Monday, May 13, 2013

Perfectly Pieced Curves

It's a beautiful quiet morning and the kids have headed off to school for the day, my youngest still waking up in her crib.  I thought while I had this opportunity I would share some of my project and show you how I chose to piece the curves.

My Current Project - With Pieced Curves 

In the past I would piece my curves the traditional way - with two pieces.  I would use a template, cut my circular patch and the opposite piece to make it square.  No matter how great you are at piecing, it seems that you have to do some finagling to get it just right without stretching the bias or distorting the block.  Even when I piece it just right, it looks played with.  Of course that look generally disappears with quilting, but I like a nice flat smooth quilt top.  I don't like finagling if I don't have to.  :)

Instead of "piecing" per say, I applique'd the circle sections with my sewing machine to the triangles that I used to set my mauve square on point.  I created a paper template with circles the size I wanted them - remembering to include a little extra room in the setting triangle for seams, as well as a little space so my circles don't butt right up against the seam.

I'm going to cover the raw edges with bias tape, so I used my sewing machine to stitch the half circle directly onto the setting triangle using 1/8th of an inch seam allowance.  If I were to applique the raw edge of this piece under I would machine baste the piece to the setting triangle, needle turn the edge under and then remove the basting stitch.

I found and marked the center of my half circle and my triangle, and matched them up.  I pinned being very careful not to stretch the bias edge of the triangle.  I am also a big believer in Sharon Schamber's method of starching fabric - she starches one side, lets it set, then flips the fabric and presses from the opposite side to force the starch into the fibers of the fabric.  Probably other quilters use this method, but I learned it from Sharon so it's hers in my mind.  :)  Since I began doing it this way I've noticed a big difference, very little flaking off of the surface of the fabric...and when it really matters to me that the grain stay put and not travel every which way I starch pretty heavily.

Once I attach the half circle to the setting triangle I simply trimmed away the excess fabric on the back.  I trimmed just shy of 1/4".

Again, being careful not to stretch the bias I attached my pieces to the center square.  This is where all that starching is key.  It keeps everything neat and tidy.

The finished product.  They just turn out really neat and lay really flat and I like that.  In the second photo up top I've already begun to add borders.  I'm so excited to start playing and embellishing this quilt.

 I decided I'm going to do some bead work on this quilt.  I have never done that before and you see pretty beads on all these fantastic show quilts - so I've got to try it!  I wasn't thrilled with the selection of beads available locally but I'm too impatient to wait and order beads.  These were only a couple bucks a pack so I won't feel bad if I decide that I hate adding beads to quilts either.  My celtic knots are going to be in gold and brown.  I did pick up some all purpose thread to stitch them down but I prefer silk.  Jo Ann Fabrics was closed yesterday when I ran out to pick up supplies and their selection of silk thread is limited, so I figured I better buy a couple matching threads just in case they don't have the right color.

Eeep!  I'm looking forward to sharing this progress on this one.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day and is getting some sewing done!  :)

Edited to Add:  I broke down and bought the silk thread!  I happened to get the right cashier at Jo Anns and she let me use three coupons.  Shhh!

1 comment:

treadlemusic said...

Very nice technique. Will be anxious to see how this is finished. Sharon's various methods are working well for me, also. Love your colors. I have only used beads on a few projects but they do add so much! Hugs, D