*Sorry because this is post is very lengthly due to explanations. The next few posts will be shorter because important explanations are already done here.*
Here you go, the first post of #handsewpatchwork sew-a-long! I hope that everyone is prepared to enjoy hand sewing something new every week.
For this sew-a-long, by the end of 18 weeks (around end of October), you will have 18 patchwork blocks completed. Out of the 18 blocks, you will choose 16 blocks to make into a wall hanging quilt (4 x 4 blocks). The remaining two blocks will be made into a zippered pouch.
Sounds good so far?
To start handsewing patchwork (in Japanese style in my opinion), you have to understand the basics:
1. first and last stitch must be a back stitch.
2. for the subsequent running stitches, you have to pick up as many stitches as you can so that you will have a straight sewing line.**
3. pins must go through the points and lines you have drawn.##
4. seam allowance must be standard throughout all templates.
**I have done a short video on this point because I can't seem to find any online video to illustrate what I mean by picking up as many stitches at one go. The video is only a demonstration on the way I like to sew. It's always five to seven continuous running stitches followed by a back stitch. The back stitch is optional but I prefer to do it to secure the patchwork even better. This motion of picking up many stitches may be difficult initially. But once you get a hang of it, the rocking motion is fast and easy. I use a slower sewing pace in the video to make my stitching clearer. A leather thimble is optional in this case (I rarely use it actually) to push the needle through the stitches. However, if you do wish to use it, you may wear it on your third finger to assist in sewing.
Ok, let's get started! Our first block for this #handsewpatchwork sew-a-long is Nine Patch. It's the easiest block to practice your hand sewing.
Download Template Block 1 Nine patch. Set your printer settings to A4 paper. All blocks should measure 12cm. I printed using my iPhone and it works. However, if your printed templates do not measure 12cm, don't worry. Just make sure you keep to the same template size for all 18 blocks so they can square up.
Cut out the templates. For block 1, you only need to cut out one of the squares. I have a habit of sticking my cut-out templates on a cardboard (cereal boxes are great to recycle). This makes sure your templates have firm edges for you to trace around them.
Choose your fabrics. The colours or prints should be contrasting.
Place your templates on the fabrics and trace them using a sharp pencil/mechanical pencil/water soluble fabric pen. Fussy cutting is encouraged if you wish to. Then use a ruler and draw out the seam allowance. I use 1 cm allowance for all my patchwork. You can choose to use 1/4 inch or whichever you are comfortable. Just make sure you keep the same seam allowance throughout.
Cut out the fabric templates and arrange them to your liking. Then, pin them in place## and you are ready to start sewing.
Here's the video I did on the basic of hand sewing patchwork:
(Sorry that it's a very simple video I did while the kids were napping beside me! I didn't speak so I won't confuse anyone. The camera was placed on the table to video while I sewed. Hope the image is clear to watch and follow.)
So, first, sew the patches together in rows of three from end-to-end. End-to-end sewing means sewing from one end of the fabric template to the other end. You will learn about point-to-point sewing for the later blocks.
Remember to check the reverse side to see if the stitches are straight. If you do pin properly and stitch continuously, this should not be a problem at all.
Fold the seams towards the darker fabric (and not in the same direction).
Fold the seams away from the center. And you are done!
See that there's not a need to trim off the edges. The templates should match up perfectly!
Now you have the first block completed!
Handsewing is not tough at all. If your first block is not perfect, don't fret. Practicing definitely makes the subsequent blocks better!
^^For cross referencing if you have the book, this patchwork block is at page 119.
~please subscribe to this blog if you are following this sew-a-long. I may not post new blocks on the same day every week.~