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I like doing foundation piecing on a machine. I had some interesting patterns though for miniature foundation piecing.  I felt a little intimidated at the thought of  working with such small pieces of fabric.  At the Sewing and Quilting Expo in Chicago this year (Schaumburg really) I took a class taught by Marty Moon and lost my fear of little bitty foundation piecing. For these small pieces I prefer hand sewing, which was what was taught in the class.  In the class I did a kite and an Easter Egg. After the class I bought some patterns from Marty Moon to work on at home. That is what I'm going to be showing below.

Follow me after the orange squiggle and see how it works!

Below is a muslin pattern piece for a 2.5" finished block.

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There are 15 pieces in this 2.5" square.  Some of them very very small. Also you might note that the title of this is autumn leaves. Now when I looked at it, I didn't necessarily see autumn leaves. I saw a stylized flower, maybe a flower in a vase.  That's what I decided to do. To begin, I assembled various small pieces of fabric. as below:

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Some of these pieces didn't end up in the final square.  I think all of us working on projects like this audition pieces and decide which works and which doesn't.

To start the piecing, find the line between #1 and #2. Choose the colors you want for piece 1 and 2. Cut the pieces definitely bigger than you need.  You can trim them later. Place pieces #1 and #2, right sides together on the NON printed side of the muslin. You will be stitching on the printed side of the muslin to follow the lines.  I usually put a pin directly on the line that you will be stitching. See below.  
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That way you can turn over the pattern, spread the fabric pieces out and be sure they will cover the areas they need to with at least a 1/4" seam allowance.  You might need to hold the piece up to a light or a window to see through to the lines on the other side. Again see below:

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Turn the muslin back over to the printed side. Holding the pieces together, move the pin to one side so that it still goes through all layers and holds the three pieces of fabric together. Be careful you don't shift the pieces. You can either sew this on the machine, or hand sew this. I prefer for such small pieces to hand sew them.

Hopefully here you can see the stitches running up the line between #1 and #2. My stitch length is usually about an 1/8" of an inch.  The pin is slightly to one side. The needle is just stuck in after I have done the stitching.

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This pic was taken after I had ironed the two pieces flat. I do like to iron after each piece is added.

Next go to the line between #2 and #3. In this case it is a piece of the background.  As you can tell here, things can get a bit hard to see through. A sunny day or a bright light is your friend.

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Once that is sewn along the printed line on the back, you go to the line between #3 and #4, follow the same procedure and sew along that line. Go to the line between #4 and #5.  Now a pattern is actually starting to show up.

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Sometimes it is useful to fold the muslin fabric back and finger crease it to see where a seam goes as I have done below between #5 and #7.

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The piece numbers may not always be adjacent. #5 was adjacent to #6, but #7 was adjacent to #5, but not #6. Just follow numerical progression.

As you go along you can trim the seams to 1/4", but be careful not to cut too much. On the outside edge of a piece I usually trim the pieces to just a bit wider than the 1/4" line.

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When everything is done, you can trim to the 1/4" mark using a rotary cutter.

 photo P1011199_zps1f6516be.jpg

You may have noticed that I combined pieces #13, #14 and #15. For the stylized flowers I did want the stem.  Because there is an X with a circle around it between #13 and #14 and #13 and #15, these 3 pieces should be pieced together before being put on the foundation.  If I was doing this as leaves with a stem, I would do as I have done above and then embroider the stem on top, or possibly applique it.

Below is the Easter egg I did and the kite.

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What is any one else working on?


After doing quite well with scheduling for awhile, there are now lots of open dates. Would you like to write a future DK Quilt Guild diary?  Please join in! Please volunteer within the comments. Thanks

The schedule:

5/19 -- Smoh
5/26 -- leu2500
6/02 -- OPEN
6/09 -- OPEN
6/16 -- madmommy

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