Rosa's World

Thursday, January 10, 2013

January's Tips 'n Tricks

Hi There!

Thought I'd post another tip that I discovered all by myself...  Which really means that I learned the HARD way.  And another reason why I am the proud owner of several seam rippers!


When you're piecing blocks or adding your frame around your finished block or, better yet, when you're almost finished and you're heart's beating faster 'cause your now seeing the finish line and sewing your borders on your finished quilt....


(See the white sliver of fabric, underneath the turquoise fabric?)

Make sure, AT ALL TIMES that you see a sliver, a hairline... a shadow of your fabric UNDERNEATH the top fabric!

If you're not seeing a hairline of your underneath fabric, you can end up with what I call "Run-Away-Fabric" - Its not a good thing. You'll end up with hills and valleys and bumps and .... GASP!!!  Even holes in your quilt!

To ensure that I don't have "Run-Away-Fabric" I always re-align my fabric, ensuring that I SEE a shadow of the underneath fabric...  and sew only the space between my index finger and thumb. (see above picture)

Then, once my thumb has reached my sewing machine foot, I start all over again.  I ensure that both fabrics are re-aligned and that I can see a hairline of the underneath fabric and only sew from my pointer finger to my thumb.

I know there's no better feeling that FINALLY sewing your final borders on your quilt and you want to put the pedal to the metal but trust me - if you're not careful and you don't keep an eye on your underneath fabric, you'll have a wobbly or a wavey border.

Which leads me to another topic

To Press or to Iron - That is the Question.

I keep trying and trying to press and not iron but .... what can I say?  I prefer to iron.  I iron gently - especially when I'm working with triangles and other biased pieces.  While I'm ironing, I can visually check to see if my block is well pieced or if I messed up and have "Run-Away-Fabric".

Better to discover it NOW and fix it NOW than to discover it AFTER its all quilted!

I've seen quilts that are "pressed" that are absolutely GORGEOUS!!!  But a few of them had "Run-Away-Fabric" and, in my humble opinion, its because they:
a) didn't keep an eye on the underneath fabric
and b) didn't iron....

They weren't able to spot their "Run-Away-Fabric", at the seam junction... and they ended up with un-sewn seams or "holes" in their quilts.

I hope I was able to explain this and that its not clear as mud.

Keep in mind, this is what works for me.  I'm not an expert - just someone that got much too intimate, too often, with Mr. Seam Ripper.


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