Monday, March 8, 2010

Quilt-More Piecing

I currently feel like I'm in a special quilter's version of Dante's Inferno...I've moved from the "ironing" level of purgatory into the deeper, darker, pinwheel level of purgatory. All pinwheels, all the time...bwa ha ha ha ha! This is the point where I would typically lose steam and quit working for a few months, but I've already laid bare my quilting plans on the blog, so I can't quit now. Thank you for holding me accountable, internets.

I've also realized there's an important bit of piecing knowledge that I haven't shared and feel the need to clarify: sewing is like biomagnification. What? No one else here is a science nerd? Biomagnification is the reason we worry about mercury in fish: fish A has mercury in it. Fish B is bigger and eats 5 of fish A, so it now has 5A mercury. Fish C is even bigger and eats 5 of fish B, so it now has 25A mercury. The problem keeps getting bigger (so only eat big fish in moderation). Sewing has a similar problem to biomagnification: when you make mistakes, they will be magnified later if you don't correct them. If you are supposed to sew a 1/4" seam and it's slightly less than 1/4", your next seam could be off even more and the next one off more than that. To avoid this, once you start matching up pieces, you should be aligning SEAMS (where they're involved), not edges. For instance, on my pinwheels, when I put the top half and the bottom half together, I match up the seams and often find the edges do not match (they are within the 1/4" seam allowance though--I sew 1/4" from the edge that sticks out the most). If I were to match up the edges instead, none of my corners would meet up neatly. When I get sloppy about it, I get something like this:
When I'm careful, it comes out more like this (sometimes):
I am definitely no seamstress, I have a lot to learn. Sierra and Sedona each have quilts my sister-in-law made them (they LOVE those things!) and each block is perfectly lined up, every corner meets just perfectly. I don't know how she does it. Her hand quilting is perfectly straight too...I DO know how she does that (puts a piece of tape on the quilt to give her a straight line to follow), but when I tried to duplicate it, I still couldn't make ONE stitch follow the tape, much less a whole line of them. I just need lots more practice, I suppose.


Megan said...

I find these posts fascinating for some reason, even though I never, ever, ever have any intention of quilting. Glad it has the bonus of keeping you accountable, too :)

One Acre Homestead said...

I, too, am amazed at following your process and so inspired by your productivity. Can't wait to see the final quilts, but am enjoying the "plot" along the way. It'll be one of those storylines that I am bummed to see end! Thanks for sharing with us, Kimberly. I am really missing our hikes nowadays!

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