I finished sewing all the diamonds together for the background layer of the Gerber daisy wall hanging. I'm very pleased with how it turned out and this is what it looks like.
I now just have to add the narrow pink border and the wider mid to dark green border. I'm going to wait until I have my pink Gerbers cut out and placed against the background so that I can then audition the border fabrics to make sure I pick the ones that will best compliment both the background and the flowers.
Now working with these diamonds and the bias edges does have its challenges, the biggest ones being that you don't distort or stretch the diamonds while sewing &/or pressing them. When I first ironed all my fabric I did use some spray starch. I found this helped with the cutting of the diamonds as well as in the sewing of the diamonds. When it came to ironing the rows of joined diamonds Jan Krentz recommended to make an ironing template to keep the strips straight when you press them. All you needed was a plain piece of cotton fabric and then just draw on it parallel lines the width of your rows of diamonds. Then you just pin it to your ironing board. This is what my cloth looks like.
Then you lay one of the rows of diamonds so that it is aligned between the lines that you have drawn. As you iron make sure that you keep the row in place. I found using this cloth kept my row nice and straight and nothing got distorted. I also used a dry iron since in the past I have found that using steam can distort blocks with bias seams. Here is what one of my rows looks like on the pressing template.
The next challenge is joining the rows and getting the intersections to align. Jan had several methods outlined in her book. I tried a few, some sort of worked, but not consistently enough for me. I think it is something that does take practice. I did though find one method that seemed to work for me. It was the one where you actually take each row separately and without any thread in the sewing machine, go and stitch just at the seam area a 1/4" line to mark your fabric. Here is a picture of a row at the machine being stitched.
This is what it will look like after you take it out. Please note that the holes the needle leaves works well in tight weave fabrics like batiks, but if you have loose weaves then this method might not work so well.
Now that you have your fabric marked, take a pin and stick it at the stitched line into the seam of the two fabrics.
Do the same to the second layer of fabric.
Finish pinning the two sections together.
Continue doing this for all the intersecting seams and then sew your 1/4" seam. This is the end result that I got with this method. I did have a few intersections that I had to rip out and redo, but for the most part I got really good matches.
So this weekend I'm going to be busy with making my Gerber daisy patterns for the 5 flowers and then getting all the pink fabrics prepped and cut. That should keep me busy.