Tuesday, June 17, 2014

English Paper Piecing + West African Prints = Super Cool Clock!

Piece By Number
I really don't like doing handwork, and save up any hemming or button reattachments into a group...then do all the torture at once, usually while watching a DVD.  However, a post on SewMamaSew inspired me to give English Paper Piecing a try.  If you'd like some history, or more info, please check out this PDF from the International Quilt Study Center at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.  

I knew I wouldn't have the patience for a very big project, so what to do? 

Inspired by a Japanese folded paper technique (kanzashi) I saw in the book, Fabric by Fabric: One Yard Wonders, I decided to make a clock face.  (See Erin's using kanzashi here!)  I also wanted to use my dwindling supply of West African fabrics. The Roommate collects clocks, and our sun room has 5 on different time zones. So I had the idea and the fabric, but wasn't interested in trying kanzashi, so what to do?

A bit of googling found the Piece by Number site, where I found a pattern called Circle of Geese.  The pattern is here (another PDF). You can see her example up there to the left; isn't it pretty?  

A close-up of mine in the photo to the right. So many tiny stitches!  Almost can't believe I did that... 

Paper piecing is a real hassle: sew everything to a piece of cardboard, stitch them together, unsew to get the pieces of cardboard released and do it again.  I was thrilled I only had to repeat the block 3 more times!  I thought it would get easier with repetition, but it didn't! Honestly, it was just as much of a pain the 4th time as the first.  However, you can see that it's a great way to make little pointed pieces all come together.  

I finished it, but the Roommate & I decided that the hands didn't show enough, especially from a longer distance away. So I took the hands off and traced them and tried to fashion some triangles with interfacing.  I think buckram would have been better, but here's what happened...

I think it looks great!  It will be a striking addition to our clock collection & a fun way to use up some of my fabric scraps from a great shopping trip!

What do you think?  

Thursday, June 12, 2014

I'm Sewing Away on a Vintage Pattern Pledge Item, But...

The title above is true, I swear! However, I'm using Hug Snug & lining it with silk as I go along...which means it won't need much finishing when it's done. (Hug Snug tutorial here.)  On the other hand I spent a lot of time on it yesterday & didn't even finish the top.  So it's slow going.  

But just to give you a glimmer, here are a few photos of what I'm working on...
Hug snug & silk lining! 

Couldn't resist this ethnic-y fabric, called Tropic Traveler.