Category — Pattern
This tutorial is a long time coming. Last year at the Sewing Summit, I taught some of you how to sew partial seams. I’ve been using this technique quite a bit lately, between writing the Starfall quilt pattern and my upcoming book. I hope you will find this tutorial helpful – if not today, then in the future when you run across a block needing this technique.
My usual disclaimer…this is how I personally sew partial seams. I am self taught, I’m sure there are a thousand ways to do this. This is mine.
Partial Seams Tutorial
The partial seams technique allows you to partially sew one piece of fabric to another, and then come back at a later point to finish the seam.
For example, at first glance this block looks like a log cabin. But upon closer inspection, you see that each of the “logs” is the same length (and longer than the center piece). Using partial seams, you can easily sew this together.
If you’d like to work along with this tutorial, cut 1 square and 4 strips as listed below. (These are the cut sizes, not the finished sizes.)
Center Square – Cut (1) 4-1/2″ x 4-1/2″
Side Rectangles – Cut (4) 1-1/4″ x 5-1/4″
1. You can start on any side of the block. I started on the left side and worked clockwise. Place your left strip, right side together with the center block. Align the top edges. As you can see, the strip will hang off the bottom of the block.
2. Sew your seam down the block, stopping and backstitching about 1″ before the end of the square.
Your block should look like this so far:
Press your seams as desired.
3. When you lay your top rectangle against the top edge of the block, you should notice it is now the exact length of the block.
4. Right sides together, sew the top strip on as normal.
Press your seams.
5. Repeat this usual piecing process for the right and bottom strips.
6. Now we are ready to finish the original seam. Fold your unsewn left rectangle back over the sewn block, aligning the unsewn edge. Pin into place.
Starting where you backstitched in Step 2, finish sewing down the seam to complete it. Press your seams.
Congratulations! You just finished your first partial seam block!
May 8, 2013 43 Comments
Don’t worry, I didn’t just whip this quilt up in the last few days. (You probably figured that out based on the weather in the photo here.) Last December, I had the great opportunity to make a new, larger version and pattern of my baby Starfall quilt for Modern Quilts Unlimited, Spring 2013 issue. (See the bottom of my Publications page for pattern errata.)
I originally made this quilt for the class I co-taught at the Sewing Summit – Shapes and Angles. This quilt was an example of what you can make using the Partial Seams technique. (Speaking of…I do plan on *finally* putting up a tutorial for partial seams very soon.)
I fell in love, hard, with Denyse Schmidt’s Chicopee collection last year. So much so, that I made this second quilt out of the same fabrics. I mixed in a few fabrics from her DS Quilts Collections from JoAnns and one perfect green print from Anna Maria Horner’s Good Folks collection.
The finished quilt measure 60″ x 72″ and I quilted it with straight lines, 1/2″ apart. As usual, that took awhile but was more than worth it in the end.
I definitely recommend picking up the magazine – not just for my quilt but for all the others inside. It’s full of beautiful patterns by all sorts of names you will probably recognize (Rossie Hutchinson, Patty Sloniger, Patty Young, Elizabeth Dackson, Victoria Findlay Wolfe and many others) and a great article about Negative Space by Jacquie Gehring.
I believe subscribers already should have their copies, and you will be able to find it at shops soon (if not already).
May 2, 2013 37 Comments
It’s done!! Last week, I finished up hand stitching the binding of the Arkansas Traveler quilt. I am in love with how it turned out. (For those that are new to the blog, you can find previous posts about this quilt here, here and here.)
A little backstory on this quilt…my aunt asked me to make something for my cousin and his wife who were married late last year. The design and colors were all left up to me (yes!) I have loved the Arkansas Traveler block ever since we made them in the Summer Sampler Series. They are a bit of work with the diamonds and the paper piecing, but they are just beautiful blocks.
When I was brainstorming layout ideas, I was inspired by the fact that this quilt was for a newly married couple, so symbolizing the bond of marriage was important to me. This layout is a nod to more traditional wedding quilts like a Double Wedding Ring or Irish Chain.
Measuring 72″ x 96″, I’m not sure if this is the largest quilt I’ve ever made, but it is close. It’s definitely the heaviest. Usually I use Quilter’s Dream Request Loft batting (the lowest loft), but for this one I used a slightly loftier batting, the Select Loft. The quilt is headed to Montana and I figured it was colder there so a thicker quilt would be nice.
The size and weight did make for a challenge when quilting. There were more than a few moments when I wondered if I should have sent it out to a long arm. I stitched horizontal lines, spaced randomly between 1/4″ and 3/4″ apart. I went through 12 bobbins and each of the 8 rows of blocks took about 1 hour, 15 minutes. I tried to quilt 2 rows each day. It was quite a workout!
The diamonds are all scrappy fabrics from my stash, but the neutral is Free Spirit Designer Solid in Sand Dune and the backing and binding is Submarines and Seaweed in Aqua from Tula Pink’s Saltwater line.
I’m heading to ship it out today. It’s hard to say goodbye but I’m really happy to have created something special for someone in my family.
April 22, 2013 78 Comments
I have been waiting to share this quilt with you for months…8 months to be exact! When editing my photos for this post last night, I noted the datestamp on my quilt photo was August 6, 2012. I can’t believe it’s been that long! I remember bringing my fabric and sewing machine on summer vacation last year, working to finish this quilt up.
Last Spring, Fons & Porter asked if I was interested in designing a quilt for a future issue, similar to the “style” of my Cutting Edge quilt which had been displayed at Spring Quilt Market. Well, that was a no brainer for me – of course I would! I was lucky enough to work again with the wonderful designer solids by Free Spirit.
Well, all these months later, I am excited to share with you that my quilt is in the now-available May/June 2013 issue of Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting. You can even buy a kit of my quilt, how cool is that!
This quilt measures 60″ x 72″ and the stars are all paper pieced for perfect accuracy. I quilted mine with a nice meandering design all over. I just love the solids and stars, the colors…I can’t wait to get it back in the mail!
Fabrics used in this quilt: Free Spirit Designer Solids in Lemon, Peach Blush, Chartreuse, Caribbean Sea, Light Jade, Jade, Sand Dune, Dogwood, Dark Coral, Flamingo, Winter White.
I thought it would be fun to share with you my original mock up for the quilt when I was in the design phase. (I do most of my design work in Photoshop).
I think the finished quilt is pretty close to the mockup.
And in weekend news, I’ll be speaking this Sunday (4/21) at 2:00 at the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild. They meet at St. Peter’s Church at 500 Hannah, Forest Park, IL. Just a little talk about my journey through quilting, my style, what inspires me, my design process. Hopefully people will find it interesting. I always enjoy enthusiastic nodders, so if you go, you know, nod along. lol I’ll also be bringing my newly finished Arkansas Traveler Quilt to share, which I haven’t posted here yet. Is that any motivation?
Visitors just have to pay $5, so I hope you will stop by!
April 19, 2013 67 Comments