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Piecing Curves…it is possible even for me

Whoo-eeeee! Lookit those perfect seams… this was my second block, and I think it looks pretty durn good for someone who doesn’t really piece a lot! There are a few MINOR things I can fuss at (like the seam allowance on the center top spike is a skosh wide and the upper left corner edge isn’t perfect, but still! Fabrics are batiks and Bright White Cotton Couture from Michael Miller Fabrics.

Precision piecing has never been my strong suit, but I am — like Michaelangelo at age 80 — still learning. One of the things I’ve learned is that it is OK to use specialty tools like the AccuQuiltGO! and byAnnie’s stiletto. Thank you to Michael Miller, for whom I am a Brand Ambassador this year) and Janome America for having me as an Artisan. For me, careful cutting for squares, rectangles and triangles isn’t too TOO challenging (as long as I’m paying attention which is never to be take for granted LOL). But CURVES? Not so much.

Back in May, I shared a video that tells yo about the amazing (Heavenly Perfection?) HP presser foot and throat plate, herhttp://www.sarahannsmith.com/weblog/?p=13206e. If you have a Janome with this option and haven’t tried it out, DO! Go watch the video… it’s a brief but I hope helpful mini tutorial. The video is also on my YouTube channel, here. I’ve been doing a bit more with brief videos…looks like about one a month. I’ll have another later this month about using the blind hem stitch for some slacks I made–you can subscribe to the channel.

After cutting using the Winding Ways die (requires the AccuQuiltGo or similar cutter, too), I laid out the blocks to see how they looked (and to make sure I had enough of each shape).
Here are the settings on my M7 for the HP foot which helped me get such amazing accuracy and careful piecing. Slowing down helps, too. Ahem.
First, I cut and assembled segments.

Here’s a quick video of me using the oh-so-wonderful HP accufeed foot and throat plate from Janome, on my M7. Thanks to Kimberly Einmo who shared her love of this accessory at the 2018 Janome Education Summit! Like I said…there is ALWAYS more to enjoy learning.

The stiletto from byAnnie.com is here.

Sub-units created
Following the assembly instructions that come with the Winding Ways die, you press seams in specific directions and create and assemble sub-units in a specific order.
Then you get as close to perfection as I am ever going to get! There is still some fine tuning I need to do (meaning the dreaded P-word: PRACTICE) to get the outside edges straight, but I mean really, look!
Here’s my Winding Ways on the design wall, considering various settings. I ended up going fairly traditional…I’ll share “done” in a week or two.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my detour from art quilting. I’ve actually needed a break to recharge myself, and this has been DELIGHTFUL. I’m thrilled with the finished quilt… will post it in about a week or so.

Full disclosure: I’ve been a Janome Artisan for 16 years, and am forever grateful for their support and machines. I’m a Michael Miller Fabrics (MMF) Brand Ambassador for 2020; the batiks and white fabric were donated as part of that ambassadorship. The AccuQuiltGO! was a GIFT (!!!!) as part of the MMF thing, and I purchased the Winding Ways die once I realized that wow, I could USE this machine! Whooda thunk it? Well, I should have. Having FUN! And lastly, thanks to byAnnie.com; their donations to the Teacher Goodie Bags in Houston one year netted me that awesome (and not expensive) Stiletto!

4 Responses to “Piecing Curves…it is possible even for me”

  1. Beth H- now in Rural KY!!! Says:

    I have always liked the Winding Ways pattern, but not piecing the curves!!! Funny how we sometime acquire a tool, and put off using… for some really regretable reason… only to discover how stuck in our ways we can be!

  2. Sarah Ann Smith Says:

    LOL…exactly! I’ve always loved it but figured I was nowhere near enough precise to be able to pull it off and have it look good. When I saw that AccuQuilt had the die, I thought, well, maybe I COULD…if the shapes were cut precisely, and presto! It’s fun. I’m really excited about a Winding Ways AND a Crossed Canoes quilt. It’s fun to take a break from the “expectations” on me for art quilts and just go back to the pure love of quilting!

  3. Jeannie Says:

    Thanks so much for this video. I am trying to piece a double wedding ring and a winding ways lap quilts on the machine. I’m a hand piecer, but I need to get these done. I read the manual on the HP, but didn’t try it. You’ve just saved me hours of trial and error. Thanks! You were right, the M7 is fantastic! I’ve been making masks like crazy and being able to go through multiple layers easily has been time saving.

  4. Sarah Ann Smith Says:

    Oh thank you for writing! I’m so glad it helped! Enjoy that M7….I’m off in a moment to go do some more sewing on it. And yeah….I tend to be Type A and want everything perfect, but I am not naturally inclined to precision. A stressful combination LOL! The HP foot really helped. So did the stiletto and slowing down a bit. And the precise CUTTING from the AccuQuilt. Who would have thought I’d love a cutter like that but I do!

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