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Posted by on Jul 9, 2014 in Featured, Works in Progress | 42 comments

Nobody’s Perfect

Nobody’s Perfect

A quick update from my last post, I have found the missing comments that weren’t getting emailed to me! I’ve been replying to them and should be caught up now. :)

I will never claim to be perfect, but some days I’m even less perfect than normal. In the spirit of not always showing just the successes, here’s my progress for the week: a bunch of failure learning experiences.

6-10

I’ve started working on the next alien flora. I’ve chosen the Lunabelle flower, which is based on the design above.

lunabelle

So this is where I’m at. I sent the photo to some friends to ask for help on the curves, and one of them pointed out that the top left corner 4-patch is rotated incorrectly. I hadn’t even noticed because I was too busy focusing on how terribly my little circles lined up. Talk about insult to injury!

I’m not a precision piecer, mostly because I’m lazy. It turns out when you use prints, that’s fine, because a bit of slop can be camouflaged by the prints. When you’re using all solids? Not so much. I could maybe get away with making the seams a bit bigger and it might hide some of the slop, but mostly it looks like I need to practice sewing the smaller curves. They aren’t that great from the get go, and they just get worse the further I take them.

Other than a bajillion pins, what’s your favorite drunkard’s path/quarter circle piecing tip?

dandelion

Then I was working on a small embroidery hoop project for my Sew Sew Modern 5 swap. When I actually measured the hoop I was going to use, the design I’d embroidered was way too big. Why didn’t I just draw the circle on the linen from the hoop? Because I hadn’t purchased it yet and wanted to start on the project anyway. Yeah, now I just get to do it again! Good news, after making this version, I know I want to treat the center area slightly differently, so I can do it right the second time.

So yeah, it’s been a bit of a frustrating week. But hey, I’ve learned a lot of ways not to do things! Any second now, I’ll invent a light bulb. And we all know how much I love blinky lights!

Linking up with Lee @ Freshly Pieced and her WIP Wednesday link party!

orchidsig

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42 Comments

  1. awww, icky week ): if it makes you feel any better, i cut the tip of my finger off yesterday with a rotary cutter. and that sucked bad, too! (;

    • Yikes Jody!! No it doesn’t make me feel better that you lost the tip of your finger! How scary!! Are you okay? How much did you lose? Which finger? Not your middle one I hope, that finger is darn useful!

    • Ahhh! That’s not going to make anybody feel better, especially you. That hurts even after the initial incident. It was yam slicing on a mandolin cutter for me, and I’ve had no interest in chopping veggies with it since. I’m so sorry.

      • YEOUCH. That makes my toes curl just to read. o.O I would refuse to chop veggies, too.

  2. For help with curves check out Angela Pingel’s new book A Quilter’s Mixology: Shaking Up Curved Piecing!! She has a ton of valuable tips and tricks. I think what you need there is what she calls a disappearing curve.

    • Thanks Kerry! :D I was flipping through that the other day thinking I might need to pick it up. Now I have even more reason to!

  3. Gotta run off for half a day, but I will send you a link for Drunkard’s Path that worked wonderfully for me.

    • Hello again. I decided a couple of years ago that I had avoided piecing curves long enough. I was gifted a set of templates and bought the smaller size after I used the first set (Elisa’s Back Porch Design). Go to http://www.backporchdesign.com and watch her tutorial on cutting and piecing drunkard’s path. I tried it and it works. I also have a 1/4″ piecing foot with a guide for my Pfaff machine. I would watch her tute again if I were starting another project now, but I plowed through a pile of curves in no time. Tell me what you think.

      • Yeah, the last time I did a lot of curved piecing I was using my Pfaff and had that 1/4″ piecing foot with a guide. The Juki doesn’t have one of those (what, seriously? *whine*) so that may be some of the issue as well, as I got a bit dependent on that foot. :)
        I’ll take a look at the tutorial, thanks for the link!

    • Thank you! :) I was rewatching the video of the technique I’ve been using and realizing I actually had forgotten part of the technique and was doing something backwards. So I’m going to try it the right way and see if that fixes my issues! :D

  4. I’ve been having the same problem with my curves! Mine is definitely because I’m lazy and not an uber perfectionist. Oh well.

    • Hahaha yeah, I don’t have a lot of time for sewing, I don’t want to spend it all micro-managing the curves going through my machine! And CERTAINLY I don’t want to spend it all pinning. I have an aversion to pinning. lol

  5. I love that Lunabelle design!

    • Thanks Sarah! :D If I ever manage to make it successfully, the white parts of the flower will glow. :)

  6. Man, I don’t have any great tips for curved piecing because it scares me! :) Patience and practice always fix most things, but I tend to lack in both… but yay for learning?!?

    • Yay for learning! ;) I guess I’ll try that whole patience and practice thing and see if I can’t figure out what’s going on. At least experimentation is usually fun? I bought more of the fabrics so I don’t have to worry about that at least!

  7. I love the design! Also I love that you’re sharing your less-than-perfect work; I’m a newish quilter and I get really intimidated to it helps to see that everything is not always perfect the first time.

    • I always forget to show the less-than-perfect work because I usually just rip it out and do it over. But this was broken in so many ways, I couldn’t face all the ripping and just took a photo instead. lol Definitely don’t be intimidated. The seam ripper is one of the tools I use most often!

  8. Leanness at she can quilt has a great no pins method for sewing curves. It revolutionised my curve sewing. Good luck it’s looking fab so far!

