Monday, February 29, 2016

facing down the Y-Seam

I think I'd sewn a y-seam maybe once or twice before.  Mostly I'd avoided them.  In fact, when making quilt designs, I'd look for ways to add seams to eliminate y-seam needs.  You usually can.  It means more cutting and more piecing, but those tasks are reassuringly familiar.  It's not necessarily slower, I'd tell myself.

facing down Y-seams

We're always afraid of the unknown.  Even when we deny it.  Even when we truly, honestly don't think we are.  Until we face it and do it, there is a seed of fear there, always.  It is funny that that is so even in something so soft and harmless.  With sewing!  

facing down Y-seams

This weekend I mustered my army of True Blues and sorted them into piles:  light, medium, dark.  I calculated how to cut triangles for an ambitious sharp and twirly design inspired by this graphic.

facing down Y-seams

Each 8" finished block is made of a triangle half-block, which is itself made up of 3 triangles and 2 diamonds.  Rather than adding more seams and utilizing small half-square triangles, I decided it would be more lovely to use the whole, original shapes.  This requires just one y-seam per half-block.

My first two blocks came out annoyingly small.  So, I reworked my cutting plans to cut appropriate pieces oversized so that the finished work can be trimmed to a precise 8.5" unfinished.  Aha!  Such satisfaction in that last step.

facing down Y-seams

By my third block I might have been crowing a bit over the delicious tidiness and flatness of my y-seams.  It can be done!

facing down Y-seams

Yes, it can be done.  And, in fact, I can teach you!  I'll be making this quilt design into a stand alone pattern with all the y-seam steps meticulously photographed and explained.  Because I really enjoy, truly enjoy, helping others face down their fears. 

Mostly the sewing-related ones.

xo,

Rachel

40 comments:

  1. That block is so beautiful!! I could stare at it all day!! I can't wait to see your pattern and conquer my Y seam fears :-)

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  2. That's just what I thought, I mean I HAVE been staring at it for quite some time and this is an awesome, precise peace of work ! Compliments Rachel - I can't wait for your explanations of how you did it.

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  3. That is such a beautiful block. Rachel, I never think of you backing down from a challenge ,,, not EVER.

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  4. I love your block! Me and y-semas are not great friends I know I can do them but I prefer to stay away from them;-) What me help me when I need to make them is to press the fabrics so the seams really nest and are flat.

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  5. This is going to be so striking!
    As for y-seams well, I think (for me) precise piecing of any kind will have to be done in small doses. One thing I've learned about myself while taking the Angled class and going through Sherri's book is that I prefer the easy flow of improv over the make it perfect of pointy piecing.

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  6. Ooo can't wait to see how you do your Y seams. I am afraid of them too. Beautiful block, can't wait to see the finish quilt top.

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  7. This shows off those blues so well and has some fabulous piecing! Y-seams are something I have yet to even try, though I'll keep you in mind and watch for when you release the pattern! :)

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  8. Hi Rachel! This is so good! You have created fantastic block with the graphic that inspired you. Also all these blue fabrics are great for this block. I don't mind sewing of y-seams even try to avoid them. When they are like this in the block, I think it's not difficult. When I made big quilt with y-seams, it was more difficult to handle the big quilt top. Thank you again for sharing your great ideas and inspiration! Can't wait to try this block! x Teje
    ps. you made me start curves and now I'm happy to have also the ruler and to continue my this years challenge.

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  9. What a beautiful block!! I'm going to be the first person to snap up your pattern!! It's truly stunning!

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  10. I'm waiting, well, I'm too busy to be waiting. But I'm going to be really glad to have your great instructions and pictures on the dreaded Y seams...I so love your gorgeous blues. I have talked myself out of being jealous of them by now.

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  11. This is a stunning block Rachel and you are using those blues beautifully!

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  13. Stunning!Looking forward to the pattern!

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  14. I know what others mean about looking and looking at it, Rachel. You notice one thing, then another and then those two mesh together and on and on...but, really, you had me at blue. Can't wait to face this monster along with everyone else. Thanks so much for always keeping us thinking and our hands and minds busy!

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  15. This is a stunning block! Your mojo is right beside you!

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  16. Yay for Y seams. I am not afraid of them either.
    This pattern looks so cool but the fabrics you are using are epic awesome sauce. Enjoy those seams, every one of them.
    Let's not talk about other fears. ....
    Happy Monday.
    I just got to some sewing this evening after taking care of Sarah all day. She is a baby that never naps. - she wore me out.

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  17. Look at you!!!! Very cool block, beautiful blues! Since I originally learned to piece by hand, very few techniques cause me too much anxiety. I haven't attempted machine piecing y-seams, but mostly just because I have been overly preoccupied with HSTs....we shall see about expanding a bit soon, eh?! :)

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  18. It's beautiful, I love the blues.

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  19. It's beautiful, I love the blues.

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  20. Really looking forward to this! Because now that I know partial seams are no big deal at all, I think I would like to take on the y seam! Your block is absolutely stunning.

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  21. That is a truly beautiful block!

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  22. Oh my! Your block is stunning! The movement in it is amazing. I've never attempted Y seems, but you have certainly planted the "hmmmm, maybe I can do it" idea. Thank you for sharing your gift.

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  23. Oh my! Your block is stunning! The movement in it is amazing. I've never attempted Y seems, but you have certainly planted the "hmmmm, maybe I can do it" idea. Thank you for sharing your gift.

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  24. Wow Wow Wow ~ that's one incredible block! That you can figure out how to make it is pretty incredible too! I haven't tried Y-seams as yet, but I'm sure willing to try ~

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  25. I'm a fairly new quilter and working on the 1930 Farmer's Wife Quilt Along. OH how I dreaded the paper piecing and procrastinated and scuffed my toes and belly ached. But when it came time that I just had to do it because the blocks became so complicated I bit my lip and just did it. Now I love it. I love the precise blocks it gives. I don't know why I worried so much about it.

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  26. Love the way this block twirls! Beautiful blues!

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  27. I've started a quilt for my sister with scraps from all the fabrics my mom had stored from years of sewing dresses for us. Unfortunately I fell in love with a pattern that uses LeMoyne stars with Y-seams. Between the wonkiness of older fabric and those Y-seams, nothing lays flat! I've about given up, but your post is making me encouraged to try again!

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  28. Your sewing talent and eye for color is amazing!! I look forward to seeing this transform and for the pattern!

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  29. This is stunning! You always come up with the best patterns for the project!

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  30. I love this block! I want to go & sew one right away. Love your fabrics also.

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  31. Oh my, the fabrics are so FAB! :) I love it!

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  32. my friend Mary Huey http://maryhueyquilts.blogspot.com/2016/03/the-dresden-star-new-pattern.html has a DVD on simplifying set in seams and her method really does make a huge difference when sewing set in patterns. I'll actually look for patterns now with more complex piecing because her method is so easy. I highly recommend it!

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  33. These blocks are beautiful Rachel. You definitely have conquered the Y-seam!
    I've been designing a quilt which has set in seams. It came to a halt when I realized that many people don't like the idea of sewing them. I was thinking of writing the pattern with instructions for both ways.

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