Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Sew Kind of Wonderful

I have been working on this lovely quilt off and on for quite a while now.  It was supposed to be a wedding gift but will now be a First Anniversary gift and should be quilted and bound by August, hopefully.  I just finished the top today!  With the sun shining through the window you can see the seam allowance is creating a stained-glass-window effect.

About the Quilt

I was generously gifted the specialist ruler called the "Quick Curve Ruler" by a sewing-bee friend named Raquel in America, which was especially nice as I had tried to get one sent to me here in Scotland and just couldn't source one at all.
The ruler as well as the pattern are from Helen and Jenny at Sew Kind of Wonderful.  The pattern I have used looks a lot like a traditional wedding ring quilt and is called Metro Rings.
I chose to use a fat quarter (FQ) bundle of fabrics called Terra Australis designed by Emma Jean Jansen and purchased from the only UK stockist The Crafty Quilter.

About the Process

I am leaving out any specific measurements and amounts as the pattern has very specific details and instructions, is a good price, is well written and extremely easy to follow.  I highly recommend it!
First I set aside two pink and two green FQs for the corner squares, the rest I cut into strips and stitched together in rows of 5.
The pattern is full of excellent cutting instructions and diagrams, but as I am left handed I do need to concentrate on the diagrams and reverse them in my head so that I can cut with my left hand and hold the ruler with my right.  Next was cutting the arch shapes.
Cutting all of the background fabric into squares, rectangles and triangles and then using the curved ruler on one edge of those shapes took a very long time, but finally, all my pretty piles were ready for assembling.
First job was to sew each colourful arch together with a triangular arch above and a rectangular arch below to get the new pointy blocks you see here on the right of the photo.  Then lots of trimming!
Next job was to pair them up and sew them together along the straight edge of the small blue arch piece.  I laid them out to try and make sure I had them randomly paired up.  This is not even half of them!
Here they all are, paired and ready to be sewn!
Once they are paired up and pressed open it was time to add on the triangle corners.  

Then at last I had a great collection of square blocks!  -  my eye blocks.  And of course lots more trimming to be done too.

Then sewing these eye blocks into pairs, then into sets of fours was fairly straight forward.  I concentrated on getting the triangles to match up and didn't worry about the blue background fabric matching up in the middle.
And finally today they are now in rows!
Next step will be to prepare the backing and then quilt it ready for gifting in August!


I am really pleased with how this has come together.  Fortunately I quite enjoy the cutting and trimming process, as there is a LOT of cutting and trimming in this pattern.  Though it is very helpful that after sewing each step you can relax a little about your accuracy as there is always pressing and trimming to make it all measure up correctly.
I would recommend this pattern to people only if you enjoy/don't mind cutting and trimming and are happy to spend an entire 'crafty session' not even touching your sewing machine.  Also just loving the idea of this pattern really motivated me to keep going with the process as I really wanted to see how it would all turn out.  I love the idea of this looking like the traditional wedding ring quilt, with lots of interlocking rings made up of many small pieces.
The curved sewing is no trouble at all.  It is a very gentle curve and can easily be maneuvered by holding the top piece in your left hand and the bottom piece in your right hand.  Just help the two edges to line up with one another just before they head under your sewing foot, and stitch at a medium pace.  Jenny has a video to help right handed people (it's practically the same, but actually easier for left handed people, as the dominant hand needs to be holding the top fabric which is on the left! easy for lefties)  Don't worry too much about accuracy at either end, as they get trimmed anyway!
Let me know if you have been tempted by this pattern, and feel free to ask any questions, I'd love to help if I can.
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