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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Scrappy New Year - April 15

Holy Scrap!

This is our inspiration quilt. If you are making one just like this, you should already have the center three sections made. Today we will talk about trimming the side pieces and setting this quilt top together.

Sue H. from Missouri sent me this picture of her growing units. She plans to make a larger quilt. I am pretty sure that background with the big yellow dots is her carpet. Notice she used white squares for her end pieces where I used red. I love this quilt already.

This technique for setting rows together is called Seminole Piecing.

I have not finished setting all my rows together as I also have plans to make a larger quilt. - - - I seem to have plenty of scraps on hand for a much larger quilt, if you know what I mean!

Before we go an farther - - - If you are making a larger quilt, do not trim these Seminole pieced sections yet. If you are making the quilt shown at top, - - - read on.

On to trimming the two Seminole pieced sections. When you trim the points off, you will create a bias edge. Bias edges are the most stretchy of raw edges.  If you pull the fabric as you stitch, bias edges will stretch and be ill-fitting.  However, bias edges can also be your making-things-fit-together-friend.  Treat bias edges gently and with respect and you will have no problems.

One trick for working with bias edges is to spray starch before cutting. This is when pressing vs ironing is important. Use an up and down motion with the iron rather than a back and forth motion.

After starching and pressing, leave the unit lay on the ironing board until it has completely dried and cooled.

Now lay a ruler near the edge and trim off the points. Be sure to move the ruler over enough to allow for the quarter inch seam allowance that will be coming down the road. Notice in the close-up below, the 1/4" line of the ruler is aligned with the points of the block.

Lay the three center sections, right sides together and pin well (refer to photo above) and stitch.  Pinning will help keep the bias edges in place and prevent stretching.

You are almost through with the original quilt. All you have left is to add a section to the left side and right side of center. 

These sections are made from 20 rows, each using 2 - 2 1/2" squares. I had some leftover 4-block rows so just un-stitched a couple of those to use in this section.

I also had some short strips leftover from piecing the center sections. I cut those up in 2 1/2" squares and used those as well.

If you have block parts and pieces that are 2 1/2"  or can be trimmed down to that size, use some of those as well. You will notice they have done that in the original quilt. The outside sections are mostly 2 1/2" squares but there are several 2 1/2" half square triangles mixed in as well.

Next month, we will talk about other options to make this quilt larger.  In the meanwhile, look around your sewing room for miscellaneous block parts and pieces then say it with me, "Holy Scrap!"  Don't despair. We will work these into the next step.

Several years ago, Quilt Circle did a monthly exchange of 5" squares. I still have a whole container of these. 

Then our Quilt Circle did an exchange of 9-patch blocks a couple years ago and I have not yet used mine - - - until now.

Even more recently, Quilt Circle did an exchange of half square triangle units that I have yet to use so - - - come back next month and see what's next!

Be sure to send me pictures of your progress to post here. Happy Scrappy Piecing!

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