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How to Piece The Seven Sisters Quilt Block
Not Really How To, More of a How To Start To
Seven Sister Quilt Block
I have been quilting...OK, learning...well actually, attempting to create a one of a kind....OKOKOK
I love quilts, I love the colors and the patterns and the way they all fit together, like life; it starts out just a jumble of color and soft textures, then it gets all cut to pieces until someone or somehow or somewhere there emerges a guide, a pattern to follow.
It does not come together easily nor quickly. Sometimes you have to backtrack, take out a few stitches, re-cut your fabric (of life) or just sit back and take a good long look.
But in the end, you realize what a gift it all is, and how much you love every square inch. You realize the journey is, indeed, worth the agonies and the joys and that what you did was OK.
I have used both "ways" to piece a quilt top and I find that if the pieces are small, as in this quilt block, it is best to do everything by hand...no sewing machine. This does take longer but as my Daddy always said "What are you doing at two AM anyway? You are JUST sleeping! You could be UP! Doing something!"
You think I am kidding don't you? Lordy how I miss that Dad of mine...used to burn me up to hear him say that! But then I heard it after I'd be ranting about how in nursing the work is absolutely NEVER caught up! Never mind....quilting thank goodness; now that’s an excellent way to take the edge off your stress at midnight, one or OK OK Dad! Two AM when you cannot sleep :)
"If you start out piecing by hand you must be meticulously accurate in your cutting."
I put that in here because all the quilting books say this. I guess if you are OCD you could do it. I am meticulous with my nursing skills, not with something I love to play with; so this sentence is tossed right out the window!
OK! Man I feel better already!
"You need to consider the light to dark color scheme in your quilt...buy a color wheel and take it with you to choose your material."
I put this is here because all the books talk about this same show; the classic color wheel we all used when taking art and you're supposed to hold the color of the material next to the color on the wheel and choose the appropriate and proper shade for your next shade of material up or down from light to dark.
OH PUH-LEEZE LOUISE!
I pick my quilt block, then toss around a few colors in my head, then go to the dollar a yard fabric table at Wal-Mart and start touching the material and looking at colors...if I can't feel the one I like then I move to the $1.87/yard material....that’s where I will find my background color...usually . The I move to the $2.87/yard material and feel again. That's it as far as Wal-Mart; if I absolutely hate the feel of the material I sigh heavily and go to JO-ANNS Fabric.
"Unless you are making a "crazy quilt" you will find that keeping your colors down to less than five main color schemes will give you the best results."
This is absolutely the truth and the rule of thumb that makes it really simple to remember to follow is three to one . Three colors for the main center of the block and one solid for the background. I really love black, too, for the background, no matter if your center block is dark or light, black pulls it off very well. (And just as it is with your basic black dress? It will do the same for your quilt, if you know what I mean?)
The main thing to remember is this is not going to be graded, this is to make you feel good, have fun, keep your little hands busy and keeps you from snapping at your best friend "Didn't we just see this same war boat on History Channel last night?"
At which point you will get a sigh and a patiently worded, textbook reply on why REAL Navy Men and their Spouses do NOT say BOAT! They are ships and they are ladies.
Not that I am speaking from personal experience you understand? Nor am I speaking of MY best friend, no sirree!!! (just in case he ever reads this hahaha)
I'm just saying...in case any of you guys are getting to the point of entry into
"The Land of Menopause Oz"
(code named "I must be going crazy, that’s the only explanation... why else am I getting these strange urges to say exactly what I think exactly when I think them and not even feel the slightest twinge of guilt after it comes out of my mouth?")
At Any Rate:
The piecing itself is the best part; my feet up on the recliner or the sofa, my honey/best friend/hubby next to me...wide awake? Alert? Watching TV? Watching me? OK OK I know, he is as all our honey's are; in the pregnant position, flat out in the recliner, legs spread, hands on belly, desperately clutching the remote and oh yes!! Snoring!
That's a funny mental image, makes me laugh every time. But not at my best friend, I can't do without him, and his snoring is cool. I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to sleep without it.
But anyway you guys know what I mean, right?
So, let's do a bit of show and tell.
Cutting material. I still just like a thick bit of a box and a paper pattern to make a template. I have those thick plastic templates but they slip! They're PASTIC AND IT’S SLIPPERY! duh
Then I write on each cardboard template in magic marker the name of the quilt and use letters or numbers to designate which piece it goes to in the quilt pattern. This has less to do with the fact that I'm frugal and want to save them and more to do with the fact that a quilt takes me a LONG time to create! :)
Then I start with the smallest and lay it out, play with the pieces until I know where the middle will be.
The best thing about piece work is that it really is done in pieces! And each piece is done in two or more parts. Each part is a mirror image of the one you just did! Cool.
I cannot imagine what women did before pictured patterns! My hubby can do woodworking without a pattern/sounds weird but it's true, he can see it in his head. My sister does the same thing with her gourd work; she sees it as or just before it comes out of her fingers!
· Show offs
· But me? I am just a copy cat. I need to see it and read about it and then I can do it. And the more I do it, the better I get!
· Hey! I wonder if my David and Mary will just one day get sooooooo bored with their artistic endeavors they will say "Here Boo! You can have it. We're bored with it!"
· boo sighs...heavily, poignantly...heartrenderingly. (That isn't actually a real word is it Rochelle Frank?)
· So back and forth I go from pictured diagrams to the work in my lap and finally it starts to come alive.
· I sew the running stitch, pin another triangle, light to dark, sew again, then hold the completed star up for hubby to approve :)
· (Gotta wake them up sometimes; our honeys', don't we?)
· I dream of the county fair and a beautiful BLUE!!!!!! Ribbon.
· Hey, set your sights high! ha
· And always, always , remember this is not for a grade, not for a ribbon, not for anyone’s approval. It isn't even, in this day and age, necessary for warmth and comfort.
· This is just for you, just for fun.
· Have Fun!
Well, I warned you guys.
Quilting is slow, lovely, paceful work.
Not done in a hurry or on a deadline.
But I will take pictures as I go
And let you all see the quilt
At the end of the show