Saturday, March 6, 2010

Spiderweb Quilt Directions

Some of the blocks for the wall hanging spider web quilt. It will hang two across and three down. There will be two borders--not sure at this point exactly what each will be but inner one will be about 2 inches and maybe four inches for the outside one, and then a binding that may be made using the left over strings.
This is the process for making a spiderweb quilt. You start with 8 1/2 squares of background material--or whatever size you want--this size will give you about 11 inch squares. Any color background is fine--I wanted black. On back of the square, use a marking pen or pencil to make an X from corner to corner so you'll end up with four triangles. You need to mark the first sewing lines and need a kite shaped template for this. The easiest way to get this kite shape is to have a piece of paper the size of the triangle, fold it in half then measure 2 3/4" from point and 1/4 inch from bottom side of the fold. (There is a different way of making spider web that uses foundation piecing if you look on the web that will show the kite shape). You can see the "kite" marked in several of the pictures.

The strips take a bit of time to cut and you want a variety--I cut them 1 1/4 to 2 inches wide in 1/4 inch increments and across the width of the materials. You want at least 8 different materials--not sure how many I have, but wanted to have a lot of different reds, oranges and blues. There is no rule for this, so if you want to use just a couple different widths that might be interesting--I'd definitely try at least a couple triangles in the kind of mode you're wanting though!! The first strip is sewn right sides together with a 1/4 inch seam to the background, then pressed back--can just finger press, iron it or use a wooden iron so it's flat and ready for the second string. Use a different color and width string for this one and put it right sides together to the first one

Continue adding strings until you get to the end. It is suggested because of the bulk of all the seams that you don't sew within 1 1/2 inches of the end--I'm not too good at
remembering to do that and they sewed together ok.

You can cut strings off as you sew or what I did--after doing the first side, roughly cut the strings off, then start sewing the second side. Your goal is to have the two center strings overlap at the long edge of the triangle so you will have nice points when sewing everything together. Just recently got a quarter inch sewing foot--after I'd sewn all of Randy's blocks without it. Cannot tell you how much easier it is to sew with that foot--I'd pay twice what it cost at the local sewing store!!

Left is a picture of the overlap you want to have. Below is a finished triangle before squaring off or ironing. Below that is the finished triangle on the back showing what needs to be cut off to square it. And you can see part of my "stash" of strings I keep in front of the machine to pick from. They're all mixed up -- no rhyme or reason but I was using various prints with reds, oranges, blues. You want to make sure you use a good variety of widths and prints on each triangle. When I'd sewn most of the triangles for the wall hanging I'm doing, I checked to make sure that there were at least a few of every print among all the strips. When I found there weren't some duplicates, I put a pin in that print and made sure it was included on the remaining triangles. Since some of the strings came from my super jumble jars, there wasn't a match for a couple--oh, well!! the very pointy ends of the sewn strips, I sew just a little bit in from the end so the background and last string are together--don't have to do that, but mostly I do so don't have to worry about that little string getting bunched up. Another thing I've had to do is unpick a couple seams because I wasn't as careful about pressing down the previous strip--then I had to use thread that matches the next string to top sew it down--a pain, so try to press better!!

Here's a finished block. When I sewed the triangles together, I tried very hard to have the inner points of the star meet really well--see the orange/yellow meeting the red on red floral. Then when sewing the two halves together, I made sure the centers "locked" together by having the top seam go up and the bottom seam go down. I also found that if I sewed that center area first, then went out to the ends, they matched up better--sometimes you have to stretch one of the pieces a little to get them to do exactly what you want. As you can see, I'm not so good at always making sure they match up at the star points!!

I wanted black for the background, but have seen these done with various backgrounds. This is mostly done with strips in red, oranges, and blues. I think you could do all sorts of fun arrangements--rainbow colors like in my rainbow quilt, various dotted materials. I'm thinking might eventually try doing something like a bright pink background and then black/white prints--don't know if that would work, but want to try eventually. You could also do the same process but put a couple of the stringed triangles, with plain black, or one stringed triangle per block with solid triangles in the colors of the strings--whatever strikes your fancy.


Vicki said...

so pretty--I love the black background.

Dielle said...

Gorgeous! And great job on the tutorial!