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Smitten Quilt progress::: tips on always being ready to slow sew!

Hello everyone! How have you been? We’ve just finished half term which was lovely but hectic. I enjoyed my peaceful cuppa when I came home from the school run this morning…… soooo relaxing!

I’ve recently started a new project……I know, another one! But there’s a reason for this one! Life has been quite hectic recently, nothing overly serious just lots of things all building up and I confess to feeling a bit emotionally worn-out. Why is it that in the parenting books they always warn you about the sleepless nights but no-one really tells you about the emotional wranglings of guiding children through school?!

Back when I started the blog, it was to record the making of my Sky Blanket. One of the things I really enjoyed about it was making time to crochet for just 10-15mins a day, quite often after lunch with a nice cuppa. It became a lovely daily ritual and is something I’ve been missing. So when Amitie Textiles had a pattern sale a couple of weeks ago, I bought their new Smitten Pattern and ordered some templates from Amazon (they were a really good price but if you order them please be warned that they come from the States so take a little while to arrive!).

I’m thinking of making this quilt mainly out of Denyse Schmidt fabric as I am a huge fan and have been collecting a few ever since I started quilting. I’m not sure if I’ve got enough variety so I might add in the odd blender here and there. I made a start on some slow sewing over the past week though and thought I would share some of my processes with you, just in case you’re interested!

I started out by cutting enough pieces for about 4 blocks: choosing fabrics is always the bit that takes me the longest so I like to play with different selections of fabric over a few days until I’m happy with my combinations. Each of the block pieces are then packed in their own ziplock bag, ready for the next stage…….

Tips for always being ready to Slow Sew by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Marking up for hand piecing is the bit I’m finding trickiest (read: boring!) at the moment! I don’t trust myself to be able to eyeball the seam allowances well enough though so I’m going to keep persevering and am trying to embrace the whole process.

A while ago, I made myself a design board using Lori’s fabulous tutorial and on the reverse side I stuck a sheet of sandpaper (this is a trick that I picked up from the lovely Jen Kingwell: if you lay fabric on the sandpaper it doesn’t shift around whilst your trying to draw the seam allowances on).

My board measures around 9″ x 10.5″ and is the perfect size for holding 6 small pieces at a time. First I mark each of the dots on the template using either a silver gel/frixion pen (depending on the colour of the fabric). For this diamond, I can then move the template down the shape slightly to match up three of the corner points (as pictured) and draw on my sewing line. I repeat this for the other 5 shapes then pick up the board, rotate it 180* and repeat the process. The sandpaper is so good at gripping the paper that I found the easiest way is to just tip the board upside down so that all the pieces come off! Then they all go back into the ziplock bag so that I have a project bag ready to go!

Smitten Quilt - tips for always being ready to Slow Sew by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Recently, I made myself a roll-up travel design board (you can find a tutorial here!)  so that I can keep a block laid out in the right order whilst on the move too!!!

It did take a while to get my mini project bags all prepped and ready to go but I’m now set for a few weeks of slow sewing! And here are the blocks that I’ve completed so far….two Large Hexagon 1’s and one Small Hexagon 3.

Smitten Quilt - tips for always being ready to Slow Sew by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence
Smitten Quilt - tips for always being ready to Slow Sew by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence
Smitten Quilt - tips for always being ready to Slow Sew by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

I hope this has been of interest to some you and if you have any other tips to share with me for hand-piecing, I’d really love to hear them!

Sx  

Today’s sky::: blue skies and cloudy. Could almost feel spring in the air today!

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4 Comments

  1. Lucy @ Charm About You
    February 24, 2015 / 10:54 pm

    Fabulous blocks! I got a little 1" ruler that I use to mark my 1/4" seam allowances. Since I'm doing so much hand sewing it has become one of my most treasured notions!

  2. February 26, 2015 / 12:14 pm

    They look lovely, just as neat as EPP … But much faster.

  3. February 27, 2015 / 8:27 pm

    These are amazing!

  4. Iris
    February 28, 2015 / 7:07 am

    I Love insights into processes. What a great way of doing and preparing. I might use it for my Camelot quilt blocks. Many thanks!