Sampler Class: Partial Seams

Double Windmill #3
Double Windmill #3

We are going to talk about partial seams. Partial seams are a way to create a more complex looking block without using truly difficult piecing techniques. Even a relative beginner can navigate partial seams successfully.

Supply list:

Directions:

1. Prewash and press fabric

2. Select fabrics to fit the color scheme of your other blocks. You need contrast between the various pieces.

Partial Seam Final Colors
Partial Seam Final Colors

The one red triangle with the white curves might not be exactly right, but it will look fine in the overall quilt.

3. Cut out pieces using the chart. Press as you cut if necessary.

Partial Seams: Sew Triangles Together
Partial Seams: Sew Triangles Together

4. As we discussed before, sew smallest to largest. I started with the matching small triangles. Sew carefully without yanking the bias.

Press flat, then press to the red
Press flat, then press to the red

5. Press flat and then press to the red. Press carefully without distorting the bias.

Partial Seam Triangles Sewn
Partial Seam Triangles Sewn

6. Place the newly sewn triangles back in place back on your design wall.

Partial Seam: Sew other like triangles
Partial Seam: Sew other like triangles

7. Sew the similar triangles, press and place back in place.

Remember, you are sewing from smallest to largest. This means that you are creating larger and larger sections until the whole block is done.

Patches Sewn in 4 sections
Patches Sewn in 4 sections

8. Once the newly sewn patches are back in place, it is fairly easy to see the next logical step. The large turquoise triangles (mini-Pearl Bracelets fabric in the example) should be sewn to your two triangles. This will make a square.

Sew small triangles to larger triangle
Sew small triangles to larger triangle

9. Sew the two small triangles, which are now sewn together (step 4-7), to the large turquoise triangle. This step makes the triangles into a square.

Place sewn squares on to the design wall
Place sewn squares on to the design wall

10. Press flat and then press to the larger triangle. Press carefully without distorting the bias. Place the squares back on the design wall.

Sew squares to solid fabric
Sew squares to solid fabric

11. Sew the solid, rectangle-ish pieces to the squares you just sewed.

Place sewn sections back on the design wall
Place sewn sections back on the design wall

12. Place the sewn sections back on the design wall.

Sew small red triangles to solid triangles
Sew small red triangles to solid triangles

13. Sew small red triangles to solid triangles

Sew new section to square
Sew new section to square

14. Sew new section to your squares.

Place sewn sections back on the design wall
Place sewn sections back on the design wall

15. Place the sewn sections back on the design wall.

Now you have 4 major sections plus the center and 4 corner patches. Now we are going to get serious with partial seaming.

Take the center and section 1
Take the center and section 1

16. Take the center and section 1.

Sew about 3/4s of the way down the center square seam
Sew about 3/4s of the way down the center square seam

17. Put section 1 under the needle with the center square on top. Line the center square up with the intersection of the red triangle and the Pearl Bracelets triangle (my fabrics used as a guide).

Backstitch at the end of the seam to secure the seam since you will be playing with it.

Press seam towards center
Press seam towards center

18. Press seam towards center square. Press carefully since the whole seam isn’t sewn.

Partially sewn seam
Partially sewn seam
Partially sewn seam - detail
Partially sewn seam – detail

The sewn piece will flip up. You can see about how much to sew in the picture above.

19. Take section 2 and lay it over section one and the center square with right sides together. The lengths should be about the same.

Section 2 sewn to section 1
Section 2 sewn to section 1
Section 2 sewn to section 1 + center square
Section 2 sewn to section 1 + center square

Completing the sewing of section 2 makes the section look like it is possible to sew on section 3.

Section 3 right side down
Section 3 right side down
End of section 3 seam
End of section 3 seam

20. Lay section 3 over section 2 and the center square. Line up the edges so they are event.

Center section almost done
Center section almost done

Now your center section is almost done.

Tuck section 1 under section 2
Tuck section 1 under section 2

21. Prepare to sew section 4 to the larger piece you have made by tucking section 1 under section 2. You might want to use a pin to keep it out of the way.

22. Lay section 4 over section 3, right sides together.

Section 4 sewn
Section 4 sewn

Section 4 is sewn. Keep section 1 tucked under and out of the way for the next step. Get ready to complete your partial seam.

