Last year, Jeannette of Gone Aussie Quilting asked if I'd be interested in joining an Aussie quilting bee (obviously I said yes - she is amazingly talented and I was quite chuffed to be asked :o) ). It started up in January, and our queen bee chose feather blocks for her month. Being the awesome person she is, Lorena also organised to get templates made for those of us who were interested - which I was. Pretty much every piece of these blocks have bias edges, so my thinking was that templates would make it a whole lot easier. I think it was a good decision - I'd like to make a few more for a cushion at some stage.
I did encounter a few swear-inducing moments with these (not due to the pattern - it's really well written. Due to me not reading it properly...) For the other bees I'm in, we work from stash which has it's pros and cons. Picking fabrics each month takes quite a while, but if you stuff up, at least it's your own fabric you're wasting. For AusMod bee, we are sending fabric out for our month's blocks - which makes it a whole lot easier on the brain (not having to pick stuff out) but also a whole lot more stressful when you stuff it up royally. As I did. Of course.
I happily pieced my strips together and cut my feather pieces. It wasn't until I went to start piecing them that I realised I'd cut all eight the same orientation, instead of flipping the template over for half of them. And I didn't have enough fabric left to cut more - so I shamefully had to ask Lorena for more fabric (which she was wonderful about thankfully!!!) It all went together fine after that :o)
Most of the reason these worked out was that I'd already stuffed up while making the other lot of feathers - this time for Lucy in Scrappy? Sew Bee It. These were meant to be made last October (yeah, I'm really on top of things as usual!), so thanks for being so patient Lu!! No cutting mistakes this time - but I did have to re-sew the side parts
four a few times.
My biggest tip with these would be use copious amounts of starch - all those bias edges are pretty scary, but starch really helps. Also, take them slow and take the time to check which edge of the background pieces you're meant to sew. It'll save a lot of unpicking (I know this from experience, trust me!!) I think next time I will paper piece the strippy parts too - I'm not a fan of piecing long strips of fabric, mostly because I find it really challenging to keep them from warping (even when they're starched). Any tips on avoiding that would be greatly appreciated :o)
So I'm nearly up to date with my bee blocks - just need to make January's block for Scrappy Sew Bee It (and Feb's for all three bees obviously - I'm not that organised ;o) )