Anyone else listen to "Delilah" on the radio? You know the intro.... "Deliiiiilaaaaaaaahhh"? Well, I sing that EVERY TIME I am working on one of these blocks... and I kind of love it. (So does my husband, he just doesn't want to admit it)
If you don't know, the Delilah star of this blog post is a recent quilt pattern by Jen Kingwell. I have been holding on to this block of the month pattern since it started... a year ago. I participated with Amitie quilt shop, receiving a block pattern, acrylic templates and a selection of fabrics each month.
At this point in time (April 2018) the block of the month program is over and the pattern is not available to purchase. I will update this once that changes. UPDATE: Pattern available here!
So here we are! A year late, but we made it!
Delilah Block 1 - Rising Sun Block
This was a TRICKY one. I have been avoiding sewing curves like I once avoided zippers. I knew I could do it... but I also knew it was going to take a lot of trial and error to get comfortable. And for this Type A, completely impatient girl, that was a challenge I wasn't looking forward to.
To get me pumped up, I started with the fun part: fabric selection!! Amitie provided a beautiful assortment of pieces to work with, but I decided to raid my fabric scrap jars and see what I could come up with (they are getting a bit full... just a small bit).
With my new Sparkly Boxy Bag in hand, I got prepared to chop up these curvy beauties.
So here is a quick breakdown of how I handled the curves. It was NOT easy, and the seam ripper was my best friend. But, with practice, it did become second nature. I hate saying it, but this is one of those tasks you just have to feel out.
Top photo on the left are two of my curvy cuts. Below that you can see how I lined up my pieces. I didn't use any pins during this part, you'll see why later.
On the right you can see how I flipped the two over. This is how I put it in my machine, as seen on the bottom right photo. The open curved piece goes on the top, the rounded closed curved piece goes on the bottom. I found this to be very important.
So the trick to curves is to move the top piece, while stretching slightly but firmly, every couple of stitches. I found it helpful to keep the needle in the down position while doing this, since I did need to lift the presser foot. Patience! Patience! Patience! If it's driving you nuts, take a walk! YOU WILL GET IT! I promise. But it can be very frustrating at first. [Speaking from experience here, can you tell?]
So the process was: 3-4 stitches, needle down, foot up, stretch the top fabric towards me and a little to the left, line the top piece up with a small bit of the bottom fabric, foot down, sew 3-4 stitches, repeat. I say pull the top fabric slightly, but not too light. You'll be surprised how much you have to pull to get them to line up in the end. When you are about 1/2 inch to the end, keep needle down, foot up, and line up those bottom edges. You may need to use tweezers to help. If your top fabric bottom edge is no where near the bottom fabric bottom edge, you didn't pull enough. I know, you really gotta tug that sucker to get this right.
It looks a little wonky after you're doing
violating working with it.
"Don't worry... it will press out" - Classic Go To Quilters Phrase.
But really, it will. I don't have a specific preference for pressing. I let the block decide which side to press. But I wouldn't suggest pressing the seams open...
FINALLY, when sewing these curve blocks together, make sure to match the curved seams as shown on the left. Don't worry so much about aligning the corners of the squares (seen on the right), they will work out as the final block is put together.
And here are the finished blocks! I'll let you guess which one I made first...
Thanks for stopping by! I hope this helped you on your journey with curves. It's not easy, and it takes a bit to get comfortable, but the results are REALLY amazing!