Wednesday, April 2, 2014

pinwheel learning curve

 my march bom blocks for gypsy wife and sugar block club did not get made in march. i had a few hang ups about "perishing" for gw and also for fabric placement on march's "explore" block. i wanted them to be just right so they got pushed aside. it's not like i didn't have plenty else to work on around here. now that it's april and i got a few baby quilt finishes out of the way (yay!), i decided to work on my monthly projects. i started with the pinwheel sq-in-a-sq blocks for gw. and that was as far as i got after about 3 hours of cutting, sewing, pressing. sheesh! these are intricate, detailed blocks. i have a whole new respect for people who do such piecing all the time.

for the above block, i went out on a limb and used a solid for my outer square! it's a modern solids ii by alissa height carlton, in "sea" i think, purchased from cuts of cotton. if you are like me and just never use solids because, well, they aren't as interesting or you are unsure how to use them effectively, you might want to give some of these solids a try. they are crossweaves so they have more color depth and play. i really, really like it! me! a solid! yep, it was a big moment over here when i finally cut into and used this gorgeous piece of solid fabric.

 after making my first set of pinwheels last month and then seeing everyone else's in the flickr group, i learned that i needed more contrast in my fabric choices and that i like the pinwheels with two fabrics/less scrappy. i'm pretty darn happy with how this mix turned out. there is a touch of icy blue in the amh print, which helps tie it to the blue art gallery print. then the jd border print also has red for a further tie, but pink for another note of fun. the tiny red dots set if off perfectly for me. goodness, that's a lot of time and though going into one 5" block! but i'm learning a lot about color and fabric placement one block at a time right now, which is better than one whole quilt at a time, so i think it's a good investment.

 all the seams are another issue i need to master here. i pressed the blue bordered block to the sides, which made a lot of bulk in the middle intersection. i know there's supposed to be a way to nest them, but i couldn't remember how or where. can anyone point me to a post or tutorial on this? you'd think one of the bazillion quilting books i own would address this, but i couldn't remember one and didn't want to go looking.

i pressed the red dot bordered block open, which seemed to be better. but i'm open to suggestions and advice!

i got my sewing space all cleaned up over the weekend. but now look at it after just these two little blocks (and a few mini hsts)! messy, messy.

linking up with lee's wip wednesday at freshly pieced. WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


  1. I see what you mean about increased contrast in the pinwheel, but I LOVE the colors in your first block, and I think the solid around the outside really makes the inner block shine.

  2. Love the pinwheel PoP !
    I clip a few stitches down the center seam so that the middle seam is split - one seam pressed to each side. Does that make sense?(!)
    All the seams will then go in the same direction around the centerpoint (a spiral)

  3. Your blocks look fantastic! So precise and the fabrics are beautiful. I love the solid especially. I'm a little nervous about trying solids because the quilting will show so clearly. In pinwheels I pull out a couple of stitches in the middle so I can make the seams nest more neatly. It took me a while to remember which seam, though. I can't remember where I learned it so I can't point you to a tutorial.

  4. There *is* a learning curve! You're look wonderful though -- I'm terrible about mine. I don't even trim the HSTs before I assemble them ...instead I try to eyeball it.. which is why mine will end up quirky and off-point :)


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