Piece of Cake 3 – Piecing, round 1

Wednesday was the day of a singing sewing machine. I haven’t cut the white parts of the blocks yet, but I consider them more of sashing, so the blocks are done as per Wednesday evening! I also tried to find some kind of good rhythm to them, which proved to be quite a challenge. Here they are, lined up in five rows of five blocks each.

Piece of Cake 3 - Blocks

Blocks as they will be placed in quilt top

Piece of Cake 3 - Row 1 and 2

Row 1 and 2

Piece of Cake 3 - Row 3 and 4

Row 3 and 4

Piece of Cake 3 - Row 5

Row 5

The photos are pretty horrible (shot late Wednesday evening), but maybe it’s possible to look past their quality? Anyway, these are my first blocks that I’ve finished and there are some things I’d like to mention at this point. First of all, the fabrics; during cutting I was cutting as close to 10” and the other measures as I was able to, but already during sewing together two different types of fabrics, it was clear to me that fabrics do indeed stretch, some quite a lot!

Another thing I didn’t think I’d be able to do was sewing without pins, but I did because they stick together. No matter how perfectly the two pieces were lined up at the start of a seam, the stretching caused in some cases a nice little gap between strip lengths. This thing is doomed! Unless you pick fabrics from the same manufacturer, same line, and so on, you should apparently expect stretching to happen. Great lesson to learn!

As I was finished cutting all the strips, I moved on to a huge puzzle, the pairing of fabrics. Oh my, what a challenge! I spent a long time shuffling the strips back and forth, swapping already done pairs with others to get more balance. It was a relief to tackle the task with a beginner’s spirit, fearless and open-minded, because I’m not sure I’ll ever pick fabrics the same way as I did for this quilt (I might make “safe” choices then).

The hardest part of the puzzle was placing the blocks in some kind of order that wouldn’t be too awful on the eye. Combining warm and cool greens was the biggest win as well as loss and what remains to be seen is how my decisions above will make the quilt top look in the end. There are a couple of blocks that I’m a bit hesitant about, but I’ll give them a chance and the benefit of doubt; let’s cut the sashing first and sew them all together before dismissing some so coldly!

Wednesday was a good day and I kept learning things about myself as well as the craft. This is so cool and I’m grateful for having found it at a time in my life when I will still have many years left to fine-tune. “Jack of all trades, master of none” can be a tiresome way to live.

4 thoughts on “Piece of Cake 3 – Piecing, round 1

  1. twoquiltsandachicken

    I’ve been digging your fabric choices and I’m following this quilt with a close eye :) because I really like what you’ve go going here. You did a great job pairing up your fabrics for your blocks. Fabric is such a menace to work with (LOL) because of all of the stretching. I think you bring up a really good point that it becomes a bigger issue when you mix fabric lines and manufacturers. I don’t know if it will work for you, but I’ve been solving the problem by cutting the pieces too big and then trimming them down and square them as I piece the blocks and then repeat on the whole blocks before I join them. This way I have a little room to play with the stretch. When I first did it, I thought that once the quilt was made and washed, all that work to accommodate the stretched blocks would be obvious because washing would (I guess magically) make the fabric go back to it’s original shape and everything would pucker and look funny. Nope… I see absolutely no difference in my quilts except that all of my points and corners match up now. :) Just a thought. Regardless, your quilt is coming along beautifully and you really are the only one who is ever going to notice any “faults.” -Jamie

    1. Nina With Freckles Post author

      Close eye, huh :D No pressure… Haha, I’m up for close eye on seams, will make me concentrate even better when sewing. I was considering squaring up, just like you wrote, but I haven’t looked at all of the blocks yet, so “damage control” is of unknown magnitude still. What I like about it, is that even though you’d make all blocks slightly smaller, as long as it is done the same way throughout, it won’t be a problem.


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