Sunday, October 29, 2017

Star Kisses Sew-Along - Weeks 4-5

Welcome back to the Star Kisses Sew-Along!  If you've been chain-piecing along with me, this is the best part because you finally get to start sewing complete blocks! 

This is also the part where you get to decide what fabric combinations you want to use in each block.  You could decide as you go along and pair up two prints that you like together.  Since there are only 12 blocks in this quilts, and I used only 12 fabrics in two colors, I knew there wouldn't be a lot of options for arranging the blocks.  I don't do "random" very well (I think it's the accountant in me!) so I wanted to determine the final layout of my quilt before I started sewing blocks together. 

To get an idea of how the final quilt would look, I used the center squares to represent the outside edges of the block and the flying geese with the print in the center to represent the star in the middle of the block.  Once you have a layout you like, take a picture so you can reference it later.

Now, to get ready to start sewing, you can pair up the sets of flying geese that go together.  Using the picture as a reference, pair up the geese units with the print centers (part of the outside edges of the block) with the geese units with the background centers (part of the center star).  

The first step to begin sewing the blocks is to sew the flying geese into pairs.  This is probably the hardest part of sewing these blocks, at least for me.  No matter how hard I try, my flying geese units always come out a little wonky.  I've found some methods to help make sure my final blocks are not.  

First, I always pin when I need to line up some less-than-perfectly-straight pieces.  If there is one edge that I know is straight, I will put that piece on top and follow it when sewing.  If the piece underneath isn't exactly lined up with the top piece, I don't worry about it.  Just make sure that there is enough to catch it all in the seam allowance.  However, if it's way off, I will use pins to pull the pieces together

Second, I don't stress too much about making sure my points are perfect.  If some of them do get cut off a little bit, it usually isn't noticeable in the finished quilt.  However, I seem to have pretty good luck by making sure that the tip of the goose is lined up with the straight edge of the other piece.  If the wings of that piece do not line up with the other piece, I ignore it.  It's a little hard to see, but the picture below shows how the white section of the top piece does not line up with the bottom piece.  However, the top of the green point does, and that is more important for good points. 
Once the geese pairs are completed, all that is left is to essentially sew the segments of the blocks together like a nine patch. 

It seemed to take me a while to sew all the flying geese units into pairs, so I've scheduled two weeks for this portion of the sew-along.  That should give everyone plenty of time to get all of the blocks together.  Check back on November 12 for the final week when we'll be assembling the blocks into a quilt top and adding borders!

Until next time,


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