Monday, April 7, 2008

Simple and Not-So-Simple

If you have been following my Dear Jane journey, you know that I have been working in two different colorways: Batiks and Civil War Reproduction fabrics as in these photos here. I wanted to handpiece this Reproduction quilt just as Jane did with her quilt. Why do I even bother with handpiecing let alone making two of these quilts, you asked? Because I'm a NUT, that's why! *LOL* And I couldn't decided which one to do! Yep, indecisiveness will make me do crazy things.

Seriously, we live in a busy and hectic time. And juggling with jobs, family and pets, school, sport practices, music lessons, doctor appointments, commitments, and whatever else life throws at us, handpiecing is a quiet time for me. I like to do the handy works at night while watching TV with the family.

So this first block is M-10 Simple Simon. Just as the name implies, this block is a very simple 9-patch. Handpiecing this block was a breeze.

On the other hand, handpiecing this block, B-4 Chris's Soccer Field, was not so simple. Some of the pieces (like the white part) finished at 1/4"! Handling these tiny pieces were no easy task! This little block took me two nights of TV time to finish.

Well, it would have taken just one night to piece if I didn't stop to watch the show here and there, if I didn't stop to let the dogs in and out, if the feline friends didn't want to sleep on my lap, if the kids didn't need help with something in the kitchen....
OK... you get the picture?

This photo is a prepared block that's ready to be handpiece.

I thought I leave you with a tip today.
To manage all of those little pieces, I sandwiched the prepared fabric pieces between two pieces of the Glad Press'n Seal. Yep, just like the freezer paper, I keep these things in my sewing area and not the kitchen.
The Press'n Seal (PNS) is slightly tacky so the fabrics don't move at all, even when the cats knock it off the table. It doesn't leave any residue either. When I'm ready to piece, I peel the top sheet back and pick up the fabric pieces... off I go.
Another tip that I heard recently but have not try is to trace the quilting pattern on the PNS, lay it on the quilt top where the quilting to be done and quilt on the lines. When done, tear the PNS off. If you have tried this technique, please leave me a comment on what you think.

And if you have any other tip on using the PNS, please feel free to leave me a comment. I love to learn more...


Anina said...

What a great idea, especially if you cut the blocks ahead of time and have to keep the pieces organized.

Ruthie said...

I haven't actually stitched through it, but have used it to audition designs on a block.

Joyce said...

Rhonda, Your Blocks look fantastic! I am not a good hand piecer so what I do has to be done by machine. But, I am lovin the applique.

Suze said...

Thanks for the tip. I will add PNS to my shopping list.

You have someowonderful DJ blocks