Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Old dog, new tricks

Hi all!  Hope everyone managed to survive the storm okay.  Even by Midwestern standards, that was an impressive amount of snow. (We had about 21 inches.)  And it's still hanging around, too.  I understand it snows regularly here, so why aren't they better at clearing the roads?  It's a mystery.

While we were snowed in, I actually didn't sew much of anything!  I. . .cleaned.  I know, I can't explain it either!  The hubs and I also watched some movies and then went out on Sunday and dug out the cars.  That was exhausting.  Other than that, I have been learning some new things and I did do a little bit of practicing this new technique.  Take a look:

Free pieced houses!  Who knew I had it in me?  (I told you I was obsessed with houses.)

For those who don't know, free piecing is a technique that involves no patterns and no measuring.  You simply cut pieces (with scissors!) and sew them together, trimming and pressing as you go, then square up at the end.  Some people make things really wonky, but wonky makes me really nervous, so I tried to make things fairly straight.  These were my first two:

Really simple, right?  Even these were really hard for me, so I made them and then had to take a break and get my head around things.  When I settled down, I made two more:

Look, doors!  For some reason, I was a little happier with these, and a lot calmer, even though I made a few mistakes.  Trim everything off straight, really!

So the only thing left to do was make a house with windows too:

Ta-da!  I'm actually pretty happy with how this one came out.  It actually looks like a house!  By the time I made this one I was getting a lot more comfortable with the process and enjoying it.  "Free-pieced" does not mean sloppy or poorly constructed, and it took a few tries to convince myself of that.

If this technique made me so nervous, why did I try it?  Well, it's always good to try new things, especially if they're outside your comfort zone.  It's how we learn and grow.  Plus, I have really been impressed with some of the free-pieced quilts that I've seen, and I am really looking forward to getting Julie's new book on free-pieced barns and trying some of those out.  My real goal is to make some free-pieced letters, so that's the next thing for me to try.  Now THAT will be nerve-wracking!

I think I want to live in this happy house!

Hope you're having a wonderful week and that your streets are all clear.  Midwesterners, you have no idea how lucky you are.  Want to come out and give the East coast some snow-clearing lessons?  They need them!

Sharing at  Linky Tuesday,  Let's Bee Social and WIP Wednesday.


Gina said...

Love the houses. I'm with you , I like everything neat and tidy on a block. I really struggle with Improv x

Jo said...

You will have a quilt in no time.. Good work

Valerie Reynolds said...

Love your houses!!!!!!!!!!! This is my kind of sewing!

DianeLoves2Quilt said...

I, too, find it hard to be free-form. But it does gives things a homey comfortable quirky look that I do like. Congrats on letting go a bit.

JanineMarie said...

Your free-piecing experiment was a great success. And I think your houses will look fabulous with free pieced barns. I don't care what you say about the snow. I'm a little jealous. We have some lack-luster snow, but yours is so crisp and white. I know, I know, I don't have to shovel any.

Quiltdivajulie said...

If you can make your free pieced houses, you can make the letters, too. Remember to BREATHE . . . it really does help. That and the fact that you're really only using small amounts of fabric (not yards at a time). Glad you are having fun with this -- and thanks for the shout out about the book!