Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pinwheel progress

I had decided I could only use fabric I have on hand to do these June Bride Challenges. For the Dresden Plate, I dyed some silk - but that's not cheating since I already had the silk and the dye.

I came up with several designs, but then I realized I had forgetten to include the pink batik, or I would color my design without using any challenge-required blue. Finally, I dug in the drawers and found a fabric with blue roses on pink, which pushed me to a traditional block design. After a glance at the calender reminding me I don't have unlimited time, I settled on an 8 inch block with the old pinwheels at the center of each. I fussy cut a stripe-patterned blue with pink fat quarter to give some interest where the four new blocks meet at the center.

The effect I was going for is called "transparency." In this case, I wanted to make it appear that the old fabrics are being looked at through a haze.

I did nothing to "correct" the piecing - until I put the block together that is now the upper right quadrant. This is the pinwheel I talked about in my last post. That block was extremely wavy and would have puckered and pleated in my quilting. For a quick fix, I released the original pinwheel's horizontal and vertical seams at the center, resewed the inner portion of the half-square triangle seams at about 1-16th of an inch, and released the original stitching on those as well. Finally, restitching the horizontal and vertical seams with a similar very small seam allowance lets the block lie flat. Some of the outer edges of these old blocks were also pieced on the very edges. Those tiny seam allowances would not hold together over time, but extensive quilting should stabilize them - I think I can do that! The funny thing about it -- that repaired pinwheel center came out a bit neater than the original hand-pieced ones.

After all those Civil War blocks, it seems odd to leave these wonky pinwheels with their seams not matching up with the new piecing, but I hope it adds to the charm of the piece. My aim was to give the original pinwheels a starring role, not have them hide in the "new" elements.

For the last two days, I've been hard at work on a series of borders that will bring this to the required 24 inches.


Sherrye said...

I'm impressed. It's not near as much off as it was, and it's a miracle that you made a flat seam out of that one spot!! Well done!

Dorry said...

Such progress in such a short time. Oh my. I really like the fabric with the blue roses and how it peeks into the project.