Friday, March 26, 2010

Piecing Tutorial....Me?

I see Jane's comment. I do Jane's bidding.
But really, most of the time I don't know what I am doing when I am making these quilts. I may have an idea, like a block I want to try, and just begin there. I am showing closeup details of my recent quilts (see Recent Quilts Page above for full shots) so you can see that parts are parts.
To make this stripey block, cut a square and then some surrounding strips and cut and sew until that small square is surrounded by another color. To make the stripey border, take a big rectangle of fabric and cut it into strips and insert contrasting strips. Sew and cut  across to make striped strips. There will be leftovers. There will be blocks that look icky.

To make slanting strips like these, put two pieces of fabric together, one on top of the other, cut through both, separate and sew, or just make a pile and sew them together with others in the pile. Change direction every now and then.

To do the prairie points..cut a square, fold in half diagonally to make a triangle , and then bring each edge together again for a smaller triangle. When I made this quilt, the prairie points were an afterthought, so I opened up some seams and inserted the points into the space and resewed.

Some of these diamonds are composed of half square-ish triangles and others are just big pieces with triangles sewn on in a flip and sew fashion. To fit them together is the trick. It helps to sew matching fabrics to each un-fitting-together section. Then overlap the consistent fabric, cut through both, remove extra stuff and sew together. The quilting disguises the seams.

The tutorial for the Disappearing Nine Patch is here. It is a really nice tutorial, with steps and everything. Not like my  version.


  1. Love these "non-conformist" blocks and quilts! I hate following patterns so I just improvise as I go along. Is that basically what you do if you don't have any specific idea in mind??

    Also, about pinning your you need to sew reeaaallly slow to get such a perfect, straight stitch while you're removing your pins?

    I think you need to make a visual tutorial on how you make one of your quilts (like Attic 24 does with crocheting):)

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  3. Colleen, I do just improvise as I go along.
    Second the binding is carefully sewn on rather than swiftly sewn on. No rush produces the best results.
    Thirdly, this tutorial assumes that my readers are proficient in sewing a seam. I wouldn't want to look like I am talking down to anyone. I don't really know what else there is to show. I improvise, cut, assemble, stitch, admire.

  4. I have found myself less paralyzed to start by keeping up with your blog. Your comment, "Some blocks will look icky" is reassuring!

  5. Thanks a million, Melody. I love this improvisational stuff. Now I have your tips, I have no excuse but to dive in and have a go. And yes! Imagine YOU doing a piecing tutorial! But obviously you are coming out with some super new work this way. I need to rummage in my Artfabrik stash and just cut into some of it. No good just hoarding and fondling the stuff, right? I'm thankful that I didn't pre-fuse a bunch of it!! I'm sure some of my bits are pieces I bought from you quite a few years ago!

  6. Carol2:20 PM

    This kind of quilt making I do a lot of when I am wanting to sew and not wanting to plan anything. It is so relaxing to just sew "stuff" together and see what it may become later. Almost all of art quilts are done this way. Even the one that are more structured and may include people.
    I'm loving all the motivation.

  7. Carol2:22 PM

    This comment is for Colleen. The faster you sew the straighter you sew.


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