Thursday, 8 December 2011

Aurifil Challenge - hourglass block tutorial

I've hunted out some hand dyed fabrics and worked out a plan of action or should I say cutting/piecing in my head, now to get down to the nitty gritty.

I could probably save on fabric and plan a little more but I've decided to work on 2, almost equal sized pieces of fabric to make the 'hourglass' block.  They've been laid down right sides up and then I've let fly with the rotary cutter - 2 long cuts - pull the pieces to one side then the two shorter end cuts.  
hourglass block tutorial (collage 1)
The fabrics have been swapped around - top middle unit matched up with the bottom border units and vice versa.  The two short seams sewn, then pressed open.  Then you match (a wee tip is to mark with chalk across the central panel into the two side panels, remember they won't match up top to bottom with the central panel being shorter with the fabric lost on the 2 seams).  

Match your chalk marks, by laying the side panel over the pressed middle panel, right sides up - THE CURVE WILL NOT NOW MATCH - use your side panel as a guide and carefully trim you central panel to match the curve on the side panel.  Turn the side panel over on top of the central panel - right sides facing - pin the panels together at the chalk mark, to stop the fabric slipping.  Ease the 2 fabrics along the curve to the nearest end and sew together. 
hourglass block tutorial (collage 2)
You DO NOT use a 1/4" seam for this, probably about a 1/8" seam and smaller stitch size - this is the Ricky Tims Caveman Quilting technique - a video can be seen here.  Make life easy for yourself and don't try to pin down the curve.  When the seam is sewn, spray the seam with water, and press the curved fabric down to lay flat - you will be manipulating the fabric here a little, but that's OK.  

Now do the same with the second side panel.

Note if you've used two similar sized fabric pieces at the start you'll be able to make a positive and negative version of the same block.
hourglass block
Now that I've got the block complete I want to add a thin feature strip done through the centre of the block - it's done using the same principle as described above.
insert feature strip
I've now got three positive and three negative blocks complete - two more of each to do then I've got to add the feature strip down through all the positive blocks for the panel I'm making.  But before I can piece them together there are the 'leaf' shaped blocks to make
signature panel


Wilmington Web Design said...

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Archie the wonder dog said...

Oh, looks interesting!! I can't wait to see more!