Thursday, December 1, 2016

En Provence Part I: in the works

Late yesterday I finally put needle and thread to fabric and now have my first round of sewing done.  They will become four-patches once I cut them apart, press and sew, trimming as I go where needed.

Having pulled from my own pre-cut fabrics, starting with the smallest sized square, then strips before hacking into chunks, FQs or yardage, I knew that most of those old cuts may not have been cut accurately.
I determined the best way around that was to draw a line, having placed the correct measurement, minus 1/4" for seam allowance, of the ruler at the left of the square/strip.  I then drew a line to be my sewing guide.  This adds time, but it will give greater accuracy.
I then placed the two pieces to be sewn right sides together.  While the corner of that top piece is just a bit raised, it shows how the piece on the bottom is just a thread or two narrower than the piece on the top.  If I'd put both pieces aligned on the right, that small amount would change the size of my block by that amount...too small!  As I see it, when properly aligned on the left, then sewing just to the right of the pencil line, recognizing that pressing open also decreases the opened width by a thread or more, it doesn't matter what width the fabric is to the right of the line.  It doesn't matter if it's a fat quarter-inch, a quarter-inch, or a scant quarter-inch.  The goal is to have an accurate finished block in the size Bonnie gave us.  You can check out her instructions here:  Quiltville En Provence Part I.
Additionally, I have blue painter's tape that I place "1/4" from my needle quite some time ago.  I had placed a ruler under the presser foot, lowered the needle on the 1/4" mark and placed the tape (I have one of Bonnie's tools for this purpose, but darned if I could find it).  You will note though, that the amount of fabric between the line, where I have the needle lowered just at the right edge, the seam allowance does not line up with the edge of that tape!  That's also a 1/4" foot I'm using and the seam allowance doesn't reach the edge of it either.  When the piece is pressed open, it will give me either the exactly accurate size needed, or a smidgen more.  And if a smidgen more, it can then be trimmed to the exact size needed.  If it were too small (had I not drawn the line) I would not be able to get the correct sized blocks.
two-patch units
I started with the smallest and sewed them with little thought as to what was matched with's scrappy and doesn't matter.
strips and pieces
I used longer strips, drew lines on some shorter strips and sewed them on too.
more pieced strips
These pieced strips will be cut to the correct size as well.  I'm making a concerted effort to get as much accuracy as possible, even with straight edges and squares.  I'm sure there will be triangles of some sort since she's told us what rulers we'll be using, so that means bias edges...they get me every time!

I chain-pieced all of this and have no idea if it comes close to even half of the required element.  I'll be stitching more today, but need to tend to some things in the kitchen first.  Today was my Costco run, and there's a sink full of dirty dishes from last night (yeah, that happens).  I'd made a big pot of baked beans and ham, having soaked the beans the night before, and my were they good.  I just had another bowl for lunch, and I have turkey bones in a pan on the stove for turkey noodle soup tonight.  Such a great time of year for these foods. Yum.

1 comment:

  1. Nice start to the mystery!

    I didn't count my pieces until I got them all sewn together. Since then I've done a few more, but will wait until the end to see if I need to make more now, as I am aiming for a lap-sized quilt probably.


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