Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Quilt Step Four: Sashing

Disclaimer: I am in no way a quilting expert. I have learned solely from trial and error (emphasis on error) and reading on the internet. I have only made 4 quilt tops and have hand quilted 1 top and machine quilted 4 tops. I am not saying everything I do is the right way to do it, just sharing what I've picked up so far. You'll probably learn best by trial and error too ;-)

I'm finally ready to move past the piecing posts! Yesterday, I started the sashing on the Scrap Happy quilt. Sashing is fabric between the blocks. Because of the scrapiness (that's not a word, is it?) of this quilt and all the different colors I have going on, I wanted something very very plain for the sashing. Something that would let your eyes rest a little between each block. So I went with white fabric with small white flowers printed on it. Not too plain, but not distracting. Then for contrast, I picked black with a gray design on it for the sashing squares. The trick with sashing is that you can't just sew strips around all four sides of a block (at least, not easily). So, instead you sew a sashing strip to one side of all the blocks, then sew a sashing strip to a sashing block, and sew those in between each block. Clear as mud? Here it is in pictures:Then, when you have your rows sewn together, you have the sashing on all four sides of each block (this isn't really sewn, I still have to pick a fabric to make triangles out of and fill in the edges since these rows will be diagonal, not horizontal)
The other side of this is that I've put on my dual feed presser foot for sewing the rows together. If I had thought ahead at all, I would've used a different aperture on my camera and gotten the whole thing in focus, but that didn't happen, so this is what you get:A dual feed foot has another set of feed dogs (the part that moves your fabric along) on it, so that both the top and bottom layer of fabric are being fed by the machine. This enables my aversion to pinning (I know, an ironing AND a pinning aversion, what am I doing sewing??) by making it easier to move both pieces through at an equal pace. The dual feed can be kinda hard to get started with narrow seams (the fabric sometimes wants to skitter off to the side), so I don't feel like it's worth using on smaller pieces, but once I get to the point where I'm sewing large pieces of fabric together and trying to keep many seams lined up without stretching my fabric, it's nice to have to the dual feed foot on there. It's not a necessary thing, just something that came with the machine when I got it that makes my life a little easier.

With any luck, we'll start talking borders by next weekend.

Quilt Step One: Planning
Quilt Step Two: Cutting Fabric, Preparing Machine
Quilt Step Three: Piecing The Quilt
Quilt: Piecing, Continued
Quilt: More Piecing
Quilt: Scrap Happy Blocks Pieced
Quilt: Spindrift Pieced
Quilt Step Four: Sashing
Quilt Step Five: Border
Quilt: Choosing Batting
Quilt Step Six: The Quilt Sandwich

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