Piecing exercise from Ruth McDowell's "Piecing Workshop" »
InstructionsThe book has full instructions and templates, although I extended the enlarged version of the curved block to make it square.
Type of item: Home Decor
Style: Funky, Casual
What was your inspiration?
This was an exercise in advanced piecing from Ruth McDowell's book "Piecing Workshop". So my inspiration was learning how to do complex piecing using the freezer paper method. I decided to change the colour scheme, going for cool colours instead of the autumnal hues used in the book, to give myself more of a challenge.
The idea of this sampler is that as well as teaching you McDowell's freezer paper method, it takes you through various types of piecing. The first block, on the bottom left, teaches you narrow strips, including vanishing points. The top right block teaches you to sew around corners, using various angles. The top left teaches you curved piecing, again with various grades of curves, and the bottom right block teaches you inset patches.
I haven't quilted these pieces yet, so this is a work in progress. I'll update when I've done so.
What are you most proud of?
The curved piecing. Ye gods, the curved piecing. It's recommended that you do an enlarged version of the curved block first if you're new to curved piecing, and I warmly agree with this idea. The enlarged version is also provided as a template, and I extended it to make it square. Eventually these will be turned into cushion covers. Anyway, the curved block takes you through curves of increasing difficulty, and the very tight curves you do last, which can only be done by reverse appliqu as I recall, are quite fiendish. I still feel smug about managing them. The good thing is that once you've pieced this, you really do feel that you can piece everything. It's also a good size for a project, detailed enough to take you through the variations, but not so long that you'll get bored.
What advice would you give someone starting this project?
Be patient and do take the trouble you need to achieve accuracy - this will be difficult, but you're learning invaluable skills here. I used batiks, which have a denser weave and are therefore less likely to distort, and I think that was a smart move. Don't skimp on your tic marks. McDowell is a bit vague about the sort of pencilss you need for making the tic marks, but I eventually found out that Derwent Coloursoft pencils work as the "wax-based" pencils she suggests. Get a good range of colours for those pencils, you'll need them.