Making a map
This weekend I created a virtual sewing map. I think that when I'm using the English paper piecing method, more complicated layouts will be easier if I have a map to follow as I sew: something that tells me what goes where and which way I'd intended the flower on each piece to be rotated. Being able to see the whole thing laid out so that I can make these decisions before I begin sewing means less time with the seam ripper later. I find it hard to keep a visualisation of the overview in my mind, so creating a mock-up which I can photograph and then print out and keep by my side means that I don't lose my way. I have been accused of over-planning and craziness by my Instagram friends...but I've had so much fun doing and am entirely happy in my lunacy.
This photo is of the very centre of my block as I was just beginning. I bought a large 10mm thick piece of foam board to pin my pieces to and used silver tiny-headed pins, which when viewed from above are invisible, allowing me to see just the design. I've fussy cut each piece as I want to maximise the kaleidoscopic effect of the finished block. I've been following a quilt pattern called Tessellations from the much talked about Brigitte Giblin book, but at a greatly reduced scale. This block will be a fraction of the size of the lovely quilt in her book, as the scale of the Liberty prints is so tiny, that if I'd have used them with the full-size pieces any fussy-cutting would have been lost.
I eventually ran out of pins and had to leave the house to buy more, but when I could finally see the finished block I was really pleased with it. And the pins...they have strangely reminded me of the overview of the Olympic stadium, which has been my viewing backdrop as I've planned this. I'd intended to create a cushion for my daughter's room using this block, but I've enjoyed it too much to leave it at that and so am planning a quilt around the block.
I finally started sewing a few of the pieces together in bed this morning. It makes waking up at 6am a complete pleasure - it's so lovely to sit quietly stitching in bed while my husband sleeps.