Monday, 17 August 2015

My Small World Quilt-Along: Part i of Part 5

Part 5 of My Small World Quilt-Along is a detailed and time consuming section and the very talented Danielle of Mes Petit Elefants will be talking you through all the techniques and skills she has employed to fit this section together!  She is an experienced hand piecer and this section has a lot of piecing that you may find easier to do by hand.

 I've tried to spread the hand sewing out over the last few weeks so I'm not doing it all in one go.  For the hexagon semi circle, I didn't English Paper Piece as I find it rather fiddly and hard on the fingers.  Instead I hand-pieced sewing along the seam lines only.

  • Draw round the hexagon template in soft pencil. Cut out with ¼" seam allowance.  Arrange layout in rows. To join the rows of hexagons, place two right sides together.  Using a knotted thread, sew small running stitches along the pencil line.  At the end of the line, secure the seam by looping through the final stitch.  I usually sew another stitch on top of this and loop again to make sure.  Repeat until all rows of hexagons are sewn.  I don't press at this point but all the seam allowances are floating so they can flatten in any direction.

  • To join the rows together, start at the end of a row, place a pin perpendicular where the first joining seam will finish.  Sew seam as before, secure at the end but do not cut thread.  Instead, pivot the fabrics to join on to a new hexagon and sew the next seam as before.

  • Continue until all the rows are joined.  Press seams as desired, I pressed to one side.

For the arcs, I followed the same technique as Danielle with freezer paper piecing: she describes the process here.  I reused the outer arc template to turn the raw edge inwards for appliqué with a mix of starch painted on and running stitch- I did the same thing with the circles in part 2, method described here.  

This is this area from the back with the green fabrics behind the appliqué cut away.  You can just see the little snips I made in the concave part of the arches as the convex curves were added, especially in the lemon yellow fabric. 

For the triangle 'New York Beauty' style arcs, I drew round the plastic templates on very thin paper to create a foundation paper piecing pattern.  I used a fine pencil and overlapped the templates slightly over the previous pencil line to keep it accurate.

  I added 1/4" seam allowance all round and pre-creased the seam lines with a Hera marker.  I find this makes it easier to flip the paper back and forth whilst piecing.

I found multiple colours a little overwhelming for these sections so I plumped for some favourite contrasting colour pairings for each arc. These were sewn on the machine but I hand pieced the arcs together, Danielle shows how here

As there is rather a lot to fit into one blog post and I have still got to appliqué all my sections down, I will add a second part to this later this week and Danielle is doing the same.  As ever, if you are on Instagram, check out the #mysmallworldqal hashtag. I read some great tips on there including using English paper piecing coupled with a little glue basting as a way of sewing both the curved arcs and the triangle arcs- thanks @elletaylor7 for that tip!  

See you later in the week, I hope your Small World is progressing well, my thoughts are already turning to quilting, now that's a conundrum, I have no idea!

sib blog


  1. Wow so much work going into this project! It's really technical stuff and I admire all of you working on this (and am loving seeing all the photos in my feed!)

  2. What a great blog post, Kerry! I'm not actually doing the clothes along because I'm still working on my Green Tea and Sweet Beans quilt, but I learned useful stuff here. Thank you!

  3. Your posts are absolutely wonderful. I would love to make this quilt but can't find the Spring Quiltmania issue anywhere. any suggestions?

    1. Hi Debra

      The Spring Quiltmania is now out of print so unless you can find any shops that are still stocking an older issue I would keep an eye out for people in your country selling their copies as they finish the quilts. That's what I plan to do as I know lots of people are still looking.


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