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Pieced block 2

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    Pieced block 2

    This is Pieced Block 2. It won't be published for a few months into the 2024 BOM. After hand piecing one as a test block, I have been trying to figure out how to alter the block for machine piecing but still have it look like the original. My efforts so far have been too hard to justify the extra time to design it that way.

    There have been suggestions to change the block, either a little or a lot, and that is still a possibility. It is YOUR quilt, you get to decide how you want to make it.

    As people are starting to receive their template sets, they can start to make "practice" blocks, always a good idea if a technique is new to you or one you need to improve your skills on before cutting your "precious" fabric.

    Sonia said in The Big Reveal! Topic she is very experienced at hand piecing Jen Kingwell blocks so I am looking to her for advice on how to hand piece this specific block. There are 20 of these in the quilt.

    We will use this TOPIC to discuss Pieced Block 2.
    Barbara Black
    Huntsville AL
    "I am a part of all that I have met." A. Lord Tennyson

    I just finished cutting out my test pieces! Right off the bat, I can see that it would be easy to mark the sewing lines on the curves inaccurately, which would make this a total bugger.

    For context, this is the kind of block Jen likes to refer to as "an easy one."

    Let me stitch it up and then share some thoughts and tips on the specifics ...
    Hand piecer, big-stitch quilter, pattern tweaker 


      While I'm doing that -- Barbara, have you tried glue basting? It's so good for curves!

      Jen Carlton-Bailey has some really good free tutorials, here's one on basting: https://bettycrockerass.com/tips-and...baste-a-curve/

      And here you can see how easy it goes once it's glue-basted: https://bettycrockerass.com/tips-and...ew-gallery-60/
      Hand piecer, big-stitch quilter, pattern tweaker 


      • Helen W. commented
        Editing a comment
        Sonia, I am loving this already. Your glue basting tip is perfect.. My skeptic mind thought, no way with a convex and concave can you glue baste it. Thanks for providing the free tutorial in this post to see it done.
        I could not believe it looks so easy, and I have struggled for years with curved seams. I am going to
        learn a ton thru this BOM. Thanks for stepping up. Your help is much appreciated. HelenW

      Sonia, Watched the glue basting video immediately went down to my sewing room to try. Love, love, love how easy it is.
      Here are two blocks with curves left one by machine right one by hand. And that is the first hand stitching of blocks I have
      ever done. I can't buy the templates until next month. Really hoping they will still be some left. I drew up a similar block to
      block 2 in EQ8. Printed out the templates. I would like to play around with a sample. If I am doing it by hand, what order
      would you do? HelenW
      Look like the wording overlay did not print.


      • Barbara B. commented
        Editing a comment
        Helen how did you draw that block? Your skills in EQ8 are far superior to mine. I would love to have your project file.

      • soniasimone commented
        Editing a comment
        Once you have the tricks down for curves, they're not hard at all. And they make you feel like a superstar quilter.

        I'm nearly done stitching this block, and I'll post my stitching order. Jen may have another suggested option -- usually when she does a BOM, she's got monthly short videos with tips, tricks, and points to watch out for. I can think of at least one other way than the one I went with, so I'll try that next time.

      Barbara, You over estimate my skill in EQ8. It is trial and error, luck and persistence.
      I took one block from the block library under orange peel and changed it to 8 inches.
      Then I figured the center square was 2 inches and started drawing new lines and deleting old lines.
      That worked after a lot of tweaks. Then I made another block taking a screen shot of the block. Brought
      in from image files as a photo, and used the tracing feature. I have never sent a EQ8 file but I tried dragging
      it into an email to myself and it worked. So I think I can send you the file. I don't have your email anymore,
      and our email has changed since the work on the website a few years back. Can you get my email off the
      account part, or be able to get your email to me again. Remember, This is close but not the exact block in
      the quilt. I just wanted to try a sample using hand piecing since I have never done that and I won't be
      getting the templates until next month. What a challenge with this quilt. I really think I will learn a lot this year.


      • Barbara B. commented
        Editing a comment
        My email is bbquiltmaker AT gmail. It is also how you can contact me via my blog.

      OK, I've got the block pieced and I think I've figured out the simplest way to put it together. I do think it could be done by machine, particularly with glue basting to keep it from getting too fiddly. There's an order you can piece it where all of the curves are pretty smooth and gentle.

      I'll draw up a little diagram and get it posted -- I've got some cooking to do for tomorrow, but will get it assembled as soon as I can!
      Hand piecer, big-stitch quilter, pattern tweaker 


        Thank you Sonia for the video on glue basting. This will be a big help. This is a challenging quilt and I need to do it well because my sister already asked to have it when I’m done . Just to add to the challenge !
        I will try a practice piece as soon as I receive the templates.
        Thanks again


          The website won't let me edit the photos so here is the one with rings. Decided to try another post.HelenW


            I think the easiest way for me to make this block might be with prepared-edge applique. I might machine stitch the background shapes of the block and then applique the petals on top. I tried several applique methods with Afternoon Delight. The one I liked best was to cut templates on my Scan n' Cut out of heat-resistant mylar, and then glue the seam allowances of the applique fabric to the back of the template, hit it with an iron, remove the template and hand applique it down. i got all 40 of the applique blocks in Afternoon Delight done when family issues caused me to stop. I should finish that quilt!


            • Helen W. commented
              Editing a comment
              Judith, I like you idea. I tried it with the leaf shaped petals. I was surprised it was so easy. I think I used too much glue though. Do you use a glue stick or glue dots from a bottle. I tried both, The dots were
              easier to peel off the template plastic. I still need to work on making the points better. Any tips you
              have I would love to hear. It is something I have not tried before. I have tried using the template plastic with starch but it seem to take too long. HelenW

            • soniasimone commented
              Editing a comment
              This would work, but if you can handle the curve from piece J to K, I think you can stitch the petals in as well! Worth experimenting as it will be much faster.

