In my migraine haze, I was going through my rulers trying to plan a blog on tools. I picked up the Easy Angle Ruler I learned to use doing the ill-liked Grand Illusions mystery- I did learn some precision piecing on that. I thought, why can't I do all the cuts on the small squares and base pieces using that ruler so could sew a 1/4" seam against the seam guide and everything lined up, no awkward cutting off pieces behind, etc.
I was pleasantly surprised how well it worked. I trimmed in sets of 4 pieces to keep accurate. Yes, there is more cutting beforehand, but after sewing the block, it all just presses so nicely (with starch of course).
To make sure I did not screw up the order, I laid each block when the individual components were done on a large piece of newsprint. I stacked up all the blocks this way. Then, I take the top paper and put the second column face down over the first one and chain stitch all three. I use a leader ender (border for Calico Rose) and then take column three, open up the first chain stitched set, and put column three face down on column two, leader/ender. This way, all the rows are held by thread, ready to sew the two horizontal seams. I then press the seams and put it back on the paper. I will sew all the remaining blocks this way. After they are all sewn, I will sew the rows, chain piecing from one block set to another. When I reach the end of the blocks, I will chain piece all the last row seam. This way, no piece ever gets out of order no matter how much my head hurts. Requires no thinking, just being a robot at that point.
If I would have been smart enough to figure out the Easy Angle earlier, I would have cut 2 1/2" strips and cut all the triangles out from that eliminating any waste from the 2 1/2" squares. I could have cut 4 1/2" strips and done the same thing probably with the base squares. Would have wasted less (it is Kaffe fabric) and been more precise I think. And no Snowballing. Hopefully the photos will help someone.
|Easy Angle ruler, 4 blocks with white triangles, |
4 blocks with star point triangles.
|Later, I cut both sides of this block at a time and it worked fine|
|The block laid out on paper.|
|2nd column laid face down on first column, last column put in order to move to machine|
|At machine, column 1 and 2 together ready to chain piece, third column standing by in order|
|First chain pieced blocks through, leader ender following.|
|Chain pieced blocks opened like book, third column face down on column 2, chain pieced|
|Block back on paper. Needs two horizontal seams sewn. Will be chain pieced when all blocks in stack are done.|
Nothing gets out of order or rotated wrong.