Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Late-Night Experimenting

Hello, everyone!

Just zipping in with a quick WIP Wednesday update--it's a gorgeous day here, so I'm headed out for a long walk soon. This past week has seen me working on my Kaleidoscope quilt (which included a clean-and-oil of my little Husqvie and some musing on how she talks to me), with a break for a sewing project I can't quite show you yet. :)

Last night I finished my layout, and started sewing blocks together:

Kaleidoscope: Layout!

That's where the experimentation came in.

I've seen recommendations to use starch in these blocks, since there's so many seams on the bias, but I hadn't starched anything yet--and I've got the quarter-blocks all together! SO the question becomes: does starching help from here on out? And when is the best time to do it?

I tried block #1 without any starch at all, and sewed like I did when constructing the quarter-blocks, from the big end of the wedge toward the point. I pressed everything toward the dark fabrics, and I was thankful for the 67 blocks of practice I had with the Tweetygigs quilt when I was matching points! The first block came out pretty well, with just a little waviness:

Kaleidoscope: First block

For block #2, I sewed the quarter-blocks into half-blocks first, and then starched the two halves before the final seam. (I pressed the final seam open on all my blocks.) The points came out nice!

Kaleidoscope block 2

But the ripples, I'm not so fond of.

Kaleidoscope block 2

On block 3, I decided to starch earlier in the process--adding the spray starch to the quarter-blocks, and only then sewing the half-block seams and the final seam. This seems to be the magic thing, for me at least!

Kaleidoscope: Block 3

The block went together well, and it lies flat as you please. It'll be a bit of an extra step to starch all those quarter-blocks, but I think it'll be worth it to keep from dealing with too much distortion in my blocks!

This week's stats:
New projects: 1 (the secret project)
Completed projects: 1 (the secret project got done, too!)
In progress: 7

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


  1. I love the colors! They're so bright and fun. Great job on the quilt.

  2. Very nice! I love the way the top is coming together!

  3. Hmm, starch. That might've been an idea for the kaleido, mental note to self!

    It's looking good!

  4. Great color combo!! I've never used starch... your blocks look great though! I may have to give it a try...

  5. So fun and bright! I love it! Thanks for experimenting with the starch and posting your results. I haven't used starch before so I learn a lot!

  6. wow - your kaleidoscope is really fun with all those brights!

  7. I just realized I missed the jump in your post - very interesting about the starch results! Too bad my blocks are already done - but I'll go back & try the starch on them before I piece the rows together. Thanks.

  8. I've never tried using triangles at the corners but always set in squares. Yours looks a lot easier to put together starch or no starch. I like those bright colors.

  9. Isn't it crazy how a little thing will make a big difference in the outcome?

  10. Wow! This is gorgeous! Love your take on the kaleidoscope!

  11. Thanks for the tips! I haven't pieced my blocks yet, so this is really helpful.

  12. Coloooooorrrs! <3 <3 <3

    I do not know how you do this, but I sure enjoy seeing the results.