I got waaay behind on my March block for the Sewn Together Bee. The saving grace was that Kristan mentioned that she wasn't in a rush for her blocks. Still I am sorry it took me so long to get the block back to her.
This block was really out of my comfort zone. It challenged me and really stretched my skills. The great thing about this block was I got to try a technique that I had never tried before - curves seams.
Kristan started by giving us some amazing fabrics to play with and a link to a video tutorial on the curved seams technique. I really loved the silver raw silk she threw in the mix and I started with that as my center. It reminded me of water so I thought of it as a river with the cotton prints acting as the banks radiating out. I would have stopped there but I then decided to add two "bridges" running perpendicular through the block. I don't know that I ever would have tried this technique if not for this block and I am so glad I did!
TIPS FOR CURVED SEAMS:
1) When you're sewing the seams together it all feels a little counterintuitive but in the end it works. Going slowly helps.
2) It helped me to consider the seam as I would any 1/4" straight seam. Keeping everything lined up that way, stopping often and traveling slowly worked (rather than trying to follow the curve).
3) And I cannot stress enough the importance of a steaming hot iron! The iron was my friend on this one. Follow the directions in the tutorial and press the seams to one side. This works wonders on the curved seams.
4) After you've pressed the seams to one side flip the block over and iron the hell out of the front side of the block. I noticed tiny little folds or puckers occasionally when I would flip a seam (they usually popped up towards the end of the seams) BUT I was able to iron most of them out successfully.
5) Lastly, I found that I would end up with an excess of one strip of fabric toward the end of each seam so this technique does create some waste and don't expect two strips of the same length to end up that way. Take this into consideration when determining your block size. Go overboard and cut the block down or you may end up with a block that is smaller then you anticipated.
If any of you are inspired to try out this technique I would love to see your results. Let me know!