Wednesday, October 24, 2012

HTT - Part 1

Okay, so you've committed in some fashion to doing this mystery project with me - thank you! Having never run one before (and I may remind you of this often just so no one gets angry if something goes completely haywire), I really had no idea what to expect for response, so thank you to all who have decided to take their chances on me. I'm excited and hope you are too!

As you may have surmised by the amount of fabric, this is a fairly small project. I don't want to give too much away, but if we are organized and quick about it, you might end up with something special on your Thanksgiving table. Except me. House rules clearly state Christmas music, quilts, lights, etc are forbidden until the day after Thanksgiving.

So you've gathered and cut. Time to sew:

1. Place all of your prepared scraps in a bag or bowl near your sewing area. As you can see, Greta's trick or treat cauldron/Pocohontas' cooking pot is serving as my container.

2. Locate your muslin or ugly fabric strips. The uglier and more horrifying they are, the easier they should be to find. Note how mine stand right out in the above photo.

3. Grab two scraps and place them right sides together, angling them slightly. Sew them right on top of one of the strips as shown in the second photo. Press open.

4. Breathe deeply. We're about to get crazy.
5. Continue adding scraps to the strip until the strip is covered in scraps and you no longer are able to be offended by your ugly fabric selection. Vary your fabric sizes and angles as you are sewing them onto the strip. Don't worry that it is the wonkiest, weirdest thing you have ever seen. There is a plan. SPECIAL NOTE: If you don't go all the way to the end of the strip, that is okay. Leaving 4-5 inches at the end uncovered is fine. Just make sure most of it is covered. Vary your angles and sizes of scraps liberally. Press after each addition. Chain piecing of the strips is the quickest way to accomplish this step of the process. The following photos should help you see what I am talking about.
Cover the foundation strips one piece of fabric at a time. Note that in this case my ugly fabric ended up wrong side up. Since we won't see either side, it so doesn't matter. Neither does the angle of your fabrics or the quality of your 1/4" seam. Just get the silly things on there.

Chain piecing does make it go faster. Just line up the strips and add one fabric each time through, then cut them apart, press them all, and begin again. 

They should look something like this when you are done.
 6. Once the four 3" strips and the two 1 1/2" strips are covered, trim each by flipping them over so the foundation fabric is on top, lining up your ruler along one side of the foundation, and slicing off the excess. Flip the strip and slice the excess from the other side of the foundation. If your foundation piece has gotten slightly skewed along the way, don't panic. Just make the best slice you can as close to the edge of the foundation piece as you can get in most places, then use the grid lines on your ruler to cut the other side so that the strip ends up 3" or 1 1/2" wide. Truly, it isn't worth freaking out about.
Slicing the excess. I love this part.
7. Sew a 4" strip of your background fabric to one side of each of your 3" pieced strips. SPECIAL NOTE: If you have left 4-5 inches of ugly fabric uncovered at one end, make sure you sew the 4" strip of background to the left side of the pieced strip. with the covered end at the top (see next photo). If you are an overachiever who went all the way to the end, sew it to either side. Press toward darker side. If the darker side happens to be the pieced strip, as it was for me, please know that the fabric will not want to press that way because it is too bulky. So who cares, press it to the light. But since the rule is "press to the dark", and some of you will insist on making yourselves crazy if you press to the light, I'm going to just let you all do what works for you. I'll be over here breaking some more rules and having more fun.

8. Slice each of the 1 1/2" wide pieced strips into 1 1/2" x 4" strips. You should be able to get nine from each, but you really only need 16 total, so feel free to quit while you are ahead. You now have these pieces together.

9. Time for a hot beverage/wine/a game of Words, whatever. You are done for the week! See you next Wednesday!

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