Saturday, October 18, 2014

"cinched" pattern - part three

 so i'm jumping all over the sewing spectrum around here. yes, i started messing with triangles but now i'm ready to get my three big wips out of the way, to finish them up while enjoying the process. today that meant completeling the flimsy for my new edition of my "cinched" pattern, which i am calling "bloom where you are planted" because of all the blossoms and because it's for a friend who has been uprooted and replanted elsewhere.

i sewed the strips together by first sewing adjoining pairs, then sewing the pairs into groups of four, and sewing those into groups of eight, and so on until the whole top was together. each time, i sewed the seam in the opposite direction i had previously sewn, first sewing from the top edge to the bottom and the next time sewing the grouping from the bottom to the top. to have one consistently straight edge for matching up, i trimmed the bottom edge of the quilt even. since i had modified some of the strips, they weren't all the same length, which is why i needed to trim.

i was nearly done with the top when i left for summer roadtrip. this morning, i put the last three sections of the lower panel together, and this afternoon i joined the lower panel with the top panel and accent strip. it has come together quite quickly.

before i did that last seam, i squared up that lower panel. when sewing with jelly strips, its easy to get distortion where your strips start to lean in one direction or just aren't completely square. (well, for me it seems easy to have that occur.) sewing the seams in alternating directions helps with the leaning. i kept trimming the bottom edge of the sections each time i sewed more strips and sections together, but the top was uneven. by the time it was done, i was 3/4" short at one end. (see top photo)

folded in half and pinned together
 squaring the strips can be confusing because the seams are not always perfectly straight and neither are the edges. i was fairly certain the bottom edge that i kept trimmed the whole time was straight, so next i folded the panel in half across the width (so the strips are still full length), lining up that straight bottom edge and pinning it into place every few strips. i also lined up the two end strips with each other and pinned them. from there i could smooth out the panel and then trim the top edge, opposite the pins, straight and square.

 i did the same with the upper panel and accent strip before attaching because i figured it was easier to work with the small piece rather than try to square that edge when the whole top was put together. and that is true. but i also messed up the trim twice, because it's me, you know. when trying to correct a 1/4" slant, i slanted it further the wrong way and had to trim 1/2". this flimsy is rapidly loosing height.

then i laid the upper section out on my lower section to pin for that final seam . . . and discovered the upper panel was one strip longer than the lower! i think i added that one strip with the intention of taking the other end off so i could shift the accent block over, but it's been so long i can't be sure anymore! i did the easy thing, which was probably wrong, and removed the piece hanging out on the edge.

then, finally, i did my pinning.

and fyi - tip alert - pinning large pieces together while on the design wall rather than on the floor is a lot easier! pin the first piece (at every few strips) to your design board. lay out the second piece on top of it, removing the pins holding the bottom piece in place as you go and replacing them into both pieces so you have both pinned into the board together. then just go back and pin only the fabric together before removing from the board. easy peasy!

sew that last seam in and you have . . .
a completed flimsy!!!
(which still needs a piece of the accent strip trimmed off.)

i have to admit these fabrics were givign me a headache every time i looked at them hanging on the design wall the last few months. they are so darn bright and loud! but now that they are neatly sewn together, they are playing much more nicely and i kind of like it again. except looking at this photo i'm rather wishing i made that accent strip in white instead of green. too late!

my goal is to get the back pieced and the whole shebang basted as a sandwich before the piano teacher comes next wednesday because this flimsy is living on the piano room floor and that means trouble.

the detailed steps for this tutorial are spread over 5 posts i wrote as i made the "bloom" quilt and worked on the pattern. find the others here:

cinched part one - fabric requirements and strip preparation
cinched part two - the accent strip and block, modifications from the first quilt, joining blocks for the long strips
the three-strip accent stripe pieced backing - how to make the backing
loops and crinkles - quilting choices for "bloom where you are planted"
cinched part four - quilting, binding, and gifting
cinched full tutorial


  1. It's so pretty! It is really going to brighten the room your friends uses it in. I had the EXACT same frustrations with the quilts I made for my nephews out of long strips. I think it is because I didn't measure and cut the strips before sewing them together. I left them oversize to trim later but that somehow caused a lot of distortion and stretching.

    On the other hand, those quilts are very used and loved so maybe it doesn't matter if you still get to such a pretty final product. :)

  2. it is wonderful Hydee. Bright and colourful and fun :-)

  3. Those strip quilts look so easy but are deceptive, I always have issues with them. Yours is so pretty and your friend is sure to love it!

  4. Wow,such a beautiful and colorful quilt.Love,love your fabric mix!!


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