This finish of Metro Hoops by Sew Kind of Wonderful, using the Quick Curve Ruler is truly a happy one for me. I thought I would share my thoughts on the construction experience and give credit to some things that were helpful to me.
At the start I had a lot of issues with the pattern instructions and my inability to grasp them. The curved piecing was easy, it wasn't that. Before I even got started on making the blocks, Dawn White sent me some notes containing a few tips to make the curved piecing a simple matter. The Sew Kind of Wonderful website also has some helpful video tutorials on sewing curves.
My issue was that the instructions how to square up the blocks was very confusing to me, and I was close to tossing the entire project in the trash until a clever reader (Liz A.) emailed me a tip that made all the difference. You see, the blocks have corner squares that absolutely need to match up, or you will be very frustrated with the look of things.
Once I started trimming the blocks properly things lined up and went together very nicely.
After getting through making this project I have a couple of tips of my own for those of you brave enough to tackle it.
1) Start with a simpler Sew Kind of Wonderful pattern, such as Urban Winter. I actually set Metro Hoops aside and made Urban Winter to see if I could achieve good results with the curved piecing and squaring up instructions. No issues with that pattern. After that, I went back to Metro Hoops with more experience and a better mind set.
2) If you do decide to make Metro Hoops, use fabric that isn't your most precious. In other words, you won't be sick if it gets wasted. Because you will waste a lot of fabric. There will be plenty of blocks you have to toss because you can't square them up right or have some other issue with.
3) Have lots of extra fabric. Because as I said in point #2 you will be wasting it. You need fabric to spare.
4) Use spray starch and plenty of it. Spray starch is the only thing that is going to get these blocks to lay flat and behave.
The fabrics I used were a jelly roll of Oh My! by Sanae and a gazillion yards of plain unbleached muslin I had in my stash. I had plenty of fabric left over and could have made extra blocks to make the quilt larger (and also wasted about a dozen blocks that wouldn't square up right).
My spray starch of choice was Mary Ellen's Best Press.
Am I pleased with the end result of this pattern? Yes, definitely. I like it a lot.
Would I recommend the pattern? Hmmm, yes, but it would be helpful if the square up instructions in the pattern were revised to be clearer, or if Sew Kind of Wonderful would post an additional tutorial on how to specifically square up blocks that have these tricky corner triangles that must line up perfectly. I would not recommend this as your beginner Sew Kind of Wonderful pattern choice.
Will I use Sew Kind of Wonderful patterns and the Quick Curve Ruler in the future? You bet I will. These patterns are some of the most interesting looking ones I have seen in a while, and it was fun to be challenged. In fact, I have been working on a third Sew Kind of Wonderful pattern called Metro Lattice that I can't wait to show you more of.
Best of all, I have to once again thank the generosity of my readers for sharing their tips and experience with me. The staff at Sew Kind of Wonderful was also very responsive, emailing me back with ssuggestions when I communicated with them that I was having issues. The internet makes this sewing experience like one big class, doesn't it?