(noun) Something hard to understand or explain
That's the name of this block. Amy Friend, of Made During Quiet Time blog, is one of the designers for Sizzix. She provided a tutorial on the Sizzix blog for how to make this block using your die cutting machine. One of my goals for this year is to learn to use my die cutting machine better, so I decided to participate. And here's the block I made from her tutorial. Don't look too close at some of those points and how they match up (or don't, as the case may be!).
The block is aptly named, as Amy says. It's not the easiest block to put together. It's really not that hard, in one sense, but I tell you, I did my fair share of ripping on this block! (By the way, this is no fault of Amy's. The tutorial is awesome! I just struggled with some of my own issues!)
I learned a lot about die cutting with this block.
Lesson 1: Like anything else, die cutting really is a skill that takes practice! I need a lot more practice.
Lesson 2: If you are going to layer your fabric to cut multiple layers at the same time, put both fabrics right side up. I folded a piece of fabric in half to cut multiple parallelograms at one time. The die cut two at a time. I thought I'd be smart and cut four at a time. So, I folded my fabric wrong sides together. Oops. I got two parallelograms going one way and two going the other way. I got to practice cutting again as a result.
Lesson 3: Really check your dies carefully before you start cutting. The yellow and pink triangles are half-square triangles. I didn't order that die for the Sizzix cutter I have (which, by the way, Sweet Pea loves cutting paper and fabric with), because I thought I had a die with my Go Baby! that would work. I learned you really have to look carefully at the dies and how they are labeled. Also, when I went to cut the black triangles, I had another quarter-square triangle die that was just a bit bigger. I didn't read the label on the die carefully enough and cut the wrong size. I got to practice again.
For the yellow and pink triangles, I had to fudge it and just figure out what size to cut the triangles, since I didn't have the appropriate die on hand. That was not fun. I am not good at that sort of thing. It took some trial and error. I ended up just cutting them big and then trimming down after I sewed. I was working out of my scrap drawer, so my trials and errors meant I screwed up some pieces and then didn't have enough of the pink fabric to finish the block (after making two sections). Dang! So, those went down as practice blocks, and I started over. (I'll save them for the back or something.) On my second try, I couldn't find a good coordinating brown fabric in my stash, so I just used the same fabric for the quarter-square triangles as I did for the parallelograms. (I'm pretty confident I did have a nice fabric that would match, but my stash is such a mess, I didn't feel like working that hard to dig for it! haha)
Lesson 4: All of the above taught me to have all the dies you need for a project before you begin. Amy posted a second block on the Sizzix blog, today....Bachelor's Puzzle. Another puzzle for us! :-) I'm looking forward to solving that puzzle, too. However, I am not going to make any more blocks until I get the right half-square triangle die, because....
Lesson 5: Die cutting is pretty awesome. For the pieces I did have the dies for, I was done cutting in about 30 seconds, and the pieces were perfectly cut. I could really dig die cutting!
I recently received these neat fabrics from Riley Blake as a gift. (Thank you, Riley Blake!!) It's called Cotton Shuffle. I thought it would make a great "blender" fabric. When I saw that Amy decided to offer a series of blocks using the same dies, I thought, "I'm in!" I wanted to use these fabrics for the project. I think I'm going to make my blocks multi-colored and use at least one fabric from this stack in each block. Then, I'll grab other fabrics from my stash to go with them. We'll see how it turns out. I'll keep you posted!
Hope you had a good weekend. It's raining here today. But at least it's not snowing!
Until next time,