Thursday, April 21, 2011

Winding Ways

So yesterday I cut out all these odd pieces for a quilt.  The neat thing about this is that I did it all in under an hour! ...And as a bonus, pieces are complete with little registration points cut right in, and the corners are pre-notched to do away with the "dog ears" that are normally produced at the edges when pieced. 

These were cut so easily with the Winding Ways die for my AccuQuilt Go! cutter.  It is definitely much easier and faster than cutting these pieces out the "old fashioned" way ~ I'm a pretty traditional quilter, and in the past I would have cut out cardboard templates...probably from an empty cereal box much like my ancestors, traced them a bunch of times, keeping track of how many I've done, and then cut them out with scissors.
...I would have then tried to find the perfect place to store my little template set for when I wanted to cut more out in the future, but would never again be able to find them, and would have to make more templates every time I wanted to cut this block again ~ but that's another story :/

Anyway, this is the die after I marked lines over where the blades are with a sharpie marker.  I plan to make another quilt in the future using all scrappy fabrics, and this way I can easily see where the blade edges are for the least fabric waste.

When laying your mat over the die, make sure that the little hanging whole is not over a cutting blade underneath.  There are two sides that have a large open area on the die that has no blades, just make sure that your mat hole is over that area.

All of the AccuQuilt Dies come with a free pattern.  I found the directions, although concise, to be quite clear and easy to follow.  Good tips are given, and if you follow the pressing directions that they suggest, everything lays really well.  This Free Pattern can also be found on the AccuQuilt website along with a bunch of others.

Here are the basic steps that I followed to piece the Winding Ways block.  Match the registration marks.

They give the tip to work with the concave curved piece (curve going inward) on top, and that is a great tip.  Everything falls into place much better that way for some reason ~ and I did try it both ways just for the heck of it.  It stitched up fine by just pinning at the center registration marks and one on each end.

...however if your are a "Pinner" like me, and don't mind spending the extra time, feel free to add more pins ~ no one will fuss at you, honest.  Do whatever makes you enjoy the process more, after all that's why we quilt, right?

Then the little "between wedges" get added on to the first "quarter unit" of the block.  Here you can see that I sewed right over my pins (another personal preference).  I use the "slow and go" method when doing this.  (Yes, this is a different fabric than the first picture, but still the same blue/white combination, I was working on a couple of blocks at a time, kind of chain piecing them.)

Sew two quarter units of the piece together with a wedge piece in between to make half of the block.  Do this twice. 

Then you sew the tiny little end of two wedge pieces together, and press this seam open.

This gets sewn all the way across one half of the block, matching the center seam, registration marks and edges.  Again yes, I have a lot of pins on here, and you can use less if this makes you cringe.  In full disclosure, I did use less pins as I made more blocks, this was my first one that I photographed, and I think I needed the extra security :)

 Sew the two halves together.

Here is how the back side looks with all of the seams pressed as instructed.

And here is my first Winding Ways block pieced on the sewing machine.  It went together really easy for curved seams and I am completing each block in about a leisurely half and hour.   I know that Red/White quilts are in vogue right now, but I have been in a Blue/White phase lately, so I'm making mine with a bunch of different Blues, but the same White/Blue alternate fabric. 

I'm getting ready to head out to Kentucky for a visit with my Mom, and the two of us are going to Paducah next week!  I'm taking a bunch of the cut pieces with me and will be hand piecing some on the trip.  I'll let you know how that goes, and show you more progress on my quilt when I get back.

...And now I have the Beatles song, A Long and Winding Road, stuck in my head...

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn


Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

The cutter seems like a huge time saver for the Winding Ways Dawn. If I had a GO, that would be one of my first choices. Have a safe trip.

Pat said...

Great tutorial, Dawn. I love my GO and especially appreciate it for the ease with which I can do half and quarter-square triangles with some of my dies.

SewCalGal said...

Have fun in Paducah! And thanks for such a great tutorial too.


Cyn ;-) said...

Thank you for the great tute on the Go and WWays block. This block is definitely on my Bucket List.

Jean said...

Great tutorial! I want to make this quilt someday!

Missy said...

Dawn, great tutorial on piecing the curves. And right when I was wondering how long it took you to piece a block, you told us! Love your blog and excited to hear how well things are going for you! Missy

Nikki said...

Just bought a GO and Windy Ways die. Haven't used it yet. Thanks for your tutorial.