I am breaking with my regular Farmer’s Wife posting routine to bring you a little bit more detail on the most recent block, Belle. Angie has affectionately named her a beast of a block, and there is an excellent variation in her tutorial for avoiding the y-seams in this tricky little beauty. Melissa has posted an excellent tutorial on paper-piecing this block with y-seams. However I machine stitched her using the Marti Michell templates and rotary cutting, with my very FIRST y-seams, and I am here to tell you that you can tackle the beast and win!
This isn’t a full tutorial, but as I was stitching her up I shot a few pictures that I thought might help along the way.
Major tip – leave your seam allowances UNSTITCHED.
You can see above I marked dots on the house shaped pieces where the seams begin and end. The idea is not to stitch beyond those points for each individual seam, as shown on my small seam above.
Can I just say how wonderful the “engineered corners” on these Marti Michell templates are? For flying geese/square in square type blocks, they are so neat and quick, with perfect points every time!
Next you can see I added the square to the side of the flying geese type units, again, only stitching up to the seam crossing, in this case where the pink and green fabrics meet.
Y-seam number one. I pinned everything square with the triangle corner, and stitched it in 2 passes – both times from the outside edge of the seam in towards the point, making sure to stop at the seam allowance and NOT catch the seam allowance into my stitching. It sat much happier pressed in towards the green square.
Complete for both units. I had to unpick and restitch a tiny bit that wasn’t sitting flat when I stitched in the first time, but I really found that lining things up and stitching from the outside in helped keep things simpler.
Finally, to join the two halves together I started in the middle of the pink “house” units, where the two larger green squares meet. My seams were pressed to each side, so they nested together for a neat seam intersection in the centre of the block. I stopped stitching at the next corner, back stitching to secure. Don’t catch that seam down. Take out of the machine, and re-align the fabric to stitch the side of the smaller square to the pink triangle. Pin and then sew, again from the outside in towards the corner, stopping before you cross the next seam. Back stitch to secure.
Repeat for the other side.
I pressed this final seam open, although all of the others as you can see were pressed to the side. It helped keep them flat and the points mostly intact and pointy!
Take your time with the seams, watch your allowances and you will master your first y-seams (4 of them in fact)!!
**Disclaimer. Although I received my Marti Michell templates for my participation in the Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt sew along, my opinions are genuinely my own.
So, how do you feel about the dreaded y-seam? Love it? Avoid it? Use this opportunity to give it a go, and you just might find yourself learning a new skill!
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Aren’t the templates amazing?! I said I wouldn’t buy them because let’s face it, that money would buy a lot of fabric! Plus, I wasn’t sure if they were necessary. Then I decided it’s a year long project and a lot of work, I’ll splurge. Oh my goodness! They are a game changer! So worth the fabric fast to have them.
I was the same on the fence about them, but really appreciate the difference they make to the finished product. I’ve been looking at the other shapes that Marti has developed, think I need to branch out!