Saturday, May 26, 2012

Learning Curves and Quilting Challenges

I've learned over and over again since starting quilting that nothing as easy as it looks.

See this interesting little pile of trimmings? This is what we amateurs have to do if we don't sew with adequate precision. That would be me. I put this soft, little pile of trimmings on a stump in our backyard hoping the birds night use the bits to feather their nests. Wouldn't that be cool? And pretty?

After putting together all those squares with the diagonal strips of print fabric and the neutral corners, I noticed that despite the care I took to sew with accuracy (which was apparently not accurate enough), my squares weren't quite square. After much deliberating, I decided I would have to trim them ... "square them up" ... which would not only take a long time doing diddly work but was also challenging me mathematically. You see, with trimming all four sides and with each square being just slightly wonky in a different way, I knew that increasingly the odds of my seams meeting up properly were decreasing. Natch! So I trimmed minimally - just one quarter of an inch smaller so when my seams are off, it will be not quite so noticeable.

And then I took all those neatly trimmed squares and sewed them together into 4-somes as best as I could into these X-squares. The seams don't quite match up very often but it's not TOO bad and once the whole thing is quilted and scrunchy, I'm hoping it won't be too obvious. And if it is, well, what the heck. It will show that it's been handmade by an amateur and will be a reminder to someone that it could only have made with great love because who else would carry on making such a beautiful mess?!

So now I have to sew all my X-squares together knowing full well that things are only going to get wonkier as I go. C'est la vie!  I undoubtedly have some creative bridges to cross still but ... all in good time.

I also took the advice of a quilting friend and sewed all those little triangle trimmings together while they were neatly stacked. This photo only shows some of them. Sewing them together involved a lot of very satisfying chain piecing using my new quarter-inch sewing foot (with the little guide), which I just LOVE! It is so helpful in the accuracy department!  Now I just have to open them all up and press them into little half square triangles, which I will probably have to trim. Another diddly project. I don't yet know what I'll do with them but I know they'll come in handy for either this quilt or for another project.

So, this Sunday will be sewing day. I'll sew all my X-squares together to form X's and O'x (Hugs and Kisses) ... wonky be damned!
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