Monday, May 8, 2017

Seeking Balance: Quilting with Friends & Y Seams Simplified



Irene's Flying Geese

Note: The last two posts have been more thought provoking so I wanted to give you something lighter before I continued the second half. Here is some eye candy, a group tutorial on Y Seams without the aggravation, and the benefit of sewing with friends. I like to sew alone when I'm working creatively, but it's a treat to sew with friends. This particular group is amazing! Creating more of those moments, and sharing my studio space is helping me with balance. 



Ruler Group: A loosely organized group of quilters--friends and friends of friends gathered early this year in the studio for an impromptu class using the Creative Grids 45/90 Degree Flying Geese Ruler. We clicked from the start by having a learning experience with equal amounts of laughter, and decided to meet once a month. 

That meant a commitment from me to clean up the studio before each session--I work like a tornado, and to decide the agenda if there was none. A plan might be made ahead of time in a group discussion while other months it was a new technique one of us had discovered. I must tell you we've had to extend our 2 hours class to 5, and even at that we're not all ready to leave. Our only hard-set rule is breaking mid-afternoon for coffee together.

One of our first classes was use of the specialty ruler, and one of us found it hard to put down. Irene went home, and continued to make flocks of flying geese until she had enough for the quilt in her mind. The border and sashing fabric were from her stash, and one she wanted desperately to use. The flying geese were simply the icing on the cake. She learned a good lesson on fussy cutting a long border length, and in creating long parallel strips of flying geese. They didn't fly well together at first! And we, in turn, learned from her work as she explained her process. Isn't it just beautiful?



A newer quilter, Whitney, brought in this beautiful baby she'd created from a class on HST. I thought it was a fabulous first self-design, and really showed the possibilities one could make with HST. 

And now on to last week's lesson.



Last Week's Lesson 
From Theresa DownUnder


Irene seems to be the one out there watching new quilting videos, and passing the interesting ones on to her FaceBook or my Inbox. This one looked tempting as I saw the easy of creating a classic Y seam block without the headache of the Y seam. It was easy to decide we were doing this together.

Quick and Easy Tumbling Blocks Without Y Seams




You can watch the YouTube video above. It's a nifty technique, and each of us made a set of blocks that day. It's wonderful to work cooperatively! Questions and answers are shared among everyone while those with more experience helped those with less. In other words, I had plenty of time to sew a block set, too.

Want to cut your time down even more?

There was one place I found some time savings. Instead of cutting each strip set individually, lay them right sides together and press together. This makes them less likely to shift while cutting. Cut in the direction called for of the one that is positioned face up, and on the bottom. You will see in the video that the sets are to be cut one toward the right and the other toward the left. This method creates the same correct cuts in half the time. There was no difference in accuracy.


The instructions called for 3 fabrics: light, medium, and dark. We had a few cases where two fabrics were very similar in value, and one had to be substituted. We were not disappointed in the results either. Even cheating the Y seam with this easy technique we had dramatic results. I just love how that yellow pops off the page!

Words of advice: We all think that squaring up the sewn strips before cutting would help with precision. Some of us had to pin heavily to keep seams lined up, but it was easier than picking out and resewing.




My green checkered strips in the picture above were done to create a square block background. I hate making test blocks, and tossing them into my orphan block bin. This way they could be used immediately.


We've had so many days of rainy, grey days, and even with my new lights I struggled to snap the true colors of the project. This is better. It's all sewn together, and ready to play with some more, but it will have to wait for another day. I'm off to do some gardening.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.

6 comments:

  1. I, too, prefer to sew alone when I'm creating. If I'm just sewing something already cut out then sewing together can be fu.

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  2. I like the silence of sewing and creating alone. But I like quilting with friends, too. In fact, I'm heading out to a retreat on the 19th of this month. Thanks for sharing the video Irene found. I'm off to watch it. Loved the quilt show!

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  3. How fun to be sewing with a group and learning new techniques together. That yellow does indeed pop off the page.

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  4. I think learning is accelerated and possibilities stretched when you work with an enthusiastic group. The people in my guild have enabled me to be so much better when I do sew alone. You need people you can trust, who share, who give you ideas and possibilities, are positive, and bring good snacks (just threw that in for fun, but it helps).



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  5. It sounds like you have a great group that encourages one another and has a fantastic time in the sewing room!

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  6. Interesting method to avoid Y seams. I might just try a Tumble Block quilt sometime in the future.

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