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Awesome Ocean's Preppy - three tips for making a happy pod

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Awesome Ocean's Preppy - three tips for making a happy pod

We are well and truly past the half way mark in our Awesome Ocean journey.  Stitching these sweet sea creatures each month is just the right pace.  There is plenty of time for stress- free sewing, but it feels like we are making consistent progress as well.  If you'd like to join in you can sign up here

I'm a bit partial to whales and here in Hervey Bay we are lucky to have humpback whatels in the Bay for several months a year.  They stop off for a few days rest during their annual migration and its a major part of the tourism industry here.

So needless to say, I have been looking forward to making Preppy and he didn't disappoint.

If you just want to make the Preppy quilt these tips will still help.  You can grab a pattern here

Preppy is the first time we have  been let loose on the fabrics in Group 2 and its nice to finally add these Reef prints into our project.  You can check out all of the fabrics in Elizabeth Hartman's Reef collection here 

Elizabeth Hartman Reef fabric

Here are my three tips for making Preppy

1. Make the most of your fabric

When cutting your background fabric, don't bother cutting the 1.5" strip as instructed in the pattern.   You can easily cut pieces N and L from the excess left over after cutting your M and O strips.

2. Be careful with the directional fabric

There are some large pieces in Preppy, so it will be really obvious if some of those larger scale and directional prints (like the kelp and, seahorse ones)  are running the wrong way.

My first tip is to have a close look at the diagram Elizabeth Hartman has included at the bottom of page 13.  This will set you up for success.

Its relatively straightforward to manage directional prints in Preppy's head and body units, but things get a bit trickier when sewing the angled seams for the tail

I found  I needed to flip the corner of the squares (pieces F and I) back before stitching to double check that I had the print running in the right direction.

Its sort of the opposite of what you'd expect, but I found that if I had the seahorses heads to the left, like this , then a quick pivot clockwise before stitching worked a treat for me.

preppy directional fabric1

3 Cutting the mouth strip down

This is the first time we have trimmed a rectangle piece back to size after stitching in this project, and it is important to take your time and be as accurate as you can with the mouth.  Any wobbles will really stand out in that Kona Pepper.

align ruler

I used both the 1/2 and 1/4 inch marks on my rule to be extra certain my cut was nice and straight..  I lined up the 1/2 inch mark on the stitching line, but before I cut I double checked that 1/4 mark was covering the Pepper folded seam allowance before cutting. 

Hopefully you can just make it out below.

Once trimmed there is just one seam to stitch the D rectangle to the bottom and the head unit is sorted. 

Granted, this strip is narrower than the others we have sewn, but the same principle applies.    Line up the edge of the foot with the row of stitching (with other strips we used the seam allowance) on the left hand side like this. If you have sewn that first seam with an accurate 1/4 inch seam you should notice that your needle is coming down exactly at the edge of the seam allowance.

Don't focus on that needle going up and down though as it is a sure-fire way to lose track and make a wobble.

So there you go - another couple of seams to join the head, body and tail and your little pod will be completed.

Preppy pod

Next month we will be making Tony the Turtle.  Can't wait!

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