Friday, 23 March 2018

Curves and Circles

Sometimes when you're thinking about your next quilt project you have two new design possibilities and it seems a good idea to combine them in the one quilt. That's the way it's been with my Curvy Circles Quilt. (18" x 23")

The two thoughts were:

  1. Wouldn't it look good if I did a strippy quilt of circles and floating rectangles where the circles were placed randomly along the strips
  2. Instead of straight strips I could make them curvy.
That's when things started to get a little complicated as the circles couldn't be placed on the narrowest part of the curvy strips as they would be too small ........ there goes my very random idea!

So, as in life, my quilt is a compromise, which to my eyes doesn't quite work. Nevertheless I do like the curves and I do like the colours. The colours make me think that perhaps it's leaving certain ones out that makes for a better combination, rather than what we put in. I was going to say that I've left out two colours which are next to each other on the colour wheel - red and orange, but actually they are both there in very tiny amounts. Before I start a new scrappy quilt I hunt around in my small scraps, which are in a wicker waste paper bin .... and yes that does get a bit confusing at times :), and I lay them all out to see which to reject. Taking a photo sometimes helps.

This post explains how I do the circles and the floating rectangles - 6 minute circles - design 1, but this time I did the 6 minute circles by sewing with invisible thread and zigzag stitch and I used Steam-a-Seam-2 to attach raw edged small circles inside the larger ones, sewing them on with the same zigzag stitch.

I machine quilted around all the shapes and hand quilted with horizontal lines around the circles.

I've not sewn curves much except as in drunkard's path, so didn't anticipate the problems that I had with these serpentine curves - all the time thinking that there must be a better/easier way. In the end I unpicked my wobbly sewn seams and settled on the method below. This is an example using just two fabrics.

I drew my curves on cardboard using three evenly spaced straight lines to guide me. I drew some positioning marks across the curve. I cut carefully along the line as I wanted to use both halves of the cardboard as templates.

I put one of my pieces of fabric (pink) on some fine sandpaper to stop it moving about, and marked the curve. I used a Frixion pen and I copied each of the positioning marks onto the fabric.

I marked the other fabric (cream) using the other template.

I cut the curve of the pink fabric adding a seam allowance and I snipped into the seam allowance along the inside curve.I left the other fabric uncut.

Then I folded the seam allowance under being sure to have the pen mark along the folded edge and I tacked it down.

Finally I pinned the pink curve on top of the cream matching up the positioning marks.

The curve can be sewn by hand or by machine and the cream fabric in the seam trimmed once the seam is sewn.

Some of the seams that I sewed over were quite bulky and I remembered reading in Di Wells' blog about using a "Hump Jumper". It's so annoying when your sewing comes to a halt, the stitches mess up and you have to keep lifting the foot and adjusting the fabric. I made myself a hump jumper out of cardboard and it actually works!

Many thanks to Di for that tip!

To satisfy myself that both my ideas are good ones I'm now going to have to make two more small quilts:
  1. A random strippy quilt - no curves
  2. A precisely pieced circles and floating rectangles quilt where all the circles are evenly spaced and are placed at the widest part of my curves
This photo edited pic shows how a random strippy might look.

Mmmmmm - less circles methinks.

Well - back to the sewing machine then ............ goody - Anita x 

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts - Finish it up Friday

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure what you are seeing because I absolutely LOVE this quilt!! Thank you for sharing your process. This was another fabulous addition to your series!