Thursday, August 14, 2008

Coming together

The local radio station as background wasn't going to cut it today. Motivational music of the day? Weather Report, Traveling Wilburys, Stevie Winwood, McCartney. I'm nothing if not eclectic in my musical tastes.

All arcs for the tie quilt are pieced (provided I don't decide to make it bigger than 16 blocks) so today was playing some with pairings and starting to sew units into blocks. These 4 on the right are my very favorites so I started with them while I tweaked the others.
These of course will not show up in the quilt like this - they will be scatter among the less exciting ones. Conventional wisdom advises that not all blocks need by stars, and some of my combinations are definitely a little plain Jane. The orange hand-dye in these give wonderful spark to what would otherwise be a very dull quilt. That's one of the hazards of working with tie fabric - it often is on the dark side.

I may have shown you before how I sew curved seams, but I thought I'd give a brief explanation in case I haven't. First I needed to remove the freezer paper pattern from the back of the arc. Note that I ran a line of stitching along both curved seam lines.

For no particular reason, I pieced the shorter, tighter curve first. Some people can do this with a few or no pins but I'm not one of them. I use lots which improves my chances of coming out with a pucker-free unit with little distortion. I don't usually insert my pins from the outside in but for some reason it seems to work better on the curved seams. Normally I would sew from this side, but my seam line guide is on the other side, so I flipped it over and followed the stitching.

Voila! A pucker-free join!

Now to sew the "frame" to the arc. I used a freezer paper template to cut out the frame, marking the seam line with a pigma micron pen. I poke the pin through matching up my seam lines, starting in the center, then pinning the ends, and finally working my way along the seam. Again, I use lots of pins. The first one I pieced I skimped and ended up having to take out a 3 inch section to fix a pucker and misalignment. The tricot interfacing makes that particularly tedious.

Last step is to press the seams (they naturally press away from the arc) and square up the block to 6-1/2 inches. I completed 6 blocks today, plus cut the remaining frames. I'm pleased with the progress.


Unknown said...

Good Morning! The very first quilt I ever tried- like about 15 years ago- had a fan design in it. I don't know what I was thinking. Your piecing looks excellent! I also love the glowing orange colors you used- one of my favorites to work with.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks, Miles! I owe any excellent piecing to Judy Mathieson - I was fortunate enough to take a 3 day workshop from her where she showed all of us we had nothing to fear from mariner compass and other fan block designs. Her method is nearly foolproof - everyone experienced success.

Now that I have all the blocks made, I'm wishing I'd added more orange in the mix - it really adds so much.