Flower Festival block 1 (part 1 – piecing)

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The big goal for this year is to learn how to quilt. I mean, proper quilting, not just straight-line quilting done just to get the quilt finished, and using my little domestic sewing machine (which is proving quite a challenge, to be honest!). As I stated before, to do so I’m joining the Flower Festival QAL by Leah Day.

So, this is the first block for the quilt-along, called “Blooming nine patch”. I wasn’t planing to write two posts about it, but I have lots of things to put down for the quilting part, so I decided to divide all the information in two blog posts.

I faced the piecing of this one as if I was an absolute beginner, following Leah Day instructions by the letter. There’s always something to learn, and I surely did. Starching and prep fabric was something I’ve been doing for a long time now (mostly, because of her tutorials), and now it has become a must for each piece of fabric that arrives at home (pre-cuts are an exception). It makes a huge difference!

Newer for me was the pressing and slow piecing part. I’m also not a big fan of pressing seams open; however, the experience on this one has been extremely positive, and I have done so in another block with great results. I think that it’s the combo “starch (or stabiliser, to be more exact) + smaller stitch length, even for a big block + proper pressing with the iron” that gives such a flat, crisp seam.

And to my surprise all the points matched smoothly! The only thing I can’t understand is why the block ended a little shorter. I think I carried a little off-seam from the central nine-patch…

It has been a pleasure to piece this one. Forcing myself to slow down my piecing, checking constantly and playing with this range of fabric made for a wonderful sewing afternoon.

The block is now almost completely quilted. Once I finish it I will post all my -not so wonderful- quilting thoughts!

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