Sunday, February 7, 2010

TATRWJ - Row 5, Block 6

My third "Trip Around The Rainbow With Jane" block.
TATRWJ - Row 5, Block 6
Completed on Feb. 6, 2010 (22pcs)
TATRWJ - 3 Blocks, 0 Triangles, 0 Corners, 56 Pieces

This block was completely paper-pieced in 6 sections. The left and right sides were 2 sections each (a long section and a corner section), and the center was pieced in 2 sections on the diagonal line. Then the 3 joined sections (left, middle, and right) were joined.

This block went together pretty quickly and easily. My point matching could be better, but it's fine. I've decided I'd rather have blocks than are done, instead of blocks that aren't because they're not perfect. There are so many blocks, that it'll never get done if I get too picky!

Small Blocks
I'm finding that blocks are coming out just a tiny bit too small. I'm going to add an EXTRA 1/4" seam allowance around all the paper-piecing patterns, and then I can trim them to the right size when they're done. I'd like to have a nice full 1/4" seam allowance to join the squares in order to keep the quilt the right size as much as possible.

Pattern Preparation & Piecing Info
I've been printing TWO copies of the pattern onto freezer paper. The FIRST copy is cut into SECTIONS to be used for paper-piecing. I sew by hand, and sew right through the freezer paper. It's not too hard.

The SECOND copy is totally cut up into pieces. Then I iron each pattern piece onto the appropriate fabric with about 3/8" around each piece (more is better). Then I cut them apart.

Now I have a labeled piece of fabric for EVERY PATTERN PIECE for paper-piecing or regular piecing. It saves me lots of time, and makes it easier to just keep sewing with all the pieces pre-cut.

If I'm just regular piecing, I'll trim the seam allowances to 1/4", and then when I sew, I can tell it's right when my seam is right up against the paper on the top and bottom.

For paper-piecing, the paper shows me exactly how I had planned to position the pre-cut piece. Then I peel the paper, double check it covers where it should and sew on the line.

After piecing, I like to give a quick press with one of the "stick" wooden irons. Then I have less distortion when I press with the mini-iron to get it to stick to the pattern to trim for the next section.


WesternWilson said...

I followed a similar method by Judy Mathieson, where you cut apart one of the freezer paper copies of your block pattern and, adding 1/2" allowance on all sides, precut your pieces for the foundation piecing. It seems to result in far less waste and confusion!

Connie said...

Not only was I wasting lots of fabric from pieces that were too large, (or too small and had to be recut) but I also often grabbed the incorrect side of the fabric, and ended up with a piece I either couldn't use if I noticed it. Or a piece with the wrong side on the top of the block that had to be ripped out.

Cutting ahead of time has really helped me a lot, and the sewing goes MUCH easier.