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Piecing outside my comfort zone

140 inches of curved madness lie between me and slumber.  Honestly though, I think slumber’s going to win out.  The second to last seam is under the needle, but I’m to the point of tiredness where I start making stupid mistakes.  Better to get some shut eye and start fresh tomorrow.  Update:  I managed to finish the seam under the needle and sketched out a Paddington Bear quilt to make for a shower gift.  Then I hit the hay.

A coworker commissioned me to make a twin-size mermaid quilt for her daughter.  Megan actually sketched out an idea of what she wanted, which made things a lot easier.  I selected Sea Beauties from Michael Miller fabrics as the mermaid fabric.  That fabric came from Five Eighth Seams over in Charleston.  Who’d have thought finding aqua polka dots on a white background would prove to be that difficult at the time I was shopping?  Fortunately, one of my LQS had a wee bit of yardage in stock.

The trick to this quilt is that all of the seams are curved using the Wave Edge Ruler.  I took a field trip to McDonough to buy said ruler (and other stuff) at A Scarlet Thread.  (See, I try to support my LQS!)  I watched the YouTube video several times before I finally felt comfortable enough to try it.   It does take about a half-dozen attempts before you finally get the hang of it.  I’d sewn plenty of curved seams in the past, but not 12 of them 70″ wide that this quilt design calls for.  I set the project out of sight for several weeks until I finally go up my nerve to start piecing the sections together.

A few hints for working with the ruler and sewing the curved seams:

1) You need a pair of tight gripping long handled tweezers, preferably with rubber tips (or tape the points to help grip the fabric)
2) Do not clip the curves until AFTER you sew the seams – which is different from the video demonstration.  Fabric stretches too much when sewing the seam.
3) Don’t even try to use a rotary cutter on the smaller wave side of the ruler.  It’s a royal pain in the behind – even with an 18 mm cutter. You’re better off tracing with a pencil and cutting with fabric shears.
4) Pin the first 6″ or so when starting the seam.  It makes things go much more smoothly.
5) Cut your blocks/sections about 1-2″ bigger than your finished size to allow for the curved seams.

I will post pics of the completed top.