Between-Meal Centerpiece Wrap-Up

I realized that, despite several updates about my Between-Meal Centerpiece project, I haven’t yet posted the final pics. Here it is, in all its glory. And by that, I mean it’s glorious that it’s finished. 🙂

between meal centerpiece

As much as I like giving my projects as gifts, this one is for me. I love the colors, I love the size, I love the design.

between meal centerpiece

The only thing I don’t love? My serious lack of blocking skills. I try and try, but I still need improvement.

between meal centerpiece

In fact, most of the critical comments I got during judging for the contest (on several pieces) were related to my blocking. I think I’m just impatient to complete the project and don’t spend enough time on the blocking process. Any helpful hints or advice? What’s your blocking method?

between meal centerpiece

This one got a second place ribbon at the contest. Here it is on display – you can also see a hint of one of my other projects peeking in at the right:

between meal centerpiece

See this project on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/BabycakesCreates/between-meal-centerpiece

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Block Party: Between-Meal Centerpiece Edition

After seeing an awesome time-lapse video project that my husband made, I demanded requested a video of my own. He put together a quick time-lapse video while I blocked the Between-Meal Centerpiece.

Many thanks to him for making this video for me.

I have to be in the mood to block a piece, but when I am, it’s so much fun. (And it’s important, as the great Doris Chan explains much better than I can.) That’s when a project really starts to show its true potential instead of looking, as the Between-Meal Centerpiece project once did, like a tangled mess.

Between-Meal Centerpiece

I didn’t really block my projects properly until I had a good way to do it – namely, some good blocking board material. I use Step2 24″ Playmats. A lot of fiber crafters use similar playmats for blocking, and I can personally confirm that they are, indeed, awesome.

Between-Meal Centerpiece

I think 24″ is a nice, generous size for blocking a doily, and I love that they can be connected to block a long piece (such as a scarf) or a larger square piece (such as a baby afghan). These, plus regular old ball-head pins, are my go-to blocking tools. (Side note: ball-head pins, in my experience, are ridiculously hard to find in big-box stores. But why?)

Between-Meal Centerpiece

Usually I just block with water and spray starch. I know that many prefer liquid starch, but that seems like a hassle to me. Convince me otherwise? I’ll try it if it’s worth it. 🙂