Sunday, October 15, 2017

Star Kisses Sew-Along - Weeks 2-3

Welcome back for week 2 of the Star Kisses sew-along!  The cutting is done and it's time to start piecing the blocks. 

I almost always chain-piece.  It's faster and more efficient, and with so many quilts on my to-do list, I need all the advantages I can get!  So, I structured the sew-along based on chain-piecing.  Of course, if that isn’t your cup of tea, do what works for you!

During these next two weeks, we’ll be working on sewing the various block segments.  These include the flying geese and the corner squares.  I have some tips for both, so let’s get right to it!

I sewed the corner units first.  These are pretty simple.  It doesn’t really matter which way you press these pieces, but if you want the seams to nest with the other blocks later on, press one seam towards the print and one seam towards the background piece.  It doesn’t matter which is which, as long as you’re consistent.  I pressed the first seam towards the print, and the second seam towards the background rectangle.  That prevents the first seam from being pressed back onto itself.  

Next up are the flying geese.  This is where one of the tips from last week comes into play.  I had suggested that you split the smallest print squares into two equal piles.  One of the advantages of chain piecing is doing the same thing over and over and not having to think too much.  However, sometimes if you don’t plan ahead, that can backfire. 

When sewing flying geese, you can only sew one side of the goose at a time.  This isn't a big deal for the geese with the white wings, as shown above, but it could be for the geese with the print wings.  If you have all of your print squares stacked together when you start sewing, you run the risk of using too many on the first step.  You might realize when it’s too late that you used all of one print on separate rectangles.  Now you don’t have any more of that print left to sew to the other half of the geese.  (Don’t ask me how I know this!)

If you have two equal stacks of squares, you know that you can use all of one of the stacks at once and chain piece without thinking about what prints you are using. Easy peasy!

Before you trim the corners off of your geese, go ahead and sew another line, half an inch from the first line, if you want to save those cutoffs for another project.  I love the pinwheel quilt that Alli of Woodberry Way made with her cutoffs.  I didn't save mine from my first Star Kisses quilt, but I might try to make my own pinwheel quilt this time.   
If you're sewing along on Instagram, don't forget to use the hashtag #starkissessewalong if you post progress pictures.  I've loved seeing everyone's progress so far!

Until next time!

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