Sunday, March 4, 2012

Orange Peel Precise Curves

I just finished my Curves Class project for this weekend. Wow, it was a challenge for me, and I mean that in a good way. It was a challenge both on the curves and on the precision aspects. I tried out some new techniques. I discovered questions to ask about curves, and cutting them.

So here's how the project went. First, I had to choose fabric. I had ordered some fat quarters from Intrepid Thread, not to long ago, and I pulled them out. Yep, still tasty. And, they will go well with the brown that I seem to be using for background, etc for these projects. Here's a look out in the sun, yesterday.
some fun fat quarters
 Then came the cutting out of the pieces. This was where I had my issues, I think. I'm not great with straight. Astigmatism and all sometimes things that look straight to me really are NOT. Of course I wanted to showcase at least a couple of the trees on that left side fabric. I decided not to be too fussy for all four centers, because the swirls and the dots are interesting, too. Once I cut blocks, then I cut the curves out of the blocks. I used the rotary cutter, and I don't know if it is the limited practice I have or that my blade is bigger than it should be, but I had issues getting a smooth cut. Maybe limit my stack to 2? I'll be asking these questions of the instructor.
one layout

I laid out the pieces a couple of different ways, looking at how they would work best together, and show off to their best advantage. I really had planned for the brown to frame the block, and I went with that, although I continued to play with the prints. That was how far I got on Saturday.

another layout
Sunday, I started sewing. I took Rachel's advice about using starch with this project, and I think it helped a LOT. I was careful to match up centers for the "peels" when I sewed them onto the blocks and, thanks to recent practice, didn't have too much problem sewing the curves. I did go slowly to keep my curves and seam allowances pretty even. I ironed the heck out of this project at every turn. (some more advice from Rachel).

It took a little more than an hour to get the whole thing stitched together. I think it turned out pretty good. Not perfect, but pretty good! If the block looks a little wonky, that is because of my cutting, and sadly, not intentional. (Intentional wonky-ness is cool.) I'm sure the whole thing would have come out better with more practice all around, but of course if I had that practice under my belt all ready, I wouldn't need the class.
Here's the completed block.
The block is finished, but the project isn't quite completed. I still want to make it into something. Originally, I was thinking another pillow. Even though the colors on the prints have nothing to do with the prints on the clam shell pillow I made, the brown is the same. So, they could be in the same room, right? Then, I got to thinking, I've REALLY been wanting to make some tote bags. Wouldn't this block look awesome on the side of a tote bag? I think so. I still have most of the fabric from those fat quarters, and they are a nice weight to be strong enough for a bag. And I can line it in the brown. But not today, I think.


  1. As I commented in the group, I just love all this movement.

    You know, when I cut the slices and focus fabrics I did ONE at a time, and then went back and trimmed again (and yes, Rachel suggested that, or I would not have) - each one. After that little xtra work, the rest of the project went smoothly.

    A bag with this on one side would be GREAT.

  2. Yes, it would look awesome on the side of a tote bag! It probably is a better idea not to stack the orange peel centers when cutting. I'm going to amend the directions. Glad you pushed through!