I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love… with hand piecing! I think I’ve finally found my calling. It’s like appliqué – which I adore – tons of tiny stitches – all by hand.
The fussy cutting is right up my alley as well – I feel like I’m back in my graphic artist days – I love the precision required. I can’t imagine doing it without a light box though.
For the fussy cut pieces I choose the area of the pattern I like best using a window cut out of the template material. I cut one elongated hexagon (sometimes called a church window) from the fabric and that is the one I use to align the others.
I align the two fabrics wrong sides up on the light box – and when I am satisfied that they are both exactly on top of each other I carefully stick pins through both of them to make tiny holes. The light shines through the pin holes and I can place the template perfectly.
I cut my templates out of a fantastic thin plastic used for printing plates. My family is in the graphic arts supply business (we sell machines and supplies to the printing industry) and several years ago my husband brought home a box of 50 11″ x1 18″ plates that had passed their expiry date and couldn’t be sold. They are easily cut with scissors, an Xacto knife or a rotary cutter. The printing plates have a shiny smooth side and a matte side – you can write identifying information on the matte side with an ordinary pencil and it won’t rub off.
After cutting the template – I cut a piece of very fine (#600) sandpaper slightly smaller than the template and stick it to the back of the template with a glue stick – the sandpaper keeps the template from slipping on the fabric. Before I trace around the template (using a 0.5 mechanical pencil) I slip a full sheet of the sandpaper under the fabric so it doesn’t slip and drag while I trace.
The colors aren’t showing up as I’d like – in spite of the fact that I’ve tweaked them in Photoshop. The yellow is more of a buttery yellow and the orange is a little less red.
I just had to show you the back – I am so proud of it – isn’t it cool the way everything fits together like a puzzle? Hummmm… I just noticed that the top and bottom right patches need to be adjusted so that the dark orange seam allowance is ironed in – away from the green. Or maybe not – does it matter – am I getting obsessive? Do you think?