Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Hand-piecing

It's always good to have a portable hand-piecing project on the go for those 'hanging around waiting for children' moments.

I suppose for me, a suitable hand-piecing project would have to be one with inset seams; something that is not so lickety split, nice and quick on the sewing machine.

So I had a little rootle around and found this block on Quiltivate

Next thing I did was enlarge it as much as I could so I could print it off my home computer and make templates.

The block is made up of one repeating triangle x four so all I needed to do was enlarge one quarter of the image.



After a few attempts, I managed to get it to the maximum possible size which makes for a 10" block.

I then traced the four templates (the other two shapes in the triangle are just mirror images) on to template plastic. If you don't trust yourself to accurately trace and cut your own templates, then Jeanette told me about an Etsy shop where they will make made-to-measure templates for you.

Obviously, this makes templates without a seam allowance which I personally find easier to work with.

If you cut templates with a seam allowance and (like me) are then too lazy to pencil mark in the seam allowance, you just eyeball your 1/4" as you sew. I know some people struggle with this.

However, if you cut templates without the seam allowance your seam allowance is already marked for you (the lines you traced around the template) and you then only have to eyeball cutting out a 1/4" round the shapes. My cutting is OK but not perfect but that is fine because if you pin the beginning and end of the line between two pieces, the pencil lines on both match up beautifully and you just sew along it.

I'm making slow progress which is fine because that's the whole point of a portable project; an 'as and when I can' type quilt.

So far I have done:


I've gone for total random, scrappy madness with the exception of the centre four kite shapes where I have fussy cut to get a secondary design.
I've then surrounded that with different fabrics/colours but all roughly the same value. The edges are low volume/light.



For the two shapes that have a mirror image, it is also important to mark L and R on the back of each piece as otherwise you'll come a cropper.

I know that from experience.


All told, each block probably takes about an hour and a half, with intermittent pauses, depending on how gripping the televisual viewing is.


And with four made, if you put them together as another larger block, you can see that a lovely low volume kaleidoscope shape appears.



And then you add some more blocks.


And...



...that...



...gets...


...you...


...to...



...this.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday...even though it's not ;-)

I have no idea how long for and how large I am going with this.

But for the moment I am enjoying the slow road.

(If you are cautious about inset seams there is a very good video here to help you)

40 comments:

  1. I've been 'slow sewing' for most of the year, either hand quilting or hand piecing a medallion quilt! Your start is very pretty!

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  2. Oh oh oh oh ohhhhhhh! I love this!!!!!

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  3. Love slow sewing and my wallet too! The blocks look amazing! Lovely scrappy with eyecatching centres!

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  4. Um, just wow! That secondary pattern is brilliant. And thanks so much for the hand piecing tips - I'm about to dive into my first month of the amitie BOM and have never hand pieced before, so it's nice to have a bit of a clue!

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  5. This is brilliant! I quite fancy ripping off your design but then changing the centre to be a star and EPPing it but I have a diamond EPP project in my handsewing pouch to finish first

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  6. Absolutely gorgeous. The centers add just the right amount of order to this scrappy bliss ;)

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  7. Your blocks are beautiful. That website is new to me but I can see me spending a fair bit of time there!

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  8. Gorgeous blocks!! The fussy-cut centers are certainly worth the time!!

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  9. Beautiful stars! Thanks for the insight into your design process and the particulars of how you put them together.

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  10. These are beautiful. I wish I was half as talented as you are!

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  11. I love all your fussy cutting on these beautiful blocks! This is not a road for me yet, I don't have the patience, but maybe one day! It's going to be gorgeous :)

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  12. These are gorgeous blocks - I can see me copying you at some point in the future! I'm a 'trace without the seam allowance and eyeball the cutting' hand piecer - I like the security of a sewing line, mainly because my spatial awareness and estimating skills are appalling so when I attempt to combine them I end up with mess. Or bruises.

    Love, love, love where this project is going!

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  13. Oh my, this is fantastic. I like the idea of the templates without seam allowances so the marked line ends up as the stitching line. After you told me that you didn't mark the stitch lines for the Jazz Hands I've started marking just half of them but couldn't bring myself to stop marking completely.
    Love the fussy cutting.

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  14. Yes! I am so loving this :-D

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  15. Wow, just wow! This is so... wow. I can't stop scrolling back up and looking again. Wow.

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  16. Beautiful work! Your post is very inspiring to us beginning hand piecers.:)

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  17. Oh my - these look SPECTACULAR! Truly amazing, you are so clever!
    Tx

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  18. So ridiculously pretty that I had to comment a second time!

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  20. Hi! :) I'm a new quilter. I've just finished the tops to two twin size quilts via machine. I just discovered your blog during the Sew Mama Sew giveaway and I wanted to let you know that I'm so very inspired by the work you do. I am just amazed... Today's blog has introduced me to quitivate, which I am blown away by. Who knew such a thing even existed? I love the quilt your working on! I have been inspired to try hand sewing a quilt (same pattern)thanks to the little video tutorial you linked us up to. (I have a lot of free time at work and would welcome the opportunity to use the time for quilting!) Thank you so much!! I look forward to seeing what you come out with next!

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  21. Wonderful!!! I am really in awe of your patience!
    Esther
    ipatchandquilt dot wordpress dot com

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  22. Perfect fabric choices! Did I say already that I love your style? 100 times? Oh, let it be 101:)

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  23. Superb - I have just cranked out a few hexies to keep me occupied x

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  24. ohh thats gorgeous, I may steal it for my patchwork ladies who love hand projects

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  25. Gazing at your beautiful quilt is akin to looking through a dancing, vividly coloured kaleidoscope where the juxtaposition of pattern and colour is a visual feast!!

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  26. They are all gorgeous. I love the fussy cut centres and the secondary patterns that they make.

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  27. oh wow...you make hand sewing look intriguing. I don't know if my eyes could handle it though, sewing on binding puts them all in a tizzy. They are so lovely!!

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  28. You always trick me! You tell us about a plan and how you'd do it and then
    TADAAAAA
    You've (as you say: nearly) finished a whole quilt!!
    I'm (again: nearly) lost for words every time!
    And you've really thought the whole colour scheme trhough and through.
    I'm going to call you Turbo Superwoman from now on!!!
    Did I already say it's beautiful?
    It is!

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  29. Wow. What a beautiful collection of blocks. I have only recently discovered Engligh paper piecing and I am slowly working my way thru some hexagons. I am in awe of what you have achieved.

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  30. How beautiful! The colors are divine!!!

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  31. oh do keep going....loving the secondary pattern! Another stunning quilt in the making !

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  32. this is a visual delight, so much to see, I love the secondary patterns that emerge.

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  33. Wow!! Love the koleidescope that is emerging. Patience with a great payoff!

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  34. Really Really lovely! I'm even almost tempted to have a go and I'm NOT a handpiecer- yet!

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  35. Very striking, and I recognise some of my favourite fabrics in there too! Can't wait to see where it takes you :)

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