Foot²Freestyle: June progress report

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 7.32.54 pmA little over ten days into the block swap, and photos of completed blocks have started to trickle in.

There’s still another 3 weeks to go before they’re due to be sent out, so there’s no need to start flapping if you haven’t even started yet!

*Spoiler Alert*! Esther, if you want to wait for the packages and don’t want to spoil the surprise, don’t look at the Foot²Freestyle page on this bloghereor on Sue’s blog, here, because we’ve started posting photos of the June blocks which have already been sent out.

With this project, I’ve decided to give myself a complete change of pace. For the last 4 weeks, I’ve been racing to complete WWF, ready for Mackay Show, but it’s all done, and now I have the luxury of time to work at a gentler and more contemplative pace. So rather than take the easy way out and produce something simple and straightforward, I took the plunge and ventured back into paper piecing. I’ve always found it disturbingly counter-intuitive. I mean, you stitch things on upside down and back to front. You can’t see the fabric you’re sewing on. It’s easy to get something slightly wonky that then doesn’t cover the seam allowance properly. All that stuff…. It just didn’t seem sensible to a control freak such as myself.

But this time round, it just became a whole lot easier. I made templates of all the sections, cut pieces to size, and organised everything in individual piles. Call me anally retentive if you like, but it works for me! It’s the only way to be extremely accurate about producing a number of identical pieces which will fit together exactly. I have to thank Cath at Wombat Quilts for demystifying the process for me, and for providing the templates I used in her library of free paper piecing patterns. Go take a look – it’s inspirational.

I hope Esther will like what I’ve made – I’ve had a ball, and now I’m full of ideas for blocks for everyone else. There’s nothing like a change of direction and pace to reignite quilty enthusiasm…

18 thoughts on “Foot²Freestyle: June progress report

  1. tialys says:

    Oh, they are all lovely. I have actually finished my blocks for the first two months but haven’t photographed or posted them yet. Unlike you, I have kept mine very simple. I know my limits and there are so many excellent quilters in this group that I would rather offer up simple designs in good colours and fabrics than attempt something too ambitious. I have found though, making for other people is forcing me to be much more careful about accurate cutting and seam allowance. I have discovered, for example, that my 1/4″ sewing machine foot is actually not as accurate for getting a ‘scant’ seam allowance as using the 2/8″ marker on the plate cover. I’m having fun though!

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s true, we don’t feel we can get away with cheats, inaccuracy or ‘good enough’ when we’re making for other people. It pushes us to do our best work, and often we’re surprised how good our best is! I hope you’ll send out June’s blocks soon, so I can add your photos to the rest – otherwise I’ll have a huge lump of them to deal with at the end of the month!

  2. I feel as you do about paper piecing. Yes, I make templates and cut to size, and STILL I go wonky! Now I’m off to look at your blockswap blocks.

    • katechiconi says:

      Do persevere, Viv, once you’re over the initial antipathy it does slowly get easier. The star and pinwheel blocks were really very easy, the Circle of Geese a bit less so, but then I’d made that before…

  3. rutigt says:

    Your blocks are super! The first is almost 3dimensionel, the second is a lovely star and the third is a new block for me. A great block! It´s nice to see the other blocks as well!! I think Esther will be happy!

    • katechiconi says:

      You can find that block you like on the Wombat Quilts website, under the free paper piecing patterns heading. I think she has made it in green and purple, to help you find it.

  4. claire93 says:

    ooooh this is so exciting ^^

  5. All the blocks are lovely!! I’m looking forward to seeing the others as they drop into the gallery. Mine are just about on their way to Esther 🙂 I got really frustrated with FPP until I found a method on Youtube where you fold the paper back along the lines and trim the seam allowance before you attach each piece. It makes a much neater finish for me that way.

    • katechiconi says:

      Everyone has their own favourite way of making it a bit easier. I’m a great fan of making templates of the shapes and precutting the pieces to size so you know that if you line up the seam allowances it’s going to fit. Also, it’s an area where I need practice, so I’m going to carry on with PP till I feel confident. I still have to unpick at least one piece per block!

  6. Nanette says:

    It’s wonderful that some of Esther’s blocks are on the way. I haven’t started yet………..I’ve been painting – walls, not masterpieces and as my sewing room has been the repository of things from all over it’s impossible to get at anything sewing related and I’m still sorting stuff to go back where it belongs, out the door, or into a packing box…..during above mentioned painting there was a serious topple off a ladder, so pain, shuffling and inability to stand for long has also put a stop to most activities and my ability to concentrate…..and the best thing…my children are here…one from Sydney, one from US… too exciting to think about sewing. I’m not going to look at the finished blocks until I do mine, I can only imagine the creativity and high standard of what’s been made, and I’ll freak myself out if I look first.

    • katechiconi says:

      Oh Lord, what an awful thing to happen. I do hope you’re getting better. Hopefully having your children around is letting you forget the pain and discomfort. I shouldn’t worry about the blocks. There are simple ones and complicated ones, and NO RULES, remember!

  7. I love paper piecing and often make rough templates from freezer paper for irregular shapes. It saves fabric waste. Glad to have another convert.

    • katechiconi says:

      I started out being very exact with the shapes, but have had to be a bit more generous, because my sewing was not as exact as my cutting! And wonder of wonders, Cath over at Wombat Quilts has just published a post about how to design a PP block! The woman is a PP goddess!

      • I find that if I add 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch all around instead of the usual 1/4 inch seam allowance, I have plenty of wriggle room. Have you tried that? The templates also help with grain direction on weird shapes. Grain direction matters.

      • katechiconi says:

        Yup, I agree, half an inch is about right, and I like to have a straight grain for the first seam, it helps when I fold the fabric back along the line to check for position.

  8. Goodmorning to you all!!!
    I am a bit late to respond to this post… Sorry! 😳
    I want to be surprised when I receive the packages. Oh, I can’t wait!
    Hugs to you all my dear ladies! 💕💕💕

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