Catching-Up Day One – of Spikes and Pixels

I am quite satisfied with what I achieved yesterday, which was Day One of finishing up my pending blocks of my free BOM Quilt, Round the Year! I probably could do a bit more, but am being careful with my back.
The blades, spikes and wedges of Block 8 Spiked Dresden are joined together!

The Dresden ring is pieced! Now for the centre...
The Dresden ring is pieced! Now for the centre…

Pixellated Centre – Post 1

I have also started working on the centre, which I plan to piece like this!

I am employing a method which uses one sided fusible webbing – this is slightly modified from what I learnt from a tute by Elizabeth Hartmann. It is a great technique for doing any pixelated quilt/ block!
Just in case you decide to piece your centre like mine, I am showing you how I did mine!
I have to piece a 7″ diameter block with 1/2″ ready squares. If I add a seam allowance of 1/2″ ( a larger seam allowance is always good when appliqueing circles) – I need an 8″ circle… Okay, I know not everyone loves the Maths like I do, so, without getting into too many calculations – let me show you what I did!

I started with:

4 shades of blue fabric – 6″ x 10″ each. I did need a few 2″ x 1″ strips more. You can add those as you need them.

Sheet of one-sided lightweight fusible webbing about 19″ square.

Fine permanent marker pen
18″x24″ cutting mat
6″x24″ ruler ( you can take any ruler 18″ or more in length)
Paper tape

Step 1. Draw a grid

The first step, is drawing an inch grid on the stabilizer sheet, and this is what I did a bit differently. I had planned to print the grid on the sheet, but my sheet had wrinkles. As I decided to draw lines manually, a brain wave struck! Why not use the inch grid on the mat as a guide to draw the grid ? then I don’t have to worry about getting the squares truly square!

Here is the story in pictures.

I placed the stabilizer sheet on the cutting mat. You can see how wrinkled it looks, and you can’t iron away those creases either. The sticky side is down.

Tape the fusible stabilazer sheet to the cutting mat.
I placed the fusible stabilizer sheet on the cutting mat…the inch grid is visible through the sheet.

Tape the sheet to the mat at the edges – smoothen as much as you can. The paper tears when you remove the tape, so I was glad I had the foresight to take a margin of an inch plus all around.

Tape the edges to the mat.
I taped the edges to the mat.

I used my long ruler to draw grid lines on the sheet, using the inch grid visible below the sheet as a guide. I drew lines on either side of the ruler before moving it to the next inch mark. you could use a lead pencil instead of a perma-ink pen, anything that is visible from the other side and does not smudge is fine.

Using the inch grid as a guide, start drawing lines on the sheet with a perma-pen.
Using the inch grid as a guide,I drew lines on the sheet with a perma-pen.

That was quick! Now the other side…

Draw perpendicular lines to get your inch grid.
Draw perpendicular lines to get your inch grid.

Note to self – I could have drawn a grid any size with this method, only skipping the inch lines appropriately.

I marked the centre with a cross. This will help me in placing the fabric squares.

Mark the centre with a cross. (Use a pencil instead of the pen I used here)
Mark the centre with a cross. (Use a pencil instead of the pen I used here)

Step One is done!

Step 2. Cutting the fabric

Here are my four rectangles of fabric 6′ x 10″ nicely starched and pressed. Do not spare the starch, the success of this method depends on it!

My four shades of blue - 6" x 10" each - starched, pressed and ready to cut!
My four shades of blue – 6″ x 10″ each – starched, pressed and ready to cut!

I cut 42 squares from each of the fabrics – using 6″x 7″ of the fabric. I kept aside the 3″ x 6″ strips

I cut 1" squares from the fabric, except a 3" x 6" strip.
I cut 1″ squares from the fabric, except a 3″ x 6″ strip.

Step 3 Pixellating

As I started off, I realized that an 18″ square was going to be difficult to handle, so I cut it into twoalong a grid line just above the centre row.

I now arranged my inch fabric squares on the grid. This will be a circle, so I did not bother to add any fabric on the corners, where it will be cut away in any case. The centre line of the proposed circle ( top row here) has 13 squares and the middle column has 7 squares.  At the edges, I placed 2″ x 1″ rectangles. ( I cut these from the 3″ x 6″ fabric I had put aside earlier)

I want a bigger seam than the 1/4″ we use for our quilt piecing, so I have placed 2″ rectangles at the edges! This will mean one less seam line at the edge. We will know tomorrow if this worked or not!

Arrange the fabric squares  on the sticky side of grid
Arrange the fabric squares on the sticky side of grid

Once the squares were arranged to my satisfaction, I pressed them down. This is the trickiest part, because squares as small as these like to move around and even fly off!

I similarly `pixellated’ the other cut of the stabilizer and pressed the squares in place. Here is how the two halves look!

Ready for the Hasina!
Ready for the Hasina!

The centre piece is now ready to head to the sewing machine. And this is where I called it a day!

I hope you will be back tomorrow to see how this goes!

Author: Mads

In alphabetical order: daughter, mother, painter, philosopher, poet, quilter, seeker, wife...

4 thoughts on “Catching-Up Day One – of Spikes and Pixels”

  1. Ah Jaya sometimes it pays to live in the UṢ I will do it the hard way – Madhu style and madhu now the lack of inch markings on my Pony mat will hurt!

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