stack n whack questions answered

amazingcmJuly 7, 2007

First off I took a two day class The first night we cut and the second day we sewed.. It seems pretty easy now but I was very intimidated at first.. Seemed so complicated.

I have the book Magic stack n whack quilts. I got it off ebay for like 8.00. It is very self explanatory. I did a large lap size.

What you do is figure out your repeat on your fabric. cut out 8 strips of duplicate repeat (lot easier than I thought it would be) stack them up perfect pinning every little bit.

We stuck a pin through all layers at one point starting in the middle and working out. If the pattern has less than a 13 inch repeat we had to cut two stacks.. Then you cut 6 1/4 strips from that then make your 6 1/4 squares and cut diagonally... then put them together... etc...

Choosing the fabric was the hardest for me but after going to the class the ladies used lots of different things... One lady even used the necked policemen like the construction workers we found in Oklahoma.. Very nice looking pin wheels..

Now that I have finished one can't wait to get the time to do one where I can kind of pick out my centers.. I did stop and pick up fabric for two more right after the class but they will wait till later... hope this answers some questions... grace

These would be good examples of stack n whack fabrics but there are so many more ideas out there...

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I'm so glad you posted that. I have the same book, but no class, and have cut out all the pieces for my first S&W quilt. It is going to be the one on p.72, called Hexagon Star. (I finally found a fabric with some of the bright Mexican colors I loved so much in Crafteedee's quilt.) It is going to be queen-size, maybe too ambitious for my first attempt, but my bed is suffering with only a white blanket on it right now!

Can I ask you some questions?
(1) I may have been scatterbrained and missed some directions in the book, but am I right in assuming that each time before you cut a new strip of the 6-layer or 8-layer fabric pile, you go through the whole process of pinning through them vertically here and there, so as to make sure the patterns all line up?

(2) This is a question about the instruction to place the triangles in such a way that the straight of goods comes on the outside of the hexagon, while you sew the triangles together along the bias lines.
I made the mistake of buying a striped fabric, so if I cut and sew the triangles exactly as the book directs, every hexagon is going to have radiating spokes in it, slightly varied, because of the stripes, but basically like this:

So I decided to turn the triangles for some of the hexagons, which means that I sew a bias edge to a straight-of-goods edge and all the edges of the hexagon are on the bias:

And then I decided I wanted some concentric-patterned hexagons, so I sort of fussy-cut more triangles:

My question is this: So far, so good. The hexagons themselves have come out more or less OK, but did the instructor say anything about *why* their outside edges should not be bias? Is the sky going to fall when I start stitching the background triangles to the hexagons and putting the top together?

Here is a link that might be useful: My inspiration: Crafteedee's quilt

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 1:29PM
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I made my S&W quilts from the same book as Amazinggrace and added background fabric to each block. I made sure that the background fabric's outer edge was cut on grain and didn't worry about the pinwheel.

Four have a HST.
Four have a strip.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 1:54PM
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1. yes.. I lined up my entire piece before I cut anything.
then I could cut as many strips as was possible that is how I came up with the little 4" ones.

2.No mention of bias at class. All that was mentioned about that was to be very careful when you iron to just press and not stretch your fabric..

Hope this helps I love you print.. It is so suprising how the same fabric can come out so different..

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 1:56PM
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Forgot to address your question. The bias edge can stretch and get wavy. When I did a tumbling block I tried to sew a bias & a straight together with the bias against the feed dogs. I pinned the daylights out of them if needed.

I use a water soluble stabilizer for free motion embroidery. I cut the excess off before washing and save it. I would grab some of that if I had two bias edges that needed to be sewn together and I was worried about stretching.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 2:00PM
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Grace: Thanks a lot for answering. I guess that means a lot more pinning than I have done for this quilt. Oh, well, better results next time, and anyone who criticizes the way my triangles match up will be asked to ride a galloping horse through the bedroom! Warned you only to "press," did they? Heh, heh, I am an ironer, not a presser, so I guess I'd better mind my P's and Q's.
I noticed just now, that in spite of cutting individual triangles for the third type of hexagon, I still managed to get two of them with different patterns in the pink stripe! OK, here's a new rule: If the person making the quilt finishes a block, irons it, and takes a picture and posts it
without noticing a discrepancies, it's OK to leave them. And I'm going to!!

Glass, Thanks for that suggestion about the stabilizer. If I find the bias edges give me trouble, that's what I'll use, and what a good idea to cut the excess off before washing!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 3:54PM
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I've been making the hexigons now and love that process. I use the book One Block Wonders. I pay no attention to bias as it is a straight edge in one seam or another. I saw no reason it had to be the outside necessarily. It seems to come out alright and you just be sort of careful with it.

I agree with this One-Block author that I shouldn't use a pattern with a stripe or plaid as you have to try and line things up. I use large flowered or abstract things. I get in trouble with too many colors. They don't always blend well when you try and assemble the hexigons. It says to leave the offenders out and so far, I've only set a couple aside.

I love the watercolor-quilt aspect of this process and the placing them on the design wall like painting with them. With the hexigons, you have equilateral triangles so have three different arrangement of the six till you get one you like. I sometimes have spokes, sometimes bullseyes. I think the fun is in the surprises.

My only problem now is I keep finding more potential fabrics and the piles are growing. Better get busy hacking it up. I line each pile up carefully with the pins like mentioned previously and then as I cut off each triangle pile of six, I move pins as necessary to maintain the alignment. I just make little piles of the triangles offsetting each from another and take the stack to the machine.

Next I'm going to play with reversing every other triangle so it's no longer a pinwheel but something more abstract.

Please keep posting on this as you master the plan. I love hearing of what others are doing.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 11:28PM
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Stack N Whack can be addictive! Since I made mine (only one so far), I have a tendency to look at fabrics differently then I did before. I think the whole process is such fun and I love the fact that each block is completely different. I just love looking at all the blocks.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 10:24AM
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Boy am I pleased to have found this post, now do you rip the piece of fabric down the middle before you start anything? I have all the S&W books but that seems to be a dramtic step, I have yds of Hawaiian print fabric my LQS said made the S&W up nice but they do not have classes of any kind, just keep selling books and fabric and telling us its easy, I even brought some kind of mirror they said I needed am following this post close the first attempt I tried didn,t go to well.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 10:44AM
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The repeats going lengthwise are identical. The repeats going across are close but not identical. I can verify this because I made some S&W pinwheels going across. I was being thrifty and saving money. Those pinwheels have different spokes so to speak. I can see the difference - others probably can't. You rip it down the middle and add the 'other' half to your stash.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 12:54PM
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Glass: Couldn't you use the other half just the way you did the first one, so long as you used the repeats vertically? That's been puzzling me.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 9:17PM
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Yes, on a different set of pinwheels. You get a lot of triangles from the first bundle and don't really need the other half for your quilt. Unless your making matching sets.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 10:17PM
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OK, good. Thank you, Glass. I am considering putting some smaller hexagons in the border because I liked them so much in Grace's recent quilt.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 10:47AM
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