Saturday, February 18, 2012

How about a process post? The Shadow Knows..........

How about a process post?  I love to read other people's processes when they are doing a new technique.  It is not only interesting (can be VERY interesting if there is cursing going on!) but it can also be very informative to "hear" why they are doing something and what they are thinking when they do it.  So here goes.  This is for the Shadow on the Wonky Plaid Shirt Log Cabin blocks.

1.  Square up your sashing material.  Remember we chose the cheddar?  Yes, nice choice everyone!  The quilt journal I decided to work in has disappeared.  You would not find it surprising if you saw the quilt room and knew how many times I had "cleaned" it up.  More like "cleared" it up.  I want a 2 inch sashing but a 1 inch shadow.  We will work on the shadow part right now then add the rest.  Go outside on a sunny day with a solid square and test your shadow smarts.  It is not what you think.  The shadow starts below the top and as you can tell, I had to rip it out and there was much cursing.

2.  Start with any block you desire as long as (for this instance anyway) it is 9 1/2 inches square.  Making sure it is square is the best way to get a nice square finished block.  Something I don't always get no matter how hard I try!

3.  Cut your pieces out for your background (Cheddar for me) and your tulle for the shadow.  I used black tulle here but dark green and dark blue would be good as well.  A lighter color would not give you the shadow effect but can be used for other effects.  (Like Fairy Dust, maybe?)

I gave lengths that are slightly over the exact figures.  Make one and adjust your sizes as you will.  Everyone sews differently.  I like to be slightly over and trim down.

Cut one of each:
Cheddar strip under tulle (C+T)
11 x 1 3/4
9 x 1 3/4

Cheddar strip with C+T
11 3/4 x 1 1/2
10 3.4 x 1 1/2

Cheddar Strip border
11 1/2 x 2 1/2
13 1/2 x 2 1/2

Cut two of these Small Rectangles
1 3/4 x 1 1/2

Tulle (Cut two)
22 x 2  (This will double over to 11 x 2)
C+T Strip

4.  Spray your C+T strip with Basting Spray to help keep the tulle workable.  Place your strips on a piece of scrap paper, don't spray on your cutting board or ironing surface.

Working with tulle is not difficult, neither is it very easy.  The sprayed strip will curl up slightly so you will have to take care to smooth it out without stretching either the strip or the tulle.  Lay one half portion of the tulle on the strip, smooth carefully and fold the other half back over itself.  Smooth without stretching.  You may have to remove the tulle and do it again if it is curling.
6. Melt - need I say more?

5.  Sew a Small Rectangle to the ends of each of the C+T strips.

7.  Sew C+T to left
6.  Press using a towel.  This is the best way I found to do the pressing.  Tulle will melt so work carefully.  I turned up the steam and used a fairly thick towel.  Keep your iron moving.  Don't over press.
7. Trim

7.  Sew the shorter C+T piece to the left side of your block with the Small Rectangle at the top left corner.  Press carefully using towel. Trim.

8. Sew and trim
8.  Sew the other C+T piece to the bottom of your block with the Small Rectangle at the lower right corner.  Press using towel.  Trim.

9.  Trim your border pieces to 2 1/4 inches on both sides.  Do not trim the other unbordered sides.  Use this opportunity to straighten your block if any seams have shifted.  Your entire block should now be 11 1/2 x 11 1.2 exactly.  Before you trim the sides make sure you can get an 11 1/2 x 11 1/2 block adequately!

10. Sew the shorter 2 1/2 cheddar strip to the top of the block.  You can press carefully without the towel but remember if you touch the tulle it will melt!

11.  Sew the last 2 1/2 inch strip to the right side of the block.  Again press carefully.

Your block should be 13 x 13 inches square and look somewhat like these guys.

I don't know why the shadow on the right block dips downward but it will look like the block is slightly curved.  But that is another tutorial!

Hope you enjoyed making shadows with me.  I will get the rest of the blocks done and show you the top.  Then I will quilt it.  Fun!

glen:  I was so proud of myself with these blocks.  I called excitedly to Frank and say, what do you see here?  He looked at them in total concentration, thoughtfully considering, and said:  well, there is a red piece, and a blue piece and a yellow piece.  And I think I see my black and yellow shirt..............And I panicked, suddenly remembering the pants episode.  Check it out below.

Liar Liar Pants on Fire!

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