I don’t do a lot of piecing, but I don’t have a top that has to be quilted right away, so I decided to try some triangle piecing. I usually stick to squares and rectangles because I like the dependable way they go together, and I love to twirl those seam allowances on the back. I’ve been playing around with Star Struck from http://www.quiltville.com. For this block you sew together two 2-1/2 inch x 4-1/2 inch rectangles to make one 4-1/2 inch square. Then you sew off a light 2-1/2 inch square on the dark corner and a dark 2-1/2 inch square on the light corner. Four of these units makes a block with a light friendship star in the middle.
Sewing diagonally across the corner square to make a triangle is supposed to be one of the best known shortcuts in the quilting world. However, it just doesn’t work for me. They always go wonky and are not square in the end. So I tried some other things. I got out my Easy Angle tool so I could cut them into the right sized triangles first and then sewed them on. That was no better.
Continue reading “Paper piecing with freezer paper”
Yesterday was a day when two very difficult weeks eased into a distant memory, and I was left feeling great appreciation and satisfaction that it was successfully over. After two weeks of having my bone densitometer not working and having to cancel patient after patient appointment, six service visits from four engineers, and having electricians in to rewire the lab, everything was repaired and put back into order. The culprit that wreaked all this havoc was a tiny 1/4″ washer that was blocking the x-ray beam. Who knows how long it had been there – it was in a part of the machine that was sealed. The machine movement caused the washer to migrate over time until it got to a place that caused all this trouble. It was so tiny that four engineers worked on this machine and no one saw it.
In this country where we have too much to do and not enough time to do it, each engineer was trying to get the work done quickly and go on to their next appointment. Each of them came from a distance and still had far to go. They replaced every part in the machine that could have been causing trouble. The engineer that came yesterday came from farther away and had another call in the evening when that lab was closed. So, he had all day to spend with us, and he was kind and patient. He was more experienced than any of the previous engineers and worked quickly, but methodically from top to bottom to make sure each part of the process was exactly right. He was of great assistance to me because he knew the machine software even better than I do, and he gave me great advice about how to maintain my unique configuration.
It was just before noon when the lab technician came in to show me the washer. I’m going to have it framed.
Continue reading “the little things . . .”
When piecing a quilt, one should not be able to see the edge of the seam allowance of the darker fabric showing through the light fabric when a seam has been pressed to the light side. Now I admit, I’m a little compulsive about this. We’re always told to press to the dark if we can, and there’s nothing wrong with pressing to the light side; it can be a good thing if it makes our seam intersection flat. But sometimes that dark fabric just wants to show through. There are ways to take care of it when we’re piecing.
If it has already happened, there are remedies. I’ve been told that you can go back and trim the dark fabric to be shorter than the light. I’ve tried that and it takes FOREVER!!!! as well as being pretty risky if you accidentally nip the quilt top or trim it so short that it unravels at the seamline.
So, I took some photos while I was piecing some brown and yellow blocks to illustrate one way to avoid those dark slivers. This is what I usually do if I can.
Continue reading “How to prevent seam shadows on your quilt”
This is a slide show of the baby helping me “sort” my quilt blocks and quilt patches. This is far better than some of her high tech toys – if her smiles and laugh and focus are any indication.