Friday, August 14, 2009

It's Mostly about Piecing, not Stripping

The last time I made patchwork rainbow art rolls, I miserably cut a billion little 1.75"x 4.5" pieces, and then miserably sewed them all together piece by little piece. It really wasn't all that fun.

This time? I'm strip piecing, Baby.

To strip piece, you measure all your pieces at the right width, but make them all super-long. Then, after you sew the widths together, you just have to cut each block at its correct length, and there you go. If you consider that most of your time spent piecing is actually spent carefully measuring and then cutting, not actually piecing, you'll realize that this actually saves a TON of time.

So, to strip piece my crayon rolls, I cut out eight colors of quilting cotton, each 1.75" wide. I didn't measure the length at all, just cut a 1.75" slice down the entire length of each fabric I used (another time-saver in strip piecing). And then I sewed them together, right sides facing, in the order in which I want them to be:
I usually iron all my seams to the same side, usually towards the side that has the gradation to darker fabrics.

I'm experimenting with some different construction methods for these crayon rolls, so another benefit to strip piecing is that I was able to cut a separate top and bottom, each short enough that it would have KILLED to have had to piece all these little pieces individually:
And then I had to go pick up the girls from school, and then, lord help us, we went to Joann's, so we'll have to revisit these crayon rolls already in progress at a different point in time.

In other news, the Bryan Park Neighborhood Block Party was tonight, and it's always pretty darn fun. I enjoyed sending Will out with the camera to take some photos:
Photos taken by a five-year-old are nearly always unposed, because no one expects a camera to be coming at them from just that darn low:
You get your fair share of butt-shots, too, as you might imagine:
I was reading my friend Cake's blog last night, some posts when she's just in the process of moving here to Bloomington, and I was getting a huge kick out of how she was describing parts of our town as she was experiencing them for the first time, and LOVING them, of course--the bike lanes, the farmer's market, the recycling program, Bryan Park itself. I had this weird mental vertigo of wanting to suggest to her other things that she'd probably like, while at the same time recognizing that she's lived here for years now, and she's definitely found them by now--hey, Cake, you should check out the children's playroom at the public library. Hey, Cake, have you seen the Sidewalk Exchange at the Recycling Center?

Dude, Cake, you will totally love the block party our neighborhood association throws each year.


cake said...

thanks for the shout-out! what's funny is that i totally remember you, (and your little family) from the first block party we attended, about a week after we moved here. i didn't know you (didn't know anyone) but i hoped we'd become friends.

i love willow's photos (and am thankful there are none posted of my butt).

oh, and i just picked up a copy of MAKE. right on!

julie said...

Ooh, was it the block party where we brought the day-glo necklaces and Willow danced in her panties? That's my favorite one so far. I don't remember last year's.

Our old neighborhood, McDoel Gardens, also throws a kick-ass block party, btw.

Anonymous said...

LOL! I remember a time (pre-digital camera era) when I developed an entire roll of "suprise" phototgraphs taken by my then four year old son. There were 36 snapshots of electric outlets, the edges of my desk and the top of the kitchen table!

julie said...

And I bet there were some really beautiful shots in there, too. I can totally imagine in my head how beautiful a photo of an outlet could be. And corners? Be still my heart.

I haven't uploaded my photos yet for today, but Will had the camera last night at the roller derby, and earlier today I saw her through the window taking some posed photos outside on the back deck with her stuffed unicorn.