Tuesday, February 9, 2016

March Block Lottery - Making Tracks (Part 2)

Sooooo...  We're setting out to make a block that looks kinda like the ECMQG logo.  I think that's very cool.  This is one block I will be making "for real-for real" (as my students say.)

Elaine gave us a basic tutorial in yesterday's post.  Today, Cindy has some tips and tricks that may help us enjoy the ride.




Gather some assorted scraps, including prints and solids of varying widths, each between about 1.5" x 8".  You will also need a piece of Kona or Bella white 1.5" x 14'' or 1.5" x 15".  These measurements are slightly bigger than required in order to allow for trimming.  Wonkiness, for those who aren't used to it, has to have wiggle room.






Trim each scrap to a wedge shape.  (Three from this larger scrap.)


Be sure to vary the width and angle, because...


Random widths and angles allow for more movement.




Once cut, arrange the wedges in a pleasing format, alternating the skinny ends with the wider ends.  You need approximately 20" of unsewn wedges.  (Remember, every seam reduces your width by .5".)


Sew enough wedges together to create at least a 14" piece.  In the photo above, it's actually closer to 18" long because of the curves that started forming.  No biggie.  It's wiggle room.

Now, do it again.  You will need two wonky wedge units, each approximately 8" x 14" (or longer, depending on how curvy your piecing is). 



If sewing all the wedges at once is intimidating, try breaking them down into smaller chunks.  Three and four piece wedges are very manageable.


Press seams open using starch.  This sets your stitches and helps eliminate the stretch that comes from the slightly bias edges.


See?  Three sets of wedges, sewn, starched, pressed and ready for trimming.


Choose one side of  a wonky wedge unit and trim to a nice straight edge.  Notice how the 6.5" ruler has a little bit of fabric peeking out on the left?  That's a good thing.  It means there's wiggle room.


Attach the 1.5 inch strip of Kona (or Bella) white to the trimmed pieces.  Press towards the white. 


In this picture, note that the second unit isn't the same size as the first.  This is the all-important wiggle room I talked about.  It's needed because of being wonky.  Don't worry.  Play, and reposition unit 2, until you are satisfied with how your patterns, or colors, or wedge shapes align (or don't) with the piece you've already sewn.  Once you're satisfied, sew the second piece to the long side of the Kona/Bella strip.


Trim your block to 12.5" x 12.5" CENTERING that Kona/Bella strip.  


Pretty straight forward, we hope.  Embrace wonkiness!  Dive right in!  You can do it! 

Let's have a table full of Making Tracks blocks next month!  

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