Monday, May 18, 2020

Book Club QAL - Claire

Having fun hand piecing?  It's time to get started on our block #8 - Claire.  (And it is hard to believe we've almost made all the blocks!)

Claire is all about the curve!  Take your time and you'll find you enjoy piecing this block!

Let's see how you like Claire compared to her friends -
Evelyn, JanePenelopeLouisaCathy,  Jo, and Emma),  Curved piecing (IMHO) is much easier to do by hand than it is by machine.  (See the tips for hand piecing curves.)

Just remember to take your time and pin, pin, pin.

Still need the pattern for Book Club for the Hand Pieced QAL - grab yours now!  Book Club is a 9 block sampler and two block setting to make either a wall hanging or a throw sized quilt.  Did you miss the QAL announcement?  You can find more information here!  If you have any trouble ordering the pattern, please don't hesitate to email us at - we'll be happy to help!

Tips & Tricks

There are only two basic shapes needed to make our Claire block, both of which need to be cut with templates.  (Check out the tutorial if you need some reminders.)  Make sure you mark all your stitching lines on the wrong side of the units.  This specialty ruler - The Perfect Piecer -  makes it easy marking sewing lines even on curves.

The rotary cutting instructions (if applicable) for the units can be found in the bottom left corner of the pattern sheet.  Please consult the tutorials for Using Templates and for Marking Stitching Lines if you need some tips.

Once the pieces are cut and prepped, keeping a visual layout in front of you will be key to success.  It is easy to get those curved pieces flipped around. (I am using my wonderful wool pressing mat to keep everything organized.)

If you are not super confident on curves - and who really is? - consider over-cutting the straight edges of the concave piece by about 1/4''.   This will give you some extra 'wiggle room' when piecing and you'll end up with a nice square block at the end.

Once the unit is pieced, trim it up to be 5'' x 5''.   In the photo below (on the right), you'll see how the diagonal line on my ruler lines up tip to tip on the orange peel.  I shift the ruler until I get a 1/4'' of background on each corner.

While I am not recommending you trim from the wrong side, you can see in the photo below on the left what it would look like - still align the diagonal line.

To begin, fold each of the units in half and finger press the center line.  Align the creases and secure with a pin.  In addition add a pin at left edge, aligning seam interactions.  Then stitch towards the center pin.   

Once you can remove the center pin, go ahead and pin the right edge, aligning the seam intersections and sew.

Before you know it, you'll have your 4 units pieced and trimmed!

When you are ready to sew, be careful to fold back seam allowances to keep them from getting caught in the stitching.

The link-up for Claire (or any blocks you make this week) will open on Thursday, May 21.  You can also add your blocks to the Emma link-up which closes Thursday right as the Claire link-up opens.  If you share on IG, please tag your photo with #bookclubqal and #handpiecedqal.

Make sure you go visit Kristen and see her Claire block!

The Book behind the Block

When we first meet Claire in Outlander by Dianna Gabaldon, she is a nurse and just getting reacquainted with her husband Frank after being separated for years because of WWII.   Claire walks through a circle of stones (think Stonehendge) and finds herself in Scotland in the year 1743.  She meets and falls in love with a Highland warrior by the name of Jamie Frasier.    Currently, Outlander is a eight book series but Dianna is actually actively working on book 9 which will be titled Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone.  No word yet on the publish date.

Why did we call this block Claire?  Mild spoiler alert, Claire does eventually return to her natural time period but will also travel back and forth to the 18th century.  This block clearly represents the twisting world of Claire, one foot in each of two time periods.

I really enjoyed this series when I first read it and will likely pick it up again.  And, a bit of warning, some parts of a bit graphic.  If that bothers you, just turn the page to when the battle ends and the story picks up again!

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1 comment:

  1. I think next time I'll add extra fabric on the straight edges. I had a bit of trouble with this one and with Elizabeth...likely that I didn't cut my template perfectly. But they both worked out. Now on to sashing.


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