Monday, 30 July 2012

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.

Florence x

16 comments:

  1. These blocks are really beautiful! I love the design! It's smart to plan the design so carefully-- if you're going to invest the time in sewing quilt blocks, you may as well make sure you're going to love the results! :) Love the blue block with the hot pink poppy as the focal point!

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    1. Thank you! I think from memory that the poppy print is called Ros.

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  2. I love your blocks - they're exquisite!!

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  3. Beautiful work.
    I thought I was the only person in the world to craft (hand-quilting at the moment) in bed. In fact, you are the first person I have confided in. Please keep it a secret! ha ha

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    1. Oh no! I'd assumed all sewers would be happy to do some hand-sewing from their beds - it hadn't even crossed my mind that this might be deemed odd!

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  4. So pretty!
    I'll have to show this to my husband as he thinks I'm mad for sewing/knitting instead of sleeping in in the mornings :)

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    1. Perfectly sane! I keep telling my husband that it's akin to meditation.

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  5. So so beautiful - it will be a stunning cushion. I love the early morning quiet the best...something about knowing I have at least an hour of me time before the rest of the house awakes (this is of course assuming that I've woken by myself rather than because of a Little Person!) x

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    1. Yes, it's such a good time of day - although my children wake early, so their sounds of pottering can be heard from their bedrooms!

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  6. I suspect most great human achievements are the products of what some people call "over-planning and craziness"... This is looking really pretty and entirely worth the effort!

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  7. So gorgeous and such attention to detail. I can't wait to see the finished product.

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  8. You are a wicked woman!
    Once upon a time I submitted a miniature quilt made in Tana Lawn to a competition, and was quite astonished to find that it was selected for display at the quilt fairs. I didn't win, but that didn't matter in the slightest.
    You have now got me trawling Tana Lawn stockists. I particularly like one called "Chris" which is both linear and numerical, with tape measures and rulers on it.

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    1. How absolutely lovely! I'd love to see a photo of the original quilt?

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  9. Love your idea of the sewing map and your blocks are really, really lovely. I like to stitch in bed too but it's usually at night time - I might try sneaking in a stitch or two in the morning!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x