Monday, February 3, 2014

Little Crystal

If you are wondering why I am going back to my quilting beginnings I will give you two reasons.  One:  it is a good place to start my new blog.  Two:  I want you beginners to see that we all start at the bottom of the learning curve.  There is a lot to learn in quilting:  sewing, buying the right fabric, appraising values, organizing, measuring, putting it all together straight, quilting, and finishing it beautifully.  It takes time to learn the basics.  It takes time to achieve confidence.  Some of us have been sewing since childhood. Some have a natural talent for putting colors together.  Some have taken art classes, graphics classes, textile classes and more.  Others start from scratch.  The one thing we all have in common is that we like to sew and we like to create beautiful things.  That is my soap box for today.

Today's featured quilt is a little gem from a pattern called "Crystal" by Jinny Beyer, printed in "Quilts with Style" magazine in June 2004.  Using patterns is a great way to learn new techniques.  I had done some paper piecing, but this one was a challenging learning experience.  It is only 16 1/2" x 16 1/2" so the pieces are very small.  I don't think it could be done in any other way.  I discovered late in the process that one little piece was a tad bit too short and a tiny edge poked out, but it would be crazy to undo everything to get to it.  I left it as is because it was such a small imperfection and not really noticeable.  I was not into showing quilts yet and it will never be heavily used so it remains defective.  I will always know it is there, somewhere.  I am fussier now.


TIP:  When paper piecing be sure that the fabric covers the required area completely with seam allowance as necessary…as you go.

TIP:  Be sure to press the seam every time you stitch and press it all the way back away from the stitched join. I use Sulky Paper Solvy for the foundation, but if you have a lot of seams to press it gets scorched and brittle from the iron.  I now use the Hera Marker to do "finger pressing."  I find I do a better job of getting the fabric tightly pressed and I don't burn the paper or my fingers.  A toothbrush back also works.

This little quilt is quilted with the simplest looking, but a difficult type of quilting:  stitch-in-the-ditch.  It is good for a beginner to learn because while the foot helps maintain control, the eye must develop the ability to make sure the needle goes down in the right place.  Poorly done, it will show, but not nicely.  Well done, it will be invisible.

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