Fold center section up
Fold center section up
Fold section up - detail
Fold section up – detail

23. Fold the raw edges between section 1 and section 4 up like half of it wasn’t sewn. Use a pin near the end of the seam (edge of the section) to keep it in place.

Position piece near pin
Position piece near pin
Start sewing near pin - detail
Start sewing near pin – detail

24. Position piece so you start sewing near the pin.

Now you will sew the partial seam.

Sew partial seam
Sew partial seam
Sew partial seam
Sew partial seam

25. Once you start sewing from the pin (noted above), you will see the end of the first seam you partially sewed. Sew slowly to the end of previous seam line.

Center section sewn
Center section sewn

Hooray!!! You have finished the center section

Now you have to sew the corner triangles to the center section to finish the block.

Trim off corners
Trim off corners

26. Trim off corners of large corner triangles before you sew them on. You can trim them all at once or one at a time, which is what I do.

Lay out triangle on sewn section
Lay out triangle on sewn section

27. Lay triangle on the sewn section, lining up trimmed corners even with edge of sewn section.

First corner triangle sewn
First corner triangle sewn

Your piece will look like the above image. Follow steps 26-27 for all corner triangles.

Finished Block
Finished Block

You are now finished! Great job!

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Other resources and patterns regarding partial seams:

  • Chain Link from Link to the 30’s: Making the Quilts We Didn’t Inherit (That Patchwork Place) by Kay Connors and Karen Earlywine. I saw it on the Patchwork Play blog made with a great red background. The maker calls it Shelburne Tartan on that blog.
  • Double Windmill block. I saw an example on the Swim Bike Quilt blog.
  • Laura Nownes tutorial on partial seams. Good tip about avoiding puckering on the last seam. I don’t agree with not pressing the seams until the end. Avoid pressing the first half seam, but press all the rest.
  • Jinny Beyer tutorial. Not sure I can compete. 😉

Progress, New & Possibilities

The other day I had to go to Santa Clara to take the YM to a one day job. He actually got paid! He could have ridden the train, but Julie and I decided to get together, so it worked out.

We went to lunch and went to Golden State Sewing. I hadn’t been to this store before (sorry no photos), but I had been to their booth at PIQF. The store was crammed with fabric, but in an organized way. I looked at fabric for dress for next Grand Parlor and some upcoming events. They had an excellent selection of Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

I looked very seriously at a couple of Kaffe prints for dresses, but didn’t end up buying any. I did end up seeing the Pokemon fabric from which I promised to make a pillowcase for the YM’s new roommate.

Golden State Sewing fabrics
Golden State Sewing fabrics

I bought a few things. I bought the Pokemon fabric. I also bought a boatload of black solid for the Peacock. The other fabrics are fat quarters. The two Kaffes are the ones I am still considering for dresses. The center fat quarters are similar to the blue I used for the Midi Bag. I had never seen that print in other colors. While I like the blue best, the red and grey are nice, too. The grey is a little too dark for the Flying Geese, but I have to admit to trying it out on a few FGs anyway.

Friend Julie wrote about the shop on her blog this week as well.

Wearing Out Feet

Well, from the”you learn something new every day department” comes word that you CAN wear out sewing machine feet.

The 9k has been acting up. Not badly, but like an old lady who wants attention. First, something electrical with the light went wrong pretty soon after I brought it home. I know it wasn’t the bulb, because, for a time, if I tapped on it, the light would come on, stay on for a bit, then go out.

I also noticed that the machine would feed the fabric unevenly. I thought I noticed it because I was used to the DC5100, which uses newer technology.

I could live with these annoyances, but when the machine stopped working completely, I was had to do something. One day, I turned it on, the machine made a horrible noise, so I turned it off. Then it wouldn’t turn on again. I swapped it out for the DC5100 since I needed to progress with the Cargo Duffle prep.

Since the machine not turning on was major, I texted Angie at the Sewing Machine Place, though I had avoided it until then despite noting a few issues. She suggested a few things. A different cord worked for making the machine work but she needed to look at it to see what could be done about the feeding and the light. I continued sewing on the DC5100 since I was on a deadline.

