Saturday, March 22, 2014

Hearts and Stars, a Bit of a Fail and a Bit of a Save, Never give Up

I can't hardly believe I didn't do a post about my heart blocks...



They were a bit of a booger bear to get to center correctly.  I would start by centering the bottom of the heart and had all the seams cut and lined out before starting but as I worked up it would migrate to the right in the direction that I was sewing.

I had also been wanting to try a stack and slash block for a star using the denim.  I finally got to that this weekend but about half way through...I got that feeling...you know...that I've been there done that feeling...meaning that I was already starting to feel a bit of a fail with it and I'm not sure I will try this again.  I got the idea from jmday.com which has a excellent tutorial for the stack and slash star but thought I would put a denim twist on it thinking that the different shades would make the star.

So I started with 5 12-inch squares wanting to work toward a 10-inch square since that is usually what I do in my jean/denim quilts and I try to choose old jeans at different levels of fade.  That was my first mistake....I should have started with a 13-inch as I typically will do just a bit more than a 1/4-inch seam on denim because it will fray sometimes.  Also all of my blocks had a seam because when you a recycling jeans there typically is no place that you can get a solid 12-inch square without a seam running through it.  My first thought was to use that seam as the starting slash but decided against that because the contrast in one jean to the next is part of what would make the star pop.  And I decided to turn the seam for each block...so for the top block I had it at the top...the next it was to the right...then to the bottom and so forth for all 5 blocks so that as I slashed through each stack those seems would not be stacked on top of each other making it difficult to cut through (why I thought there would be any ease to cutting through a stack of 5 denim blocks only God knows).  And I take care to stack so that none that are anywhere near being at the same level of fade are not next to one another but I found this hard to do as my jeans seemed to be more like a only two levels of fade.




So here I am through my first slash...not too bad so far although I was having to saw with my rotary cutter even on this first cut...apparently I need a new blade.  But from the top section I pull the bottom piece to the top...with the idea that this would be that this would be the mix for each block.  Then disappointment this is where I noticed that the top and bottom block were close to the same level of fade (too close to the same color)...but I decided to trudge on and sewed all my block back to gather and used a decorative stitch of about the same color.  On looking back I am wondering if I should not have just used a white thread for a little more contrast.




The thread is blending with the material pretty good here.

I worked at trying to make sure that I got my seams lined up good with my next stack, slash and sew.




So far so good...one seam seemed to be off just a bit but not bad and I am ready to do my next stack and slash.  My cutter has gotten worse so I decided to resort to scissors and I have to pull each cut piece away just a little to be able to get my scissors where they needed to be.  Ugh!!!!



And I get the next seam sewn and I am wondering now why my point at the top of the star doesn't match with the point of the little piece that you can see at the top...but there is no extra fabric at the end of any of my seams so again...trudging on.


So I stack, slash, and sew my next seam. There should be a total of 5 stack and slash.

And finally the last stack and slash.

And I have cluse where I got off...see how this final point is off center. 



I think this is the only one where the points all seemed to center correctly on the very middle of the star.

But as you can see here none of them came out to the 10-inch square when I  was done with my trimming as I had set as my goal when I started.  So I will sew a sash up the short edges if necessary.  After all these are just for me and my family.  They will still make good usable quilts.