Friday, February 19, 2010

This is a picture I developed in EQ5 to show what you are working on for me. You will not be doing a total bear claw as I think that would be a bit much to ask of you. But, most of the work in this quilt will be creating all those center blocks of the bear paw. So, I thought you would be happy to pull this off for me. The designs I put in this picture are just a few of the different ones I will be having my groups sew up and I will also probably be changing some color background. Anyhow, have fun. Fabric went out today!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How I Sew...

Checking for seam allowance. Make sure there is an adequate amount to sew, I usually try to make it about a quarter inch. I hold mine up to the window so I can see through the paper.

Just another view of the alignment process. Keep in mind that paper piecing patterns are printed in reverse. With this particular pattern, it doesn't really matter, but if you were to be doing something directional like a letter or number, it would make a difference.

Teeny, tiny stitches. If I go smaller than this, which is about 2.5 on my machine, the feed dogs freeze. This is an okay stitch length for me as the paper tears wonderfully!

Goofing with the color, but ready to sew pieces 1 and 2 together. Edited to say: Make sure you sew on the line, otherwise your block will change sizes. Should have said that in the beginning. Duh!

See my wrinkly paper? A bit too much water. Thankfully it ironed out and didn't mess me up. Done that, too. Grrr! Always press towards the higher number. (You are right, you can't actually press the other way.)

Trim your seems as you go, that way you won't be trying to cut under seems at weird angles. It doesn't work so well.

Another way to check your fabric to make sure it will cover your piece. Piece three hasn't been sewn yet. I folded on the seem line to see where the fabric I am about to sew will fall. (Does that make sense?)

I iron flat to squash the threads, then press open. I also use homemade spray starch when pressing the seems. My recipe: Spray bottle of water with about a tablespoon of cornstarch. Shake before spraying!

When I put all of my pie pieces together, I leave my papers on, and here is why: I sometimes make my pieces a wee bit wonky and have to cross my fingers that there will be enough fabric beyond the sewing line to actually hold them together. If I trim my pieces to size and tear off the paper, I can't tell where to sew. It works for me, though it may not actually be the "right" way to do things.

A little hint for the last piece. If you center the "tail", which is green in this photo, with the point of piece one, life will be great.

Larger view of piece placement. You can see the sewing ling and the cut line of the fabric through the paper. I live in sunny AZ, so I just use the window behind my machine as a light sourse, but if I am piecing at night, I just put a lamp on the floor and use that. (Try not to look at the bulb without paper there, ouch!)

Cutting for Paper Piecing


Pattern lain out. I put them out so that the numbers face different directions than the neighbors.

The first time I made this block, I got all the pieces in wrong.  
It was U-G-L-Y!  Now I draw out a picture so I don't make that mistake again.

You can't really tell in this pic, but the folded edge is the short edge.  
You can get 5 templates across this ~9 inch piece.  
I folded it up so I could cut a BUNCH at once!!

I cut through four layers.  
It literally took me six cuts of my rotary blade to get 20 pieces.

I should mention that I don't cut exactly on the template.  
I give myself some extra wiggle room. And I made the template HUGE!!

You can also fold your strip in half and make fewer cuts.

I will now go make a block and post that in a bit.  
Hopefully it will equal better pictures for you all now that it sunny out...

Friday, February 12, 2010

February fabric where are you?

Is it just cause my mail service was out? I don't want to get behind. Am I the only one without fabric?