Last Sunday (yes, I went to a quilt shop on Valentine's Day! What a nice gift to me!!) my friend Suzi and I trundled off in the threatening weather of an impending snowfall to one of our LQS's to attend a New York Beauty class.
|This is the book the teacher had us buy for the class.|
Anyway, I said I like taking quilt classes because you never know when you're going to learn a new shortcut or pick up a tip. Unless the teacher is a member of the quilt police -- and if he/she is, then I just do my best to ignore that facet of things and try to remember not to sign up for anything ELSE the QP is teaching.
We had our supplies prepared, and were happy to get started. I had purchased some non-paper foundation stuff that was suggested on the class list. I made copies putting two arcs on each sheet, so if I get the hang of this I can go to town.
We roughly cut out our arcs and got down to business. I decided to use batik fabrics, since I have a bunch of those and I love the concentrated colors. I had thought I was going to make all my 'spires', as the pointy parts are called, in black with a white background. But when I realized that my black fabric had a somewhat large print, and these pieces end up being quite small, I changed my plan. Now my background pieces are going to be black, the larger triangles will be light almost white, and the spires will be various colors. The pieces are still ending up small so a lot of the overall pattern is lost, but I like it better than I did the black spires.
I started with a nice bright green batik.
Let's see if I have this in the right order. First you place the fabrics right sides together, and line them up 1/4 inch past the stitching line of the paper arc. The fabric is on the 'wrong' side of the fabric, so you can see where you're sewing. You sew on the line.
|Stitching from the 'point' end, up to the corner on the first two pieces to be applied.|
|See the thread hanging from where I started? My seam slants to the upper right.|
Then you pray that when you open up what you've just sewn, you have covered the entire area you intended to cover with each piece. If you did a good job, you finger-press or iron, or use your Little Wooden Iron like I did.
Once everything is nice and flat, you fold back on the NEXT stitching line. I used a folded sheet of instructions for a ruler I had in my sewing box to hold everything snug.
You have a big piece sticking out that has to be cut off. Don't cut off yet! You do not want to cut on the stitching line. Ask us how we know that...
Lucky me, I had watched an episode of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting last week. Mary Fons was paper piecing and she was using the Add A Quarter ruler at this point. I just happened to have one of those. It might have been on the instructions for the class, but regardless, I had tossed it into the box the day before.
|Add a Quarter Ruler and Little Wooden Iron|
So you apply the AAQ ruler to the folded arc paper, and THEN you cut off the excess.
Hold everything snug and cut with a rotary cutter. I have a small mat I put just to the left of my sewing station, and voila! You have added the seam allowance that you need in order to add the next spire or background piece.
For this pattern, you start with your background color, and add alternating spires and background pieces until there are five spires and six backgrounds.
I did learn from the teacher that the reason it is called New York Beauty is that the arc with its spires mimics the appearance of the Statue of Liberty's crown. True or not, it made a good story!
Suzi and I each had several arcs made at the end of the class. Homework is to make as many as are called for in whichever pattern we picked out of the book, and I think we're supposed to cut out all of the pieces that turn the arcs into squares.
|These are the colors of my spires, jewel tone batiks.|
|So far I've done five of each of three colors...|
|And I have at least seven to go in these colors.|
|...the scraps I'm saving|
|The next pieces to cut.|