Friday, July 25, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Sampler - Kaleidescope

Ready for a little paper piecing? This block can be done with traditional piecing as well, but you would need a template or a special ruler. By drawing a paper piecing pattern on graph paper, you can make this simple block with no special tools. If you don't like paper piecing, you can also make a template using the same method of drafting the block.
Don't feel like drafting your own block?  There is a ready made version in the 6 inch size available here.  The advantage to drafting your own though, is that you could make your block in any size.
Start by drawing a box the size of your finished block on a piece of paper, regular paper will work fine, but I happened to have a handy sheet of graph paper.  Next draw another line a quarter of an inch around the outside for your seam allowance.  This step isn't mandatory, but I find it helpful.
The next step is to take the finished size of your block and divide it by three.  Since our block is going to finish at 6 inches, our number will be 2.  You can see how easy it would be to make the same block larger or smaller by just remembering to find three equal divisions.  There is no rule saying the numbers all have to be the same.  You could make the middle section bigger or smaller for a different effect.  Think of the possibilities!
Now go all the way around the outside edge of the finished block line and put a little dash every two inches.  You should have two marks along each side.
Now the fun part.  Start in the upper left corner and put the edge of your ruler on the dash, then line it up with the dash in the lower right hand corner.  Draw a line from dash to dash.
Now rotate around to the top right and bottom left to draw the next line.  Continue to rotate around until you have 4 lines making two big Xs.
Next draw a line forming a triangle in each corner.  
Roughly cut around the outside of your template to give you a rough size estimate while piecing.  Next carefully cut along the first diagonal line you drew.
To remind yourself of the piecing order, it is nice to number your templates.  I started from the top and numbered the wedges 1, 2, 3 and 4 for the right half.  For the left half I started from the bottom.  This will help your seams twirl in the end.  Corners come last, but feel free to number them 5 and 6 while you are at it.
I'm not going to do a full paper piecing tutorial.  If you are new to paper piecing, try this handy tutorial.  There are also some nice directions at the same sight I mentioned at the top of the post.
I like to rough cut some triangles to start that are about half an inch bigger than the shape I am covering.  This doesn't have to be exact, but it does make things easier.  You can eyeball it, or make a quick pattern from the paper piecing template.  All the center pieces came from strips of fabric about 4 inches wide.
The strangest part of paper piecing is that the fabric goes on the wrong side of the pattern.  Place piece one and two right sides together with one edge lined up.  Hold your pattern up to a light to get about a quarter of an inch of fabric past the line between section 1 and 2.  You can pin this in place to hold it temporarily, I am also fond of glue sticks, or just hold it with your fingers and hope for the best.
Shorten up your seam allowance and sew on the line between section 1 and 2.  Notice that the template is on top, right side up, and the first two pieces are right sides together on the bottom.
Fold the second piece open and press. To add the third piece, first trim the seam allowance between section 2 and 3 to a quarter of an inch.  Next add piece three, right side down on top of piece 2 and continue until all the pieces are added.  The video tutorial is handy if you can't quite visualize this process.  Though it seems backwards and awkward at first, it really gets easier with practice.
The four corners can be added last.
When all 6 pieces are sewn down, you will trim along the diagonal line, leaving a quarter in seam allowance.  You can also trim around the outside edges now, or save it for the end.
I chose to save mine for the end.  Matching up the center point is the trickiest part.  I put a pin through the point where all of the seam allowances crossed on both blocks.  Sew with a usual quarter inch seam allowance which should be right along the edge of the paper.  Get your seams to lie as flat as possible by twirling the center and ironing it nice and flat.  Remove your paper from the back now before the final trim.  Finally square up your finished block to 6.5 inches, the unfinished size
Here is your finished block.  Viola!


Lilian Pilar said...

me encanta esta exolicacion y muy facil de entender.

Terri said...

Love paper piecing! and the colors you chose are great... Red, my fav.

Kate said...

I've learned to really like paper piecing. It's a great way to make these kinds of blocks.