Monday, 28 February 2011

Little Green

Blocks for Lucinda in Ringo Pie flickr bee.  Lucinda's theme was Spring and beginnings,  little signs of life.  She wanted neutrals with splashes of colour, newspaper print (love that in fabric) and unusual sizes- especially small.  The bar had already bee set startlingly high by Lucinda, Lynne, Corey and Amber (and Amber's second one)- this seems to be pretty normal for this group, and I was feeling a little shaky.    I don't have many greens in my stash and I did not know where to start after seeing the other blocks.  I found this block called 'Formal Garden' from the very sadly out of print book, ABC Patchwork by Kumiko Fujita.  I go back to this book time and time again, it is a huge inspiration.
Only 4 inches square and deceptively hard to paper piece with all those Y seams, it reminded me of my spools block.
This little crocus was improvised piecing.  I kept starting it, putting it away, coming back, adding a bit more, reworking and fiddling until I got it to work.  I liked how it turned out, shoots, pointy and bright against the brown.  It finsihed at about 5 inches square
The final block was a little twisty pattern that I found here and whilst working it I discovered a great little paper piecing technique that really helps with accuracy.  UK readers, I buy my freezer paper from ebay, there are lots of UK sellers and a roll of Reynolds will last an age.
Often with freezer paper piecing (I iron the paper on the front of the fabric but this works either way) there is no wriggle room.  If your seams are out just a little it can throw the whole block.  I found with a little extra pressing you can increase your accuracy on straight edges a lot!   I iron the freezer paper on the front of the fabric, just  a personal preference, but this technique works either way.
Take the next piece to join the block,
Fold back the edge that is going to be the in the joining seam right to the edge of the freezer paper, press with a hot iron.
This is how it looks on the wrong side- a nice crease marking the line of your seam allowance!
I now pin the piece at the top and bottom of the seam and I use my normal presser foot- not the quareter inch foot.  This is because with paper piecing the seams can be a little less than a quarter inch and also the presser foot holds the fabric more evenly.  You sew along the crease so you won't need you quarter foot to guide you, the crease will do that.
Press the seam along the stitching line, flip the fabric back and press again right side- admire your accuracy!
Yes that does look neat! A perfect fit.
 I love this technique, I just wish I had worked it out sooner :)
More green for Muriel's block for Bee Europa, she wants a long, wide skinny block.  I think I am going to do something with geese.
By the way, Little Green is one of my favourite Joni Mitchell songs.  I remember playing this on a tape player during Lula's very long birth!  That was before it all went a bit pear shaped and the fluffy stuff like music disappeared to be replaced by doctors and medical equipment!  My surname is Green, Lula is my Little Green, with increasingly long legs x
sib blog


  1. Wow, that block looks scarily comlicated. Love that newspaper print fabric. x

  2. that is a technique that i love the look of, but have never tried. you actually make it look kind of easy!

  3. your piecing is just so good and yet so complicated!

  4. Love your blocks, they're genius as always! Gorgeous fabrics and impressive piecing.
    Little Green is my fave Joni Mitchel song too :-)

  5. love all of these kerry. and if you ever need freezer paper, let me know, I'd be happy to send you some!

  6. All three spring blocks you made for Lucinda are beautiful! You incorporated what she wanted so well in each block - now I am super shaky lol.


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