Sunday, August 28, 2016

Fused Fabric Foibles

Well, I found a problem challenge with using fused fabric pieces on a quilt. Not only are they hard to bend and fold for the edge, they are really hard to sew through by hand! On the flip-side, they stayed in place while quilting without the need for hundreds of pins. There are pros and cons to every method, I guess.

I bent, folded, pinned and ironed quilt top edges, then decided that basting was the only way to keep them lying where I wanted them while sewing the backing fabric in place. My regular sewing machine came in handy for that:

Next it was time to sew the backing fabric just an eight of an inch in from the edge. That's when I found out how difficult it is to push a needle through the fused fabric, especially tightly woven batiks. I struggled with it, as both pushing and pulling the needle were hard to do. The first edge took "forever" and I was moaning about it to my eldest who asked why I wasn't using a thimble. Normally thimbles and I don't get along -- they are clumsy and don't allow my fingers to do what I want. Today, however, my thimble became my new best friend and the remaining three sides were finished in the same amount of time as the first side took.

Tomorrow I shall start to quilt the final squares along the edges; the ones I left unquilted so I could turn the fabric under as far as I needed to. In the meantime, I shall retire for the night, happy that yet another step is finished.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Measure twice, cut once

Well, I couldn't wait until the weekend. This morning, I measured...


...and cut.

One of these days, I'll need to find out if there is a better way to square up a larger quilt. Now the questions is, do I want to keep it this shape, or cut some more?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Slowly but surely

I've been sewing in the mornings over the past month. It's been relaxing, taking that half hour before work and simply letting the fabric wander underneath the needle.

My mind wanders at the same time, and occasionally there are "whoopses". Nothing irreparable, though, even if I did have to dismantle part of the machine at one point, as the thread had wound itself around the bobbin casing. Of more immediate concern is keeping track of the time. I have found myself running to get to work on time more than once!

Today I reached a point where I needed to stop sewing on squares. I have an idea for finishing the edges of the quilt that will require me to turn under the quilt-top (rather than add a binding afterward) and for that I need to have not quilted through the layers! This morning and evening, my scissors and I were busy, cutting all the threads that had traveled from square to square.

I think the next step will be to "square up" the quilt edges, and then figure out exactly how to achieve the effect I am imagining. Once I am successful with that, I can finish the quilting. I'll wait until the weekend, though, so as to have an hour or two of uninterrupted time to figure it all out.