Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Starbright progress

Finally got the time to work on the Book of the Month project, which I'm calling StarbrightThe block is called Carolyn's block from Carol Doak's 40 Bright and Bold Paper Pieced Blocks, (affiliate link) and boy, is it bright!  But I think it's going to look awesome, even before the quilting!

So, here's the start, with all the pieces ready to go, and some pieces sewn on the paper.  
I have to admit that I used the freezer paper technique on this one, just so I could compare it to the traditional sew-through-the-paper technique.  If your not familiar with freezer paper piecing, here's a quick tutorial.

A big roll of freezer paper is found in places such as Target, Walmart, the grocery store etc.  When taking it off the roll, I iron it lightly, because it does shrink.  Doing this helps the blocks from ending up a bit too small.  

I cut the paper into 8 1/2" x 11" pieces to print foundation patterns from EQ7.  I use an inkjet printer to print on the dull side and have had no problems putting freezer paper through.
Before starting any project, I always print a test block to check the measurements of the block.  I know that my printer makes the length short, but I compensate for that by adding .05 to my block height measurement when setting up the block size to print in EQ7.
Once your blocks are the correct size, print away!  Remember to check the 'mirror' button because the sewing happens on the other side of the printout, which is the mirror image of the block.  Sometimes that matters, and other times it doesn't--just double check that mirror button!

Now for the fun part--sewing!  Set the iron to a temperature that is warm enough for the fabric to stick to the freezer paper, but not extremely hot.  Starting with the first piece and the freezer paper shiny side up, lightly tack down the fabric with the iron tip, avoiding contact between the iron and the shiny paper.  Be sure to leave a seam allowance on all sides.
Turn the unit over and fully iron down the piece.  Hold it up to the light to double check the area is covered and there is ample seam allowance.  (And yes, I know I didn't follow the number sequence here!)

Using a cardstock or a postcard as a straight edge, fold on the line for the next piece.
Keeping the paper folded, place a 1/4" ruler on the fold edge and trim the seam allowance to 1/4".
Line up the seam allowance edge with the next piece of fabric.
At the sewing machine, with the freezer paper side up, place the needle just to the right of the fold.
If you find the foot is dragging on the folded back (shiny side) piece of freezer paper, place a plain piece of paper over it for the foot to ride on.
Using a 2.0-2.2mm stitch length, stitch beside the fold.
Open up the fold, and from the fabric side, press the seam and lightly press the new piece into place.  Flip the unit over and press the paper completely onto the fabric.
To finish the block, continue folding on the seamline, trimming the seam allowance, sewing the next piece, and pressing the new piece into place on the freezer paper.

And the result is a pretty block!
Hope you have enjoyed this lesson and give paper piecing a try, either with the freezer paper method, or the sew through method.  Either way, I highly recommend Carol Doak's books, and especially her Mastering Foundation Paper Piecing at  Carol does an awesome job with hints and tricks to make the whole process easy!

Happy Quilting!   

1 comment:

  1. That is one beautiful block!!! I love the bright colors. I can't wait to see the rest of you blocks. Thanks for sharing.


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