Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hand Piecing Part 2

Here is how the LeMoyne Star block progressed. After I sewed 2 diamond pairs together, I inset a square piece. Here are two of these larger units ready to be pieced together.
I sew these together, starting at the right side of the block, taking another stitch on top of my last stitch at the center of the star. I then move the needle through to the other side of the star and stitch the star from the center to the left edge. Once these two main pieces are sewn together, I inset a square into the two remaining empty corners. Now, on to the ironing board. Up until now, I haven't pressed anything yet. I start pressing the seams in one direction (either clockwise or counter-clockwise). It makes no difference as long as you are consistent. This is the back of the block pressed.
Notice how the seams of the star all spiral in one direction. Here is a close-up of the center of the star (sorry, I should have used fabrics with more contrast). The center will spiral too.Here is the front of the block.

It's all ready to be pieced into the top - I will set them all together by machine.

I'll try to answer some of the questions posed. I know some hand piecers try not to stop and start sewing on a block. What I mean is, they try to use one length of thread on a needle without stopping and knotting. I understand the theory behind it - less time used knotting and supposedly a stronger seam without knots - but I don't work this way. For one thing, it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks and I have never had a problem with my blocks coming apart. So, I sew small units together and knot and then start another unit. So, I would not be concerned with weaving the thread along a seam line to pick up another piece. Just stop and start - much easier.

The needles I like to use vary. What I want is a long, thin needle. This allows for putting on a lot of stitches when using the running stitch. The long thin needles I like best are either a milliner or a straw needle. A thin applique needle works too. A traditional "all-purpose" hand sewing needle is too fat to allow loading a lot of stitches. I think putting a lot of stitches on the needle helps to keep your stitches small, even and straight.

Remember this is the first day of the Pillow Talk Blog Hop and Comfortstitching is the first stop!

And I hope your cupboards and fridges are stocked as we are going to get a Groundhog Day for the ages - if you believe the forecasters. Bring it on, as long as we don't lose power!



Sue said...

Loved your post! And I'm with you on the storm...bring it!

Karen said...

I'm so glad your showing how you do the lemoyne star. I have tried several times, and always end up with a hole in the center of the block. I must be doing something wrong when sewing the two half's together.Yours look fantastic.Thank you for the tutorial

Frummie said...

I love making the Lemoyne Star. I use INKLINGO, no templates, you print on the fabric. Wonderful product. The LeMoyne Star is a free pattern on the INKLINGO.COM site.

pdudgeon said...

thanks for your stitching tutorial!your block looks great!

WoolenSails said...

I love how your seams lay nice and flat.
I am getting better at that with my hexagons.
I finally started making the 1/4 mark, I think I was sewing an eight before, so I got a bumpy seam.


Alma Allen said...

Loved the weather clip from Ground Hog Day. That is exactly what it felt like yesterday!

Vicky said...

Like Karen, I ended up with a hole in the middle, too, when I tried it. Gosh, you make this looks so easy!

Anonymous said...

I love your hand piecing tutorial. You do beautiful work.

suz said...

It's so nice to see someone handpiecing! I'm basically a hand piecer and it's sometimes a challenge to use a pattern that is only set up for machine piecers. I find it comforting and very relaxing to hand piece. Like you, I do things in sections.

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