Sparkle Block #01

So on Tuesday I got super excited by a fabric pull, and I knew I had to do something with it (thanks to you, dear commenters!) So without further ado, I introduce you to Sparkle Block #01! I wanted to use my five fabrics, but keep it simple and to the point. (K.I.S.S., yes?) I am very satisfied with the block design, and the balance amongst the five fabrics. I also love that I got to use some of my favorite fabrics here!
What I’m not so satisfied with are the white strips and my machine’s frustratingly decision to keep slipping those little pieces off the feed dogs, which prevented my seam line from being perfectly straight. The pre-sewn white strips measured 0.75″, but I wasn’t expecting this challenge, so I am not exactly sure how to navigate it. Readers: Over. To. You. (Am I making sense?)
I’m also frustrated by my camera and photograph, as it’s not capturing the intensity of that magenta, or the subtle discrepancies between the orange and magenta tones in the Color Me Retro fabric. It may be time to upgrade the camera gear! (Shh… don’t tell Mr. Sparkles!)
So, all in all, extremely glad I cut into Sparkle Bundle #01! I learned that I buy fabric for a reason (to use!), and I shouldn’t be afraid of not knowing the destination, and enjoy the process. I also love designing my own blocks (even simple ones, like this), as it gives me the ultimate sense of pride. I think I shall have to keep up this little tradition, and keep the Sparkle Bundles and Sparkle Blocks in production going forward. Who knows, anything can happen!

11 Responses

  1. Tanya says:

    Love your fabric selection!!

    I think you are being too critical about your seams (although we all are with our own work aren't we?). Your white is really narrow which makes any small deviation from a perfect 1/4" seam more obvious, and it's hard to help without knowing exactly what you did so here are some suggestions (some are simple but may help…)

    You mention the fabric slipping on the feed dogs, did you try it with your narrow strips on the top and your wider strips on the feed dogs?
    Can you adjust the presser foot pressure on your machine? Playing around with it may help the fabric guide more easily.
    Also remember to not pull or adjust the fabric too much as you sew, gently guide the fabric and let the feed dogs do their thing.
    Did you starch your fabric? I've found starch can do wonders for the accuracy of your cutting and piecing.
    Do you have a 1/4" foot for your machine? If not, it may help you in keeping things more accurate.

  2. Kelly says:

    Great fabric pull! I think Tanya has some great suggestions and I am loking forward to seeing the 'Mr Sparkle says' after he clocks your new camera equipment ūüėČ

  3. I completely understand your frustration with cameras not capturing colours correctly, it goes further than just getting a new, more expensive camera. My husband's hobby is photography, you need white balance cards and 8% grey cards and I could go on but I have to say that my iPad does a pretty damn good job and sometimes rivals my very expensive Sony: http://goo.gl/ibaQl

    Looking forward to seeing your project evolve!

  4. Adrianne says:

    Totally understand your frustration with those little narrow strips! Your block looks fab though, and if it comes down to it, you could always trim the sides to straighten everything up (sometimes I deliberately make oversized blocks so I can trim them down to a very precise size).

    All of Tanya's suggestions are on the money. The only one I would add is that you could try sewing with a leader and an ender (a little scrap of fabric that you put through immediately before and after your block, so that you don't have fabric half on and half off the feed dogs). Good luck!

  5. Oh I love it with the teeny white strips! No suggestions here, just admiration ūüôā

  6. vexa says:

    Fun fresh color combo goes well with the simple design. Tanya got it all covered. You should have the small strips on top while sewing but they look pretty straight on the pic. I'm frustrated with the colors on photos all the time.

  7. Kristi says:

    I think it looks great and am loving the colors….I agree with Tanya on her thoughts about what you might try next time…I'm a new quilter with little to no experience with tiny strips….so good luck with the future stuff!!

  8. Heather says:

    I get the color thing. I think it's a source of consternation for most quilters. Many take their photos in natural sunlight.

    As far as the feed dog slippage goes, I think probably you are getting that on the second seam on the white strip. Because its so narrow the left seems wants to push the pressed foot over thereby making the seem pull away from the feed dog. I've had it happen myself. My only suggestion is use a wider foot than your quarter inch one. It will sit on top of the first seam and not be pushed. Or you could use an even feed foot. That might also work.

  9. Katy Cameron says:

    I got a bit confuddled over the feed dog thing (but I was out drinking tonight, the 8 vodkas may slightly be impairing my comprehension ;o) ) Love the narrow white stripes in there though!

  10. Love everyone's comments! The white fabric I used is quite "flimsy" (not exactly the right word), and I think that is why it was slipping. I think starch is the best way to go based on what I was experiencing. (Not even sure why I haven't wised up and bought some yet!) Also, I've got some new Bella Solids white that I'll try out and see if that makes a difference. I also must investigate the presser foot setting as that could have been causing it to slide over, so great call there! The photos … I've got a lot to say about that.

  11. Books_Bound says:

    I really like the white stripes! It almost looks like piping because they are so narrow.

    I hate using starch because it is an extra step to the pressing and cutting stage, which I hate, but it is really useful for when you need extreme precision or are using very small pieces! Pile O' Fabric has a little video tutorial about starching your fabric.

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