Sunday, June 8, 2014

Pressing Problem

I have been making lots of quilts lately.  I had five in process.  I finished a practice, scrappy quilt so now I am down to four: Molly's quilt, the baby's quilt, the OBW and another scrappy, practice quilt.

 I started quilting this May 18.  I worked on it quite frequently, almost every day.  I think that I had quilted about half of it when I had to put it away Memorial Day weekend.  We needed the guest apartment.   I just moved the whole kit-n-kaboodle up against one wall in the apartment. That Wednesday, when I moved the frame back into the middle of the apartment, I discovered that it was about a half a bubble off.  YUP.  Out of level.  I spent some time leveling it.  Well worth the effort.  The machine rode much more smoothly on the frame and I was much more comfortable quilting.  I practiced some feathers (I have a long way to go) some spirals (not my favorite) and some flowers. 

 I think that I like the flowers for Molly's quilt and the baby's quilt.  If I do Molly's quit first, I should have lots of practice by the time I get to the baby's quilt.

Molly's quilt top is pieced.  I only have the outer borders to attach before I can declare that finished and put it on the frame. 

A disappearing 9 patch goes together quickly  There is a fair amount of cutting, but if you strip piece the blocks, it isn't too bad.  I tend to get confused by the time I get to the actual block construction.  I had to rip out a couple of blocks, even after I had sewn them all together in the row.  Steven suggested that I leave it.  I just couldn't.




 I think that I will not quilt at all in the small, pink squares.  I think that the thread will clash.  I suppose I could use a light pink thread, but I am inclined to use some shade of blue and avoid those squares entirely.  BUT, I wonder if that will make them stand out even more.  I suppose that I could experiment on some scraps.

As you can see, there are many seams in this quilt.  When I pieced the long strips together, I pressed the seams to one side.  When I pieced the nine patch, likewise.  When I pieced the cut blocks together I pressed some seams open.  I tried pressing all the seams to one side on one square.  I just didn't like the look.   My pressing problem?  I don't know which is proper and considered correct in the quilting world.
I did NOT  pre-wash the fabric. This might be considered sacrilegious in quilting circles.  I don't care.  I used to prewash and then press all of my fabric.  What a PITA.   I did pre-wash the backing fabric.  I used some of it for the inner border.  When this is all pieced, I will washt he quilt top and press it before I  put it on the frame.  I have used some "Best Press" spray throughout the construction of this quilt.  I like how it smells and I like the little bit of stiffness it gives the fabric. (Home made spray starch made from Water and Vodka would do the same, and be much cheaper)   I think it helps with accurate piecing and cutting.  But it has to come out or else it will create problems on the frame.

All of this sewing has kept me from machines.  Once I finish the two D9Ps I will get back to machines.  It will be hotter then and the loft won't be as comfortable as the shop.  By then, I am sure I will pretty tired of quilting and sewing.  For a while.



11 comments:

  1. You could always quilt the whole quilt with the blue thread and then go back and do the pink blocks with a pink thread. Would probably look kind of neat on the back too!

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  2. Your quilt is lovely. the bright pink squares really show up well. I was always taught to press to the dark side which usually works quite well. As for prewashing, life is too short for that and I am far to impatient to wait once I have decided to start a quilt. Have fun. Regards Sharon

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    1. Yup. Pre-washing means more ironing....

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  3. I really like your fabric, so bright and colorful. Sometimes I wash sometimes I don't.... but, like you say less ironing... lets get the show on the road. Great quilt.

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  4. I DO NOT pre-wash. Lots of us don't. That's what color catchers were made for - quilters who are more serious and want to get right to it instead of washing and pressing a bunch of fabric pieces! LOL
    I'm a new follower of yours and a fairly new collector of vintage and antique machines. I'm a Quilter. I make my living at it. In my spare time I hope to bring my machines back to their former glory. Most of them will be easy, one is a challenge. I love your blog! If you have quilting questions, drop me a line, I'm more than happy to help out.
    And, press wherever you want to press, there really aren't any Quilt Police...

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    1. Oh Good. No quilt police. Whew! I have a Davis vertical feed that I plan to work on this summer. It has a built in walking foot and NO FEED DOGS. I am anxious to get it going and try it out.

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  5. It doesn't matter what why you press the seams - if you machine piece - it's what you decide. I only started piecing April last year and I've tried pressing to the side, but having done most of my sewing on garments (made stuff since I was 8) where pressing open is normal, I just don't like the idea - one side is thicker (3 layers compared to 1) and noticeably so. There is no real reason you can't press open - none of the clothes or soft furnishings I've made have fallen apart because I pressed open the seams and I've never had any issues with crossing seam lines cutting open the stitching on another seam (some of the reasons people mention pressing to the side). If your worried use a 1.5mm stitch for piecing - it will lock so tight it would even be a pain to rip out let alone come apart easily.

    Hand piecing I think is another matter and would really depend on whether you did a running stitch, a back stitch, or a double running stitch (which holds the pieces together similar to a lock stitch)

    Love the quilt by the way, and the pattern the pink makes - and it's not usually a colour I like, but this pink appears to have a lot of blue in it - lovely:0)

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    1. I learned to sew as a child and made clothing (if you can call it that....) so pressing seams open makes sense to me. I noticed that the seams tend to part but some of the seams side pressed parted too. I haven't made the stitch THAT small but I think I might next quilt. I see the blue in that pink too.

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  6. Very small stitches can weaken the fabric. The closer the stitch, the more likely they might actually start cutting the fabric - especially after a few washings - be careful. I prefer to press to one side and then top stitch over both - makes a stronger connection - almost the strength of a flat felled seam. Most quilts are planned to last a lot longer than garments with open pressed seams. Your FM designs are getting beter and better and I LOVE the hot pink - how about a twisted blue and pink thread to quilt those squares?

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  7. You need an Ironrite to go along with your vintage sewing machines. Makes me want to iron just so I can use it. Same with my sewing machines. I also have a Davis, an NVF that I cleaned up. Now I want to learn to quilt so I can bind it with the Davis. But first restore the 31-15 head and treadle I got for cheap last weekend. And use it to make canvas messenger bags. Someday anyway. I really enjoy your blog!

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