I’ve been very neglectful in keeping you up-to-date here on our Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along! Apologies! I think perhaps Christmas put paid to my QAL rhythm and blog routine!!
Since I last updated you on the QAL we have made….
1 Light of Life Lantern (18″ Drunkard’s Path) block:
2 Flying Geese borders:
2 Spools blocks (9″ each):
And this week the ladies are making …
1 Circle of Hearts (9″ Applique) block:
2 Orange Peel (9″ Applique) blocks:
This week marks the end of all our block making! Wow! 17 weeks has gone by in a flash! The photos the ladies put up in the private Facebook Group are wonderful and it’s so exciting seeing the quilts growing week on week.
That just leaves 2 more weeks where we will be covering quilt top assembly and quilting and binding techniques bringing our QAL to an end on 31st January.
I’m very much looking forward to showing you some of the finished quilt tops in a few weeks time!
This week in the Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along we are making three 9″ Crossed Paths blocks.
This block column will add a dramatic geometric contrast to the softer curves and sharp points of its surrounding blocks.
The technique focus in making these blocks is how to successfully sew long strips together.
For these blocks we are sewing 3 Width of Fabric strips together (42″-44″) and then chopping them into smaller units to create the striped sections.
If you have ever worked with a Jelly Roll (precut 2.5″ strips) or narrow border strips you may have experienced some curving or bowing when sewing the long strips together.
Here are some helpful tips to avoid curving when sewing long strips together:
1 Pin/clip the strips right sides together, first at the top and bottom edges, then the middle and the quarter points. This will prevent the top strip from ‘travelling’ further than the underneath strip.
2 (If sewing more than 2 strips together, place a pin marker at the top of the first 2 strips so you remember which end you started sewing at.)
3 Use a new 80/12 standard needle and attach a walking foot to your machine (or engage IDT). Sew 1/4″ seam down the length of the strips.
4 Remove the pins/clips and set the seams (press the seam as you have sewn it). Now press the seam either open or to the darkest fabric. This is best done on a large ironing board where you can easily keep the length of the strip straight as you press.
5 Pin and attach the next strip in the same way as before, this time sewing from the bottom end (remember your pin marker donotes the top end). Changing direction of the sewing will resist curving.
Now you should have straight sewn strips with no ruffles or curving along the seams!!
(All sample blocks were made using Handmade fabrics by Makower)
Now in my introduction to this series, I described this part as the Mystery section!
That’s because this post is all about Partial Seams!
Just like the other Log Cabin Family members, in these examples fabric is pieced around a central shape.
1 Log Cabin
You may have noticed that the ‘logs’ in the Log Cabin block above are equal length in each round, unlike the Log Cabin Block from Part 1.
This is made possible by starting each round with a partial seam (denoted here with the number 0.5 instead of 1!).
The first ‘log’ being attached is stitched only half way along the seam. It is then pressed out allowing the 2nd ‘log’ to be fully attached. This one is then pressed out before attaching log 3 and the same for log 4. Now you can bring the unsewn section of log 1 right sides together to log 4 and finish sewing the starting (partial) seam.
I love how clever this technique is. Without prior knowledge of partial seams, it would be difficult to work out how to construct this block. Therein lies the mystery!!
2. Rail Fence
In this example, the ‘rail fence’ sections are pieced separately, before being attached to the centre square.
In quilt design, the terms ‘advanced’ or ‘technical’ can be quite subjective, depending on which part of the quilt the term refers to.
For example, a quilt can look ‘uncomplicated’ due to the fabrics used, but the piecing technique may require complete accuracy or many instructions.
At the other end of the spectrum, a quilt can look cleverly complicated with really straightforward piecing.
Crossed Paths falls somewhere in between! The repeating 15″ blocks are based around 2 elements: (1) Foundation pieced quadrants are made separately, papers removed then pieced around the central square using (2) a partial seam (tutorial on partial seams coming soon!).
However, close attention must be paid to the cutting instructions and fabric placement, to achieve the gradation of background from dark to light and the reverse gradation of the ‘crossed paths’.
This is a quilt where lots of labels and plastic bags are recommended to keep yourself organised!
So if you like making quilts with a little more ‘bite’ then this one’s for you!