Friday, May 22, 2009

fabric!

I little while back, Joyce and I decided to do a swap, because she wanted a variety of Asian-style fabrics to play with and I really liked the dyeing she was doing... and I was happy to mail off the overflow from my Asian bin! Anyway, these lovely hand-dyes arrived a few days ago and I've finally managed to take a picture of them. My favorites are on top -- there is a wonderful deep green compilation with some rusty bits that looks like a redwood forest to me, and an ethereal pale blue-lilac. And lots of other yummy stuff that I'm going to have fun playing with, too!

I've been participating in a birthday block swap on the About.com forum, which is nearing its end. The request for May was a NYB block using any batiks. This is the second block I made -- trying really hard to not "lose" the seam allowances on the sides when I trimmed it down to 12-1/2".
You'll notice on the block below (which was my first one) that I wasn't so successful. I think it's because I was removing all the paper foundation before sewing the arcs together -- 'cause it is so hard to sew them smoothly with the paper still on -- and everything got stretchy. On the newer block, I tried to leave the paper on the convex edge, and I think it worked much better.
Does anyone have other tricks for these puppies?

12 comments:

Quilt Pixie said...

are you sewing the curves starting from the centre and working to each end? That, I'm told, can make a world of difference rather than sewing one long cruved seam from end to end...

Di said...

Awfully pretty, Julie. I haven't had the nerve to try a NYB yet. I think I'll live through you.

Anonymous said...

I always leave extra fabric (like 1/2") on the outside edges when I make my NYB blocks, then I can trim them down. I'd rather waste the fabric than not have a full block :)

JOY

Elaine Adair said...

Hey, I'm impressed - I've done a few, but my colors were not well chosen and I stopped. I liked the comment by "anonymous" (Joy - sounds like a good idea.

Joyce said...

I'm so glad you finally got the fabric and that you like it. I have no experience with paper piecing beyond learning that I don't really enjoy it.
Yours both look fine to me.

Vicki W said...

What great fabric! Love the NYB block too.

Debra said...

Very handsome blocks!

katelnorth said...

I found this one easier than some we've done - larger size=looser arcs=easier to sew curves. Also, I did use leave-in foundation paper (tea-bag paper) in some parts, and I think that helped a bit, but I still had a little trouble with one edge. Might try Joy's tip next time - sounds sensible.

imquilternity said...

Gorgeous fabrics and gorgeous blocks! WOW!

Librarynan said...

Wow! Absolutely BEAUTIFUL...both of them.

Joey said...

I have worked on the Christmas Pickle from Possibilities which has these NYB blocks and I found oversizing; pinning more than normal; leaving the paper in but I trim the curves in the paper as well as the fabric; baste and be sure correct and then sew with normal size stitch. They are beautiful and well worth the effort.

Anonymous said...

Haven't done this block, but did the Rattlesnake block (from Karen K Stone's book), which is also paper pieced, with curves. i found that blocking the blocks after they were finished made a huge difference. i marked the finish square size of freezer paper, ironed that onto my ironing board, then wet and steamed my blocks like crazy to make them fit, and pinned to let them dry. the amount of adjustment possible is unbelievable.
Kellie