Thursday, 22 March 2012

Teaching curved piecing

I've been asked to teach the technique that Pat Deacon has invented to  make curved piecing simpler. I think she has invented a brilliant method which I thought I'd share here.
Keeping it simple with different degrees of difficulty.
  1. The original drawing is reversed and the reverse image traced onto freezer paper. Register marks are added to the pattern to mark the point at which curved move from CONCAVE to CONVEX. Do this along the whole join.
  2. Now cut the sections apart accurately.
  3. Iron the freezer paper onto the WS of the chosen fabric and cut out, adding a 1cm seam allowance on the marked edge.
4.Where you have a CONCAVE edge you are going to snip the seam allowance from one register mark to the next.
5.Take one section. Look really carefully at the edge with the seam allowance. You are now going to mark where you will snip the seam allowance. This is the most important stage in making this technique work.
6.Snip the seam allowance on the CONCAVE sections
 7.You now need some spray starch and a paintbrush, iron and board.
8. Paint a little starch on the snipped seam allowances and press the seam allowance over the edge of the freezer paper. Do this at all points on this piece of fabric.
9. Now do the same for the other piece of fabric, if necessary putting the edges back together to check that the marks tally.
10. We are now going to put these two pieces of fabric together for stitching. Work with the freezer paper side uppermost.
 11. Start at on end. The snipped and pressed section will lie UNDERNEATH the unpressed sections.
12. Using masking tape, take short pieces and stick the visible seam allowance to the freezer paper, do this every 5-10cm so that the sections are firmly held in place while you machine. (if you are joining more than 2 sections, always machine one before taping on the next section)
13. Thread up the machine with either a matching thread or invisible thread.
14. Set machine to BLIND HEM stitch, 1/2 width and a medium stitch length.
15. Carefully check which way your blind hem stitch swings. Also check whether your machine allows you to flip the swing stitch direction as you stitch.

16. The idea is to have the swing stitch of the blind hem going into the folded edge of the fabric and the straight stitched running next to the fold on the unfolded edge. If you can flip your stitch, start stitching at one end and work all the way to the far end. If you can't flip the stitch you will need to stitch each section between the register marks separately, turning the fabric round so that the swing stitch always goes into the folded edge of the fabric.
17. Stitch slowly, leave the needle down to allow you to turn tight curves.
18. Neaten the machine ends.
19. Carefully remove the masking tape from the pattern.
20. Now gently pull the freezer paper off the fabric. If you have stitch over  it, use a pin to gently resease the paper and cut it away.
 21. Press fabric on WS

Finished piece

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

CQ 10 - final

I have been so under the cosh this last week trying to get my CQ10 piece finished. What anguish this piece has caused, it has really thrown up short comings in my initial designing, something I really must work on! I think I still have too much magpie in my approach with out the clarity of what I want to achieve.
But.....I have finished, there are elements I am really pleased with but on the whole this is not my best work, but I will submit it, as it has exercised my mind for so long!
This small section gives you an idea of how it has turned out. I shall now await the scrutiny of the jury and hope that I have done enough to be included!
Now all I have to do, very quickly, is decide if I am entering a piece for FoQ in August!!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Corby Open Exhibition

The two pieces that have been accepted for hanging at this exhibition are:
"War Torn" - made from African fabrics and mono-printed cottons, torn, heavily quilted and beaded.
 Expresses my sadness that there is so much strife, violence and unrest in such beautiful places.

"The Rocks of Petra" - made with my own hand dyed fabrics, with heavy machine and hand stitching and beads.
The design coming from the patterns in the rocks exposed as walked down the Siq and into Petra.

Sunday, 11 March 2012


I had been so looking forward to going to the Hockney exhibition, I hoped it would live up to expectation. Wow...... it certainly did.
I'm not sure that I have the vocabulary to do the pictures justice, but I found them almost spiritual in their homage to the English countryside. The Yorkshire Wolds are an area I have come to know quite well, traversing them to visit family over many, many years. His pictures really capture the feel of the area and the light. I could have wished for less people, to be able to stand further back from the pictures to see the full glory of the huge canvasses. Now I wish I had bought tickets for more than one visit!

Not quite sure how I have the gaul to write this in the same post, but.... I have had two pieces hung in the Corby Open Art Exhibition, now on. "The Rocks of Petra" and "War Torn". Its good to get some textiles hung in these events, just three pieces this time, perhaps more next time.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

CQ10 part 3

I have been working really hard on this piece and agonising over the placement of each element, progress is slow and I really do not have a great deal of time left to complete it!
I have added appliquéd wheel shapes and used the negative shapes as well and have stipple quilted the central area. The addition of the puce coloured shapes has lifted the piece but they will be partially obscured by the lutrador shapes later.
Now I need to think about the quilting on the outer area, something different I think. I'm considering using a continuous line following the curve of the wheel, repeated every 3cm or so.

Friday, 2 March 2012

CQ10 part 2

I feel a great deal happier about this piece now! I have tried to work on the handling sample and the min piece at the same time so that they are in step with each other.
I have worked the machine embroidered wheels on the top layer only, and in an embroidery hoop to prevent distortion of the fabric, this has been successful.
The handling sample(20cm sq) is now almost complete, just the lutrador to attach and the background quilting to do!