I have had more questions once again on how am I hand piecing Joseph’s Coat. If you are new to hand piecing or just thinking of it – I know it can be daunting to begin. But really you basically hand piece the same as you would machine piece – but maybe slower You lay your pieces out and pin in place – then get busy and sew. Here are some step by steps.
1- this is the piece that I already had done last night. It is just finger pressed – I haven’t gotten the iron out yet.
2 – starting a new segment – place them on the felt in the way they will look when done. If you think you will get confused and get things out of order take a photo with your digital camera and you can always go back and look – isn’t technology great
3- Pin one melon at a time to the background pieces. I use quarter inch masking tape to be my seam guide (yes I originally used Inklingo and printed my fabric out on freezer paper but I found it took more time – for squares and such I would use Inklingo though if I felt like it – these curves though work well like this) Some swear by Inklingo for hand piecing and although it does work well I find taking the time to prep takes more time than the way I have always done hand piecing.
4 – stitch along the tape using a running stitch – occasionally take a back stitch to make the seam stronger. For hand piecing I use this stick on thimble to help protect my finger – you can go without or with any kind of thimble that you like.
5- when I get done with a seam I can use this stick on thimble to help finger press my seam – for the melons it is advised on the Inklingo site to press towards the melon so that is what I am doing.
6- I keep finger pressing as I finish each seam – when I get done with all the segments I get the iron out and press with seam and then again when I finish a whole row.
7- this segment is now complete – it took me 30 minutes to hand piece this while I was watching the news and snapping photos as I went.
8- The two segments that I now have done for this row. I just placed them like this so you can see how they fit together. I will just stack them one on top of another in the box and when I get the whole row of segments done I will piece the row together and then join it to the big part of the quilt already done.
I hope this helps you all who are thinking of hand piecing. If you have never hand pieced can I suggest that you try something easier than curves to begin. Try a simple 4 patch block to get the hang of how to hold the pieces while stitching and go from there in your adventure to hand piece a quilt
I showed earlier today how to get started on the Joseph’s Coat quilt. I am continuing on from there – keep in mind that with as many colors that I am using it is harder to put together because you have to constantly be checking for color placement – if you are doing a two color quilt it will go much faster. The section on the top is the one that I showed you how to do this morning. I then put these two pieces together after I went back to the design wall to check and make sure it was the pieces I wanted.
Now after I sewed these two segment together which just entailed the one seam – the melon nesting next to the back ground piece I had to join it to the first circle.
I lay both of the pieces on my design board so I make sure I don’t get confused on where I want them – yes it is easy to get mixed up!
Match up your center of the two pieces.
Pin in the center and then pin as I did earlier doing a whole melon on each side of the center.
I use little pencil dashes on these until I get some of the pieces printed out using the Inklingo method – which I will show tomorrow or another day.
When I get to the center point I kind of ease it open a bit holding back seams so I can see how far in to sew – then I slip the needle through all those seams to start stitching on the next melon.
Pressed and stuck back up on the wall. I wasn’t pleased with how the center came together, the points didn’t match quite right – but I wasn’t displeased enough to take it apart – this will be a big quilt – lots of points – if anyone wants to find all the places they don’t match let them As I get pieces stitched the pieces on the wall look like they don’t match – that is just because of the seams being in there now – as I go I will move things over in place a bit so that I don’t get confused on what goes where!
I might get back to this one later today – but maybe not. I hope this has helped some of you who have not worked with melon shapes – this quilt could also be appliqued if you would want to I have seen it done both ways.
I have had several write me that they think this quilt will be very difficult and would be hard to make. I thought I would show you how to do it in sections – it probably looks like it is more difficult than it actually is. I do believe all quilts when broken down into sections is much easier to do than one might think. We all do this in our own way of course as we all have learned or taught ourselves our own method.
First of all, I said I was doing Joseph’s Coat with Inklingo a method of printing your templates directly onto fabric. I will be printing out most of my melons with Inklingo but I found that I could get more pieces out of my yardage for the odd shape background pieces by just pressing my freezer paper templates onto the fabric and squeezing as many as I can on it and then cutting out with the rotary cutter and/or scissors. (this is due to the odd shape, when using most other shapes you do not waste a lot of fabric) I have on these first melon pieces used pencil to draw out seam lines – but will be using the Inklingo to print on the melon pieces from now and spent part of yesterday preparing some. This piece I am showing you has the pencil marks – I will show the Inklingo another day.
step 1 –
I have these pieces cut and ready to go. I take them off of my wall and put on this small felt board to keep them in order and not forget placement – the empty spot on the lower area shows where I took them from. As you can see I have put my first colors of yellow/orange on the wall – I will need to work this whole section before I add more color as I have no plans to get my portable design wall out right now.
Don’t take too many pieces off of your design area at one time or you might get mixed up also I have a 12 inch square here so can’t fit many on it which is a good thing I think.
step 2: finger press the center of your pieces – I do this as I work so only the two pieces I am ready to sew are finger pressed in the center.
Step 3: pin, these melon shapes are gently curved there is no need to clip anything to help it along – start in the center and pin the center, then work out – use as many pins as you are comfortable with – it doesn’t matter if you need more or less than I do – it is for you to be comfortable with what you are working on.
Step 4: hand stitch or machine stitch – up to you – I am hand piecing – this one little section just took a couple minutes – I use a running stitch and back stitch every 10 stitches or so for added strength. The melons are six inches so big enough to handle easily.
Step 5: when I am working on each section in the living room or where ever I am stitching I just gently finger press the seam down a little – press towards the melon, it lays flat easily.
it is now ready to move to the next melon.
When I get this whole section sewn I will take another photo and show you later today or tomorrow how this is attached to what is now on the wall. A section this size doesn’t take long to make at all – depending on how often you get up to do something else that is!!
By working on one section at a time = I get plenty of exercise because I normally work in the living room for hand piecing and then get up and go to the sewing room to press with the iron and place on the wall and get more pieces. This is important to me because I stiffen up easily in the hips and knees because of osteoarthritis.
I hope this little tutorial shows you how easy it is to do this and that it is easier to make than one might think.