From the front, hand and machine pieced blocks look the same.
Inklingo Castle Wall is a hand piecer’s dream.
Portable. Precise. Fun. 3 sizes. Impressive! Lots of inset seams = relaxing continuous stitching.
Should we tell machine piecers, “No, no, no. This is not for you.” ? I think not!
We want to include ALL quilters in the fun and Inklingo makes it easier to machine piece a fortress of inset seams!
Hand piecers love inset seams.
Machine piecers avoid them. Not anymore, okay?
Inset seams are a hand piecer’s friend because you can turn a corner and keep on sewing. “Continuous stitching” is relaxing and fun and gives perfect results with fewer knots.
Inset seams often scare machine piecers away from beautiful designs like Castle Wall because it is difficult to judge where to start and stop sewing. Precision markings printed with Inklingo change all that.
There is no need to avoid inset seams when you print the shapes on fabric with Inklingo!
In my last message, there is a video showing inset seams by machine (hexagon example).
You can do it too!
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Machine piecers usually sew from edge to edge and often sew through several layers of fabric where seams cross.
Hand piecers always sew from crosshair to crosshair (not edge to edge) and only ever sew through 2 layers of fabric. That gives more flexibility for sewing sequence and means all the pressing can be left to the end. (No more press as you go.)
Monkey is a hand piecing snob. He says sewing from crosshair to crosshair is “hand piecing by machine.” With crosshairs and precision corners printed accurately on every piece with Inklingo, machine piecers can sew from crosshair to crosshair too.
WHAT’S THE SAME?
Whether you sew by hand or by machine:
- Sew crosshair to crosshair.
- Start and end each seam with a backstitch or locking stitch.
- Sew the seams in any order, but plan your route for “continuous stitching” and/or minimal pinning if you can.
- Use the same sewing sequence for hand piecing and machine piecing.
- Leave all the pressing to the end.
BONUS – HYBRID PIECING
You can combine hand and machine sewing in the same block!
Last night I planned to sew as many seams as I could by machine and then finish the block by hand while watching TV with Russ.
My plan did not work out.
- I finished these two Castle Wall blocks (above) by machine before our show started!
(I sewed hexagons on the couch instead. Nice)
- My idea for a different sewing sequence for machine piecing did not have any advantages compared to just using the normal sewing sequence for Castle Wall by hand.
(Things often seem harder/easier/better/worse in theory. You have to actually do it to know for sure.)
You can finish a machine pieced block by hand—or vice versa.
Problem: If you finish fast by machine, you might not have anything to pack in your portable kit.
Solution: Print some more!
Hybrid piecing is described in detail in The Inklingo Handbook. It is only possible because Inklingo prints accurate lines for every shape.
- Even without trimming the corners, Inklingo’s precision markings help align everything correctly (arrows above). If your machine has a walking foot, you may not need to pin at all but if you do, pin at the two crosshairs.
- Use the same sewing sequence for machine and hand piecing.
- Stitch from crosshair to crosshair and start and end each seam with a backstitch–by hand or by machine.
- Press the same way whether you sew by hand OR by machine.
- Sew by machine when you can and sew by hand when you need it to be portable and/or quiet.
- Castle Wall 4.5 inch and Castle Wall 6 inch are harder to sew by machine than Castle Wall 9 inch. Stick to the larger sizes for machine piecing.
- Fussy cutting a great fabric makes each block even more fun no matter whether you print Inklingo templates to make Swiss cheese of the fabric OR you print the shapes on fabric with No Waste Fussy Cutting.
I know you can do it too, but if you are hesitant you can try before you buy. Practice sewing from crosshair to crosshair by machine with the shape in the free Diamond Triangle Square shape collection. It’s probably easier than you think! (How to sew LeMoyne Star by Machine.)
MORE CASTLE WALL LESSONS
I have added “How to Machine Piece Castle Wall” to the list of lessons on the Main Castle Wall Page.
You can see my first machine pieced Castle Wall block here.
Even if you normally hand piece, I hope you will “Attack a Castle Wall” by machine and enjoy it as much as I did. It just might boost your confidence about precision machine piecing—and you can brag at your next guild meeting!
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Linda & Monkey
New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Quick Start (Always FREE.) There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.
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