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Thread: Let's Make a Fast Winding Ways Mini from Scratch!

  1. #1
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    I love this block and know you do too and want to show you today how easy it was and fast to put together -- just like a jigsaw puzzle!! I've never seen an all scrappy one and couldn't wait to do it! I've only seen them done in Batiks or in two colors only. Here's a picture of the mini we'll be making today.

    Winding Ways mini we're making today
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    this was my inspiration piece done in all Batiks
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  2. #2
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    Supplies we'll need:

    - paper (8-1/2 x 11)
    - pencil or fine line marker
    - artgum eraser
    - permanent marker
    - ruler
    - scissors
    - scraps
    - cardboard
    - Wonder Under or stabilizer

    There are 3 pattern pieces we'll be making:

    - the wedge, the largest piece
    - the filler, which goes between the wedges, and
    - the corner piece

    They make up all 12 pieces of each block.
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  3. #3
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    I decided to make my own pattern not only to get the size I wanted, but I was planning on elongating the wedge and changing the shape. After seeing how labor intensive it was, I abandoned that idea.

    The purpose of this mini was for a tutorial only, but it turned out so well that I decided to show pics of it. You just won't believe it, but nothing has been fused at this point!! That's what I mean by it looking well as if it's all been sewn or fused already!! That's right, it's all just laid out or laid up for now!!!haha. Even the borders were turned to the backside and just laid on. Some of the flowers in the navy border appear to peak through and makes it interesting. I may decide to spray adhesive the background fabric and put my puzzle pieces together for a really fast fix!!

  4. #4
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    Let's get started!

    Start by drawing a 6-inch square on paper and mark through the middle sections by drawing a line horizontally and vertically.

    Measure 1" inward from each corner for the widest part of the wedge and place a pencil mark at those points. (bottom rt. corner/top left corner). With a pencil, sketch the shape of the wedge connecting to the points we drew as shown in the picture. Mark the rest of the points around the block.
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    It should look like this. We only want a tiny portion of the top to touch the sides. To do otherwise, would give it a boxy look at the top. Next, place tissue paper over your drawing, trace and cut out.
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    With the tissue pattern, place it on paper, trace around it and cut it out.. Remember, this is just an estimate.
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    Fold paper in half, wing to wing, and trim the edges to match.
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    In this picture, you can see the uneven edges where I need to trim.
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    Test your pattern out! Draw all 4 sides of each block to see how it fits.
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    There should be 2" between wedges. If not, it's ok as we are just checking for approximation, not exactness. We are just testing the pattern piece to see that it doesn't extend too far beyond the block. Now that it looks ok and is pretty much within the parameters, we will next trace our piece on cardboard for a sturdy template.
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    Make a cardboard template by tracing around the outside of the paper pattern with your permanent marker. The wide mark gives us some more of a fudge factor in ensuring coverage of all pieces with maneuverability.
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    Cut on the OUTSIDE of the line. More fudge factor here.
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    It will look like this.
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    Do the same with the other 2 pattern pieces.
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    The two paper pieces have been transferred to cardboard. We now have 3 pieces on cardboard! If yours did not turn out, you can download these.
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  5. #5
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    Fabric Selection

    Begin by pulling these fabrics or large enough scraps:

    1) fabrics of small, medium, large and extra-large scale
    2) small prints that will appear as solids from a distance
    3) solid colors. These solids mixed in with prints give much impact to your mini. Use them wherever you need an area impacted with bold color! For example, if you have an area where darks are all congregated, you'll need a solid color to boost that area by creating balance and harmony. In my mini, I used 12 different shades of yellow. I used yellow in every block but one! Solid yellows were used to highllight an area! For all scrappy quilts, you need to use either black, yellow or white to highlight and bring drama. Always use at least one of these colors or all three in your scrap quilts. You should use white or near white to highlight and give the eyes a place to rest from the busyness of all the prints and colors.
    4) do repeats of one fabric 2 or 3 times in your quilt or mini. Antique quilts are famous for their repeats of a fabric and the quilters of yesteryear knew the secret of using this. Using the fabrics several times in their quilt was not just done because of their limited fabric choices on hand. They knew the advantages of repeating that same fabric to bring unity and appeal to the quilt!
    5) to add interest, use some medium/large scale prints in the corners to liven up a dull block that has small scale prints used for the wedges. Not all the wedges should be big, bright and bold colors. You need to vary the look of the blocks! Sometimes where a fabric needs to be a light one, I may use a medium or dark! This brings mystery to the quilt and makes the blocks look unplanned.
    6) use both dull and bright colors. They balance each other out!
    7) pull (what I call) some 'oddball' fabrics. These are ones that have varying patterns in the print that may be of a circular, triangular or linear fashion. You might cut some I Spy fabrics into small pieces or large florals into small pieces that would give it graphic appeal. I used an elongated string of blue roses print in the bottom left corner. It's what will set your quilt apart from any other as we all have oddball fabrics! It's how you use those fabrics in your mini/quilt that makes people say, 'how in the world did she do THAT?' Notice in my quilt all those oddball fabrics where you just see a stem or leaf but it makes it appealing and causes the viewer to do a double-take sometimes.
    8) the wedge is a perfect size piece to showcase some really large-scale florals or prints. Also experiment with stripes, checks, Batiks or plaids with the fabrics you've chosen for your mini.
    9) pull from the scrap bag instead of using yardage. The whole purpose of a scrap quilt is to use up those scraps and you'll always find interesting looking pieces in the scrap bag! I found a red, white and blue feedsack print that livened up my middle right block.

