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Saturday, May 9, 2015

100 Blocks Winner and Curves tutorial

I received such wonderful comments about my block. I even got suggestions on what other changes I can make.

One person suggested I rotate the triangle so that you get a diamond in the middle.

When you put it in the quilt you get this.

Another person suggested I put a small snowball block in the corner with the curve.

So when you put it in the quilt you get this.

Both are wonderful ideas! What fun. That just makes me want to play with the block some more.

Now to the winners. The two people who won a copy of the magazine are Kathy Harris and Lori (did not leave a last name). Congrats ladies!

The winner of the fat quarter bundle is Lisa Marie. I will be sending emails to each of the winners to get their addresses so I (and Quiltmaker) can mail the magazines and fat quarters to them.

Many of you said you liked the block but were afraid to do curves. So I am repeating one of my earlier posts about sewing curves.

I did this demo with my Glorified Nine Patch template set. This set comes in a 4", 6" and 9" set. They are available on my website Gateway Quilts & Stuff I also have other sets available including, New York Beauty, Chinese New Year, Hour Glass, and Yin and Yang.

Step 1: Crease the center of one edge of the concave (inny curve) piece and the convex (outy curve) edge of the other piece. Tip, crease one with right sides together and the other with the back sides together. The creases will fit inside each other. Place the convex piece on the bottom, curve and right side up. Place them, right sides together, with the concave piece on top. Pin at the center. I know it looks funny and doesn't look like the pieces will sew together. Pull the top ends to meet the bottom ends. All of the trimmed ends on the two pieces fit on top of each other (with my template sets).

Step 2: Pin the front end and the back end. This is very important. Because these are the edges that move while you are piecing, you need to weave the pin like you are sewing. This holds the edges together as you are sewing and won't twist when you begin and when you get to the end. I like to use Patchwork Pins by Clover that are 0.4mm wide (not long) that are available on my website. These are great pins that slide through the fabric like butter, especially batiks. I add one more pin. This one I weave at the back end of the strip along the seam allowance to create a "T" with the other pin. You can see it in this photo. The first pin is woven up through the two pieces (same on the front end) and the other pin is perpendicular to it and parallel to the seam line. You can also see that the ends of the bottom patch and top patch fit together perfectly.

Step 3: Sew a couple stitches, leaving the needle in the fabric, take the pin out and then grab the center of the block where the center pin is. This is another important step. Pull slightly on the center of the block where the pin is with your left hand. As you do this you can manipulate the fabric with your right hand so the bottom edge and top edge of the fabric are even. Sometimes you only have to do a minimal amount of manipulation. The edges will come together as you pull on the two fabrics. It is difficult to see here because of the dark sewing machine, but if you look carefully the edges are even as I tug slightly on the fabric. Do not "stretch" the fabric too much. A slight tug is enough.

Step 4: As you stitch down the edge, keep a slight tug on the fabric to keep the edges together. Stop sewing at the center pin and with the needle down, remove the center pin. Grab the end of the strip and repeat the tug pulling and continue stitching until the pin pointing towards the foot reaches the edge of the foot. Put your finger on the ball end of the pin and hold it down as you are stitching. The pin will come out as you are sewing. I place my left hand on the other pin to keep the edges of the fabric touching my mole foam (1/4" seam aid). (I couldn't show my left hand holding the pin because it was holding the camera!) If there is any time that it looks like you might get a pleat, simply put your needle down, lift the pressure foot and pull the fabric straight back to straighten it out and then continue to sew. Press towards crescent shape.

This is what it will look like when done. No pleats and a smooth curve.

Now you can do this method with any kind of curves. The only change would be if the curve is a tighter curve like a drunkard's path block, you will need to make small clips with a scissors on the concave piece about 1/4" to 3/8" apart.

I hope this encourages you to try to do curves. They really aren't that hard.

Congratulations to the winners again. I will be contacting you soon. Please come back again soon as I will be having more of my own giveaways with some P&B fat quarter bundles.

As always: Do what you love and love what you do. Thanks for reading, Toby.

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