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I'm not sure I ever will make this quilt.
Farmer's Wife is in the quiltframe and will stay there for a long time. I want to make the next big quilt. I prefer Nearly Insane to Dear Jane. Jane has so many blocks with appliqué in them and I don't like to appliqué curves.
But I like to sew by hand! Insane by hand? Why not? That's what youtube and books are for. I bought 'Quiltmaking by Hand' by Jinny Beyer. It sounds very easy.
Hm. I tried for a long time to hold my fingers like she does on her photos. I couldn't manage it.
At one point I realized that I made my knot without thinking like I always do and not like she shows it. A lightbulb went off. I tried to sew as I usually do. That was easy! After some seams I compared my technique to Jinnys - there is not so much difference except the way we hold our fingers.
Jinny says there is no need to draw the stitching line on the fabric, just eyeball it. Sounds good to me! I tried a simple 9-patch-block. And it turned out perfect!! Even the measurements were right. Maybe I really can handpiece this quilt?
Ok - I made a 'real' block, with triangles. And I'm sure: if I sew triangles, I have to draw the stitching line on the fabric, whatever Jinny says.
1. try: Big pieces
It is somewhat cumbersome to make paper-templates and then take them to draw lines with the chalk-pencil on the fabric. But it worked, the result was not too bad:
This first block (6 inches finished) was easy, the pieces are quite big. For my next try I used a different pattern (also 6 inches) and KONA cotton. I want to be able to see my faults:
2. try: I draw the stitching lines on the fabric
3. try: I ironed freezer paper on the pieces and tried to sew along the paper.
That didn't work at all. As soon as I handled the fabric the paper just fell off. So I finished the block by drawing the lines with the pencil.
4. try: sewing on paper by hand. Not english paper piecing!
This was the best try so far. I put the finished segments together by machine though.
But still, I don't want to decide now if I make this quilt by hand or by machine. I made the next block, this time a Nearly-Insane-block (I think the KONA-blocks were Janes). This block has 36 pieces, so it was not too easy.
5. try: drawing the stitching lines on the fabric
And I swear: the lines were perfect drawn and I stitched on the lines. But the finished piece did not fit together. These triangles had way too much stretch on the bias. I did not finish the block, it would not work.
6. try: I made the same block by sewing on paper and joined the segments with the machine.
Hm. But even so the block is not perfect. My Farmer's Wife blocks are much better!
And actually I don't like to handpiece blocks. I don't like to handle these tiny pieces and always check on both sides that I'm still on the line. It's just no fun. I love to do English paper piecing or attaching the binding on the back of the quilt by hand. But not piecing by hand.
Maybe I will start the next travel project as a simple rectangle-quilt like the one on top of this page. My hexagon-quilt is almost finished, I need a new carry-on-project! But not Nearly Insane.
I can't start anyway, I have not found the fabric yet. I dream of a dark evergreen as the background fabric and want the blocks swimming on this background. No sashing or cornerstones in contrasting colours. And the blocks shall be all shades of purple.
It is not problem to find purples, but very difficult to find the right green!
I made even more blocks, this time with tear-away-paper. It just didn't work and was no fun. I did not take pictures, it was not worth it.
So the final decision was made: piecing by machine on paper!
Meanwhile I had found the green fabric too.
There is a blog, where the quilter shows how she made all the blocks, but somehow this blog didn't help me with Paper Piecing (unfortunately she doesn't tell her name on her blog).
And Bonnie Hunter made that quilt also.
But none of that sites helped me to construct the blocks for Paper Piecing, so I had to do it myself.
To see the blocks click here!
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