The Sweetpea Star Block.

posted in: Tips, Work 5
I'm calling it "The Sweetpea Star" block. Photo: Me
I’m calling it “The Sweetpea Star” block. Photo: Me

I was invited to teach a class at the 2017 QuiltCon and the one that they want is my (new!) class on partial seaming. The block above — which is old as the hills — uses partial seaming and will be the basis of the class. I’m calling it the “Sweetpea Star” but it surely has ten names already. “Partial” and “seaming” are two words that when used together make many quilters flinch. Isn’t that something garment makers do? Surely there’s a shortcut. A special ruler, perhaps?

Yes, garment makers use partial seams, but patchwork makers can, too: including you, if cutting up big pieces of fabric into small pieces of fabric and then sewing them back together again is your cup of tea. Are there shortcuts? Special tools? For most partially seamed blocks, yeah, but if you see a killer block that uses partial seaming and then you try to find a way around doing that part, you won’t get the same thing. The shapes will be a little narrower, maybe, or a little wider. It’ll look close, but not as good.

It’s like a designer handbag: you can totally buy the knock-off version, and okay, sure, it looks pretty good. You might even get compliments on it. But there are those who will know, who will ask you where you got your bag and, because you are honest, you will say, nervously, “Oh, well, haha, you know, a store — hey, are you hungry? Let’s get a panini.”

And of course, you’ll know. You’ll know you did some dirty patchwork to avoid doing partial seams. And you’ll have to live with that. You’ll have to live with that a long time.

This is a strange way to invite guild programming officers to request my new “No-Fear Partial Seams: Sweetpea Star Block” class when you contact me about coming to a guild near you. It’s also an announcement that I’ll be teaching at QuiltCon in Savannah in February and those planning to attend should register for the class. (I’ll be teaching two blocks of it and will debut a new lecture at the show, as well.)

You can do something hard. Usually, it’s not even hard. You just tried it once (whatever it was) and it yes, it was hard, so you got it in your mind that that thing is hard and you can’t do it, so you say you don’t want to do it. But you kind of do want to do the hard thing, deep down. I don’t know about all those other people, but if you’re a quilter facing a hard situation, I have fabulous news for you:

Fabric is soft.