I like to do as much as possible to prep for my quilt projects up front so that I can just sit down and sew without thinking I’ll have to go back to the mundane cutting phase again. I also like to get the most complex bits done first so that it’s downhill all the way after that! With that in mind, I started with all the pieces that required templates, especially the curved bits. There’s a few ways of doing these, but I promised an IG friend that I would write up how I tackled them. If I were doing the original size for this quilt, I would definitely FPP (Foundation Paper Piece) my triangle arches – to create a template for that, trace the 2 triangles for each arch in turn, matching one long edge for each, until it goes through 180 degrees.
Firstly using the templates:
I traced my templates from the magazine rather than photocopying – thick magazines and books warp badly at the spines if you try to photocopy them, which then distorts the shapes being used. After that I transferred them to template plastic (I also enlarged mine as I’m supersizing my version)
Bear in mind that the templates do not include the seam allowance, so when you transfer them to the fabric you will need to add 1/4″ seam allowance all round. For curves, the best tool I’ve found, as recommended by our QAL mama Kerry. is a Quilter’s Wheel. You can pick one up in my shop here. With a pencil in the wee hole, you simply whizz around your template to mark the seam allowance:
Once you’ve added the seam allowance, before you remove the template mark all the corners. With the triangle pieces I marked the 2 closest corners more clearly by drawing a little way along each side to help when I came to sew the curves together. The dot marks the tip of the triangle.
Moving on to the sewing:
When you come to sew the triangle and clamshell pieces together, sew between the dots – this will allow you to join 3 pieces together at one point.
For the clamshells, I stitched along the seam allowance for what would be the raw edges, that way I could turn under and press before appliqueing to the background
For the rainbow, dresden and triangle arches, once I’d sewed them together I then sewed them right sides together with some Cutaway Magic Fusible (fusible side outwards at this stage), leaving a gap at the bottom to allow for turn through, and turned them right sides out before pressing. The fusible is actually meant for embroidery, but I got the tip at a class I took once at the Scottish Quilt Show in Edinburgh, and it works rather well. I left the whole of the bottom of the rainbow open as it actually aligns with the seam on the background, so the raw edge will disappear in that.
I also used the fusible on the petal pieces, but I sewed the petals and the fusible rights sides together all the way around, clipped my curves, tapering towards the points, then cut a hole in the fusible to turn the petals through before pressing.
To find the placement of the petals on the background, fold the background square on the diagonal in each direction – the petals will have both ends lying on the fold line, with the points meeting in the middle
I machine appliqued my petals on to the background using a tiny blanket stitch, learned in the same class as the fusible,
I hope that all makes sense, but if you have any questions, please let me know :o)
Woah that gadget is genius!
That quilters wheel is an amazing invention!!!!! Gotta get myself one of those !
I have never seen that gadget! Thanks for sharing, though I have a dislike of templates, so I'll keep it in mind for who-know-when…
Those dresdens!!! Those petals!!!!! To die for!!
Ps, thanks for the pics, all I heard was charlie brown parent talk until I saw those!! Lol! Newbie that I am!
Some great tips! I've seen two pencils banded together used to mark a seam allowance, don't know how accurate. Your blocks are looking fab! I'm doing a large scale appliqué at the mo and was planning on using the RST and turn through method on each piece but worried it might puff up, that fusible stabiliser trick may be what I need, (what about then fusing pieces to the background too?) I'll experiment with the blanket stitch too, I didn't fancy slip stitching it all down!
I have long wanted an excuse to buy those circle things, now I have it. Thanks for all the tips.
Great tips Katy!
I can't find my quilter's wheel :o( I think the only way to find it is to buy a new one!
I hope I can remember these tips if and when my magazine ever arrives
Thanks for all the great tips!
This is awesome. I will use these tips!
Thank you, glad I could help :o)