Monday, July 16, 2012

Secret Sewing

The last month has lumbered along, deliciously slow and happily, lacking in much excitement. A body can only take so much excitement, you know.

I'm right in the middle of my three month break from travel. Entire weeks have passed by without leaving home. I've been keeping busy, for sure, but in a most restful, leisurely pace. Most of what I've been doing quilting wise falls into the hated "can't show you yet" category. Currently I'm working on a quilt for Quilters Newsletter's Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2012 issue that will go on sale in December.

I don't know what I was thinking when I designed this pattern. It's fantastically easy and fun to sew. But for some reason I decided to cut squares and draw the diagonal lines instead of just cutting them into triangles.

I hate drawing lines! But I think a lot of quilters perceive it as an easier technique than sewing triangles. That must have been what I had in mind when deciding on the method of construction. Drawing diagonal lines to follow adds time to the process, and, I believe, much less accurate than stitching a bias edge, especially when I'm drawing the lines.

I probably hate drawing lines because I'm not good at it. I'm constantly missing the corners, which broke my litttle perfectionist's heart. Since I'm most likely not the only one who draws skewed lines, here's how I solved the problem. (You long-time-line-drawers are surely sputtering now, but perhaps there are a few newbies out there who could benefit. It could happen.)

Working wrong side up, start by positioning the pencil directly in the nearest corner. Slide the ruler up to it, which compensates for the width of the pencil's lead.

Keeping the ruler tight against the pencil, gently rotate the ruler to position it in the opposite corner, making sure to offset it just enough to account for the width of the pencil lead.

For marking lines that will become cutting lines just a regular old pencil works great for me. It shows up on everything except the darkest fabrics. For those I use a mechanical white chalk pencil made by Bohin. Many chalk markers use wax to bind the chalk into leads. When pressed with a hot iron the wax can melt, binding the chalk to the fabric, giving us the dreaded permanent pencil line. The Bohin leads have no wax, and so far, I've never had them stick around past their usefulness.

1 comment:

  1. Becky M8:13 AM

    Thanks for this hint. I have been frustrated by not getting the line drawn accurately. I am going to try your method. I'm so curious to see the quilt!