The YM and I took it in on Tuesday. I needed him for lugging the 50 lb beast. We found a parking spot right by the door, so I really could have dealt with it myself. She checked everything while I waited. I may have to buy a new power cord, but the old one worked at the shop. The big news was that the feeding problem comes from 20 year old feet.

Wear on quarter inch foot
Wear on quarter inch foot

I wore out the two feet I use most frequently. I could not believe what I was hearing. Angie told me that the feet are rubbing up against the feeddogs some of the time, especially the quarter inch foot and that, over time, the metal wears through.

In the photo, you can see the discoloration (I know the photo could be better, but with the glare of the metal the camera had a hard time focusing). That is a spot where at least the first layer is gone.

The foot I use for zig zagging (Janome F) had strips of metal on the plastic bottom and had the same problem. Angie had an F foot so I bought it, but had to go to Always Quilting to get the quarter inch foot. I have been using the DC5100 as I work on the Cargo Duffle so I haven’t had a chance to try out the feeding on the 9k with the new feet. I’ll let you know how it goes.

If you are having feeding problems, check the bottom of your feet.

Cargo Duffle Prep

As you know from a previous post, I have been working almost exclusively on the prep for the BAMQG Cargo Duffle class. I haven’t had tons of time to sew. What I have had I have spent on prep.

I like making bags, because I have something useful at the end of the process. Also, people seem to like them when I give them as gifts. I do not, however, like the prep required, regardless of whether I am just sewing a bag on my own or preparing for a class. In fact, I always swear a lot and then swear I will never make another bag again when I am in the bag prep process.

Part of this feeling has to do with my, well documented for you, difficulty in reading pattern directions and understanding what the designer is trying to say. I’ll take some, but won’t take full responsibility because I believe that the directions for this bag were briefer than necessary. I understand why, especially after working with Alison, because patterns need to be printed and printing 60 pages of directions including photos is daunting.

Cargo Duffle pieces and parts
Cargo Duffle pieces and parts

One of the things I had to do, which was different for this pattern was to quilt a lot of the parts. I understand why, and you will as well after seeing the finished piece, but it made for a lot of extra work.

Friday night I stayed in my workroom until 10pm sewing on this project. Finally, DH called me down to watch the parade of nations for #Rio2016. I decided that I would have to work on whatever I didn’t finish in class. I estimate working on the prep for about 20 hours. I didn’t keep strict track, but I think that is in the neighborhood.

What I really needed was a chart showing the pieces and giving their sizes with arrows pointing to the piece on the finished bag. I really needed that visual. I think it would have made my life a lot easier. I didn’t really understand what a gusset* was, especially in this context, and that added to the confusion of all of the parts and pieces.

I am not criticizing the teacher who was extremely patient on her first outing as a teacher. She responded quickly and non-snarkily each time she got a question on the guild forum from one of the 20+ students.

I would have liked to have seen more meshing of the pattern and the hacks/supplement (by our teacher), including references back and forth to when to go and do a step from the pattern and when to stop. This addition would have required a lot more time on her part and we weren’t paying her so I think that would have been too much to ask. It might have been nice to get together with other students beforehand to work on the prep.

I constantly learn from creating new bags and, though, this isn’t the kind of bag I would tend to use, I am learning quite a bit from making it, not the least of which has to do with gussets. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The definition of gusset didn’t match what I was seeing in the Cargo Duffel pattern so that created some confusion. Wikipedia’s definition is similar to the American Heritage and Merriam Webster. I didn’t didn’t find any of them to be super helpful in the context of this pattern: “In sewing, a gusset is a triangular or rhomboidal piece of fabric inserted into a seam to add breadth or reduce stress from tight-fitting clothing.[1] Gussets were used at the shoulders, underarms, and hems of traditional shirts and chemises made of rectangular lengths of linen to shape the garments to the body.[2][3]

Gussets are used in manufacturing of modern tights and pantyhose to add breadth at the crotch seam. As with other synthetic underwear,[4] these gussets are often made of moisture-wicking breathable fabrics such as cotton, to keep the genital area dry and ventilated.[5][6][7]

The phrase “don’t bust a gusset” (a variation of “don’t blow a gasket”) is an admonition to calm down; becoming so enraged and inflated that one busted a gusset would imply extreme rage and expansion beyond one’s clothing capacity.

