A quick update. As I mentioned last time, I have been following the tutorial put out by Donna of Jordan Fabrics. I have made one improvement on Donna's method, which I'll explain briefly. And I've learned a little more about myself, which will inform my future quilting choices.
First, a brief overview of the assembly (more detailed instructions are found through Jordan Fabrics): after you sew the long strips together, you press the seam allowances all one direction, and sew a tube. Then you cut the tube into variegated strips and strategically unpick different seams to get the bargello layout. Finally, you sew the variegated strips together.
In Donna's video (start at 14:58), as she sews the variegated strips, she says "all of these seams here, for the most part, they're going to nest. . . Once in a while as we get farther along, we may have to flip one of the seam allowances." And so she does, consistently flipping the seams on the strip that's being attached to the larger block, since the other strips are already sewn in one direction or another.
So, for the first row of blocks, I follow her instructions. They worked fine, but when it came time to sew one block to another, the seams don't nest, and I can't flip either side. So, on my second row of the quilt, I decide to pre-press the seams the way I wanted them. Obviously, I have to press them before making the tube (so the tube will lie flat for cutting), but after unpicking the tube and laying it out in the wave-form, I then re-press as you see:
Every strip is pressed the opposite direction as the last strip, so their seams nest perfectly as I sew. When I finish the whole block, I take note of the direction the last strip is pressed (DOWN), and then on the next block do the first strip the opposite way (UP) so the blocks nest with each other the same as the strips do.
WHAT I'VE LEARNED
Though I love the look of the bargello, and of these colors together, I am not having a lot of fun making it. I don't hate it or anything, but I definitely do one block, get bored, and put the project away for weeks on end! The part I loved best was choosing the fabrics and planning the quilt. Then I loved learning how to do it. What I don't love is the endless long seams and repetition of this stage.
This contrasts sharply with my Memories of Africa quilt, which absorbs me day after day, and which I think about even when I'm not working on it. And my scrap quilts, like the scrappy Double Wedding Ring quilt, are fun while I am working on them. So I think what I like is to make choices throughout the project. Once the choices are all done and it's just assembly, I get bored.
But I will continue, because this is going to be beautiful! And I have a notion of how I may quilt it in segments on my home machine, which intrigues me.
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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