Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Tale of Two Cities - Lesson #1

We are about to embark on a journey - a quilting journey from Canada to Japan! I call this quilted wall hanging, "A Tale of Two Cities - Toronto to Yokohama". It is a beginner quilt. You can join in if you want to. It will be fun. For the time being this will be a sort of mystery quilt. That is because I have not totally finished all the blocks for this wall hanging. I will post a photo as soon as I do. But don't hold your breath! It may take awhile.
First place the fabric you wish to use, right side down, on a piece of fine sandpaper. This is so that the fabric won't slide too much as you trace your pattern pieces.

Now place the template on top of the back of the fabric. For this first lesson you will use the 1 1/2 inch square. Trace around the template using a very sharp pencil or one of those mechanical pencils with a very thin lead. You do not want a lot of dark pencil lines on your fabric. They may or may not wash out, so press lightly - just enough so that you can see the line.
Leave about half an inch of space between your pattern pieces. This is the seam allowance. The pencil line will be the stitching line. Then cut your pieces apart through the centre of the space between the pieces. This will give you a 1/4 in seam allowance on all sides of the piece.

Take two of whatever colour you like and pin them. Right sides must be together. You will use the pencil line to place the pins.

Thread a needle and knot the end. Start at one corner. Take a small backstitch if you like. This will help to keep the knot from pulling through the fabric. Now do a line of running stitches as small as you are comfortable with. Check every now and then to make sure you are stitching on the pencil line on both the front and the back fabric. If not, take the stitches out, adjust the pins and try again. When you get to the end of the pencil line, finish off by doing a couple of small stitches while catching the thread in order to make a sort of knot.

You now have two pieces sewn together. Sew another two pieces in the same manner and then pin these two blocks together and sew on the line to create a 4-patch block.

Press the seams in one direction.

Continue in this manner until you have 3 4-patch units. Now sew these together to get a block measuring 3in. by 9in.

You're done! Make three more blocks like this. That is the end of lesson 1.