Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thursday Edition of Modern Monday

I finally got tired of moving my Modern Monday blocks around my sewing room and decided to sew them together! I was afraid to "put them some where safe" because that usually means I won't be able to find them when I want them.

I started by sorting my 64 blocks into four groups of 16.

I'm using white, ash, medium gray and black peper for my sashing. The bottom stripe is the awesome fabric I found for the binding.

All of these blocks were suppose to be 6.5" square at this point, but with all the improv piecing involved mine varied between 5.75" and 7". A few of them aren't even square. So how do you go about getting these all to end up the same size after sashing? I don't know how other people do it, but I'll show you what I did.

First, I wanted these to end up 8.5" square which would mean that I needed to cut 1.5" wide strips for the sashing pieces if my blocks were 6.5" square and I was being exact. Since not much about these blocks is exact, I decided to cut my sashing pieces 1.75" wide so I would have some room to trim them down to size. Blocks that were significantly smaller than 6.5" got wider strips. I decided not to worry about trying be exact and just cut 2.5" wide strips for the smaller blocks.

Above you can see one of my smaller blocks along with the wider 2.5" strips I cut for it. I put the 1.75" in the photo too for comparison.

All of my larger blocks I was able to just trim down to 6.5" so I didn't need narrower strips.

I also cut my strips a little longer than 6.5" so I wouldn't even have to worry about lining up the ends. I cut my short strips 1.75" by 6.75" and my longer strips 1.75" by 9". Step 1 is to sew a short strip to two opposite sides of each block.

They look like this after step 1. See the little bits of sashing strip hanging over each end?

To fix this I trimmed those sides even with the edge of the block, trying to also square things up as necessary.

I lined the right hand side of the ruler up with the right hand side of the block. But I also lined up the ruler with the seams I had just sewn when attaching the two sashing strips. Doing this ensures that you keep everything square, which is important when you want to end up with a square.


Flip it around and trim the other side the same way. You should end up with two nice even edges to sew the other two sashing pieces to.

Attach the other two sides. Again, some bits of the sashing may be sticking off the edge. Who cares! The next thing you are going to do is square the whole thing up to 8.5".

This works best with a square ruler. For the block below, the center is easy to find. Half of 8.5" is 4.25" so I put the 4.25" lines down the center of the block. I also figured out that the left and bottom edges of my sashing should be at 7.25" while the right and top edges of my sashing should be at 1.25". So I make sure everything is lined correctly, then cut the right and top edges.

Turn the block, line everything back up and cut the remaining two sides. Viola! A nice 8.5" square block.

Repeat as necessary. Is this fast? Not really. I try to "enjoy the process" instead of worrying about being fast. Does this waste a bit of fabric? Yes, but it's better than getting frustrated trying to piece together blocks that aren't the same size and thus will never go together nicely.

This is one stack of 16 blocks trimmed and the waste. You could put this into a pillow case for a dog bed if you are really worried about wasting fabric. Me? I just threw this away.

After a few hours of work I now have four nice piles of sashed 8.5" square blocks to play with.

Next step will be deciding on a layout.


West Michigan Quilter said...

Wow, that really looks interesting. I love your color choices for the sashings and they way you are sashing them. Looking forward to seeing it all put together. PS: looks like you made an extra block there and used your curve ruler. I love it!

Sandy H said...

I really love the colors you chose for the two sashings---it really sets off the centers! Wonderful!

Mama Pea said...

What a great solution. Very god work. I also love your color choices for the sashings!