Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Curvemaster: the curate's egg

This month's GenX Quilters Moccasin block is a curvy variation on a simple nine patch.

 After weeks of straight lines it's good to do something even a little bit curvy! Plus I thought this was an excellent opportunity for me to whip out my Curvemaster foot and give it a whirl.

To cut out the pieces for the patches I used my freezer paper method for tracing templates. This involves tracing the template onto freezer paper, trimming to size with scissions, ironing the freezer paper onto the fabric and then cutting carefully around with a rotary cutter. To avoid cutting my template I mark both the "true" shape and then the larger seam allowance shape outside of the "true" shape. When cutting I line my 1/4" mark on my ruler cut with the "true" shape. A few rotary cutter passes later and I had all my pieces ready to go.

The first step in using the Curvemaster foot is (unsurprisingly) to fit it to your machine. Despite the instructions on the packaging and website, it soon became clear that the foot wouldn't just snap onto Naomi the Janome's ankle. The little bar on the foot (no idea what the technical term is) just wasn't wide enough to fit Naomi's ankle (she's a 8200QC if anyone's interested). 

With a bit of trial and error (and some very careful tightening with a screwdriver) I discovered that the number 4 ankle supplied with the Curvemaster could replace Naomi's standard ankle and then the Curvemaster foot would snap on. 

The next issue was getting the fabric to feed evenly. I'm not sure whether this problem was caused by me choosing the wrong adapter but the two layers of material wouldn't feed even through the machine about 30-50% of the time. Instead the top layer would feed through but the bottom layer would remain static. After a while I was reduced to starting sewing a good 1/8" into my block just to get the feed dogs to bite, backstitching back to the edge of the fabric and then going forwards again. Sometimes even that didn't work.

On the occasions when the material did feed properly, the Curvemaster works like a pro, zipping around those curves and fitting convex and concave pieces together beautifully. Yes, it takes a bit of practice but doesn't anything worthwhile in life?

Just a quick reminder that I'm on my migraine detox now and so all blog postings have been prepared in advance. I won't be able to check my blog for at least two weeks so I'll respond to any comments after 17th August.

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