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Sunday, 30 June 2013

Chev N' Hex & Diamond Carat Blocks - Skill Builder BOM: April/FMQ

FMQ is now complete on my two April Skill Builder BOM blocks.  I wasn't looking forward to making these blocks at all and so I put it off, then I didn't make the May blocks either because I hadn't done the April blocks.  A week before the June blocks were available I thought it was time to sort myself out so I got stuck in to get up-to-date again with the BOM!

So here's my 2 April blocks:

CHEV N' HEX BLOCK

Alyssa introduced us to English Paper Piecing using a pre-cut applique foundation that's very similiar to interfacing (see image above) rather than card templates - this can be left in the finished block and breaks down when the quilt is finally washed.


Instead of thread basting the pieces we glued the fabric to the templates and then glued the seams back into place.  I used Aleene's Tacky Glue (fast drying glue pen) and also Aleene's OK To Wash-It (permanent fabric adhesive).  The Tacky Glue held the fabric in place quicker than the OK To Wash-It and the OK To Wash-It was visible through the fabric for a day or so after I'd glued the pieces and then it disappeared - must have needed longer to dry out properly.  I found the glue process messy and, even though I'm a very clean and careful worker, I frequently got glue on the surface of the fabric.

I also found that the applique templates, which were incredibly like interfacing, didn't had a firm and solid enough edge to allow me to cleanly fold the fabric back over them and get the crisp seam line to sew along.  This was frustrating when it came to joining the pieces together as the edges didn't butt up to each other as perfectly as I expect when I'm doing English Paper Piecing - you'll see what I mean more when you see the photos of the next Diamond Carat block.

 Look how you can see the glue showing through the fabric particularly on the green sections above.

I decided to try out Alyssa's suggested machine sewn method of joining the pieces.  Basically I surface sewed the pieces together using an invisible top and bottom thread and set my stitch to zig-zag with a 0.9 width and 1.0 length.  This method was soooooo quick and easy and although the stitches are visible (I'll show you these more in the Diamond Carat block) it's really not that bad.

And here's the finished quilted block:
Kaffe Fassett -Bekah


DIAMOND CARAT BLOCK

You can see on this Diamond Carat block how the surface zig zag stitching works - and just how visible it is.  Creating the tiny points for the centre star wasn't easy - there was so much fabric to fold back and the interfacing wasn't solid enough to give good crisp lines.  The pieces didn't come out to perfect sizes as you would normally expect with English Paper Piecing and then the pieces didn't line up well against each other.   The fabric surface is also dirtied with glue.

 You can see in the photo above that the pieces didn't lie well next to each other - there's overlapping, gaps and unevenness along the seams.

Below is the finished quilted block - I quilted as close as I could to the seam lines to try to hold the pieces in place more firmly and then shadow/echo quilted each line as I didn't trust that the zig-zag joining method would hold the block together well over time.

Kaffe Fassett - Lake Blossoms

Next Time: We'll be doing Foundation Paper Piecing - something I'm well practised at already being a pattern tester for Juliet @Tartankiwi, so shouldn't be too difficult ;)



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13 comments:

  1. The interfacing templates look like a really good idea - are they stiff enough so that you could hand sew them if you wanted? Machining definitely looks quicker although I have never tried it. On the hexagons I can hardly see the stitches so it obviously can be done - the overall effect is very striking. I love the Diamond Carat design too - and once you have done the echo stitching you don't really notice the zig zag. It's a lovely effect. Beautiful bold colours too. I love that you try out all these different techniques and share them with us all x

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    1. Hi Gertie - no I didn't like the interfacing templates, they just weren't stiff enough to give the crisp edges that I want, I wouldn't use them again. I don't think I'd use the glue again either but I won't say 'never' on that, it might have it's uses! I think I would machine sew the hexies together this way again though it was a real eye opener, such a time saver and I really didn't have a problem with the stitches being visible once it was done :)

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  2. I have never used any of these methods or items, so this was an interesting read. The result of your work is beautiful!

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  3. Well you certainly are ahead of me. I have my hexies all ready to sew together, but that is it. Yours looks great!

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  4. Wow!! love your blocks!! That hexi one is amazing!! Will have to try it sometime!

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  5. Hi I have come from LGA because you are one of the few other people who left a treat rather than their name - I do like it when the rules are obeyed! Interesting technique, I have just done hexagons too and I machine pieced mine - I think it is probably easier than glueing etc, but thanks for showing us.

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    1. You've made my day Ali, someone who feels the same way as me about following 'the rules' on these linky parties and every week I marvel at how many don't join in with that week's 'name' game on Let's Get Acquainted!!! :D

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  6. Chrissie! Those blocks are just fabulous. Your color selection makes them perfect. After quilting I couldn't notice a thing. Thanks for sharing your technique. I have never tried doing it that way. Cool.

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  7. I love the colors you've chosen for these! I have used a Sewline glue stick in the past for EPP but never actual glue! I think I'd be too impatient to wait for it to dry! Thanks for linking up to Let's Get Acquainted this week!

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    1. Hi Heather, I agree that a glue stick may have dried quicker and also may not have been so 'messy', if I'm ever using this method again I'll give it a go with a stick :)

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  8. the look fabulous! I thought the same thing about the stay-in foundations, I couldn't get a crisp fold which is why my hexy block turned out baggy. I don't think I'd use them again, but then I don't think I'll ever EPP again!

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    1. That's exactly how I feel about the interface foundations - I won't be using them again and EPP isn't my favourite form of patchwork either!!! :)

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  9. So cool! Your blocks are all so wonderful. It is making me wish I had continued with the BOM. So jealous.

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Chris Dodsley