>I spent Sunday converting my strips of pieces, to a nice rectangle. Sounds easy doesn’t it? Hmmm. My plan with this quilt was to keep the patchwork design simple so that it would be easy to put together and I could make a feature of the quilting. The problem with achieving this first arose when I noticed that the charm squares I had bought (to save me some cutting), were parallelograms, not squares. So, when I strip pieced the squares and rectangles together (refer to my LRT3 post) I lined up all the pieces on the left hand side so I could just trim the right hand edge and would have a nice neat strip. Problem with this was that the pieced strips ended up being wobbly anyway, so I’ve spent a couple of hours figuring out what to do about it.
My first attempt at straightening the pieced strips I tried as planned, only it ended up a banana shape instead of a neat long rectangle and bent the straight leaf strip I joined it too as well (as shown in the photo).
I unpicked the join and started again. Next, I tried just laying the strip out on my cutting board, aligning the left edge of the pieced strip (the straighter one) with one of the grid lines, and just made sure the whole thing was 5 ½ inches all the way along by aligning and cutting about 10” of the length at a time. This meant the whole strip was not square, but each section was only a little bit out. I joined this to a leaf strip, had some lunch, stared at it for a while and decided I could live with that even though it wasn’t as neat as I originally wanted. I finished joining the strips into set of one pieced and one leaf strip, and decided to try and tidy up the ‘squareness’ of it in how I joined each of these sets together.
After a cup of tea and some more thought, I decided that just aligning the top edge of each strip set was not going to work. Visually, it’s more important for the seams joining the blue rectangles with the charm squares to be aligned than whether the top or bottom of the fabric aligned. So I started fudging it again. Back on the cutting board, I aligned one strip set with the gridlines, and marked the leaf fabric to continue the seamline from the pieced strip (stay with me now, it will all make sense soon…). Then I placed the next strip set, with right sides together on top of the leaf strip, and aligned the right hand edges of the fabric, and shifted the top piece up and down, until the seamline on the pieced section of the upper set, aligned with the line I’d marked on the lower set. Finally, I put a few pins across the top to hold the two sets together to get keep the alignment while I sewed the seam.
Finally, by keeping all the pieces flat and aligned with how I’d pinned it, I managed to sew all the strip sets together plus the additional leaf strip (so the leaf pattern is on both outside edges) and ended up with the panel shown in the photo below.
So it was a bit of a fussy and frustrating day, but I think it was worth it. If all the joins had turned out like the first one I did this morning, I would have thrown it away and started again because it would have been impossible to quilt…
Now I have something I can work with and I’ll start thinking about what to do with the borders.