fabric combinations within each of these two different palette styles. Each rose is made up of 4 different pink fabrics. Which is making picking the right fabrics for the border a challenge.

I also wrote down a plan that I could follow when piecing each of the different rose blocks together, without laying out the blocks again. My cat has a bad habit of skidding through laid down blocks on my hardwood floors. She thinks it's great fun. Not happening this time!
Once they're all assembled I'll measure and start calculating how much fabric will be required for borders.

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