hand-piecing

Hand-Piecing Help

Photo by Lucy of Charm About You

photo by Lucy of Charm About You

Last week, I begged for help with some hand-piecing woes – as much as I love the hand-pieced stars that I was making, I was disappointed in how difficult I found it to actually, you know, piece them.

My good friend Rebecca pointed me towards a tutorial that might help: Lucy from the blog Charm About You recently posted some tips for successful hand-piecing, and her work is truly beautiful.

Photo by Lucy of Charm About You

photo by Lucy of Charm About You

Rebecca was right, Lucy’s tutorial is invaluable! By the time you read this post, I’ll have had a chance to try them out with actual sewing, but I can already tell that this is a game-changer for me: just the way she explains how to deal with seams (or not deal with them, as it were), seems so obvious, but really wasn’t to this hand-piecing newbie. I’m so excited to get back to my stars – thank you so much, Lucy!

If you’re interested in giving hand-piecing a try, definitely check out Lucy’s post, “Hand-Piecing A Quilt” as well as her more recent post, “Homemade Amusements – Dolly”, where she gives a detailed explanation of how to put together a more complex block by hand.

I’ve also been recommended this book, “Quiltmaking by Hand: Simple Stitches, Exquisite Quilts” by Jinny Beyer. I’ve had the chance to sample the book just a bit and it looks like an amazingly detailed encyclopedic resource for making quilts by hand. I’m going to see how the tips in this book work out for my stars and possibly add it to my library!

Star-A-Day

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The other day, I shared my new Diamond Hex Quilt obsession – a long-term EPP project that I expect I’ll be working for a good portion of my life. But actually, that is not the only loooooong-term / slow craft project I’ve started lately.

A few weeks ago, I went on a little mini-holiday with some friends and finally started the Star-A-Day pattern by Somerset Designs that I bought last summer. My friends and I chatted with these guys a bit at the Festival of Quilts and they were just the super-nicest ever. And they do some truly beautiful, really special work. I saw a lot of really beautiful things at the festival last year, but their Star-A-Day quilt, even though it is the simplest of their many wonderful designs, was the thing that most captured my imagination.

I love the simplicity of these teeny stars, and the extreme scrappiness of their tiny pieces and, just like my EPP, the notion of gradually adding to the project one wee star at a time. The pattern includes acrylic templates and the design is meant to be completely hand-pieced – one star every day for one entire year will make the right amount for a quilt!

The hand-piecing aspect was what appealed to me most – you know I love stitching by hand so much more than by machine – but I have to admit, I had a hard time with these stars and haven’t made any more since. The extreme tininess made hand-piecing very start-and-stoppy, and I couldn’t quite figure out how to deal with all the seams. I really want to sit down and try to improve my method for this project, because I do love those stars very much and I know I’ll just keep avoiding it if it’s an aggravating process! But aren’t they they cutest???

If anyone has any amazing hand-piecing tips to share, I’d be crazy grateful! :)

(You can find the Star-A-Day pattern with acrylic template set here.)