Thursday, 2 July 2015

Going Off-Piste

Sometimes, just sometimes, I have a flash of an idea.  Everything is glorious on Cloud 9 with my rose tinted glasses on.

Then logic kicks in and I realise that my quilting skill set doesn't quite match my imagination ... does that ever happen to you?

Well it did to me on this occasion ... 
What do you mean I have to sew curves? Eep!
You see, I signed up for the Lizzy House Mini Quilt Swap on Instagram (If you've managed to resist this craze of mini making and swapping then my hat goes off to you!).  

My swap partner owns her own fabric store in the US ... no pressure, hey folks? ... but that's OK, we share a common love for the colour "rainbow" set against low volume backgrounds.  

Another fan of rainbows

I dutifully stalked her and saw that she is getting married soon so I thought that a double wedding ring block would be the perfect mini for her!

But, I'm not skilled up on curves just yet ... so I needed to find a way to create this block other than piecing the dreaded curves.

Sorting colour order on the Design Mattress

Then, along came Quiltsmart ...

They've come up with a clever way that still allows you (and scaredy cats like me) to piece the arcs but then appliqu√© them onto a whole background.  

I was sold, no curved piecing for this little quilter!  But then what's that old saying?  "If it looks too good to be true then it probably ....."

Yes, well.  I did get a bit stung by this method.  Mainly I got tripped up by the template they provided in the kit.  If you know Lizzy House, then you'll know that there are plenty of great fussy cutting opportunities to be had playing with her fabrics and that's just what I wanted to do making this double wedding ring mini.  I pulled out the template and got cutting ... ensuring that I had a good 1/4" seam allowance all the way around so I wouldn't lose any of my fussy cutting when piecing the arcs.

All was going rather smoothly until I had to sew the fabric arcs to the iron on interfacing.  The sew line was much more than 1/4" in from the edge of the template.

The sewing line is the solid line

In fact it was a good 3/4's of an inch!  

That blew my fussy cutting out of the water - especially the pieces that I had added selvedges to - humpf!

I couldn't change direction at this point, I had to keep going ... and keep going I did!  Somewhat off-piste ...  

I could no longer follow the directions for my cornerstones and had to make the sizes up myself with a little bit of thumb sucking and measuring on my cutting mat.

Using my cutting mat to work out the cornerstones

With a bit of trial and pee error I got there in the end ... 

Castle Pee?? Whoops!

... but geez, it felt like hard work.  This was supposed to be easy!  Why would they provide a template ... a see-through one at that ... that encourages fussy cutting and then make the resulting arc so narrow?  Especially as you have to trim to 1/8" seam allowance to allow for a smooth curve when turned anyway.   

Let's just say that this Quiltsmart pattern was not fit for purpose, especially if you want to fussy cut.  But if you're using fabric that you are happy to waste 1.5" per the length of each arc (3/4" at top of arc and 3/4" at the bottom of the arc) of fabric then this is the pattern for you!  Imagine if it was Liberty ... gasp!

So after all that fuss ... here's the finished mini!  

I finished it off with some hand stitching using a red perle cotton to set off the aqua/teal cornerstones.  

My partner has a red and aqua sewing room, so I thought I would add a little nod to that.  

I left the centre of the block empty so that she could embroider her wedding details in the middle as a lasting memory of the special day.

The back is all green and gold ... Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi! and I just had to add some more colour "rainbow" on the back with the leftover selvedges. 

I also sent a little pouch along as an extra ... 

... but I'll do a separate post on that later with a fun selvedge trick for the zip.

Serena xx
PS to find out more about the Lizzy House Mini Quilt Swap .. go to Instagram and search the hashtag #lizzyhouseminiquiltswap  You can find me over there too as @sewgiving


  1. Lovley - it turned out really well in the end and I love the handstitching! Great idea to leave a bit for her to add. Well done you! Sewing skills, improv and quilt math!

  2. It turned out very cute! I hope you'll give curved piecing a try - it's actually not hard at all.

  3. This is fantastic and totally worth the trials and pee in the end! I love the red hand stitching and the salvages you included, so awesome :)

  4. It is so beautiful, Serena - I can tell you worked hard on it and I would be so honored to put my wedding details into this beautiful mini! ;)

  5. I just love this... I've always love the DWR but struggled with how to do it - so many options, all so time consuming! until I discovered the Quick Curve Ruler and now I'm hooked...

  6. It's just lovely Serena and you've done so well. I'm sure she's going to love it. You're such a clever lady and I admire you're ability to make it work and your determination.

  7. Your hard work paid off!! It's an awesome finish.

  8. Regardless of all the is gorgeous Serena! Sometimes things do not work, but you powered through and it is perfect!

  9. The mini is so cute, and I am sure the recipient loves it – quilt shop owner or not.
    After all those struggles, perhaps I should have just shown you how to sew curves. It isn't as scary as it looks.
    The secret selvedge zipper technique sounds intriguing.

  10. It looks lovely Serena, and I'm sure she was delighted to receive it. I know what you mean about bright ideas not working out - it happens frequently to me too. The hand quilting is an extra special personal touch. Well done.

  11. Yes, this happens to me all the time though! You persevered though (which I am coming to understand is a big part of quilting) and the end result is amazing! Love the rainbow colour palette, it's perfect.

  12. For all the hiccups along the way, this turned out SOOO beautifully!! I love every detail of your mini quilt, especially the fussy cutting and selvedges included! All the blood and tears that went into it just make it all the more special (right? can we say that now that it's finished and gorgeous?! :))

  13. It's perfect, love the red hand stitching.

  14. I think you put so much thought and care into this mini for her. Hats off to you! It turned out so beautiful in spite of your insecurities. The fabrics are GORGEOUS!

  15. It's a stunning quilt and I hope you're proud of it - you should be! I don't understand the mismatch between the template and the arc - what did the shop/manufacturer say about it?

  16. Such a lovely finish, well done for not giving up & working it out! (Maybe try curved piecing sometime on a trial block, it's really ok if you pin well!)

  17. This is perfection. Sheer perfection. (Apart from the crappy template! Did you think about emailing them and asking if it was maybe an incorrect template in the kit or something?) I love all the little details and your hand stitching is sublime. Fabulous!!!!

  18. Love it, but so sorry about the hassle with the curves! I'm amazed that you managed to pull it together :-) It is a brilliant mini quilt and I'm sure the recipient will love it.

  19. Sorry to hear about the fuss but the end result is looking good! I love all the little details you put in.

  20. Wow! That mini is amazing!!!

  21. So glad to have the heads up on the template. I think I will take my Dremel and etch the seam lines on the template! Of course, they should do that themselves... Ha! So happy you persevered as the end result is lovely.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...