Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Zen and the Art of Hand Sewing

Greetings fellow crafting and quilting enthusiasts taking part in Blogathon Canada. I'm happy to be participating again this year, and excited to get acquainted with, and be inspired by, other Canadian makers. To find out more about the event, head on over to the Sew Sisters blog, and be sure to stop by and visit today's Albertan hosts: Leanne at She Can Quilt, and Kelsey of Everyday Fray. Did I mention that there are prizes?

So what have I been up to lately? Well, there wasn't much time to spend in my sewing room this past summer, and I started looking for a way to get my sewing fix without having to spend hours in the cold dark basement. The solution: hand piecing.

I started out with a fairly simple Wheel of Fortune block inspired by the Spin It Again quilt from Vintage Quilts Revival. I traced out all of the pattern pieces on foundation paper using my laptop screen as a lightbox, and then stuck them in a ziplock bag with some scraps of rainbow and background fabrics, my needle book, clips, and some airline-friendly scissors. A week later, I had most of a quilt block completed and a new addiction.


Foundation piecing done this way turned out to be much more approachable for me. It's easier to hold the fabrics in place and see what I'm doing when things aren't zipping by at sewing machine speed.

I ramped up the complexity a bit for my next attempt, with the Starlight block from the Quilting Gallery's Delightful Stars QAL. I decided, in my naive enthusiasm, to change the order of assembly to make the seams nest together more tightly. The result was in fact the opposite, and it made my points a little bit unbalanced. Important lesson learned. It isn't particularly noticeable though, and I'm really happy with the block.


I also attempted to adapt an English paper piecing design so that it would result in a square block (without applique). I came across this excellent Rose Star tutorial over at Summerfete. It not only shows how to draw the templates from scratch, but also has some examples of how to set it into the background by adding hexagons. I look forward to many more hexagon-turned-square EPP blocks in the future.


Stay tuned for the next hand pieced sampler block, a Circle of Geese, which is only one goose short of completion!

8 comments:

  1. Very interesting blocks...over from Blogathon Canada.....from NB

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  2. I love that Spin it Again block - that is definitely my favourite quilt from Vintage Quilt Revival! I will have to try sometime too! :)

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  3. those blocks are stunning...love your colour choices

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  4. Visiting today from the blogathon - my first time to your blog. Your hand pieced blocks are beautifully done and I am absolutely coveting yoru bookcase runner. I will visit again!

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  5. Wonderful blocks! I have often wondered if hand piecing would make my pp blocks more accurate. I must try it.

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