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Firecracker Sewalong Week 2

June 04 2020 – Lindsey Neill

Firecracker Sewalong Week 2

Firecracker Sewalong Week 2


This week we're doing the fun part...SEWING! Seven firecracker blocks to be exact!

Like I mentioned last week, if you have any directional prints you're using in your Firecracker Blocks you will want to either assemble your flying geese units using the templates or FPP pattern from last week's newsletter. I've attached them to this week's newsletter as well. Click on the red button below to download them!

 If you're going the FPP route, but are new to paper piecing, check out my paper piecing tutorial that's saved to my Instagram highlights!

I think the most common mistake when piecing with templates is not printing the templates at the correct size. Before you print the templates double check your printer settings. In the program I use (Foxit Reader), I can adjust the scale that the image is printed out at (most other programs have this option as well). I select the "Custom Scale" option and make sure the percentage is at 100% (A screenshot of my printer settings is below).

Another option you might see in the program you print from is "Do Not Scale". If you select that it will also print the template at full size. Print out your template page and now, using a ruler, check that the 1" test square box on the page is EXACTLY 1" square. If it's even a little bit off, that discrepancy will add up and result in your block or unit not finishing the correct size.


And now, my favorite method for cutting fabric using a template!

First of all, I print out my templates on regular, nothing fancy printer paper. You could use card stock, but with the method I use it's totally not necessary.

After the templates pieces have been cut out, grab some washi tape and...start taping them to an acrylic ruler (as shown below)! That's it! haha This method is so easy, but a total game changer!

Now, measure the height of your template piece. In this case, template piece #1 measures 3 5/8" tall. Cut out a piece of fabric that's 3 5/8" wide (length of the fabric just needs to be longer than the length of the template). Place the ruler with the taped template on top of the strip of fabric, making sure the bottom edge lines up with the bottom edge of the fabric and cut out the two angled sides!

Now, flip that strip of fabric and utilize that angled cut edge to cut out your next piece by just cutting the angled edge opposite of it! The less cutting, the better, right?

And now my piecing tip! (I've shared this tip many times so keep scrolling if you've heard it before haha)

Anytime I am piecing with bias edges, I use washable Elmer's Glue and a Pile O' Fabric glue tip instead of pins. Why glue and not pins? The glue prevents any stretching or shifting of the fabric when you sew your pieces together - something that can easily be an issue when sewing with those stretchy bias edges.

Just run a thin line of glue along the edge you're sewing, as shown below, and let it air dry while you glue your other pieces or quickly heat set it with your iron. Another positive to using glue vs pins - precise piecing! Since there's zero shifting of fabric while you sew, you'll find that your seams are more accurate and there's less points being chopped off or less distortion in your finished blocks, etc. 

A HUGE shout out to the sponsors and the awesome prizes they donated for the sewalong - $50 giftcard to Sewtopia, bundle of Liana from Ruby Star Society, Mini-iron from Oliso, $20 giftcard to Patchwork Threads, needle minder and 20% off longarm services for all participants from Knot & Thread, two rolls of pre-made binding from Simply MackBeth, and patterns, fabric, and Diagonal Seam Guide tape from Cluck Cluck Sew! Thank you SO MUCH for your contributions!

I hope those tips helped! And I hope you enjoy sewing your blocks this week! Excited to start seeing them on Instagram!

Make sure if you share your blocks on IG to use the hashtag #firecrackersewalong in your caption so you're entered for the grand prize at the end of the sewalong!

Happy Sewing!
<3 Lindsey

And if you need a refresher, here's the Firecracker Sewalong schedule! If you want a copy of the pattern, you can find that HERE!

Tagged: Firecracker Sewalong, Tutorial


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