Gussets are also used when making three-piece bags, for example in a pattern[8] for a bag as a long, wide piece which connects the front piece and back piece. By becoming the sides and bottom of the bag, the gusset opens the bag up beyond what simply attaching the front to the back would do. With reference to the dimension of the gusset, the measurements of a flat bottom bag may be quoted as LxWxG.[9]

Pillows too, are often gusseted, generally an inch or two. The side panels thicken the pillow, allowing more stuffing without bulging.

Gussets are also used in other areas of manufacturing, e.g. bicycle frames employ gussets to add strength and rigidity.[clarification needed]” (Wikipedia)

More on Under the Sea

I have been working on Under the Sea pretty steadily in the evenings. It is soothing to do the handwork. I am also surprised at how quickly I can fill up an area with embroidery.

As I said a few days ago, I am pleased with the work. I am still pleased despite some design challenges.

  • I want the embroidery to be simple, so that limits the stitches.
  • I don’t have enough colors, but when will I have enough colors? This should not come as a surprise to anyone who reads regularly.
  • The browns, rusts and golds are not my favorite, but I am finding that I don’t dislike them enough to toss the project.
  • Beads or no beads?

I have been pretty tired or working on other things the past two nights, but I’ll get back to this soon.

Color Friday: Red?

Red Plant
Red Plant

This is another picture I took while doing one of my daily walks. These are not plants that I normally have much interest in, but the red color caught my eye. When I look at the plant, I see red. When I look at this picture with my eyes, I see red.

The computer sees something different. The computer sees more green and grey than I do initially. Of course, when I really look, I do see the greens and greys, which make me wonder about what catches my eye vs what catches they eyes of other people.

Click on the photos to make them larger. I was surprised that the color selections weren’t that different. The color names are different, but the colors look very similar.

Of course, this tool is too much fun, so I couldn’t stop with the above. I moved the circles around to highlight different parts of the photo to see what I could get. I have to be honest that I skewed the results towards the red tones to see what the tool would come up with. It is interesting to consider the palette without the greens and greys.

Despite the fuchsia issues I had before, I love this combination of pinks and reds.

Not a Complete Solution

Under the Sea, in process
Under the Sea, in process

Under the Sea has been on my 26 Projects list for a long time. I started it in 2009 in a class with Pamela Allen. I started it at the same time I started the Flower Garden. I finished The Flower Garden in 2013.

Despite my best efforts, this piece has been on my mind. After my Special Whine, I picked it up and have been embellishing it with Perl cotton and other types of embroidery thread in the evenings while I watch TV.

Under the Sea, in process again
Under the Sea, in process again

I am pleased. Doing the embroidery, though simple, has calmed down my creative crisis, if just for the moment.

Of course, I don’t have enough colors of Perl Cotton. When do I ever have enough colors? I am making due for the moment.

Under the Sea, detail
Under the Sea, detail

I know these colors are odd colors for me. It is a problem, because I keep wondering where to add pink. The turquoise additions do help.

I am trying a combination of greys with the turquoises and blues to see how that looks. I am not sure if it makes any difference, in the way my mind wants, because so much of the piece is made up of browns and oranges.

The piece is small and I think I will make it into a cushion cover and give it away. Not my colors, you know. We’ll see.

More on the Stitch TV Pattern Launch

The Stitch TV Pattern Selection (Belinda)
The Stitch TV Pattern Selection (Belinda)

As you know, I am not a big fan of patterns. Patterns weren’t available in large numbers, if at all, when I learned to make quilts and I never really learned to use them. Yes, of course, there were quilt patterns in magazines, but the packaged stand-alone quilt patterns were not available back in the dark ages.

I do admire the possibility of small business owners creating patterns and making them available. That there are so many indie / women-owned businesses is one of the great things about the quilt industry.

The StitchTV company, Ed & Eddie LLC, is one of those small businesses. One of the things I noticed about the Stitch TV pattern samples were the different fabrics used. In the photo above, you can see at least 4 different fabric groups. While this grouping does not comprise all the possible fabric combinations, it does give the shopper a good idea of how the design will look in different fabrics.

There are so many patterns now. All of us have a quilt ‘to do’ list that extends beyond our lifetime, so we have to be more choosy about adding new things to the list. Marketing patterns with a variety of samples is imperative now.

Great job, Pam and Lynn!

