Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Aiming For Accuracy - or A4AQA Blue & White - part 1.

I decided to pull from my stash of blue and white fabrics. The background will be a white on white.  I've been planning a blue & white quilt, though didn't know what pattern I wanted to use, so I have plenty of fabrics to choose from!  I thought about a garnet/gold colorway - but had too much of a mixture of batiks and quilting cottons in my red/garnet stash - and didn't want to mix the two for this project.

The first task was to cut the background fabrics - with an important reminder to label them by size so that they are easily pulled when they are needed for a particular block.  I've also trimmed a few extra sashing strips, just in case I mis-measure a length along the way.  The lesson was an overview in improving accuracy through careful cutting, mastering a 1/4 inch seam and easing fabrics where necessary.

I worked on Lessons 1 and 2 together. The lesson 1 fabric and cuts are on the top of each picture.

Lesson 1 highlights pressing seams.  The block is straightforward - and I made my first ever half square triangles.  I can definitely use some practice with those. I will likely re-read part of Quilter's Academy Volume 3 as there are many ways to construct half square triangles - so I can try multiple techniques in the coming months.

One thing that is clear to me, is that I need to practice looking in front of the needle versus at the needle while feeding in the blocks.  My seam lines could have been straighter - but I was able to "correct" the wobblies when I pressed and trimmed the blocks.

The block looks quite different depending on the placement of dark and light.

I opted for the dark triangles and light spokes in the end.

Lesson 2 highlights pinning and easing. I use very few pins when constructing blocks.  However, there are times, when in the fiddly bits, that pinning can be very useful.

Again, I played with the position of the half square triangles. As the value of the fabrics in these are similar, it was less obvious which direction I chose, so I picked one.  I did misread the directions, and have four extra large half square triangles - so this color combination will likely repeat itself in an upcoming block - especially if I can cut the big blocks into two smaller ones.

Lessons for this quilt-along come out on Thursday afternoons.

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