This week’s Summer Sampler 2019 block, Dandelion Clock by Jo Avery of myBearpaw is one of the blocks I was looking forward most to making. It was also probably the most challenging block for me. It combines three techniques - improvisational quilting, foundation paper piecing, and curves. And who knew? Improv curves are even harder for me to sew than regular curves! But boy do I like the result and I feel quite proud of myself for persevering.
Be sure to check out Jo’s tutorial on her website for Free-hand Foundation Piecing. And after that, just look at her entire website - it’s gorgeous!
I took a lot of photos while I made this block to hopefully help everyone get a visual in addition to the awesome graphics in the pattern. The first thing I really felt helped when I foundation paper pieced my arc, was the instruction to fold back the template on the line you will be sewing next and trim the fabric to 1/4”. This way I knew exactly where to place my next piece of fabric on the template. I really felt like this not only sped up the process but improved my accuracy.
When I came to the step to cut out the arc and include a 1/4” seam allowance, I just freehanded it. I do think I would have made my life easier later on if I had measured 1/4” off my arc in a few places and connected those lines to cut on. But in the spirit of improv…I didn’t. :)
So once again sharing that I free hand rotary cut everything, eyeballing the 1/4” seams. I think I went a little wide on some which made it a bit harder to sew my improv curves. Mine didn’t end and begin perfectly flush with the edges after sewing but I was able to square up the block at the end so it worked out ok.
My biggest advice is to remember this is improv. You may need bigger fabric depending on how you draw your template. You may need smaller. I was able to use much of my gray scrap from this week’s block in next week’s block. Things may not go perfectly as you have planned or visualized. This is hard for people like me! That is the biggest challenge of the week for those of us who like control and perfection.
The blocks are looking amazing all together!
It’s not too late to join in the fun with us this summer. (It’s actually never too late!) . When you sign up, you will immediately receive all the block patterns to date. For the late comers, I’d recommend starting with the current week’s block and then making the past blocks in your spare time. That way you can immediately join in the fun with everyone on Instagram and in the private Facebook group.