Thank you everyone for spreading the word about this sew-a-long! I have received a number of sweet emails and they made me very happy! One of the nicest lady wrote about how this sew-a-long reminds her of her beloved late granny who used to handsew all the quilts for her children. It's not easy definitely. So much patience and love with every stitch. So she is very inspired to be like her granny to start hand sewing something for her children too!
Yes, the words made my day! Thank you so much!
Okay, before I start today's block, I would love to answer a few questions:
Q: My block seems wonky and the stitches do not meet the drawn line at the back!
A: Use more pins! A few more pins will help a long way until you are comfortable with continuous stitching. It takes some practice but don't worry, your subsequent blocks will be better for sure!
Q: Do you need to iron out the seams along the way?
A: I don't iron, I use my fingers! Of course it will be good to have a handy iron if you wish to! See all the pictures of my blocks taken are not ironed at all.
Q: Do I need make all the 18 blocks? Can I join anytime?
A: Definitely you can join when you wish to! No time limit and you don't have to make all the blocks. Choose any block(s) you like to make something else like coasters, bags, pouches, whatever you wish to. This sew-a-long is just to make you enjoy hand sewing!
Q: Should I follow your fabric colour and print choices?
A: No! It's your own sewing! Choose anything you like! My choices are not the standard.
A few more questions I'll leave to the next post. Now let's start on our second block. It's Evening Star. I know it's rather easy to sew evening star using machine but for hand sewing, please use a little more patience and enjoy the process.
If you are new, please refer to the first post of this sew-a-long for tips on basics of hand sewing patchwork. It's essential. I try not to repeat them again in subsequent posts unless necessary.
Label your template pieces to cut out 1 to 4. Paste them on the cardboard and cut them out.
Choose your fabrics (minimum three prints). Trace the cardboard templates on the fabrics, leaving a 1cm (or 1/4 inch) seam allowance throughout. It is important to standardise your seam allowance for the whole patchwork for easier sewing. However for the triangle templates in this block, I trimmed away the sharp points because they do obstruct our sewing.
*Some of you asked if it is preferable to use water soluble fabric marker or normal sharpened pencil. I would say I prefer using pencil because the marker might fade over time due to humidity of air. As we need to handsew the blocks together at the end of the sew-a-long, we need to see where the seams are.
Layout your fabric templates to your liking and start sewing! Keep in mind to pin well on the drawn line and do a back stitch after 5-7 continuous stitches.
#edit: for blocks 1 & 2, please sew from end-to-end.
First sew the one small triangle (number 3) to one big triangle (number 4). Make sure it should be the slanted edges together. Press the seam outwards then sew the other small triangle. Press seam outwards again.
Do it to the other three sets.
** Always remember that most seams are pressed towards the darker fabric.
Now to sew two of the triangle sets to the big square (number 1).
First, mark the centre along the four sides of the big square. If your seam allowance is the same throughout, you just have to fold the big square into half then half again to find the centres.
Then pin the marked centre of one edge to the centre of the triangle set before pinning the ends and start sewing. It's important to start pinning from the centre. It may be a little difficult now to sew through (make sure you do!) three to four layers of fabric. You may wish to use a leather thimble. Press the seams outwards.
***In the previous post, I forgot to mention that it is important to backstitch at where points meet. I made another voiceless video (see below) to demonstrate what I mean.
Now sew the two small squares (number 2) to one of the triangle set. Press seams inwards. Do it again to one more set.
Lastly, sew the above last two sets to finish off the block. Press the seams downwards towards the centre. The videos below shows how I backstitch at points to secure and at folds to sew them down. The videos are separated due to file size.
^^For the first part of video, I'm trying to show you how I pin the fabrics and how the seams are pressed.
Here's the second part of video. Tip: use longer stitches and slower sewing pace to help you practice like how I demonstrated in the videos. When you get the hang of it, your stitches will naturally be shorter and sewing will be faster.
Hope the videos are clear enough to understand!
There you are, the second block of #handsewpatchwork!
Just some words to encourage, handsewn patchwork may not seem as perfect as machine sewn ones but that's, in fact, the beauty of handsewing. There is so much soul, love and peace in it that makes them so perfect in our hearts. Enjoy sewing! xxx
ps: if you do have instagram or Facebook or twitter, please add #handsewpatchwork to share your sewing!