Tuesday, June 28, 2016

FW81: Peony & FW82: Pharlemia

This week I am still ahead of myself. I couldn't stop myself. I have been waiting for such a long time to get to block 81. It just looked so pretty... and a bit hard. In fact both blocks this week had a lot of pieces so I thought I should get a head start and maybe for a change, imagine that I might make more than one version of them if I ballsed the first one up. I could feel the fear of Y-seams calling...

Peony block
So here is my first attempt. All the units came together really easily. It was sewing the units together where it all got complicated. It sort of worked though. I kept my stitch length really long and did no back stitching as I imagined lots of unpicking, but actually there was none!

My only issue is that the colours I chose are a bit recessive so I decided to try it again and prehaps improve my technique in the process...

My Y seams came out ok. I did a lot of pinning and folding in order to get them to work. I think it kind of came out ok. And I cut all my triangles in the 4 at a time method in order to cut down sewing on the bias. I think it has helped line everything up. I think this block would work well at a bigger size. I really like this by Rebecca So I might give that a go one day.

So here it is. My second attempt. A labour of love. I think the brighter colours work much better here. I am not sure if my Y-seams are any better here, but I did use a shorter stitch length so the whole thing should stay together better than the other one.

I actually love both blocks so they'll both have to go in if they don't look odd. I don't think you'll notice the repeat as they both look so different.

My seams are a mess on the back even after doing the block twice and it's very, very lumpy seamwise.

I feel very dedicated having done this complicated block twice now! True dedication. These last blocks are really cranking up in intricacy. I am going to make a very simple quilt after this one. Something with nice flat seams that doesn't need ironing and starching within an inch of its life.

On another note, I have a new piece of kit! Thanks to the kindness of my mum! She's the best! I had been asking her if she used her Cut n Press. She is often my gauge to see if these notions are actually worth the money as she has been quilting for so long. As a surprise she bought me one! It's ace! Easy to carry around and flip over so one side cuts and one side presses.

And it fits perfectly on my stool. A real must have. Much better than using my cork board and knackered pressing pad which looks really ugly now!

It definitely helped with making this monster flat!

Pharlemia block
I am surprised by how much I like this block now it is finished. It was a real mare to make. So much unpicking and swearing. It's where all those points meet in the chevrons that kept going wrong. The seam was so bulky it kept pushing the fabric out of alignment. Oh how I swore.

And once I had sewn all the units together I realised that the instructions made no sense! I was lost at sea! This is the terrible part of being ahead of the sew-a-long, you are in unchartered territory. I was totally at a loss. Luckily I was saved by this. Thank the heavens! And I should also point out, as it is photographed, how useful my small 4 1/2" square ruler has been for trimming down my units. Thanks Mum! Another well thought out gift from the doyenne of quilting.

I am really pleased with my colours. To be honest, any block with my treasured Denyse Schmidt fabrics in it is a winner. And I think I will have to order a big stash amount of Paperie fabric as I am so near the end of my small fat quarter. 

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