The Stitch TV Show Pattern Release at Red Hen Fabrics

Marietta, GA
July 16, 2016

Thanks to Holly Anne Knight, who blogs at String & Story, for reporting on the StitchTV Show Pattern launch (and telling us a little about herself!) when I couldn’t be there in person.
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My name is HollyAnne Knight. I’m a wife and mama of two little boys, and I am a brand new quilter. After about 8 months of experience with rag-style t-shirt quilts, I decided it was time to give “real” quilting a shot. In May, I simultaneously discovered Pam Cobb’s Hip to Be a Square quilting podcast and her quilting talk show, The Stitch TV Show, which is co-piloted by Lynn Rinehart. I listened each night as I plugged away on my own projects, gleaning tips and sharing in the laughs. While I’ve been creative all my life, I’ve done most of my creating in isolation. Now, all of a sudden, I felt like I had friends—funny, encouraging, quilty-friends.

On the June episode of The Stitch TV Show, Pam and Lynn talked about the July Stitch-In and their pattern release which would be just a day apart. I gathered my courage and decided that I would attend both because I wanted to meet and begin getting to know these new friends. I was a little embarrassed at the stitch-in, with my beeping machine and loud trucks outside, but Pam, Lynn, and the others were so patient and welcoming. They laughed at my jokes and answered my questions, and I had a really lovely time connecting faces and voices and names.

Stitch Logo
Stitch Logo

Still encouraged from from what I decided to count as a “successful” introduction on the stitch-in, I gathered my 4 month old, Ian, and the diaper bag and drove the 20 miles to Red Hen Fabrics for the pattern release—determined to make some new friends and have a fun “big girl outing” with only ONE baby! Yippee! I must have frozen just inside the door because I remember one lady behind the counter motioning and saying, “Come on in!” Red Hen Fabrics was my first quilt shop experience, and I’m not sure if I enjoyed the fabric or the atmosphere more thoroughly.

Stripper's Knot Pattern
Stripper’s Knot Pattern

Pam and Lynn are engaging, funny, and kind, and their quilts are BEAUTIFUL. “The Stripper’s Knot” was hanging behind their Stitch TV Show set, and if I hadn’t been quite so self-conscious, I think I could have gotten lost in the piecing and quilting for hours. I loved seeing the variations of the “Time After Time” table runner and the asymmetrical border of “Belinda” (a copy of this pattern is hanging happily over my sewing machine now!). Rae, Kelly, and Mike comprise The Stitch’s production staff, and I enjoyed talking to them as well (over delicious cake no less!). Rae and I talked quite a bit about pattern editing and production. Speaking of, if you are an Indie designer looking for a way to get your quilt patterns into the world, go look her up at 77Peaches!

Pam and Lynn with cake
Pam and Lynn with cake

Before I left, I was sure to get some pictures of Pam and Lynn doing their thing—posing with quilts, laughing, and generally having a wonderful time. Congrats, y’all, on a fabulous pattern release, and thanks for welcoming this “newbie” into the party!

Bio:
HollyAnne Knight is a 20-something wife, mama, and artist. She has a life-long background in visual arts, over a decade of knitting experience, and training in several types on dance from classical ballet to ballroom to Zumba. She has been married to the Hubster (John) for 3 years, and they have two boys, Jem (December 2014) and Ian (March 2016). They live in the Greater Atlanta Area near Holly Anne’s parents and enjoy being outside, sharing meals and adventures with friends, and singing silly songs.

While Holly Anne’s first exposure to machine sewing was at the young age of 8, it was much more recently that she returned to it. She began with a t-shirt quilt for her Mama, and she continues to make t-shirt quilts for customers all over the United States. She also sews modern quilts and is the first Modern Impressionist Quilter, combining the imagery of art quilts with the functionality of other modern quilts. Her style of quilting is strongly influenced by her love of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters, her own work with paints, and her familiarity with knitting patterns

Holly Anne can be reached on Instagram at @mesaventureshak and at @stringandstory or via email at stringandstory [@] gmail.com.

Contemplating Creativity

I have had a couple of slams in the face about my own creativity lately. I have projects; I just don’t seem to be interested in working on them. I have plans for working, if I had days straight just to sew. I guess I have to face up to the fact that I seem to be stalled, even though I am limping along.

