Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dear Jane - Pinwheel Gone Awry (A-1)

My Dear Jane journey has begun and yesterday I started by drafting my first two Dear Jane blocks. Originally, I thought I would ask my husband to buy me the Dear Jane software as a gift but I thought about it for awhile and figured I could do it myself. Today, I was testing to find the best way for me to create these little gems. I traced them onto freezer paper and I cut the first one along the drawn lines using my rotary cutter/ruler. I tried cutting with scissors but my cutting lines were just not straight enough.

I used repositionable tape to hold the freezer paper securely.
I marked each background piece with a 'B' first so that there would be no confusion when I laid them out onto my fabric. I am hand piecing these blocks so when I cut the fabric I made sure to leave 1/4" (sort of) around each piece for the seam allowance. This project can be a real scrap buster - I used less than 2 pieces of 2.5 x 4.5 bricks for the green bits and those pieces came from my stash...yippee!

Once I ironed all the little freezer paper pieces onto the correct fabrics I cut them out. At first I thought that I could just pick them up as they were and start sewing them together along the edges of the freezer paper but no, that would be too easy. The freezer paper kept popping off and then I lost my sewing guide. I thought about using glue to help hold them in place but I decided I didn't want to do that. So, I had to mark my sewing line but I didn't want to leave a permanent line. I tried washable markers but that did not work out because I was ironing the pieces with my mini iron as I put them together.
This is what it looked like after!
I went to my tried and true method that I use for making my Seven Sisters quilt pieces and that is to just use a mechanical pencil. I just traced around the edges of the freezer paper and then removed it prior to sewing. The line does not really wash out too well but I tried to just make light marks on the lighter fabric.

Back view of block.
When you look at the front of the block it looks like it is skewed but really all of the sewing lines are straight - it's just my seam allowances that are wonky and that is no problem when hand piecing.

There are 28 pieces in this block and it will finish at 4.5". I have to say that I absolutely love the fabric that I am using as my background solid. I have manhandled each of these little tiny pieces quite a bit and there is no shredding - love it!!!


blauraute said...

Dear Ellen,
in the last weeks you've been so busy and now you've started the Dear Jane quilt. Every thing is so beautiful. The quilting design for Orca Bay is great.
Have a nice weekend and take care

Jan-Maree said...

You are braver than me!! That block looks fabulous but very fiddly!

Quilter Kathy said...

I sure do admire your persistence!

Cheryl said...

Hi Ellen

Wow! I am so excited for you! This will be such a dear quilt when it is finished! Each piece is made with love and patience.

Cathy Tomm said...

wow. A Dear Jane. I have not started that but I have the book. You were very patient to do all that hand sewing.

scraphappy said...

Congratulations on the beginning of a beautiful journey. Are you going to go all the way through in order? And is the plan for 100% hand piecing? How about Tiny Tuesday? Are you going to be linking up? I guess I'm all full of questions today. Best of luck with your new obsession.

Scrappy quilter said...

WOW I can't wait to see it when it alls finished.

Elly D said...

Your first block looks great Ellen :)