    • That’s the method I was using, actually! :D It works great on the 6″ curves, but for some reason the smaller ones were giving me trouble. But I just went back and rewatched her video and I actually was doing it upside down! (L shaped piece on top instead of on the bottom.) I’m going to give it a try the other way and see if that makes things work out better for me. :)

    • That’s totally my favorite method and what I was using. :) I was just having a lot of trouble getting it to work on the smaller curves (they’re pretty sharp.) But I went and re-watched the video and I was also doing it upside-down! :O I had the L shaped piece on top instead of on the bottom. So I’m going to try it the other way and see if that was the problem, or if I just need to try something else for such small curves. :)

  9. I make designs where the curve seams don’t have to line up, then no one ever knows…I use a pinless method I learned at a Ricky Tims workshop when I make full circles and some other curves (other than Drunkard’s Path). Abbreviated version: Draw on freezer paper. Mark on both sides of line at 3,6, 9 o’clock. Press freezer paper to right side of the two pieces of fabric. Cut approximately 1/4 inch from line on seam side. Transfer marks on seam side. Stitch a thread away from seam line, again on seam allowance side.. Ease it in matching the marks.

    • HAhaha making a design where they don’t have to match up seems like the smartest idea yet! ;) I’ll take a look for the Ricky Tims version, that sounds really intriguing!

  10. I don’t have a tip for curved sewing since I haven’t been brave enough to try it yet, but my general tip is that sometimes you just have to give yourself permission to put down the frustrating project and go work on a project that yields quick satisfaction. When you go back to the frustration, sometimes it doesn’t seem quite as bad.

    • That’s great advice, and the one I followed. :) I took a break from the project yesterday and now I’m feeling more prepared to try it again. Now I just need to find a little time!

  11. Rita on Red Pepper Quilts recently shared her way of sewing curves for a Drunkard’s Path. I don’t use pins though. I’d be too annoyed at stopping and starting every stitch to just take out a pin so I just go slowly and guide the fabric through along the edges. Then I just trim them back to make them even at the end. I’m working on a quilt with DP blocks now and where I can, I’m trying to nest seams so some blocks the seams go into the convex piece, and some into the background which helps with lining up a little bit.

    • I really can’t stand pinning. If there’s a way not to do it, I will do that! lol I know there are a few pinless methods out there, so I’m going to try those first before resorting to the “put in a billion pins” method cuz yuck. Nesting seams isn’t something I’ve tried with curved piecing, that might be worth a try if it works. :)

  12. It must have been something in the air, lol. I haven’t done many curves so no tips from me but I like your embroidery. You can do it girl!

    • Hahaha maybe that’s what I get for trying to sew after a long relaxing weekend. I need to do something more low-key to warm up first! :) Thanks for the embroidery love! It’s a really quick design!

  13. I ain’t skeered of no curved piecing anymore! ;D I used to be, that’s for sure, until I went to a Judy Niemeyer class. Now, for any curves, large or small, here’s what I do: First of all, make sure to cut them out accurately. Lay the outward-curving piece on the table. Pin the inward-curving piece to it only at the very beginning and very end. If it’s large, I’ll pin the center, also. Swipe washable glue along the bottom layer’s edge, then ease the top piece along the curve so the edges match exactly. Voila! Now sew a careful 1/4 seam, and you’re all done! I never would have made it through my monster king-size double wedding ring without having that technique first. I first bought the thin quilter’s glue sticks, but they’re EXPENSIVE. Now I just use archival-approved cheap-o kids’ glue sticks from Elmer’s (the acid-free ones that won’t harm fabric if it sits for a long time before you finish sewing everything and wash the glue out).

    • Oooh, I knew some people were doing glue basting, but I hadn’t tried it on curves. That’s a great idea! And a glue stick sounds easier to manage than the bottle stuff which is what I’ve seen people use before. Awesome tip, thank you! :D

        • Good to know! I managed to play with them again this weekend and seem to have figured out my issue. Thank goodness!

  14. All these tips are really interesting. I want to try the glue approach now!

    I tried a Drunkard’s Path block just recently, toying around with an idea for a quilt, and it came out… ok. The one thing I did do that helped was to give myself a little extra fabric on the sides that don’t intersect the curve, so I could square up the block on those sides.

    • That’s a good idea! I have a little bit of extra room for trimming, but because I’m doing such a janky job, a lot of it is getting eaten up in the seam allowance. I’m feeling better prepared to try again, maybe I can make this happen this time! :D

    • oooh it does kind of look like Maleficent! :D The story behind this one is a little dark, too. :)
      Thanks so much for the tips! I went back and looked at Leanne’s video tutorial (which is what I thought I was doing) and it turns out I was doing it wrong! :O I did it the right way and voila. Suddenly I could sew curves again! Eesh.

      • Definitely not! :)

  15. I think that once the outer areas of the block are added, the fact that it doesn’t line up perfectly will virtually disappear. It does when you give it the squint test! No matter what the imperfections, you created something amazing here. I can’t even begin to think of designing a quilt pattern myself, let alone one a day!

    • Thanks so much! I actually went ahead and started re-doing the curves and I’m SO much happier with them. :) It turned out I had misremembered the video I watched and followed for my mod pop quilt, and had the wrong piece on the top and it made a HUGE difference! I’m hoping to show the finished block on Wednesday. Fingers crossed! :D

      As for designing, like all things, it takes practice. :) If you are interested in learning quilt design, I enthusiastically suggest you come join us. :)

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