Friday, August 26, 2011

The Desperate Housewife's Quilt - Block 9 All Washed Up

Welcome to week 9 of the 'The Desperate Housewife's Quilt'. Todays block is all about curved piecing. Remember, this is not a quilt-a-long. Just follow the blog every week and pick and choose which blocks you would like to make. I will be injecting some uniqueness into traditional blocks, applique, three dimensional, crazy and thread-art blocks. If you make a block you can post it on the Flickr group for everyone to enjoy. Also, I have this nifty button under each post that allows you to save the post as a PDF.

Be sure to visit this week's Guest Blogger and their wonderful block.

Dan from Piece and Press will be joining us today with his fantastic block - Lazy Susan. There is nothing lazy about this block. If you love circles and curves this will be one for you. I will be definitely adding this one to my list.

All Washed Up
The splash of the bath water, the filling sink, the water tank overflowing and the swish of the dishwasher ... all washed up.

Techniques explored
  • Curved Piecing using the glue and topstitch method.
I have selected some contrast batiks and similar coloured Fairy Frost fabrics for this block yardage. For the curved pieces choose a gradient colour scheme and add a contrasting background piece.

For the foundation piecing I have used Stitch N Wash. This is a product from Floriani that is very light weight with a slight adhesive to stabilise your appliqué and then wash away. You can use anything from interfacing to newspaper. Be careful to remove all paper and interfacing from block before washing. Interfacing can shrink and distort the block. You can leave the Stitch N Wash in the block.

For the background pieces I used freezer paper as an iron template. Again you can make a template from whatever you are comfortable with like plastic or cardboard.

There are two foundation templates that require the following scrap pieces as shown the image below. (N.B I have been very generous in fabric allowance)

Piece 1

Piece 2
Making the Foundation Curved Pieces

  • Download the Foundation Templates -  Foundation Templates here
  • Trace the templates onto your foundation. DO NOT include the 1/4" seam allowance when tracing. We will add this when we are cutting out the finished piece. The seams would be too bulky and hard to turn

  • Place your first two pieces, right side together on back of foundation and pin. Sew on pencil line using a shorter stitch ( 1.5 )

  • Press over seams with finger or wooden iron. Do not use heat at this stage.
  • Trim back the seam to 1/4"

  • Continue until all pieces are added. It will look quite messy.
  • Trim back, leaving 1/4" seam allowance around foundation template
  • Repeat for second foundation template piece
Cutting the background pieces
  • Download the background templates. Find Templates here
  • Trace the templates onto the non shiny side of the freezer paper. Use a cool iron and press onto back of fabric.

Putting it all together
There is no sewing of two curved pieces. On one piece, the seams are glued over the template and on the other it is tucked under the glued piece. The two pieces are then topstitched.

  • Take the large curved piece and press the 1/4" seam allowance over to the back on the top and bottom edges of the piece. Use a fabric glue stick and glue it down. The curve should be gentle enough so no clipping is necessary inside the curve.
  • If you don't have fabric glue, paint starch on seam and press until dry.
  • Take the other curve piece and only press and glue the top edge.
  • Lay out the pieces in the order they will connect together. Turn the pieces over and place some glue along the seam line of the background piece. Lay the foundation curve piece on top. Let glue dry.
Piece 1 - both pieces should lay over each other with 1/4" seam allowance
Piece 2
  • Turn the pieces over and topstitch very close to the edge of the curve. Repeat for other piece.
  • Join the two finished sections by overlaying, glueing and topstitching together. Before glueing and topstitching, lay a squaring ruler over the block to check that is is 8 1/2" in size. if not you can adjust join by sliding the two pieces up or down.

Congratulations, you have completed your curvy block without sewing two curved seams together. The unfinished block should be 8 1/2". Now to play with designs.

The Block
Horizontal Layout with rotation
Add a splash of colour

Horizontal with more rotation to make pinwheels 
On Point ( Looks like hat boxes ) 
On Point with rotation
On Point with rotation to form pinwheel design
Add a bit more colour
On point with rotation in pinwheel format

I hope you have all enjoyed this weeks block. Next week I bring you a block that will make your stomach churn.

*** Please remember that these blocks and any blocks designed by guest bloggers should not be used for commercial purposes ( sold as a pattern, published etc) without the written consent of the owner ***


  1. Nice! Love the pinwheel effect. :)

  2. This is the coolest thing I've seen in a long while (quilt wise that is)!
    Thank you so much for the very clear tutorial.

    Did you draw the block in EQ?
    If so, can you share the PJ7 block file with us?

    Thank you!

  3. Wow- I love this block and the way you always show how it will look in a quilt with all the same block.


  4. Ooh. I love the colorful pinwheel. . And thanks for the great tutorial. It's good to be reminded how useful wash-out glue can be.


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