The first slam was the Peacock. I was excited when I put the blocks up on my design wall. I really was. The excitement faded as I contemplated putting the blocks together. The work involved, the actual sewing, seemed too daunting and I realized I just didn’t really want to do it. I can hardly believe I am feeling this way. Sure, I get stuck on projects, but to simply not want to sew the blocks together is a new one on me. I think part of the problem is the design wall. (Sense a theme??). I really, really dislike this design wall and this project may just propel me to really, finally do something about it.

Freddy Moran's Applique'
Freddy Moran’s Applique’

The second was a lecture with Freddy Moran. I went to the SFQG, because she was going to speak. Yes, I will write more about the lecture. In the meantime, a quick overview: She is over 80. She is the one who made the brightly colored house quilts and did a long term, two book collaboration with Gwen Marston. She always pieced, almost never quilted her own quilts. She has had some personal changes in the last year that have made her look at her creativity. She has been encouraged her to change her style completely. She still pieces, but is doing a lot of applique’ as well. She can, perhaps I should? I don’t think I am happy with what I have been working on lately. I don’t hate any of my quilt projects, but they seem…..boring. Perhaps I need to change my style?

Finally, the third was a lecture with Jane Dunnewold. She talked about her new book, Creative Strength Training. I don’t really think I need creative strength training, but I think there are things I could do to improve my creativity. She talks about cross training. Yes, of course, I do cross training for my body. Running as well as weight lifting. I wonder if changing crafts for a short time would improve my creativity? She also talks about writing. Not angsty teenager stuff, but writing for creativity: capturing ideas that tether them to the ‘earth plane’. ( <– this is how she described getting the perfect dream or shower idea on paper before it floats away).

I write a lot and Dunnewold says that writing begins to open people’s eyes to the idea that you have all the stories inside of you to make great art. This makes me think about what stories I want to use for my art. One of my quilts was made from deep in my heart and was very poorly received. It did not make me want to do such work again.

I do feel that I was smug earlier when I was reading about other people’s struggles with their work and creativity. I feel like now I am getting my just desserts. 🙁

Hunter’s Star

Cathy's Hunter's Star
Cathy’s Hunter’s Star

SIL made a Hunter’s Star. She did a really great job and it came out gorgeous. She used her Accuquilt Go! cutter to cut the pieces and said the piecing went really well. She used Pointillist Palette fabrics.

I really liked the way she combined the fabrics and did kind of gradated placement of the colors.

This is the first quilt she has made since moving back home.

Design Inspiration

Quilt Design Inspiration
Quilt Design Inspiration

I was out walking the other day and saw the design in the picture. It caught my eye as a possible quilt design I imagine that this design would be done in layers. I was thinking of taking a charm pack and making the bottom layer. Perhaps a couple of charm packs or charm packs with additional layers.

Either I would cut the bottom and sew in the black part or make the two parts separately and applique’ the black part on top. I wouldn’t necessarily make the top layer in black. The final color would depend on the charm pack I chose. I think a solid would probably be good.

This was a good reminder for me that design inspiration can be anywhere.

Color Palette Friday

Greens
Greens

I can remember riding along with my parents in the car on some trip or other looking out the car window at the variety of colors on the hills, as we traveled through forests and in the reflections of lakes. I often think that some scene appears, for example, green, but when closely examined is really a variety of greens.

Greens Palette
Greens Palette

I saw this patch of greens (in the salad sense, since I don’t know exactly what kind of greens they are) and I was very interested in what came up in the Palette Builder.

When I look with my eyes, I see a lot of light purple or lavender. I know others would see different colors. The technology is certainly not perfect and limited to the colors available in fabric. I love playing around with it.

Sharing Julie’s Thunder

Friend Julie and I went to drop off a quilt at Colleen’s last week. Thursday? Friday? One of those days. 

Julie's Tumbler
Julie’s Tumbler

It wasn’t my quilt, but I do feel some ownership as I cut a lot of patches for the top in exchange for some Eye Spy patches.

I was pretty excited to see the piece. I really find scrappy quilts to be much more interesting, often, than super matchy-matchy quilts. It is pretty much a charm quilt as well. 


Colleen figured out that the top has over 1700 patches. Isn’t that amazing?