A lesson learned and a problem to solve!

I ran into this very problem in the recent Diva round robin.  Blocks arrived to be worked on which had skimpy seam allowances and no "stop" line clearly indicated.  I learned this lesson the hard way in a very early round robin years ago.

A Christmas round robin was a tie for my very favorite round robin  (and I have done many many over the years).  As you can see from the arrows on these finished "squared" blocks that there is not even a 1/16" available for a seam allowance without cutting away  beads or trim.   Five of the blocks are like this. I have never finished the set of 6 because I wasn't sure how I wanted to address this problem...

It was really my fault...
 1. I didn't allow enough extra material around the outside edge of the block to allow any adjustment.  2. I only allowed for a 1/2" seam allowance.
3. I didn't clearly define the "stop" line for all beading to end
.Now I make sure -
1. there is plenty of extra material on the block,
2. There is an ample seam allowance - at least 1/2".  
3.  That the "stop" line is clearly marked front and back.  Now I even baste along that line with a highly contrasting thread.
I have always wanted to finish these blocks into an accordion-fold book which I could put on the mantle during the holidays.  Now I have some ideas how I am going to solve this problem and I will share as I go along.
And I have a new gadget.  I just love tools and gadgets.  My hands are always painful with arithis all the time and shaking the little paint bottles makes them even worse,  And when I have gone months without painting (like recently) the paints either settle or thicken and all need a LOT of shaking.  I found this delightful little machine and it is absolutely perfect for this task...  It is made for manicurists to use with nail polishes but it suits my needs wonderfully.


Marilyn said...

You do manage to find the neatest solutions to things. I don't know how you even know where to look - but great find :)

lacysuzette said...

Been there, done that myself! Why not appliqué the whole block onto another piece of holiday themed fabric? Any raw edges could be concealed with ribbon/rickrack/lace etc, adding further embellishment opportunities. Tiny stitches could be made within the block to keep each block from separating from the "new block" backing. While it will add bulk & weight, the new backing could be incorporated into the overall construction plan for your accordion book. The new backing might be new, larger individual blocks or made in a long strip like a "runner". Best wishes as you get ready to finish your PhD (project half done)! I'm staying tuned to see how it turns out. There are 183 stitching days left 'til Christmas!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I did the very same thing when I first started CQ and it didn't take long to learn to leave a very generous seam allowance. Sure makes life a lot easier!

Susan Elliott said...

My Breakfast at Tiffany's block had hardly any seam allowance as I didn't really know what I was doing when I first pieced that block! The shaker machine is just too funny! Love it! You are the best problem solver ever!!

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