Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hand Piecing Newbie

Hand piecing

Sigh.  I started another project. I have wanted to try hand piecing for awhile now.  I have been reading about Inklingo for weeks.  My thought was if I learned it well enough I could do some of my Dear Jane blocks that way.  I am not good at practicing something so I needed a trial project.  It took me a little bit to figure out how to use Inklingo.  It was a lot easier than I expected so I think I was making it harder than it needed to be.  And then I needed to figure out what settings my printer liked because things kept jamming.  I found that if I put my printer on envelope setting nothing jammed.  After that it was smooth sailing.

I started these stars with the idea of doing a small tote bag.  I found the pattern on Inklingo's site.   But I love them so much I am now doing a small wall hanging.  The colors watch my bathroom exactly.  But here lies another problem.  The fabric line is called Pure by Moda and its a few years old. I need more.  I won a couple charm packs a few months ago on another blog.  This isn't enough for what I want it for.  So I have ordered some additional fat quarters I found on eBay.  

I think I am getting the hang of hand piecing.  My centers aren't perfect but my seams are getting better.  My stitches are not as loose and are more consistent.  My birthday is next week so I have asked my husband to get me Quiltmaking by Hand: Simple Stitches, Exquisite Quilts by Jinny Beyer.  This book has really great reviews so I am hoping to find a few hints.  I don't know anyone personally who hand pieces so I am teaching myself.  

Here are some close ups:

Hand piecing
Weird center.  It dents in too much.  


Hand piecing
This center just doesn't line up.  

Hand piecing
This one is a bit better but still not perfect.  

Another issue I am having is that all my blocks are just a tad too small.  They are supposed to be 5" but they are coming out to 4 7/8".  I suppose its ok because they are all the same but when I get to working on my Dear Jane I need them to be exact.  Am I supposed to be sewing beside the line or on the line with inklingo?  Maybe its my thread?  I am using 50 wt. Mettler.  Maybe someone out there can help me. I was inspired to start hand piecing from another blog user that uses Inklingo so maybe I will reach out to her.  I wonder if she would mind? 

This week I am linking up to Freshly Pieced and Esther's blog.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

9 comments:

  1. I have the same problem with blocks usually being slightly smaller than I want them to be. For inklingo you do sew on the line that is why it is there. For center stars I have found that if you line the seams up really good and put a spot of fabric glue in place and hold together for a minute or two to set and then use pins it will line up good. Practice, practice that is all it takes :) Welcome to the relaxing world of hand piecing!

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  2. forgot to say also that pressing the seams can help make the block the correct measurement also - sometimes I press as I go or every couple pieces.

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  3. I have never pieced anything ( by hand or machine ) that is even remotely close to perfect so I will let the expert answer your questions. As to me I think that you are doing a great job / they look lovely! :)

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  4. Hi Linda Franz has a two part video on how to piece a Kaleidoscope star which you may glean some helpful hints from. Here is the link to part 1,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFo5Wec9PuA, and she has a video which comes with her Quilted Diamonds book where she covers everything you need to know regarding how to hand piece, pick fabric, etc....

    Good luck, Helen

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  5. Gosh, I dont have any advice for the size, but I hope it works out. I think they look great! :)

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  6. real nice blocks I like the fabric you choose!

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