Friday, July 26, 2013


It turns out that the excitement around the quilt that I created for a coworker spread around the office pretty quickly.  Enough so that between the quilt and the clutches I made for Teacher Appreciation Week, I was asked to make another custom quilt!

But wait, you may say...weren't you racked with severe procrastination and self-doubt about the last one?  Have you not learned how to say no?  Is all the stress really worth it?  Well...yes, yes, and maybe.  But my potential excitement about this commission comes from the fact that this one is for my office-mate, who I've gotten to know extremely well over the past year and we have considerably more similar tastes in fabrics and colors.  I'm hoping that these two factors will work in my favor.

Photo courtesy of Quilty Magazine
So after the initial request for "some kind of an owl quilt" (her favorite animal), I brought in a stack of my "modern" quilt magazines with a few post-it notes here and there and let her peruse.  To my delight, she landed on a pattern that I've been DYING to try but hasn't made its way to my idea stack yet - Rangoon created by Gudrun Erla which appears in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Quilty Magazine.

I was so excited!!  And then when I was (more closely) reading the pattern instructions that night, I saw two words that made me gulp.  Big time.

Partial seams.

Yikes.  I haven't tried those before and they sound scary to me.  I've watched a couple of online videos about how to successfully work with partial seams and the process doesn't seem too bad once you get the hang of it.  But I'm still a little nervous.  Anyone else work with them before and can talk me off the ledge?


  1. I've never done them intentionally, either. But the times I have done them sort of by accident have worked out fine! This quilt looks otherwise straightforward--like partial seams might be the only "new" skill to tackle. I think you should go for it, because that's how we grow as quilters! Congratulations on another commission--you'll be opening a studio before you know it.

  2. Partial seams are not as scary as they sound. Only the first strip around a square is partial. Then rest of them are just straight seams and you come back and finish the partial seam which was your first strip. Check out this video by Elenor Burns:
    The partial seam is halfway in the video. First part is the flying geese which you can skip.

    My Indian Summer had partial seams and they were actually fun:

    Also looking at the pattern if you would like to skip partial seams, it also seems to be doable by the "Slice and Insert" technique. I think both Jacquie Gering and Elizabeth Hartman have patterns using this technique in their book.

  3. I'm with Malini I think this quilt could work with the slice and insert method

    I've never actually done partial seams but have a quilt all cut that I've been putting off for that one reason....

  4. Go for it! I designed the quilt I made for American Quilter, got it accepted, went to make it and realized I needed partial seams! I hadn't done them before but they were easy as can be. Don't let them stop you!

  5. Just remember to go slow for the first few...and that nothing is too permanent in fabric. You can always use the seam ripper and try again.

  6. I reconnected with my old friend, the illustrious seam ripper, this week. It was good to catch up :).
    You can do it my friend! It will be worth it.

  7. They're scary, but you get the feel for them. Here's a really good tut from Handmade by Alissa. Looks like the same block too!

  8. I have absolutely no advice, but I'm sure you'll be fine, and well done on getting another commission!

  9. Keep Calm and Sew On:-) I just did partial seams on this month's Toes in the Sand block and they're really no big deal... I know you're up to the challenge!!!

  10. You can do it! And then when you're done with the quilt you'll be an expert.