Tuesday, November 27, 2012

...having a go at hand piecing

On the last school holidays (or is could have been the ones before - these things tend to get away from me) a  took a few days of work and worked my way through a reasonable jam packed 'Crafty things I would like to do/try that I never have time for'. It was the best holiday I have had for a long time - at home, with purpose.

One of the things I did was attend a class on hand piecing at Amitie with Jenny. I have been interested in hand piecing for a little while but apart from the EPP projects I hadn't sewn anything together with just needle and thread (ie sans machine).

Frankly, I didn't trust my stitches to hold up over time - even just the time to get the top together, let alone quilting and years of use. And I couldn't bear to think of it falling apart as I was sewing or soon after and have all the hours of stitching wasted.

The class lasted the morning and I took along a small bundle of fabric and a new acquired pattern (Galaxy by Trish Harper) that specifically recommended hand piecing and the normal odds and sods of sewing. To that bundle I added a new 1/4 wheel, a sandpaper board and and needles recommended for hand piecing.

And the process was much as I had imagined but a little demonstration and encouragement can go a long way when you are learning something new. I pieced the center section of one star that day and have just now started working on it again. It think this block will became a cushion cover as I am not quite convinced with the fabric choices I have made for this one.

But in the meantime of course I bought the Green Tea and Sweet Bean pattern booklet and starter pack and I have started it!

I've drawn around the templates and then added the seam allowance as directed and stitched and stitched and now I have the first block for this quilt.

My two biggest decisions with this new technique developing now are
1. What project to take with me to Perth over the Christmas break, Green Tea and Sweet Beans or the unfinished Circle Game?
2. How I am possibly going to find time to start, let alone finish even half of the hand piecing projects I how have my eye on!


sarahp said...

What is the sandpaper board for???

Kristy said...

Because you trace around the templates (with no seam allowances added) and then add the seam allowances it can tend to pull, stretch and distort the fabric. The finegrade sandpaper can keep it a little more stable when you are completing these tasks.