Sunday, November 2, 2014

Let the piecing begin

This whole project started because my doctor said I need to socialize more. I am an introvert, and I have plenty of toys to keep me a happy hermit. I had a shocking wake up call when my neck doctor suggested I go with a friend to exercise class, and I couldn't think of one person that I would call. Pathetic, right? Sure, I have friends, but they are all quilting professionals who are spread across the globe.

My local quilt shop, the fantastic Quilted Cottage, holds a weekly Open Sew day. No charge, no expectations, just show up, choose a table and set up your quilty nest. This seemed to be the perfect venue for my reentry into civilian quilting life.

When I'm working on a new design for possible publication, I start by making a workbook. Since this quilt is all pieced I can work directly from Electric Quilt, printing out rotary cutting directions for each unit of the quilt.

EQ does amazing things, but there isn't a single button to push to get piecing directions. For my workbook, I've drawn the units individually. The rotary cutting print out only gives the instructions for cutting one block, and no piecing instructions. (Bwha-ha-ha, that is why you need me and other pattern designers!) So, I use these print outs to confirm my math and work out the cutting for the required repeats of the unit. In this case, I need a total of 80 of these little patches. Eighty.

Strip piecing is NOT my favorite. It's just too easy to wander off the seam allowance (forty-five inches is a long way to pay attention), and it's super easy to press pleats into the seams. The Cottage offers lightweight, inexpensive irons for their classrooms (those darned fusers make a mess of them), adding to the challenge of getting a crisp press. I'll be adding my own hefty iron to my travel kit on Open Sew days.

But, sometimes, strip piecing is the best way to go, especially for small units such as this. It only finishes to three inches.

After cutting eleventy-million segments, I'm thinking that maybe strip piecing wasn't the best choice after all. I had to measure and cut each segment individually. If I had cut out all the shapes before sewing, I could have cut multiple layers at once. Plus, it's much easily to maintain that good seam allowance over short seams. And they would have pressed out better. Hmmm. I hate it when I have to tell myself, "I told you so". It's so much more fun to tell it to others.

So, I have two thirds of the little unit sewn. It needs another segment sewn on to complete it. They need to be pressed before I go on to the next step, it will be easier to press the seams one at a time. And, I have a decision to make. Do I want to clip the seams so that I can press them away from the background (the black) for both the red and green squares? I think I should. I also think it will be a pain. Anyone who has taken a class from me (or my Craftsy class) knows what I nut I am about pressing. You can probably guess what I'll end up doing.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:02 AM

    So glad you are back quilting,,, I still tell everyone about your great sense of humour.

    Pat Hume from Moncton NB