Here Goes Nothing….Time to Sew!

I have started sewing the strips together to make the blocks. This is the part of the project that I was most nervous about because it is important that the blocks all match up and turn out the right size. And if I made a mistake cutting or make a mistake sewing, it will show. As I have said in a previous blog post, a challenge to learning online is sometimes there is a limited amount of information on a topic. I have my pattern with instructions on how to sew the strips together. But I have found it challenging to find other resources with tips and tricks for sewing two quilt pieces together. I think this might be because how you go about sewing the pieces together is very specific to each pattern. However, after lots of research, I found some generic resources that have added to my understanding on how to handle sewing the blocks together. So far, I have found this the most rewarding part of the project because I am starting to see everything come together.

As I am sewing the blocks together it is important to keep the strips and the blocks organized. I did this by stacking each row and then taking one row at a time over to the sewing machine. As I sewed each row, I stacked them face down so that when all the blocks in that particular section were done, I could flip the stack over and the blocks would be in order from left to right. This is how I am storing the blocks until the next step.

Organizing the blocks.

Organizing the blocks.

 

The first thing that I discovered that I had to do before I could sew the strips together was place the 1.5” strip and the 2.25” strip right side together. “Right side together” means that you want to have the ‘good’ side or patterned side of the fabric touching each other so that when you sew, you are looking at the back of the fabric. At first I was very confused as to why you would sew the fabric together up side down. But after looking at the pictures on the above resource, I was able to figure out that the reason you do this is because after you open up each strip and so you wont see any of the stitching so it gives the quilt a more polished look. The second thing that I had to do was line up the raw edges (top and side) of the strips. Because not all of my strips are the exact same length I made sure to line up the top and then the bottom will be trimmed later. My pattern  said that I should start by sewing the 1.5” strip and the 2.25” strip together, then add on the 3” strip and finally the 6” strip. I think this was a beneficial way of making the block because by working smallest to largest, I did not have a lot of fabric to maneuver the whole time. When I started sewing I needed to make sure that I had a ¼” seam allowance. This means that the stitching is ¼” in from the edge of the fabric. I lined the edge of my presser foot up with the edge of my fabric to guide my stitching. At the beginning, I was pinning my fabric together to help me keep my strips lined up while sewing. Perfect Points and the Positioning Pin offered suggestions on how to go about pinning fabric together and where to place the pin. I have since been able to illuminate this step.

RIght sides together and lining up the raw edges.

Right sides together and lining up the raw edges.

1/4" seem allowance.

1/4″ seem allowance.

Finished clean look.

Finished clean look.

Adding the last strip.

Adding the last strip.

 

I then moved on to pressing (ironing) the seams of the blocks. I understand that this is a very important step as it is key to having a clean looking quilt. I was able to watch a Howcast to explain how to press quilts strips & seams. I really enjoyed this because not only did it tell me what to do, it also showed me what to do, and explained to me why I should be doing it. After gaining the understanding of why I need to press the seams, I am more likely to do a good job of it. I learned that you want to press all the seams the same way and you want to press them towards the darker color. Due to the fact that all the colors are similar in shade, I am going to follow the advice of the Howcast and press the seams towards the larger strip (all seems will be pressed towards the 6” strip). Once I have pressed the seam, I need to flip the block and iron the tops to insure that the seam is pressed flat and that the whole block is ironed flat. STICH this is a great resource to confirm how to do this step.

Time to press the seems

Getting reading to press the seams.

photo 2

Before

Before

Pressing the top.

Pressing the top.

After.

After.

The final step in making the block is to square off each block. Below is the video I used to gain understanding on how to go about this. Again, due to the fact that I am a visual learner, I liked learning how to due this from a video. I was able to work along with the video and watch it a few times until I understood it.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: And That’s A Rap | Jenaya Taylor

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