Our Aurifil Designer of the Month block is by Laurie Simpson of Minick & Simpson is our designer. And Laurie has taken us "Back to Basics" with a hand pieced block.
I learned to quilt by hand piecing and I tell you it worth every stitch I did on those first 10 quilts. You can hand piece anywhere and hand piecing gives you MAD SEWING SKILLS! it is not hard, just a running stitch.
I was working on it during a July 4th Party (hey.. don't judge.. You are a quilter and you SO GET stitching at parties right?.. good we can be friends!) There are 4 corners and you can see Laurie's block AND read my interview with her HERE AT THE AURIFIL BLOG.
I'll take you stop by step..let's go!
First let me say if you love English Paper Piecing (EPP) this block can easily be done that way. But I prefer hand piecing, seems like less steps and easier to me! Start with the pattern (from the Aurifil blog), I marked where I wanted colors to go
I'm using Aurifil 28 weight thread for hand piecing. You can use 50 or 40, but I like 28.
28 wt Aurifil is noticeably thicker than 50 and 40. You might be able to tell on my video
This video was done a long time ago, but the info is still accurate on thread weights.
Trace all the shapes onto the BACK of the fabric. My block is batiks and cottons
I'm using a pen, you can use a pencil too. This is your sewing line, so be sure you can't see the line on the front side of your fabric
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My center. Used 2 different fabrics so the star is seen nicely.
Take 2 star points from the CENTER and put a pin through to connect them
Check to see that you hit the right spot on the back side.
When you first start hand piecing you check more often until you get used to it. You could cut accurate 1/4" seam allowances around your shapes, but I don't so I do need to check.
Now you are just going to do a running stitch! HOW EASY IS THIS?
See I told you.. Hand Piecing MADE SIMPLE! yep #SewWithPat
Every few stitches I do a 'back stitch. I also do not put the 'knot' at the corner. I start 'in' a stitch, backstitch, then go forward. I don't want a pile of knots in that center area.
I am ONLY stitching to the 'bend' in in the star, NOT point to point
This is how I go about assembling this block.
Let me show you how to turn and go up the next side. There is a nifty little trick that we use in hand piecing. I'm going to insert that triangle
We are going to sew between the two junctions. starting on the RIGHT and sewing towards the 'turn' in the block.
When we get to the turn we want to take the other end of the cream color triangle and pin it's 'tip' into place.
This is the new position we'll work from.
Now we have to make the 'turn'
Take another pin and put it through the front cream color unit, and match the 'turn' on the red unit.
Peek to be sure you are on the line.
This all goes VERY QUICKLY once you start piecing by hand. The first few units seem tedious but then you 'get it' and you can zoom along!
Here is the back side where I laid out the triangles
I'll be piecing like this, then add the 4 corners at the end!
The center is the same as the other places where there is a lot to join, so take your time
Hand stitching It's a great portable project, let me show you Laurie's back which was all pressed perfectly
Here is the back of Laurie's block so you can see how she ironed the seams, beautiful right?
Click HERE to the Aurifil Post to pick up the pattern and read my interview with Laurie!
This is my version of the quilt. (click for larger image).
Find all the blocks at the DESIGNER of the Month Page
Are you interested in more on Hand Piecing? This is my favorite book for really learning hand piecing. Jinny is a pro and the book has photos to show you ever step BUY the BOOK for fantastic lessons.
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