Monday, October 2, 2017

How Long is Forever?

While I was gluing and sewing all those small pieces I had moments of thinking that it would take FOREVER to finish them all.  Lo and behold, by sticking with it and doing a few each day I actually got them all done.  That is the way with quilts.   There are a lot of tedious tasks and sometimes you might wonder why you do it.  On the other hand, I find that doing boring jobs takes my mind to a dreaming place.  Sometimes you need full concentration and that takes your mind off some of the other tedious tasks of life.  That's why it is called therapy by some.  I also enjoy listening to music or books on tape that I don't have time to do any other time.  I love watching my progress on the design wall.

My 36 blocks have now been sewn together in fours and thus reduced to 9 large blocks.  There are many, many points to match and some have been difficult.  Here is what I do when I find an offensive point that needs to be brought into line:

---I rip about 1 inch each side of it and pull the glued edges apart.

---Sometimes I need to readjust one of the side seams slightly.

---Then I turn it over to work from the right side and manipulate the seam fold until the points match perfectly.

---Glue and press.

---Turn to the wrong side and stitch a new seam along the fold line.

Usually it works like magic without any major distortion affecting the size of the block.

TIP:  Elmer's clear glue is a wonderful tool.  It holds the fabric together so you can sew accurately, but washes completely out when you soak your quilt later.

It is always fun and exciting to start the next part of a quilt.  I still have those nine big blocks to stitch together, but I have a spiral to appliqué in the middle and it will be easiest to stitch it in place before the final assembly.  The spiral is paper pieced in the usual manner.  I tried doing it with paperless paper piecing awhile ago, but when it came time to sew the seams, I got lost in the center trying to stitch those tiny pieces together.

I printed the pattern on plain paper, cut it out and found that it was too small for its allotted place.  I'm glad I didn't waste my Sulky Paper Solvey, time or fabric on the wrong size!  I enlarged it on the computer, re-printed, and cut it out to verify the fit.  Perfect!  I was ready for the final print so I could sew.
Center spiral (hexagon in a circle)
The graphic above shows the way I printed my spiral.  I reduced the opacity of the colors to about 25% but left the sewing lines at 100%.  Seeing the colors helps prevent mistakes, but I also labeled each piece with the row number and a letter designating the color.  Double check!  When sewing you stitch alternate pieces (1K, 1B, 1G), then fill in with the other three colors (1T, 1R, 1Y).  Continue row after row in this manner.

Here is the finished spiral pinned to the center of the quilt top.  The paper on the back will dissolve so I am not going to pull it out at this point although I may do so later.  It will help to have that bit of stiffness to keep it from bubbling as I appliqué it in place.

Sew some happy seams this week.  I wish you bright colors and joy in your endeavors.


  1. Absolutely stunning block! Thanks for the tip about the Elmer's glue.

  2. What a stunning spiral! It looks great!

  3. I love this spiral block, is this your pattern? Paper piecing and Elmers glue, love them both. Newsprint from Office Depot is wonderful for paper piecing, it tears very easily.

  4. I made it following directions in RaNae Merrill's "Simply Amazing Spiral Quilts." Her directions are excellent and I was able to create my own pattern in Illustrator. Not hard.