It’s finally time to get to the “HOW-TO” blogs for the Carolina Favorite block. I am loving seeing the excitement of receiving the templates and some who are experienced hand piecers are already posting block for all to see on the Facebook page – Piece & Hexiness. That is the group page that acts like an open forum in connection to my professional page of MDQuilts. By joining the Piece & Hexiness page you can partake in the posting there. And when you do so ALL can see your posts vs waiting for me to share them on the MDQuilts page. Here is a link to the Piece & Hexiness page.
Let’s get on to the block.
This is a 4 piece template set. Three of the templates, B, C, & D, will be used also in reverse position. A template is right side up if the wording on it can be read. You will have a brown backing paper adhered to your template. That is left on for shipping purposes and you can remove it if you would like. But I have found most people like the paper left on the template as it provides a crisper edge to see when marking on light fabrics and easier to orientate between right side and reverse. There is no correct decision regarding the paper. The choice is yours.
These are the marking tools I use. Either some form of pencil, traditional #2 or a mechanical pencil, or a gel pen. I like the Sakura opaque white pencil for use on dark colored fabrics or any other fun color that shows up. ALWAYS test your gel pen on a scrap of the chosen fabric. There are several factors that can be detrimental to your success. As we all know not all cotton fabric is of the same caliber and a loosely woven fabric will have allow the gel ink to seep thru to the front making it visible. And the longer you use a gel pen most tend to bleed out their ink faster. It has to do with the warmth of your hands. So if your going to spend a day marking and kitting up blocks please keep this in mind. I tend to used 2-3 different pens on that day and change them out. I have also found a quick pop in the freezer (5mins!) tends to slow them down for use.
Once you have chosen all your fabrics and how you wish to have them appear in the block (see my previous blog here about coloring options) go ahead and trace the required number of each piece on the BACKSIDE of the chosen fabric. When tracing be sure to angle your marking pen/pencil so that you get as close to the edge of both the inside and outside. If you wobble a bit on the outside edge don’t fret it but try to keep that inside line as clean as you can. And make sure you get your corners clearly marked. That inside line is the more important line. It will all makes sense tomorrow when I go over pinning.
Cut out your pieces, again don’t worry if you wobble a little but do try to give yourself the full ¼ seam allowance to avoid any fraying of your fabric as you handle it.
Once you have everything cut out I always lay my block out to check my piece count, my fabric placement and then I take a picture of the block for future reference.
I usually kit up several blocks at a time and work on them over a several weeks, sometimes months, so having a reference photo in my phone is helpful. Especially when I am piecing on the go and cant have the block in front of me.
If you are interested in joining in learning how to hand piece you can order your set of Carolina Favorite Acrylic Templates right here!
That’s it for today.
New blog on Friday – we pin and sew!