Curve it Up – Block 12 – Spinning Spools

My final block for the Curve it Up sampler quilt is completed.  I’m writing this from an altitude of over 14,000 feet after having about a day to recover from the pain…


I created this block using the suggested “scrappy” method where the middle of each spool is strip pieced from small scraps at least 5″ wide.   The result was that I misjudged the amount that a long pieced curve stretches while gingerly fed under the pressed foot.  I literally scrapped three spools before I settled on a method that let me trim them to the correct size.

This block requires that you trim to 4 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ by lining up the rectangle on points of both curves.   If your sides stretch, at least one of those points does not fit.

Tip1:   Starch everything.

The starch will help limit movement of the fabrics and seams cut on th bias.  I was not successful until I did this.

Tip 2:  Fewer seams = less chances for stretching as the seam bulk goes under the pressed foot.   ( I tried making the spool using a solid middle, and was successful the first time.)

In the future,  if I am in a scrappy spool mood, I have another idea.  I plan to stabilize the center of the spool using a very lightweight fusible stabilizer.   I think this would eliminate my issues with the bias and stretchy seams.

I’m really looking forward to piecing my borders and sashing next.  I hope your spinning spools go smoother than mine did.   Never give up, even if they make your head spin!   They do turn out pretty.


2 thoughts on “Curve it Up – Block 12 – Spinning Spools

  1. Lorraine Cooper says:

    Hi I absolutely love these blocks and your blogs.
    I think I read that you get some stretching due to bias. A wonderful tip I saw from Marti Mitchell is to cut your the fabric vertically not across the width (from selvage to selvage) because if you take a piece of fabric and hold it in each hand by the selvages try to pull it gently or quickly so you hear a snap – you won’t get a nice crisp snap it will stretch a bit. However if you turn it around and hold it by the cut edges and try to stretch it won’t stretch and you will get a nice snap. More importantly your cuts will always be straight and true and you won’t get any distortion so you can get perfect blocks or quilts every time.
    Bluprint has a class with Marti Mitchell Sew Before You Cut (it makes sense when you have watched it. You don’t have to be a member but for such a small fee monthly or annually you get access to every lesson plus every class and pattern and fabric as pre-cuts or by the yard/metre.
    Here is a tip from the class by Marti
    Cutting Crosswise Yes, you heard right – after all the times you’ve heard me say to cut the strips on the lengthwise grain, in this quilt I cut crosswise. It makes sense economically, but also when you have sewn the strips together and make the second cut, the longest dimension of every piece is on the lengthwise grain for the long seam that goes from top to bottom of the quilt.


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