Saturday, May 1, 2021

Fine-Line Piecing

It’s my turn to offer a prompt to my Bee Sewcial mates! Always a quandary of sorts, I had an idea that I kept coming back to, so I guess we’ll go with it. The prompt is “Fine-line Piecing,” meaning using very skinny contrasts between the pieces of the main fabrics. Below is a small sample, measuring approximately 7" square.

This post will serve both as instructions for my beemates, but also as a mini-tutorial for fine-line piecing for the rest of you.

Please make two blocks each – any size, but not the same size – together equaling approximately two 12.5” blocks. They can be trimmed to squares or rectangles or not – your choice. For the ‘main’ fabrics, please choose a selection of dark blues. [See KONA Prussian, Storm, Nightfall, Nautical, Indigo, Navy as suggestions.] If possible, please use at least two dark blues in each of your blocks. More are definitely welcome; and if necessary, just one is fine. If you are able to use more than one, using the shades to create their own pattern is an option, but not necessary. (IE. Grouping particular blues together rather than randomly as in the sample block.)

For the “fine lines,” please use whatever you have closest to the gold-green KONA Pickle, which is what I used in my sample. IF you have Pickle on hand, using it in at least one of your blocks would be great. [See KONA Wasabi, Acid Lime, Limelight as other suggestions. Cotton Couture Gold or Acid look to be good options, as is Painter’s Palette Wasabi.] If you have none of these, choose a gold that leans to green rather than too yellow, or a green that leans to lime or blue rather than true yellow.

Piecing only, please (no applique), though the method you choose to use is up to you. I chose to cut approximately ¾” strips of my contrast (Pickle) fabric and sew to a piece of background, pressing away from the skinny strip. 

Then I placed it RST with another background piece, and used my previous stitching line as a guide, trimming to about a ¼” seam allowance after sewing if needed. (See photo below.) 

Finished skinny strips measured approximately 1/16”-1/8”, though some ended up closer to a scant ¼”. Please keep within that range, but aim toward the skinnier. In the photo above, I sewed with my foot next to the previous stitching, and the result was a scant 1/4" strip. I found if I positioned my foot ON the stitching line, the result was closer to 1/16", which I much preferred.

I kept adding to my piece, eventually starting on another and then piecing them together. Beginning with a larger background piece and cutting and piecing it down is another option.

Ruler-free or with-ruler are both welcome. Though the skinny strips appear relatively straight in my sample, they don’t have to be – whatever you choose. Feel free to vary your width in a single skinny strip, while keeping within the suggested range. Curves are welcome but not necessary. Feel free to create blocks that are more minimally pieced or dense, or play with a combination. See Pin Board for views of both as well as other options. A few pins contain some technique tips you may wish to consider, but not necessary. Finished blocks can be trimmed before being sent to me - or not. Hope you find a lot of freedom while creating your blocks and enjoy exploring fine-line piecing!

Here are links to my previous Bee Sewcial quilts - Mod MoodBaconrificLooking UpHomage, Modular, and Rings, if you missed them.

15 comments:

  1. Great color palette and I look forward to seeing this come together. Fine line piecing is something I've only played with on a very small scale.

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  2. This is going to be great! I found a picture of a flower the other day that I need to send you. it reminds me of this.

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  3. This comes at just the right time; I was wondering how to make an interesting scrap placemat using just one principal colour. You've solved my problem!

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  4. So interesting and your color combination/choices are wonderful! Can't wait to see it come together.

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  5. What a great inspiration! Love the contrast between navy and wasabi. The tutorial is excellent, and it will be interesting to see if any of your bee mates attempt the curved option. As you described all of it, I could already imagine the quilt that will come from this. It's gonna be beautiful!

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  6. I love a skinny pop of contrast! Do you use steam when you press? I always struggle with the bulk of those seams...

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  7. Exciting piecing skills! Great project challenge and tutorial, thanks for sharing.

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  8. Beautiful block! A great tutorial, thank you for sharing your tips!

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  9. What a fun prompt! Looking forward to seeing all the blocks arrive and the quilt get together. It is always so interesting. xo

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  10. Pretty block. Have you ever seen Kathleen Loomis's fine line quilts? Her blog is Art with a needle.

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  11. Your prompt sounds like a winner to me!

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  12. I'm really looking forward to seeing this develop. I have a few ideas using skinny lines in my sketch book but they've never made it to the fabric stage.

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  13. I think this is a winner! Gotta love those skinny micro lines!

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