Sunday, December 7, 2014

New York Beauty Block 4

 The girls wanted to go to Joann's this morning.  They are working on Christmas gifts for one another and needed some supplies.  Can you believe that I went to a fabric store and came home empty handed?   I actually need to get some Kona Cotton slightly darker than silver grey to bind the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler Quilt 2014, but I didn't feel like waiting in the Sunday cutting line for just that.  We did get lunch out though, so it wasn't a wasted trip for me.
 I came home anxious to try out another New York Beauty Block.  Curved piecing was not my friend on the last block, and I was determined to do better this time.  So the pattern is drawn out on freezer paper, which is big and cheap and even ironable.  I drew arcs at 10, 8 and 6 inches for this block and inserted wedges into the inner arc that alternated between 5 and 10 degrees.  I bought a fancy new compass to try out, but it didn't come with instructions and I couldn't figure out how to use it.  True story!
Edited to add: I did a search and found some instructions for how to use an extension bar on a bow compass like the one I bought at Hobby Lobby.  I like the keep track of things like that in case I ever want to know later.  So I'm off to try the next block with my fancy new tools.  
So I used the easy and cheap pencil on a string method again.  Worked flawlessly.
The fabrics for this quilt are a batiks mixed in with hand dyed fabrics from Vicki Welsh that I have been hoarding for too long waiting for inspiration.  For this block, I pulled the oranges from color wheel packs in light medium and dark.
 I traced the wedge segments roughly onto freezer paper and added a quarter inch all around for seam allowances.  I didn't cut the shapes exactly, but at least I wanted to know that they were at least big enough to fit.
 The pieced arc was paper pieced, but the other three pieces were just ironed onto the freezer paper and trimmed with a extra quarter inch on the edges for seam allowances.  I also left an extra quarter inch outside for "just in case"
 So I am starting to realize, that although curved seams don't fit together when the pieces are placed right sides together on a flat table, they do match up nicely in 3 dimensional space.  So I worked with curving the pieces and pinning first in the middle, then on each end, and dividing each segment in half again until everything seemed secure.
 So it looks like about 8 pins for the dark orange arc.  I know some people are able to do this without pins, but this is what worked for me.
 Here is the finished block.  TaDa!
And here are the first 4 blocks on the design wall.  Keep in mind they won't go together like this.  
Hopefully more like this when 12 blocks have been sewn.  I'm 25% of the way there. Pretty good start, right?  By the time I get to the end I might even get good at curved seams!


Angie said...

Looking good! I am in awe of your geometry and paper piecing skills!

Deb A said...

Weekend lines in December are terrible at Joanns! Glad you and the girls got what you needed including lunch. Your NYB blocks are looking great..... makes me wonder if that is the RSC blocks for next year. I might be getting that fabric bundle for Christmas =).

Vicki W said...


Julie in GA said...

Your NYB blocks are looking great!
The curved seams might be easier without the extra 1/4" seam allowance.

Marly said...

Congratulations on your flawless curved seams. Did you do them by hand or on the machine? I haven't yet found the confidence to try curves on the machine, so if these are machine sewn .... WOW!

Amanda said...

I love the NYB blocks and have been making some for this year's challenge, though I've got a bit behind. I don't pin much usually, but I pin like mad on NYB blocks. I bought one of those fancy compasses with the extension bar too, and haven't been able to work out how to use it, but didn't think to look on the internet, so I'll have to do that.

Ellen said...

Fabulous! When I do curved piecing I use a nut picker as a stiletto and it helps me hold the pieces together as I am sewing. I think it does make it a bit easier - not that curved piecing is ever easy!!

Wonderbunnie Designs said...

So inspiring! I haven't attemped paper piecing yet. Yours looks amazing!

Terri said...

All of my hand sewn Drunkard's Path blocks are pinned into oblivion before I sew, and they could be sewn by machine at that point, but that would mean leaving the TV. I've gotta try your NYB design techniques. It's one of the quilts on the Bucket List. Love the orange!

Andee said...

Fancy, it is going to be beautiful!

Cathy said...

Love it. I've always wanted to try a NYB. Next year may be the time!

Kate said...

Such bright colors! The blocks look great.