Saturday, March 2, 2013

February's Liberty Star

February's star for the Lucky Star BOM is called the Exploding Star and despite having selected and cut fabric for the 12 inch block weeks ago, I only got around to stitching it up last night.  I love when I've precut my fabric because when I finally get around to putting the block together, it goes really quickly.
The challenge with this block is that there are twelve fabrics that all join in the centre seam. This makes getting that seam to lie flat a real beast. Thankfully, someone in the BOM's Flickr group posted a link to a tutorial by Stacey in Stitches which includes instructions for technique called a spiral seam.
This first photo shows what my seam looked like after my first attempt at pressing. Unfortunately, I didn't read the tutorial before I put the block together. After paper piecing the quadrants, you join the top two, and then sew your final seam. I thought I was being really smart by pressing the last three seams open, something I never do. I figured it would make it easier to line up the points and it would lead to less bulk. This was a mistake, because the spiral seam technique requires that you press your seams in a counter-clockwise direction.  The photo above shows my attempt to do so.
Next, you finger press open the final seam and carefully unpick the seams as indicated in the photo above, and then press your fabric so that they make a tidy square. I encourage you to look at Stacey's pictures to see how to fold your fabric properly. Because I pressed open my seams, I wasn't able to "spiral" perfectly. 
Despite this, check out how flat my seam looks from the front! I'd call that success, wouldn't you?
Here are my January and February blocks together. I've decided to only make the 12 inch blocks for the BOM. I'll use the 6 inch one I made in January for something else, maybe a pouch or mini quilt? We'll see.
I've also settled on removing the brown and orange Liberty hues from my fabric selection for this quilt. I added a few tone on tone prints (line the red quilter's linen I used here) to round out my selections and reduce the busyness of the blocks. I think this allows the Liberty prints to really shine.

Next up, picking fabric for the March block, which just hit my inbox. Stay tuned for more Liberty goodness!

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