    RWB feedsack used to liven up the middle right block
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    pick some dull and bright fabs
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    use both ex-large florals in with med. scale florals
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    Use fabrics that have several colors within a small area
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    use some oddball fabrics -- the one on the right I used in the bottom left block. I was going to use the one on the left and decided not to.
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  6. #6
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    The Beginning Layout

    Begin cutting out your fabrics for the wedges first and place them on your lap board or design wall as shown. Notice the upper left hand block is done with all dark wedges with light backgrounds (that will be added later). The adjacent block would then be done opposite in color. It would be light colored wedges on a dark background. Of the nine blocks, I have 5 dark blocks and 4 light ones. They each have their respective backgrounds done in opposite colors, i.e., light on dark and dark on light.

    The first thing we see when we look at the quilt or mini are the largest pieces, the wedges I call them, so we want them to have the most striking of color balances. They are predominant in your quilt. The other colors don't count as much -- they all get blended together and form their own little circles doing their own thing. So since the wedge is the first thing we see and the largest pattern piece, it needs to be the most colorful. Everything we choose from then on will just amplify those colors even more, depending on what colors you use! We can kill it or enliven it with our color choices! It's ok to have some dead-looking areas. I just liven it up with a solid, a large scale, a bright or an oddball! We don't have to have everything just so-so. In fact, it's better if you do venture from rules a little and put a dark in where a medium should go. I often do this. It adds the element of mystery to your quilt!!

    If you want really really strong contrast, then put darks where there should be darks and do the same thing with lights. Do not venture from the rules like I suggested in the paragraph above. I did a mixture in my quilt so there are some low contrast areas. It's ok as long as we can see the interplay of those background colors still uniting with one another. In fact, I worked on this quilt as you can see in this picture, but individually cutting pieces and coordinating as I went along! I was done when I was done. I didn't need to change too much. In this picture, I am adding some corner pieces and fillers at the same time. It was fun working this way and seeing it emerge! Piece by piece. I didn't really pay much attention to the light background fabrics or dark background fabrics, but I did pay close attention to the pieces the fillers would touch in the adjacent blocks. With good contrast there, your emerging circles will take on a significance and gently emerge without taking over the strong color of the big wedges. The only thing to watch out for in your fillers and corners are a nice variety of colors. That's all. It's ok to put some of the same colors side by side. The quilter did that in her beautiful Batik of the inspiration piece I showed. She went to town with lime green and the use of yellow. I think that's why I loved it so much -- all that yellow in there brought all the colors to life!! But Batiks are not the only fabrics in the world that look good for Winding Ways! We want to use up our scraps!! And a Winding Ways is a good way to do it. However, I believe I would limit my use of I Spy fabrics or some graphics because of the 'circular' appeal to this quilt that could distract. A 30's type theme would just work wonders!! Jewel tones would be fantastic here. Even an earthy CW type repro fabs would look great and homey! We associate circles with love and unity! So they would be right at home in this quilt.

    with our 14" pair of scissors, let's cut them larger so we don't come up short. We can always trim later if needed.
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    or we might try a smaller pair of 9" ( haha) that might work better
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    laying out our first blocks
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    Working on 6 blocks now filling in more areas. Stand back from the design wall and check for any color imbalances or prop your work up if working from a flat surface. Now's a good time to check the interplaying of the colors going on between blocks.
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  7. #7
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    I am now finishing the last 3 blocks in the right-hand column. I'm running on the edge (tee hee) from not preplanning! It took 10 min. to move them all!! Notice the top middle block in the picture. It has 3 shades of red, orange and peach fabs but the computer shows them as being the same shade. In the next picture, you will see that I scattered those colors rather than keeping them together. I did very little rearranging of the fabs after this. I work in a color-coordinate-it-along-the-way type of method. You'll get to this point too after doing many scrap quilts. I also balance my colors to be computer-friendly because we want it to look right! We don't want our colors smeared so I keep that in mind. View your color balance through the wrong end of binoculars or through a doorhole peep if needed or just stand back at a good distance to view.

    Now we're all finished!! I scattered those 3 fabrics that were together. Examine my mini to see how I scattered the scales of fabrics and move your pieces around until you like what you see! The burgundy filler looked better than the orange piece that was there. We must also consider the color of its adjacent piece! The burgundy contrasts between with the pink 2 tone fab below it. Sometimes we just need to move things around! I'm glad I did in this case.
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  8. #8
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    Now we're ready to prep your pieces for fuse and applique. To the backside of your fabric press with an iron for 8 seconds the rough side of the Wonder Under being applied or use a stabilizer of your choice. I won't spend a lot of time on this as it's that easy. You would trace individually your pattern piece on the stabilizer, iron, and then position each piece and fuse all into place. I mainly wanted to focus this tute on your fabric selection and what I did to keep it balanced looking. More people need help with this than any other area.

    prep all your pieces
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  9. #9
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    Once they are preppred, we will begin by establishing our boundary first by placing your first block's 4 corner pieces in a 6" diameter frame.

    lay your ruler on top for precise measurement
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    lay all 4 fillers out in place
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    lay the top left wedge on top of it all.
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  10. #10
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    It's ok if the points extend beyond the frame. We want them long enough to ensure all points will meet. We can trim later if needed, but I found no trimming was needed at all when I finished.

    lay the top right wedge on top meeting the center area and covering all underlying edges
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    here's the whole block so far
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    before adding the next wedge, lift the corners of the corner pieces up over the fillers like this where the pen is pointing. They need to overlap the fillers.
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