Now for some cutting and piecing tips for the OBW QAL
I meant for this to be a short post, because the books do a great job of telling you how to layer and cut the fabric; but, I ended up having more to say than I thought!
There are several things I want to mention:
- Use a FRESH blade
- Cut 30 degree triangles
- Diversity of triangles
- Bias edges
- press all seams OPEN
- Grouping and layout
|Take your pins out, of course, before making a cut|
How many 30 degree triangles do you need? Hard to say as it depends on how big your quilt will be, right? Plus each cut will give you six IDENTICAL 30 degree triangles. Having them all be the same will likely not fit your needs unless your quilt is essentially the same color throughout.
|You might notice is this pic, that I like to use a lot more pins along the cut edges of my stack than the book recommends|
|pink arrows indicate the straight grains of the fabric|
Grouping and Layout
Once I piece and pin all my half hexies together, I like to group them in to "mostly" colored groups.
You can see here, I have a mostly dark group, a mostly green group, a mostly blue group, a mostly light colored group, and a group with a bunch of yellow. No doubt, you will have some hexies that are are tough to place, and these will be good transitional hexies.
Now, on your floor or design wall, layout these hexies in their groups. Use those transitional hexies to move from one color to another. There really isn't any right or wrong here.
Once you have a rough draft, try to move some hexies around, maybe even splitting up a set (waste not want not) to even out your edges. Now take a picture!
Preferably without a cat lying on most of your quilt.
Study your picture and decide if there is anything you want to move around. If not, use it as a reference to make sure your rows end up in the order you wanted while piecing them.
You can also add in your 30 degree triangles at this point to smooth out those edges.
When it comes time to start piecing your rows together, I highly recommend that you pin, A LOT. This is especially important if your hexies have any bias on the exteriors. Perfectly matching up all those points is actually less important than containing some of the stretch. Your quilt will be "busy" enough, so minor imperfections in aligning the seams won't be a big deal, but if one of your bias edges stretches too much, it will be noticeable and may even create a bubble or pleat when it comes to the quilting.