Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Hive 6 November Tutorial for Karen's Tumbling Block

Hello Hivemates! I'm Karen. I've sent you all blocks and now it's my turn to be super-excited every time I get to my mail box.  This month I am posing a simple challenge - tumbling blocks! We will be doing a Y-seam, but don't get worried yet; I posted a link to a good tutorial and have lots of pictures for you. The block is simple and small, with only three seams, so it should be pretty quick. I was going to make one as a sample, but soon got obsessed and now I have seven. They are fun once you get the hang of the Y-seam. If you're curious, I hadn't done Y-seams before this, so I can attest to how easy they are to learn and even master.

Fabric Selection
Select three different prints: One low-volume print, one navy/indigo print, and one medium-value print in a cool color.
1. I'm pretty flexible about the definition of low-volume, as long as the background is pretty light and the print reads light from across the room, it's OK for this project. White, cream, light grey, even very pale colored backgrounds are good. 
2. The navy print should read navy or indigo from across the room, but can have elements of different colors if that's what you have. This is also the only fabric I wouldn't mind if you use a solid. Please try to avoid lots of white in the print.
3. The third print should be medium in value, lighter than the navy print and darker than the low volume print. The colors should be grey, blue, green, or purple. I especially like blue-greens and blue-purples, but use what you have that you like. Again, please try to avoid too much white in the print.

Cutting and Layout
You will be cutting three diamonds from 4.5" strips.You need a ruler with a 60-degree line on it, or you can use the line on your mat. I used my 6" by 24" ruler for the cutting. Send me an email or leave a comment if you don't have a 60-degree line on your ruler and I can make you a template to print out. Hint: If you are using scraps, you need one at least 4.5" by 8" to get the 4.5" diamond. Other hint: You can pile the three strips on top of each other so you only have to cut the angles once.
1. Lay the strip horizontally on your cutting mat.

2. Position the 60 degree line on your ruler at the bottom of the strip, at the right end of the strip and slice.
3. Turn the strip around so the 60-degree angle is on the left and the strip is still horizontal.

4. Position the 4.5" line on your ruler along the 60-degree cut you just made. Slice.
5. Position the three diamonds so the low volume print is at the top of the tumbling block, the navy print is at the lower left, and the medium print is at the lower right.

Sewing...Y-Seams! Oh my! 
Use 1/4-inch seams throughout.  A good video on sewing Y-seams can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLkHfcuNzCA and please follow along with my pictures and instructions for seam pressing directions. Please let me know if you need clarification or additional help with any step and I will do my best to help you.
1. Start by sewing the navy and medium prints together along one edge of the diamond, being sure the positioning is correct (navy will end up on lower left and medium on lower right). Press this seam open:
2. Position the low-volume print under the medium print and start sewing along the seam towards the middle, open seam. Stop with your needle down right on the seam, between the navy and medium print.

3. Making sure your needle is down, lift your presser foot. Pinch the medium print to fold it in half. While you do this, reach under and rotate the low-volume print. Line up the edges of the navy print and the low volume print and position them so they're ready to sew. The medium print should be out of the way, and not under the needle any more.
4. Finish sewing the low-volume print to the navy print, all the way to the end of the seam.
5. Press the seam you just sewed to the darker fabrics (away from the low-volume print). Admire your awesome Y-seam! If you have a little pucker at the middle, don't worry too much unless it causes the block not to be flat.

6. Measure your block. It should be a hexagon with opposite sides about 8.5 inches apart from each other.

Thank you so much for your help with my obsession this month! I have enjoyed working for each of you and learning some new skills along the way.

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