Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Help with a Drunkard Christmas ;-)

 
I've been turning over in my mind what to do with the Christmas charms I got from Emily's Christmas charm swap. I didn't need to use them in my table runner and didn't want to leave them there till next year. I have some other projects going on in the background but today I decided to try and start a Christmas quilt for snuggling under during the holidays. I also wanted to try something different to my usual square/straight line patterns and I have a Drunkard's Path die for my Accuquilt Go! Baby. I have been watching some great Drunkard's Path quilts turn up on blogs in the last few months, so decided to go with that.


I do love the Go! Baby. My pieces were cut in double quick time from the charms - and perfectly too. Then I started to piece but it did not go smoothly I must admit. I tried pinning just in the middle and at either end, but could not get my pieces as accurate as I wanted. So I started pinning all the way around and that did help. I also ran into some tension issues on the second half of each curve, I'm not sure if it was just a threading problem or if it was something to do with how I was matching the fabric. Yikes!


I was relieved to see once I pieced the 4 quarter circles together, it did look a little better than I anticipated, thanks to a little easing of the fabrics to get seams matching.  The blue and white one is not great. It seems off centre and the circles are not even, nor are the points matching. The red, green and white one is definitely better, but still not brilliant. When I squared off the block, it is at least presentable rather than disastrous. But I would hate to think that I can't improve on these. One or two like this will not be noticeable in an overall quilt, but a whole quilt of them - no way!

 

So at this stage I'm a little disheartened. Those of you who are experienced Drunkards, any advice? (I'll take advice from experienced drunks too!) Is it a flow thing with the curved piecing? Will practice make it quicker and easier? How can I speed it up because these 2 were VERY slow!! And as you can see above, I have lots of piecing to do.

All drunk and sober words of wisdom very welcome ;-)

PS - Don't forget to pop over to my Circa 1934 giveaway before Friday evening to enter!

25 comments:

Cozy in Texas said...

The quilt will look lovely. I like the material prints.
Ann

Lotti said...

verykerryberry has a great tutorial for curves, looking good though

Rebecca said...

Some practice blocks definitely helped me, and I had to take it slow with pretty much every one of them. 3 pins on each worked for me. And I also lifted my presser foot and adjusted my direction A LOT ~ but it made for much nicer curves that way. You can try doing it with either piece on top and see which way turns out better blocks for you, I found my method was the opposite of a tute I read.

So the piecing is very time consuming, but the finished project is going to beautiful!!

Sarah said...

Hadley and Susan instructed me to use the verykerryberry tute, and it was pretty good. My foot comes down a bit too hard though, and always shoves the top fabric forward a bit too much.. but the tute was well worth using!

Lynne said...

I have not yet been brave enough to try curves!

Karin said...

how about raw-edge applique the pieces together? It makes a lovely snuggly quilt and round pieces don't ravel very much :)

Rachel said...

I have tried this tutorial out (with about 10 blocks, no quilt yet...LOL) and found the tips to be worthwhile...
http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2011/06/running-in-circles-tutorial.html
Good luck!!

Leanne said...

Do not dispair, I will email you a terrible video to watch. I keep meaning to do one that I can post on my blog, and will get some help to do that asap. I do not use pins or anything.

Mommarock said...

I would say http://www.justcurves.biz/ check out this presser foot. It has different attachments to fit different sewing machines, so there will surely be one to fit your machine. I hope this helps.

Leanne said...

I'm back, I made a video just for you and posted it on my blog. Let me know if it helps.

Little Island Quilting said...

I used the pinning method. Pin both ends, pin on the little notch in the middle and then either side. I had a few blocks that were not completely perfect but I'm fine with that. When you get to almost the middle of the curve, gently ease the fabric underneath so that it is also going to curve and not bunch.
I am thinking possibly it's not clear what I mean but that's what I do!

Judith, Belfast said...

I too would recommend verrykerryberrys video tute, and yesterday Leanne (She Can Quilt) posted a video on drunkards curves also. Keep practising, it gets easier! Jxo

pippablue said...

I have never done curved piecing before, but Verykerryberry has a really good video of how to make the drunkards path. Your blocks actually look pretty good to me!

Fiona said...

I was about to send you to VeryKerryBerry's tutorial too :) I found it easier not to use pins.
Nova, http://acuppaandacatchup.com/ also had a great tutorial for sewing curves during the Single girl QAL.

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

No pins!! Gently pulling is best, and there's lots of good videos. The DPQAL helped me a lot:
http://www.needleandspatula.com/2011/09/drunkards-path-block-tutorial.html

Elizabeth Dackson said...

Well, I might just be an experienced drunk, since I've never done a drunkard's path, but thinking back to my Single Girl experience, I tried both pinning and no-pinning and had more success with pinning. It was painfully time consuming, but worth it in the end. I actually wound up buying enough pins to pin every single one of my curves in one sitting so I could just sit and sew after that - the back and forth of pinning and sewing just drove me crazy. Good luck, you can totally do this! I think both of your sample blocks look pretty darned good, and the rest will get even better!

susan said...

I did the one pin in the middle and either end method as you know and it worked for me but it sounds like, from reading the comments, everyone has a method that works for them and that covers all the different methods out there. Good luck!

Annabella said...

Only just seen this and seems like youy have lots of good advice and Leanne`s fab video.Katy`s tutorial on the DPQAL is excellent. I ditto Lucy`s advice - don`t pin and gently ease. Good luck Sarah!

Jessica said...

Sorry to hear your having trouble Sarah! I always find that pinning is one million percent the key. I pin the centers, then pin the ends together, and add at least 3 or so pins between each half. I also find it helpful to sewing with the "taught" side of the fabric up (without having it in front of me, I think that the circle part). Just go slow to avoid puckers. Hope this helps!

Archie the wonder dog said...

Sorry you're having trouble with them. I stitch mine with the concave curve on top (i.e. the quarter circle on the bottom) and use three pins, one in the middle and one at either end - make sure you put the pin in twice on the ends (in out in out!) as it helps keep the edges straight and stops them misbehaving...it does get easier so please don't give up!

Flying Blind... said...

They seem to have already said what I was going to say! Oh and Leanne's post today looks good (shecanquilt) xxx

Good Earth Quilting said...

Hi Sarah,

You are doing a fine job, but I don't bother with individual piecing. I simply cut freezer paper circles 1/4 inch smaller than the fabric circle you are using, then cut the fabric circles, place the fabric good side down, place freezer paper shiny side up circle over top, then carefully wrap the edge of your fabric circle over top, press down on the shiny side of the freezer paper all around the circle, then applique the pressed circle to the square that is slightly larger than what the finished cut square you need, then trim. I'll post a Drundkard's Path tutorial on my blog in the new year. I'll let you know when its up.

Katy Cameron said...

Alas, my only experience is with getting drunk, maybe a glass or two to help you along when sewing? ;o)

Miranda said...

Here I thought we were all being invited to your house for an awesome party that needed a few extra willing participants.. Oh well, I have no idea how to do a drunkards path...But I know when I sew curved pieces it's easier for me to sew them with the curve off to the left. Does that make sense? So you would have the majority of the fabric off to the left side of the machine. It seems like I can't do it the other way. I'm sure you'll get it all figured out! Do let us know if you ever have a party though ;)

Nicky said...

I am with Katy there! But do want to try it out ! Great way to use the charms!