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Thread: My first OBW and I'm STUCK!

  1. #1
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    Apologies for photo quality. My blackberry's camera leaves MUCH to be desired.

    I picked up this fabric the other day, wanting to try a OBW/Kaleidoscope. I'm doing a hexagon.

    I've read tutorials, I've watched youtube videos. I get what I need to do ONCE I decide where to cut. I just can't figure out where to cut, and if to cut selvage to selvage, or the other direction. I see where the repeat is-- and there are 12" between repeats. So I THINK I cut a 12" width even though I want to end up with 4.5" strips? Huh?

    So I'm staring at this fabric and not quite knowing how to decide where to cut, which direction? how many inches. horiz? vertical?

    I'm stuck!!!! help !!!
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  2. #2
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Some of us cut the fabric in half lengthwise first. It is easier to handle the shorter pieces :wink:
    Then we made the cuts on the repeats across the width of the fabric.
    Yes, start at one repeat, and cut across in the same place on all of the other repeats too.
    I love your fabric :D:D:D

  3. #3
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    And why would I use that strip method (where you flip the triangle template along a 4.5" strip?) instead of fussy-cutting the sections of the fabric I want to form the triangles? (Other than wasting a ton of fabric?)

  4. #4
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    It is a lot less cutting this way. Once you cut the strips and line them up, cutting the triangles goes quickly.

    Fussy cutting all of the pieces is time consuming, and you also need to make sure all of your cuts are identical :D:D:D

    Once you cut your strips into repeats, then you can decide what widths to sub cut them into.

  5. #5
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    Amma,
    Thanks for your support.
    But please answer this: when you cut strips and cut triangles from the strips, isn't it true that you are giving up all control over where the triangles fall on the fabric?

  6. #6
    Super Member spartan quilter's Avatar
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    But the nice thing is, you have 3 choices of how to sew your triangles together. I just finished one, and that was really hard. It took me almost as long to play with each set of 6, determining which point I wanted in the center. But it is worth it in the end. Have fun cutting.:)

    Quote Originally Posted by jillaine
    Amma,
    Thanks for your support.
    But please answer this: when you cut strips and cut triangles from the strips, isn't it true that you are giving up all control over where the triangles fall on the fabric?
    :thumbup:

  7. #7
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    Instead of fussy cutting, the fabric is stacked matching the pattern one on top of the other, and then cut with the triangles. Then the patterns match. It could be done with strips, too, I guess, just matching up the print in the pattern.

  8. #8
    Super Member Katrine's Avatar
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    I would strongly recommend you get the book One Block Wonders.
    It is all perfectly explained and shown in there, and very easy to follow.
    I've made lots of obws but still refer to the book now and again.
    I've seen others comment that once they had the book they found it easy.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katrine
    I would strongly recommend you get the book One Block Wonders.
    It is all perfectly explained and shown in there, and very easy to follow.
    I've made lots of obws but still refer to the book now and again.
    I've seen others comment that once they had the book they found it easy.
    What she said!!!

  10. #10
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    In the book, the author says to put the straight grain of the fabric to the outside of the hexagon blocks. I figured that I knew better and took a lot of time turning the triangles to get the 'prettiest' blocks. Well, I'll be darned if she didn't know what she was talking about! The blocks that had the straight of grain on the outside were easier to work with and you are going to be hard pressed to pick out an individual hexagon when you are done. They will all blend in, so the extra time I took playing with each hex to get it pretty was pretty much wasted. BTW, fussy cutting the hexes is what you would do for a Stack and Whack. In this type of quilt, you fussy cut your blocks then use other fabric (usually solids) to isolate and highlight your kalidescope blocks. Because you are surrounding them with a solid color the individual blocks stand out and so fussy cutting them makes sense.

  11. #11
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess
    In the book, the author says to put the straight grain of the fabric to the outside of the hexagon blocks. I figured that I knew better and took a lot of time turning the triangles to get the 'prettiest' blocks. Well, I'll be darned if she didn't know what she was talking about! The blocks that had the straight of grain on the outside were easier to work with and you are going to be hard pressed to pick out an individual hexagon when you are done. They will all blend in, so the extra time I took playing with each hex to get it pretty was pretty much wasted.
    This is incredibly good advice; thank you. Of course, I've cut out my first set of triangles, and grouped them already; I suppose I can return them to straight grain out; I haven't started sewing yet.

    Related: I figure I should have spray starched the strips before I cut the triangles to help control those bias edges. Does anyone else do this?

    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess
    BTW, fussy cutting the hexes is what you would do for a Stack and Whack. In this type of quilt, you fussy cut your blocks then use other fabric (usually solids) to isolate and highlight your kalidescope blocks. Because you are surrounding them with a solid color the individual blocks stand out and so fussy cutting them makes sense.
    Admission: I guess I *am* doing a Stack & Whack, as I plan to do exactly what you describe. Learning SO much. This is, however, like building the plane while one is flying it... oops!

    I'll post progress photos later...

    Thanks everyone!

    -- Jillaine

  12. #12
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    I was up until at 3am last night (this morning) cutting and with triangles, until I literally fell asleep at the sewing table!

    Then this morning, I pieced the hexagons, re-arranging them so that grain was on the outer edge; as it turned out 50% of my first choices were already aligned that way.

    Here is a layout of what it would look like IF I was going to do a OBW (yes, I know, one would not normally piece the full hexagon if one were getting rows ready for a OBW, but I'm going to be doing a different design more like a S&W).

    I was also curious to see what it would look like if I were going to do a OBW. I am beginning to see the attraction to this design form. It's fun and it also appeals to my nature of not over-designing, but allowing the design to emerge.

    Next step: select from these hexagons those that are most "middle eastern" tile-like and incorporate them into my Middle East quilt (http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-111815-1.htm).

    Hexagons placed as if I were to do a OBW - can anyone find the boo-boo?
    Name:  Attachment-185188.jpe
Views: 13
Size:  70.7 KB

  13. #13
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    Oh and by the way, that amount up there is from ONE 3.75" strip of each of the 11.5" sections (the repeat width), width of fabric. I have five more strips to go.

    I did not, as you advised, split the length of the fabric in two as I did not want to lose any triangles by doing so.

    My triangles ended up being 3.75" in height.

  14. #14
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    I'm sorry (I'm bad at math)-- I have two more strip sets (of six each).

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    Looking good Jillaine, from right, 1st block with green & red, you're a real "BB" it took me 10 minutes of looking to find it.

    Have you decided on how to set them in the tile form yet?

  16. #16
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    I don't bother even keeping track of the straight of grain, I turn my triangles all directions and choose which I like best. If you aren't pulling and stretching your pieces, they should lie flat regardless. I've never had any problems. And I ave a couple of hexs in each quilt where I've grouped the tris in three groups of two because I liked that design best.

  17. #17
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    Thanks, Peg.
    What's a "BB"? (Still learning quilt-ese...)

    These are up on my design wall (in a different formation) with some of the other blocks I'm working on for the middle eastern rug/tile design. Will post progress to the Middle East topic. ( http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-111815-1.htm )

    -- Jillaine

  18. #18
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    p.s. thanks for everyone's help. Learning a LOT and already have an idea for a future OBW (this time a real OBW).

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