Among my sad, hidden UFOs is a hand piecing adventure from way back called Quilted Diamonds. It's a lovely quilt by Linda Franz, with whom I first became familiar while gung-ho on another sad, hidden UFO called Dear Jane.
Linda is a very precise hand piecer, and now that I am blessed with more free time for stitching, it beckons me to return. I knew that Linda developed a well-thought out and well-documented method for ink jet printing on fabric, called inklingo, but it was another thing I just didn't have time to get my head around. I decided to explore it a few days ago, and downloaded her freebies and ordered a few sets of patterns and her complete inklingo handbook.
Today, I finally had time to give it a try. It's easy as can be to print the cutting lines and sewing dashed lines and match points on freezer-paper stabilized fabric. The hardest part is getting to know your how your printer handles custom paper sizes.
Linda is very generous: when my Handbook arrived, she included one sheet of printed shapes. I would only need to complete the ink tests and print another sheet of the same shapes, and that was enough to make my first blocks. She has been following up by email to gently encourage me. I machine pieced my first block, but I think it would have actually been faster and crisper to do it by hand! It has a decent center, and lays nice and flat. I think I must have gone off the lines on the corners, but all in all, it turned out pretty well.
Next, I will try this as an alternative to paper piecing. I have a spring hydrangea wreath I want to make with small hexies, but it would be a lot faster to do it without the basting to paper step. Inklingo will let me do that! I am also smitten by the passacaglia and patchwork of the crosses patterns.
But I have to get these older UFO's done!
But, I got distracted by Dear Jane, and spent a little time understanding where I stopped. The center square blocks are all done - sashed-assembled. It was those pesky triangles and corners that got me stalled out. I actually have half the triangles done! I am not using all of Jane's patterns: some of my blocks are little applique adventures.
So, I want to use the Dear Jane blocks as my handwork for a while. Not sure what machine piecing I will have coming up next, but it's likely to be small stuff. Too many large quilt tops (3) need to be basted and quilted and my shoulder is not up to it yet.