Mill Wheels work in progress: piecing the easy way

Nothing like a deadline to help you get the job done!!! At least that is how it works for me. Last month I had to finish several quilts for….

To Dye For

at theScreen Shot 2016-04-23 at 6.09.46 PM
July 16 – October 2, 2016
Opening Reception: July 16, 5-7pm

2825 Dewey Road, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92106

(Picture me now doing the happy dance around and around in circles!!!! I’m in a museum!)

I haven’t pieced a quilt for ages but I knew exactly what I wanted to do and thought I’d share a bit of the creation process for a couple of these quilts with you. I’m working on a series exploring the imagery of Mill Wheels. I love them. Attachment-1

For this piece I first am required to make a big fat mess. Oh, wait. No. First I have to clean up a BIG fat mess so I can even come close to seeing the top of my work table. It’s a huge old Oak drafting table that I rescued from the college art department’s junk heap and restored. It has a smooth drawing surface that is covered by a giant cutting mat that is usually covered by a print cloth and is always covered by a BIG fat mess. Kinard_piecing_mill_wheels_01

Step one – dig through and find the fabric I want, dye some more, do some simple strip piecing. I could cut each pattern piece and sew things together the normal way, but that sounded very much like work. Anything where I have to be precise takes too much brain power for me. I like easy.Kinard_piecing_mill_wheels_02Step two – draft my circle on freezer paper. Layer it and cut out a billion wedges. I sketch in just enough of the lines on each piece so that I can get the direction of line mostly right. Iron the shiny plastic coated side of the freezer paper to the strips, matching the direction of line. Then I cut out each wedge – stick a pin in the corners of each piece so the freezer paper matches exactly, and sew. Kinard_piecing_mill_wheels_03This way I don’t have to be careful about seam allowances or do anything other than follow the edge of the paper. On some of the wheels I ironed there freezer paper to the top and some of the wheels to the back of each piece. It didn’t really matter so long as I was consistent with each wheel.Kinard_piecing_mill_wheels_05Step three – once my whole wheel was complete I ironed the inside and outside edges over the edge of the freezer paper and had a nice clean edge.

Step 4 – I realized my piecing wasn’t super great, even with the freezer paper templates. My circle was just a bit wonky. That wouldn’t happen to someone who paid close attention to details but that someone isn’t me.

Step 5 – I went back and used the ruler to mark from the center to the inner and outer diameter of the circle and trimmed my wheel back into shape. There you have it. a lovely interpretation of a mill wheel. 

Now isn’t that a pretty thing!?!? Keep your eyes open for a peek into the rest of the design process on this piece. I love how it turned out. Hope you love it too!

 

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