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linda@surroundedbyscraps.com
Portland, OR

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Handmade quilts and home accessories by fiber artist Linda Nussbaum. See samples of past projects as well as pieces available for sale and inspirations for custom orders. To see what is currently available for sale, please visit my Etsy Shop.

Blogger Archive

A Bigger Spiderweb

Linda Beth

July is my turn to host the Seams Perfect Modern Scrap Bee on Flickr. For months I've known more or less what I would like to do, but have struggled with ways to convey it to my bee-mates. I have my mind set on a spiderweb quilt, primarily in greens and browns.


I want to make this as easy as possible for the girls to have the templates they need without too much extra work or wasted fabric, but I am finding that this might be a losing battle. There are several good resources online for tutorials and paper-piecing templates for the spiderweb block, but most that I have found either run smaller, or have the wrong orientation, or just don't fit, for some reason. That said, here are some links to a couple of the resources that have caught my eye:

Quilter's Cache - Easy Spider Web has what she says is a 12" paper template here, but I've found it actually FINISHES at 12.5". I've added a detailed description of how to adjust this so that it comes back down to a 12" finished block, for those who prefer paper-piecing. Also, the orientation of these blocks is opposite of what I envision, but I think that can be easily remedied by joining the paper-piecing templates on a different edge.

Heather Bostic's tutorial at {House} of A La Mode - http://alamodefabric.blogspot.com/2010/06/spider-web-quilt-block-tutorial.html

Elizabeth Hartman's tutorial on Sew, Mama, Sew - http://sewmamasew.com/blog2/2010/04/spiderweb-block-sew-along/

Now, to achieve my optimal goal, I'm going to combine a couple of different techniques. The ladies at Seams Perfect are welcome to choose whichever suits them best (and I'll be sending out little helpers at some point next week).

For doing Fabric Foundation:
In looking through some of the different tutorials, I found Heather's at A La Mode Fabrics to be the clearest for me. She and Elizabeth use a similar foundation piecing method, but the dimensions in Heather's tute (and the overall finished look of her blocks) is much more like what I have in mind, and she does a great job with the photo illustrations and explanations. Now, for my bee-mates who do choose to follow Heather's tutorial here, we are going to make a couple of adjustments:
*First of all, if you prefer to do paper-piecing instead of fabric foundation just follow her instructions on a piece of newsprint or other light-weight paper product. The only real difference is that you will need to start by cutting out pieces of your fabric for that center "kite" section. I will be sending templates for that step shortly.
*We are going to be doing a slightly different size than this tutorial. Where she begins with a 12.5" square of foundation fabric (which is the fabric that shows as your center star or kites), we are going to increase that to 13.25".
The only other change that comes along with this increase is in marking the 2 shorter sides... she says to make marks at 6" up from the bottom corner, but if you could please use the templates I send as your guide, that way everyone has a consistent gauge, regardless of which method she chooses. The easiest way to do this is to line up the right angles at the top and the center point at the bottom inside the 1/4" seam allowance, and mark the long edges along the template. (this SHOULD also be the equivalent of marking 3 3/8" from the top corner (the 90 degree angle) on each side.)

(using Heather's tutorial, but started with a square just slightly too big)
(my second attempt using the same method, with the dimensions listed above)

For printing a Paper-Piecing Template:
I did a test run with the paper-piecing template from Quilter's Cache at this link, and though I did have to make a couple of minor adjustments, it was pretty easy to get it. So, if you prefer using a paper-piecing method, I do ask that you either go with those printouts, following the adjustments I am about to go over, or use Heather's fabric foundation method converted onto newsprint.

The page as it prints from the website - you will need 4 of these for each block

Cut the two triangles apart, leaving the seam allowances intact EXCEPT along the side of section 3 on the piece that does not have the website ID written over it... the piece on the right in the photo above.

Mark a guide line 1/4" INSIDE the printed line on section 2 of the other piece.

Take a glue stick and apply from that line you just marked out to the edge of the paper. Place the other triangle on top, lining up the edge without a seam allowance to the guide line you drew on.

As you can see, because we've changed the size of the template, the center kite guide lines are now uneven. We are going to utilize the fabric foundation piecing method for the next step, just to get back on track. Start by folding the triangle in half so that your points match up accurately. Crease the center, then unfold.



Make a mark where the center crease meets the inside line along the bottom of the template.

Now, using the template I will be sending (or have sent), match the bottom points and the top 90 degree angle and edges, then mark along both sides of the template. This will give you your paper template to start sewing with! (trust me, this process is much quicker than it appears in this step-by-step explanation!!)


Next, choose your solid fabric for your center star on your block, and using the (to be) sent template, trace around, keeping the seam allowances intact, and cut out on your traced lines.



Start your block by lining up the edge of the center piece along the right guideline you marked on the paper template (fabric facing up), then lay one of your strips face down, with the raw edge along that same line. Continue working out from there, pressing open after each strip.
(the finished paper-pieced block)

I had drafted this on my EQ7 program, which has had its benefits, but one of the drawbacks is, though I can access a printable paper-piecing template myself, it won't let me convert into a PDF or JPEG file, nor could I get it to print accurately when I selected Legal paper, in the hopes that I could just print for everyone without having to tape different sheets together (and wasting a ridiculous amount of paper, the way they align the pattern!)
(made with the EQ7 paper-piecing printouts... but couldn't find a way to replicate)

So, we are going with alternate options. Hopefully this post has made some sense, and allows everyone to work within a good comfort zone, but still giving enough guidelines to be clear. If anyone has any questions, do not hesitate to ask me!


Happy quilting!