Synchronicity and Sophie’s Blocks
I’ve jumped back into some guild activities this week, including unpacking and catching up with a QOV quilt that is made from large stars with made-fabric centers (our April block) with a border of this month’s block. While I was cutting fabrics for some scrappy red star blocks, I also cut some triangles for these … which also explains my choice of the red and blue stars on white low-volume background for one of my Many Triangles blocks.
Back in April, of course, I thought this quilt would be finished by the time we were making the Many Triangles blocks … and be a lovely example of the possibilities for this block and how it would look combined with those stars … but that was before my life headed in a new direction and the QOV project was put on hold for a while. In my quilt, the proportions are a little different than our lotto blocks: my star blocks are 15 inches square and the border will be 5 inches (finished size.)
One of the other guild things I worked on this week was next year’s raffle quilt. I was surprised and flattered when I was recruited as one of four quilters who would assemble the pieced center of the quilt from pieced blocks and diamonds–it’s a variation on a lone star with many (many!) Y-seams. Here’s what one of the quarters looked like.
The woman who is organizing this year’s quilt is an extraordinary quilter and hand appliquér, but has been frustrated in the past when she attempted a lone star quilt and wanted nothing to do with all those Y-seams. She was asking for tips and the best I had to offer was that sometimes you just have to suspend disbelief and trust that the pieces will fit and the seams will match.
Miraculously, I ended up being the person that sewed the last of the seams when we put our four quarters together. That suspending disbelief approach seemed to work–it came together perfectly and all the seams matched in the center. Whew!
For those that are having problems getting the pieces to align in this month’s block, I think that a similar suspending disbelief approach could help. but for more concrete examples of how it comes together, here are some photos of one of my blocks as I was putting it together.
If you are using the Tri-Recs templates, be sure to snip that notch on the small triangle. It is always worth making that extra little cut because it allows you to align that notch with the edge of the large triangle.
When I have aligned that edge, I don’t worry about trying to figure out if, at the other end of the seam, the triangle is hanging off the edge just the right amount … I just trust that it is.
After this seam is sewn, press toward the small triangle. This will produce a small “dog ear” sticking up at the top–don’t trim it yet. Use it to align the next large triangle.
Just like before, align one end and trust that the other end will be correct.
Match the tip of the triangle of the next piece with that dog-ear sticking out at the top.
The other end of the seam will look a little odd, but if you measure (or eyeball) where your quarter inch seam will intersect at the bottom, it should be at the point where the edge of the top of the triangle (which isn’t a point if you used the Tri-Recs) touches the bottom edge of the triangle to which you’re attaching it.
If you continue to press your seams in the same direction, you’ll always create a “dog ear” that will give you a point to align the next piece.
If you are not using the Tri-Recs, the same approach should work, but getting the first piece correctly placed will be more challenging–whenever you are matching these pieces, remember to always look at where the quarter inch seam will be and don’t worry if/when some points extend past the edge of the block.
On a personal note, I still haven’t sorted out things in my sewing space though I did wake up yesterday morning with the realization that there was one place I hadn’t yet looked for “the box” … in the garage with all the empty boxes and extra furniture. I unearthed it just in time to find my favorite scissors and my “tool box” to take with me for the meeting to put together the quilt. It’s silly, but I think it helped to have my usual tools with me.
That big box has been moved to my sewing room and even if I am not yet settled, I am, at least able to sew. And one or both cats hang out with me when I do.