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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Block 48 Fair Play - Canadian Suffrage

This week the story is about the gradual way that the women of Canada were granted the right to vote. There was a realization that if women could perform wartime service then surely they should also be allowed to vote. Beginning in 1917 women serving as nurses in WWI were given the vote along with women at home in Canada who had close family members serving overseas in the armed forces. Later, women who were property owners were added. Finally the Canadians were able to recognize that all women deserved the right to vote.
 Continuing with my quest to use each fabric at least twice in this project I decided to use the fabric I had used in block 29 The Seven Pointed Star for Australia. A reason to choose this one is to honor my Canadian friend Rhonda who I met in Australia. However, in this, the second to last block I also pulled into use a fabric that has not so far been seen but I liked it because it had both the green and purple I needed and the green was a good match.

From time to time I come across blogs where people have provided a tutorial on how they made their block. That would make something new to blog about I thought and thus I decided to photograph my progress while also using a number of techniques I have picked up over the years. Because the block from last week is still waiting to be done (I want to do hand applique but have not yet had the time to get it done) it was necessary for me to take the curved piecing challenge with this one.

I made freezer paper templates (oops, not shown) and cut out my pieces. On the two outer straight edges I add an extra 1/8" just in case (my blocks hardly ever end up larger but they can end up an 1/8" or so smaller and this gives me some fudge allowance). When I am preparing to stitch two curved pieces to each other I pin quite extensively. First I find the midpoint of each piece by folding in two - one I fold with right sides together and the other with wrong sides together so that the pieces will "nest" and I can pin them. At the straight edges I pin in two places to hold the piece square.
 I put it under the presser foot with the concave side up so the feed dogs will ease in the more voluminous convex side. Having trouble remembering which is the concave piece? It's the one that looks like a cave. I stitch carefully, maintaining the 1/4" seam allowance. And I give myself permission to hold my breath if I think it will help!
 It's stitched!
 Now for the bigger piece. Again it is concave side on top.
 And pretty soon all four units are stitched and ready. This is much faster than hand applique.
 One thing that most pattern people do not mention is how to press. Seams that "nest together" are much more likely to be successful so in this instance I pressed my darker units towards the outer corner and my lighter units towards the center.
 Another "trick" I have heard and used is to sew so the seam allowance on top faces towards the machine presser foot. Sometimes it is necessary for me to seemingly sew it back to front to get that seam allowance in the right place.
 And now, this is what happens when you are so intent on photographing each step and less intent on pinning correctly. Not to worry, that is why I have a seam ripper! Of course in both units I had exactly matched those seams and now I had to take one of them out. Oh well.

The block is done and posted on flickr.

Nope, I am not setting mine on point but I thought it made for a more interesting photo if I laid it this way on the Canadian themed fabric.

Nearly there folks. Next Saturday we get the last block in the project. Hopefully by then I will have completed the block from last week.


Cheryl Kotecki said...

I'm not sure that most people doing a step-by-step construction tutorial would include the photo that shows you had to remove one perfectly-pieced seam in order to create the effect.

Nice job setting up the staged photo of your beautiful block with the Maple Leaf fabric! O Canada!!

pinkdeenster said...

Thanks for the "tutorial" - it helped me get my block done in my second try using your methods.