July 31, 2011

DWR Quilt Along: Attaching the Arcs to the Melons

DWR Quilt Along

Finally! My hubby needed the computer for work stuff all afternoon, so I just now gained possession of it ;) Life has been a little chaotic lately, as evidenced by the state of my sewing room right now...

Yeah...it's madness...sheer madness...

So enough of that...on to the instructions. For this step you will need:
  • All 80 of your arcs
  • All 40 of your melons
  • All 80 of your intersection squares
Grab two arcs (one of each color group if you're assembling them like me) Grab one of your melons and fold it in half. Finger press and unfold.

Grab one of the arcs and line up the center fold of the melon with the center seam of the arc.

Pin in place.

After you've pinned the center, you'll need to pin the tips of the melon to the ends of the arc. I find it's easier to keep the tip from shifting if you pin it at a 45 degree angle (rather than a 90 degree angle).

It should now look a little something like the photo above.

Next you'll need to line up and pin the areas in between the center and the tips. I find the easiest way for me to smooth out the fabrics is to fold them back into an arch.

The melon shifts away from the edge easily, so I line up the fabric one small section at a time and pin about every 1/2 inch.

Your melon & arc should now look like the photo above.

Try to pin close to the edge, because the melon will fight you every step of the way. It shifts away from the bottom edge of the arc very easily, so if you don't pin close to the edge, it will scoot up and mess with your seam allowances.

Once you've finished pinning, flip the arc over to the paper back. Start sewing at the corner where the two solid black lines meet. Try to be as accurate as possible and sew directly on top of the black line. Stop sewing at the corner on the other end.

One you're finished, cut notches all the way down the seam allowance with a fine pair of scissors. This allows the curve to stretch out a little more naturally and keeps the fabric from bunching.

Press the seam with an iron to set in place.

Grab your second arc and two coordinating 2" x 2" intersection squares. Sew a square to the each end of the second arc.

When you sew the intersection squares to the ends, you won't stop and start at the corners like you did with the arc. Instead, you'll sew all the way across, starting and stopping at the very edge of the paper.

Fold the intersection squares out and press. Your second arc should now look similar to the photo above.

Grab your first arc/melon piece and lay it wrong side down on top of the second arc. Again, line up the center fold of the melon with the center seam of the second arc.

Before pinning, fold back the top arc and make sure their center seams are lining up.

Pin at the center exactly like you did with the first arc.

You'll need to pin the corners next like you did with the first arc, but we'll do things a little differently this time around. The easiest way for me to figure out where my corners need to be, is to fold the arc and intersection square so that their ends line up perfectly. Then I pin the inside corner in place (see red circle above).

After that, arch your fabrics, line them up, and pin every 1/2" (just like we did the first time)

Your arcs + melon should now look a little something like this. Flip them over to the paper side and sew down the seam allowance line, stopping and starting at the corners.

When you're finished, flip the whole thing back over again. The tips should now look like this. If the fabric is bunched, 1) make sure you stopped and started at the corner lines, rather than sewing all the way to the end of the paper, or 2) compare your melon template to your fabric melon and make sure it's not too wide at the tip.  Both of those things could be the cause for the bunching.

Now to wrap things up, line up one end of your arc with the end of the intersection square again. Pin in place (this time, you'll actually be sewing them together!)

Sew from the inside corner to the very tip of the paper (sew past the corner on the outside edge of the arc). Repeat for the other end.

The ends should now look a little something like this.

And the whole back should look like this.

Flip over and press all your seams. Don't worry if it doesn't lay perfectly flat or looks a bit wrinkly in places, because it's due to the paper backing. Once you've assembled your quilt top and removed all the paper, it will lay much smoother.

Like I said...this was the hardest part of the pattern for me to "get" initially. But once I found my groove, curved piecing kinda clicked in my brain and figuring out the rest of the quilt wasn't nearly as difficult. If you struggle with this step, don't worry - it takes a little getting used to...especially if you've never pieced curves before. Let me know if the pictures aren't cutting it, because I've considered putting together a video for this step. Obviously that's a lot of additional work, so I wanted to see if it was merited before I actually did it. If you try out this next step and just can't seem to figure it out, leave me a note in the comments and if I get a large enough response, I'll try and enlist my hubby's help for a brief video tutorial sometime this/next week.

P.S. I wasn't kidding about the seam ripper and loose change in my last post...you're probably gonna need 'em ;) Happy piecing! And please feel free to email me or post in the Comments with any questions you have :)


Kaelin you rock! This must have taken you all weekend with all the pictures and everything, I really appreciate it!!! I am sure you are right about the seam ripper and swear jar but it helps to know you've made it through, so I can do it. :)

Mh, looks promising :) Don't you remove the pins while sewing?

@Susanne - For this pattern only, I don't remove my pins while sewing. I find it too difficult to keep the fabric from shifting if I remove them, so I just sew right over them. But be careful if you do this, because if the needle lands right on top of one of the pins, one (or both) of them can break and fly at you. I've had that happen once or twice before in my sewing career ;)

wow, this looks so very impressive! you do handle all those pins very well i hope.. :-)
awesome tutorial, if i am ever brave enough to try this i will certainly follow your lead, that´s for sure!
thanks and have a nice day,

This is such a great tute! Thank you

Okay, I did two of these and I am having such a hard time adding the second arc. I would love a video.

Thank you for the great detailed instructions. I started this two years ago, was in over my head till viewing your helps. Wish me luck!

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