Sunday, June 29, 2008
One-Block Wonder - completed top and tips
At long last, after much procrastination, here is the completed One-Block Wonder quilt top. I was really getting tired of having it hanging on the make-shift design wall of my china cabinet. Only Steven complained about it though, and it was more of a "so when ARE you going to finish that one?" Mae's off at camp and Bill was in San Fran on business so I just sewed at odd hours. The gold/green border fabric was an old Jinny Beyer fabric that I've had for forever - I'm using it for the backing as well (I had some serious yardage!). I did ask Steven for an opinion on adding the green to it. I wanted to do something to "frame" it, and he picked the green that I used. Check it out a little closer.
What I did was cut a long strip 1 1/2" wide, and folded it into 3rds - kind of like a binding. I cut 1/2" strips of WonderUnder fusible and ironed it to the back of the 2nd fold to keep the strip together. I cut more of the 1/2" strips of fusible and ironed it to the back of the strip itself. Then I fused it to the edge of the pieced top. Lots of little strips of paper, lots of ironing - I'll sew it down as part of the quilting. Turning the points was tricky at first until I got the hang of it. I used an orange cuticle stick to hold the points in place as I ironed. It looks like it's all mitered perfectly, but it did take some time to get it just so. See the points up close:
Hints, tips, and tricks.....
Don't bother pressing the seams open unless you love pinning things! Pressing them open sounds like a good idea, but when it comes to putting the rows together, you will have to pin, pin, pin to get the sections lined up just so. I much prefer it when seams nestle together as I sew along. It's like an extra helping hand when joining blocks and rows together. The next time I make one of these, I will be sure to just press the seams to one side.
Aim for perfection, but don't sweat it. It's nearly impossible to tell when the center of the hexagon isn't exactly perfect.
Another thing I found is that although it is difficult to picture how the fabric will be changed, just count on getting more drama with a larger sized print. This fabric was more of a medium in terms of the size of the flowers, and the flowers themselves were very clearly framed against the black background. It resulted in smaller scale designs. If the design has almost a watercolor feel to it with softer shapes and no sharpness to the lines, you will get more of a flowing effect. In hindsight, I wish I had looked for some of those large Alexander Henry prints.
A design wall of some kind is a necessity for the One-Block Wonder quilt. Rig up a blanket to seldom used closet doors, or a wall if possible, or even your china cabinet, like I did. You need to be able to arrange and re-arrange the hexagons vertically. Forget the floor - I don't know anyone who can lay something like this out on the floor and have it be undisturbed for several days/weeks.
Save the little pieces from the ends of the strips after you've cut the regular triangles out. You can make miniature hexagons from them to use in another project.