Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pictures of second phase of the quilt piecing.

Darlene Zimmerman to the rescue...remember I talked about Lavendar Hill Farm and my beautiful Frosty Morn quilt? She is the one who led that class. I am going to quote from her book on this one, she writes better than I do. Taken from Lavender Hill Farm quilting book, page 9, @2008 published by Krause publications. I think this is really important and has made a difference in my quilt piecing. " Tip try this quick check to see if you are sewing an exact 1/4" seam allowance: Cut three 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" strips. Sew them together on the long edges. Press. The square should now measure 3 1/2". If not, adjust your seam allowance. (Also check that you have pressed correctly)."
I discuss setting seams in just a few paragraphs here on this post. 

Once you have determined the perfect edge of your seam line, mark it with the painters tape as
shown.  I like it towards the front of the pressure food as that is where you actually guide your fabric.
(Yes, I do have my own spool of painters tape...one for my drawer close to my machine, and another in my tool box to take to retreats)



As you start sewing each seam, please be very cautious...some machines just love to eat up the fabric, right down in that little hole....Set your needle down into the fabric, or better start with that little square of fabric that I talked about earlier.  Start and finish each lenght of sewing with that little scrap of fabric.

Now is the time to sew the long narrow strips to all four sides of your center block.  I press each side as I go.  (Yes we press alot as we quilt...and that is why I like my iron as close to me as possible.)

Pressing? This makes this seam lie as flat as can be. It will make the piecing work better, plus the finished product looks nicer...just as in garment sewing. (no use in having a sewing machine if you do not have an iron). First set that seam by setting the iron down on the just sewn seam. 2nd flip open and iron from the right side with the seam laying towards the darkest fabric. If you want, a burst of starch works well here. I just push right into that seam...don't stretch your fabric.

 Now, remember, set that needle carefully, place the edge of the fabric on that blue painters tape that marks your exact quarter inch seam line.  Then ....trim off the extra strip that is hanging past your block.  Then.....

Set your seam, as showing on the picture on the left below, then flip your fabric and press that seam nice and flat on the right side of the fabric.    Remember the up and down movement of the iron, not sliding across the fabric.

After the borders (my orange strips) are all sewn on, and pressed, arrange your 2" blocks in a pleasing pattern, or, just pull them out of a paper bag.... After you have the blocks placed as you like carefully stack them, go to your machine and sew them with those careful quarter inch seams, with right sides of fabric together.     For this quilt you should sew about 11 blocks together.    Set and press the seams , then pin to the orange border.


With this strip of blocks on the top and bottom of your square, carefully pin, sew that nice little seam, set your seam, press and this is what you end up....the beginnings of a small pieced top.  Next time look for the blog to talk about half square triangles.