Monday, January 20, 2014

Marital Discord and the Perfect Block

   Red and I have been having some problems lately. Enough so that I threatened divorce yesterday. I had had it. I was almost out of options and truth be known I have had my eye on another machine. Another handsome Japanese native. So I decided to give it another try. We had a long heart to heart and he promised to do better and to work with me if I would just spend a little more time with him. I have neglected him lately. Red:
He's right… here is what happened………..

   I have been working on this from the Moda Bake Shop. Isn't it adorable? It is the Honeysweet Pinwheel quilt by Pauline Francis. Everything was running along smoothly until I finished sewing the half square blocks-which took a while since there are quite a few.

Once I started sewing them together to make blocks our trouble began. things just weren't lining up…my 1/4" was off…he wouldn't sew over bulky seams...….and the more I tried the worse it got. My block was not coming out to the size that it needed to be.

   So I sat down and tried to determine what was happening to make these things go wrong. My first suspect was the foot. I had been using a see through generic 1/4" foot. It had been working well previously but I hadn't had these bulky seams to contend with. It was pushing the top layer around and nothing lined up. So I switched to a foot that has a little bit more of a curve at the toe so it will go over the seams better. I switched to an O2 foot that has the guide snapped off. I hate that thing.
Check. ...That helped a bit with the bulk, but I am not sure I am 100% satisfied with that. I am repressing my seams open as an experiment. That is what the designer suggested. Since I will not stitch in the ditch on this quilt it is an option…but honestly I am not a big fan of open seams-probably because I have never done it. Ha!. They don't feel very secure to me…but I think it is because I do much heavy quilting…I would probably not do the kind of heavy quilting I prefer on open seams. I know they would gape. At least for me, I know this to be true. I could shorten stitch length and I think that would remedy a lot of that, however. So….. I just may rethink my seam preferences on certain quilts. I think there is a place for both depending on what the quilting will be.
  Now to my crummy 1/4".  I got out the tape and did some testing. After a few tries the sample of two pieces of fabric at 1 1/4 each measured perfectly to a two inch sewn together piece so I put a larger line of tape down to guide me. I can't believe I haven't done this before. I get lazy with the side of the foot as a guide and this helps immeasurably-especially with longer pieces.

   Then I tried a different method of pinning also. I pinned a guide pin through the seam (remember it is pressed open) then added two pins on either side to hold the seam in place as I remove the guide pin.

                                       It indeed takes a little longer, but the result is worth it. I think Red and I will stay together a little longer...

Here are a couple of pictures of a baby quilt I recently quilted for a friend. She said they literally made this top in an hour and wanted it to look like snow blowing around the tree. 

Have a happy day today!


Anonymous carrie#k said...

You do make wonderful creations together! But don't just stick it out because people whisper about divorce. Sometimes you just need a new one. They wear out, the poor things.

7/2/14 16:33  

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