Monday, March 22, 2010
PIECING (or “and the two shall become one” – in this case, the eight shall become one block)
A note on seams. Most quilt books will talk about ¼ inch seams. Being the renegade quilter that I am, I use ½ inch seams and this is why. While I will do my utmost to sew this quilt in such a way that it stays together for a long time, eventually, thread will begin to rot and seams will give way. Hopefully this occurs long after I am dead and gone to my quilting reward; someone else who hopefully loves and cherishes this quilt will have to do the repair job. Won’t she/he be happy to discover he/she has ½ inch of fabric to work with to make this repair compared to just ¼ inch which will probably have unraveled a bit in all the washing and such? We need to remember our quilts will outlive us and I believe, make them in such a way that their life will be extended as long as possible.
So, it is time to sew the pieces together and make the blocks. I have a new (used) Singer sewing machine, which I keep on the first floor of our old two-floors-plus-an-attic-and- basement house, and I have set it up on the dining room table. Last night, I could not fall asleep so at 1:00 a.m., I came downstairs to pieces some blocks.
There are seven seams in each block. First you stitch the triangles to the trapezoids to make a bigger triangle. Trim your corners and press you seams open with a good steam iron (Steam irons forgive a multitude of piecing sins I have discovered).
Secondly, you lay out the resulting 4 larger triangles in the order you have previously determined and stitch pairs, resulting in even bigger triangles. Trim and press again.
Lastly, you sew these two large triangles together on the diagonal. Trim and press on last time and voila! You have a pieced patchwork block!
By 2:30 a.m., I had made six blocks and sewn them together as well! The next few weeks, I will be piecing like a maniac and do more of the same.
Stay tuned and watch the quilt center grow as I go!