Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Tuesday, Foundation Piecing

Well, I finally got up the nerve to try paper piecing. It wasn't as easy as it looked. I ripped out all four of the first round of pieces before I got them right, and then I wasn't very good at estimating where the seam would be and if there was enough material to cover the shape. And, finally, I cut the block to the outside border but forgot to add 1/4" to sew it to the rest of the quilt. What a nightmare. I finally just added a 1 1/2" piece all around instead of a 1 1/4" piece to allow for my mistake.

Whew, I'm not sure how much foundation pieceing I'm going to be doing in the future. It does produce some nice results though with very even, straight, matching seams.

Tonight I'll lay the whole thing out and see what I want to do in the four corners before class tomorrow night.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Day ?, Whatever...

Since my last post I've finished two more concentric square blocks. I really need to post some pictures of these blocks.

Our last class on Nov 3 was about foundation piecing and sashing. I am going to attempt to make a foundation block for the center of my quilt. It seems a bit odd to me though, that one would sew on paper and then rip the paper off. It seems I made some blocks years ago similar to this one without the paper. I suppose it makes sense from the point of view that the bias triangles could stretch out of shape.

I will give it a try and report back. I'm stuck on the fact that the pattern Cindi gave us is not accurate. That's my anal retentive side coming out. Everything must be perfectly aligned. So, I will try to draw it over making it even.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Day 3, More blocks

Today I only made two blocks. These are the concentric square verison of the log cabin pattern. I really like these and I thought I would like these the least.

I laid the six blocks I have so far out on the floor and tried them in different positions. I think I'm changing my mind now about where each will be located. Cindi told us to just make a few blocks and then play with the arrangement. She was so right.

This is so much fun discovering how the quilt will end up along the way rather than planning the whole thing up front. I think this will probably be the biggest lesson learned from the class, aside from the tips and tricks.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Day 2, My first blocks

Well, I've spent all morning so far, clearing my space and getting set up to actually start this quilt. I've pressed the fabric and laid out my cutting board. So, here goes...

It's evening and I've completed four of my fifteen blocks. I only cut enough of the material for these four blocks, as Cindi advised. I made these first four in the traditional log cabin design with darks next to each other and lights next to each other.

Tomorrow, I will make four blocks with concentric squares. These will be the four corners of my quilt.

Day 1, My first Lesson

While I've quilted a little bit before, I've never had any format instruction or structure to what I was doing. I've decided at this late date (in my sewing career anyway) to finally take an organized and planned approach to making a quilt from start to finish.

I signed up for a Beginners Log Cabin series at New Pieces in Albany, CA. My first class was Thursday, Oct 27, 2005 and I really enjoyed it. My instructor is Cindi Cossen.

Cindi talked a lot about the different types of log cabin patterns and the different ways they can be put together to get different effects. She had many samples and the one I zoomed in on was a simple Sampler which used only two different fabrics and three different block patterns. But the way they were arranged made all the difference.

The basic premise for log cabin is that you have a center square and several rows of strips around the square. You put darks on two connecting sides and lights on the other two connecting sides.

We spent a lot of time choosing fabrics for our projects. But, the key, according to my instructor was choosing one fabric that I really liked and going from there. With the help of Cindi and Sharone, it was really easy and fun. The second key was not trying to choose everything all at once. We concentrated on the fabric for our initial blocks. Not the back, not the sashing, not the borders.

I finally settled on a mauve focus with a rose pink for the center, a dark almost burgundy pattern for one set of strips and a beige, burgundy, rose pattern for the lighter strips.

Our homework was to put together a few blocks and see how it goes. There are two methods for the strips: cut the strips the lengths you want or sew a long strip and cut to fit as you go. Cindi told us to try both methods to see which worked best for us.