              I included a diagram and thoughts in a comment below.

            Barbara, When I read your blog this morning, I saw the layout for Pieced Block 1. That is the same way I drew it up in EQ8.
            Have not tried making it yet. HelenW


              Helen, Glue stick did not work very well for me. What worked best for me was to use a very, very fine-tipped applicater to drop a very fine like of glue on either the back edge of the mylar or the seam allowance of the appiique piece. Then iron it dry. Then remove the template. Then iron the applique piece again to make sure it is flat and easy to applique. I make a batch of shapes at a time and store them in little plastic bags you get in the jewelry section of Walmart. Attached is a photo of some leaves and their mylar templates. The leaves on the left have the mylar templates removed. The leaves on the right still have the mylar templates in them. Those on the right are made to slip under stems. Roxanne liquid Glue Baste It works best for me for prepared edge applique. The bottle on the left is a Roxannes bottle that works well. I also bought a big bottle of refill glue and some small empty plastic bottles with very fine metal tips and attached caps (that don't get lost!). I like the precision.


                Thank you Judith for the good explanation. I tried it using a thin line of Elmers glue with a Sharon Schamber tip in the seam
                allowance on the fabric. For me it was easier than putting the glue on the template plastic edge. I watched Karen Kay Buckley
                you tube on Prepping leaves with her template plastic shapes. Got the tips of not putting the iron on the whole template, keeping
                it just covering the seam allowance. I use double stitch tape on the back side of template to adhere it to the fabric while I cut
                approximate 1/4 inch seam. Another benefit of it not have to be exact. I used the applique stick with the flat end to pop the glue
                loose after ironing. That worked well. Put a drop of fray check on back side of each point. I am really excited about this technique, Thank You for posting the tip. My templates are not as perfect as I would like. Don't have a die cut machine. Which brand did
                you get. HelenW


                  OK, here's how I think it comes together easiest.

                  Sew each piece I to piece J, to make four units. Then sew each unit to piece K. You now have four corner units.

                  Take two of those corner units and sew them to piece L on each side. You now have two corner units without petals, and two with petals.

                  Sew your corner without petals to square M on opposite sides. Then sew your petal units to the opposite side -- you have a gentle curve you can sew from edge to edge to get the whole block together.

                  I attached a photo of the finished block with that last step indicated.

                  For my machine sewing folks, I would definitely try this in this order by machine. As long as your curves are well pasted, when you sew it this way, every curve is pretty gentle.

                  I've learned to press curves to the concave, by the way. The curve seems to be smoother and more visually attractive that way.
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by soniasimone; 11-27-2023, 10:41 AM. Reason: Edited to make it clearer and add the stitching line photo
                  Hand piecer, big-stitch quilter, pattern tweaker 


                  • Helen W. commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Sonia, Thank you for all the pre start effort you are doing. I tried hand stitching half of the block, my outside border pieces were not even close to being 8 1/2 inches. I think I have a lot to learn. You mentioned making the border area bigger and cut to size at the end. I really like that idea. When
                    I drew it I did it the same except I put the petals on the big unit with the square. I can see how this
                    gentle curve would be easier. If you have any good you tubes besides your glue basting gal, which
                    I loved, please post them. I need to practice connecting sections and my stitches are ugly, even though you won't see them. Thanks again, I will practice anything you post as ideas. HelenW

                  Here it is sewn up! It wasn't hard -- and I didn't sew it the easiest way. Took me about an evening of sewing -- 3 or 4 podcast episodes.

                  There are a lot of little hand piecing tricks, like stitching around each intersection to keep them aligned. I presume that Jen will have some tutorials for us -- she normally does with her BOMs.

                  By the way, when I cut this, I gave myself extra seam allowance all along the outside borders. That lets me trim down to size when I'm ready to assemble them.
                  Hand piecer, big-stitch quilter, pattern tweaker 


                  • Helen W. commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Beautiful block Sonia. This really makes me want to learn hand piecing. Any chance you could also
                    take a picture of the back side. I might be able to learn something by looking at the intersections on the zoom feature. I sure appreciate your passion for hand piecing. Did you love it from the first try,
                    or did it take a while to get the hang of it, then it became your go to way.? HelenW

                  When you cut and mark your pieces, be sure you mark both the dots and the sewing line. To find the line on a curved piece, use the template that the piece joins to.

                  For a longer piece like piece K, you'll normally want to mark the sewing line in sections or it can get distorted. It should be a nice, smooth, even 1/4" the whole way.

                  Since you sew curves with the concave piece on top, I often only mark the sewing line for that piece. But if I'm finding it tricky, since I'm hand piecing, I sometimes mark both and then just take quick peeks as I go to make sure I'm hitting both lines correctly. If it was glue basting there would be no need for that, but hand sewing through glue is no fun, so I just use pins.

                  Note that the sides of pieces I and J look like they could be straight, but they're curved.

                  Final tip, if you are hand piecing, short appliqué pins can be easier to work with when you're pinning curves. Pin along the sewing line, and flip it open so you can make sure it looks right.

                  Curves aren't hard! At least gentle curves aren't. They're just weird -- while you're pinning or basting, it all looks very strange. Once it's sewn it will like nice and flat, though, if you follow the sewing lines and stitch from dot to dot.
                  Hand piecer, big-stitch quilter, pattern tweaker 


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