Thursday, April 14, 2011

SQ QAL - Weeks 4 & 5 More Blocks & Removing the Paper

Alright everyone, it's week 4.  I know a  couple of you are following along, a couple are a little behind and some of you had been meaning to join but haven't yet.  Given the varying stage everyone is in, this post is a reminder that these blocks go quickly once you get the technique and the first couple down.  I consider myself an experienced paper-piecer and I knocked these out over a weekend. I've scheduled two more weeks for the new piecers and those with less time and that is this week and next.

Please check in and let me know how you are doing and if you have any questions. You can post here or on our FLICKR group.

Just to keep you motivated, after the next 2 weeks, we will have a 6th week for borders (if you are doing an Easter Table Runner and would like border instructions earlier, please let me know that and I'll email them. It's nothing difficult.) and then a week or two for quilting.  A prize will be given to one of the people who have posted a completed top and post pictures of it after the border instructions so let's get going, folks!

The prize: (it's still a surprise! Saturday I'm taking a bus trip up to PA with one of the local quilt groups and I'll be picking up the prize there when I go to Burkholder Fabrics. All I will say, again, is it's going to be stash friendly!)

(This step is optional but I find it helps tear away from the stitching just ever so slightly.) Give all those blocks a quick press with the iron. Fabric side up, paper side down. Start in the center of the block and quickly pass a hot (no steam) iron out to the corners and edges. Always work center out. Each block should take no more than 5 seconds to press the seams.  That's all we want here. If your paper curls up slightly at the corners, no worries, just bear in mind all we want to do is a quick set on the seams. 
Let's get to the removal of the paper.  No video for this one folks.  I can't see the need but if you do, I'll make one, just let me know. With paper side up, fold the paper back on the sewn line on the easiest section to tear off, section 8. Crease the fold then gently pull the paper off. 
Work your way around the block doing this from the outside in on all sections. Sometimes you need to gently tug the paper out from under the stitching and if you do, be sure to pull to the side, not up and away from the stitching to prevent pulling the stitching out. 

Lastly, sometime you have little pieces stuck under the stitch and in the corners.  A sharp pair of tweezers is the key here. 
Pull out those little paper hangers with the tweezers. I find this task is best with a garbage can by my side and the television or radio on.
So, for anyone that wants to jump in here are the previous posts/instructions.
Week 3 -with video tutorials
and our FLICKR group

Feel free to grab my button on the sidebar if you want.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

SQ Paper-piece QAL - Week 3 (with video!)

(NOTE:  I just realized that for week 2 I talk about this being a 9x9" square and it's not! It finishes at 9.5"x9.5". Please translate whenever you read 9" that I meant 9.5x9.5. My apologies. To those that have already printed and enlarged their patterns, it's OKAY to finish this out using 9x9 inch squares. It just means more leftover fabric instead of not enough. I'm sorry for the inconvience.)

If you haven't grabbed your materials yet, there's still plenty of time, get your stuff and join it! There will be a surprise for one participant along the way.

Ah yes, it's time! I'm doing this 2 ways, with the written word and with a very amateur set of videos.

I'm apologizing in advance for the videos. I started with just me and the camera, then my son J decided to help by moving the camera for us but in the process, instead of keeping it just to my hands, he shows you that I'm wearing my pajamas!  So, in essence, my early morning effort to get this done and posted today has been found out.  We've shown you all my penguin pajama bottoms and old Army PT shirt. Sorry about that but I wasn't about to redo the video.

Okay so here is the VIDEO Tutorial Part 1. This shows how to start and put sections 1 and 2 together.

1) You take fabric for section 1 and put it right side together with the fabric for section 2 and line up the edges. Place them on your cutting board with side 1 on top and side 2 on your cutting board.

2) Place the pattern right side down over the fabric so the fabric for section 1 is under the actual section 1 and positiong the line that is between section 1 & 2 about 1/4" in from the edge of the fabric.  Be sure that each section line is also set approximately 1/4" inside the edge of the fabric. Pin in place.
3) Reduce your stitch length. For use with tracing paper, my stich length is reduced from 2.5 to 2.0.  For stitching with regular printer paper, I reduce the stitch size to 1.5.  (This helps keep stitches from being pulled when we tear the paper off.)

See these next steps in the VIDEO TUTORIAL Part 2.

4) Start stitching on the line between sections 1 and 2. Put paper up and fabric on the bottom. Go from the one end of the line to the other end and do not stitch over. However, take one backstitch at the beginning and end to help lock it in place.

5) Remove from machine, flip paper over and with fabric on top, finger press fabric pieces open.
6) Flip again and with fabric on bottom and opened up, carefully fold the paper along the line between section 2 and section 3. Using a ruler, cut 1/4 AWAY from the folded edge.  Discard extra fabric for use in another project.

7) Flip. Place right side of fabric for section 3 along side the cut edge of fabric 2. Pin in place.

8) Repeat steps 4-7 for each section. Be sure to follow the numbers.  After section 6, do not cut. 

See these next steps in the VIDEO TUTORIAL Part 3.

9) Go to section 7 and trim the fabric 1/4" away from the line for section 1 and section 7.  Then sew on section 7.
10) Next fold and trim along the line for section 8, sew, finger press open.  Flip one last time and trip around the quarter edge of each edge line.
 Make 4 blocks this week.  Be sure to post pictures of your blocks on our Flickr Group!   Questions can be answered here or through the discussion board on the Flickr Group, as well. If you post them there, others, besides me can also answer. :)

Cheers! Beck