It was an interesting challenge. It took me about 3 1/2 hours and I did get it done. I had some issues with my pieces stretching and shifting some because when all was said and done my block is 10". So the finished size would be 9 1/2" meaning I lost 1/2" in the process.
When I e-mailed Donna to join the Friday Block Party I mentioned to her my dilemma and she had a couple of good suggestions which were:
"If the fabrics are good quilting cottons and I treat them gently I also find I generally don't have to do much; When I'm using scraps, and care about stretch though (like with the Friday block party block) I use spray starch :-) I mix up starch and put it in a dollar store spray bottle meant for misting plants. (You can also just buy spray starch, but the aerosols make it hard for me to breath so I do the homemade root). I mist the fabric well, let it soak in about 30-45 seconds and then press. If its not really stiff I repeat. Some insects like to eat starch, so I try to pay attention to what gets starched, but works like a charm. Its easiest if you starch before cutting, though after works if you press (don't iron) the pieces too....
One of the courses I took on pressing said there were three things that caused distortion/stretch -- heat, movement and moisture -- all found in the ironing process! If you've got bias edges we were encouraged to really attend to learning to lift and set the iron not glide it..."
So I'm armed with good advice for this coming Friday's block and I'm ready to do battle with the stretching and shifting demons.