I am having one of those weeks when I can be very glad my diary looks fairly blank. The unexpected has been happening and although my to-do list doesn’t have many ticks I have been busy! An elderly friend has had a fall at home and requires a course of treatment in hospital. I’m glad to have had the time to help her and to meet up with more of her friends from her other social circles. Her situation – no close relatives – hi-lights the importance of nurturing friendships. Most of us don’t have a ‘developing friendships’ tick box on our to-do lists but time ‘doing’ friendship should never be counted as wasted time 🙂
I have a finish to share 🙂 Finally I have put the last stitch in the binding of ‘Morning Mist’. Sadly that last stitch was secured eleven hours too late to share this quilt in the April One Monthly Goal linky but, none-the-less, I am counting Misty Morning as my April goal achieved.
I stitched the label to the backing last year – just before making the quilt sandwich, just before the sandwich then became a UFO. The label therefore states the quilt’s date of making as February 2017! Ah! Well!
I will be adding a photo of the quilt to my 2018 Gallery (click the button at the top of the page to see my – small – collection of finishes). And I will be adding the quilt to the collection in my Folksy shop.
So that’s the story of the finish and the missed deadline mentioned in the title of this post. Now for the ‘piecing tip’:
Last Saturday the fifth Beginners Course got underway at Purple Stitches quilt store. In the first of the four sessions I teach rotary cutting, stitching accurate ¼” seams and we begin piecing patchwork blocks. Along with the class notes, I provide a page of little number labels – one label to pin to each of the sixty-four fabric squares required for the quilt. Once the students are happy with the arrangement of their fabric squares and have decided on the orientation of any directional fabrics I encourage them to label each square.
I find this numbering and labeling of patchwork blocks actually saves a lot of time. I number each label like this: the first digit corresponds to the row; the second digit to the position along the row. The numbers work from the top left block of the layout (label 1.1) to the bottom right (for this quilt, label 8.8). In the past I have just used little scraps of paper and scribbled the numbers on with a pencil. For my students I thought it might be kinder (and more professional) to produce a printed sheet.
If you would like a copy of the labels try clicking this link and hopefully you will be able to download the PDF file 🙂 Row and block markers – 8 x 8
I find numbering each block in this way does save time during the piecing process:
- It’s possible to stack all the blocks next to my sewing machine and go in for some great chain-piecing action.
- If I drop the blocks or muddle the blocks at the
ironing boardpressing station (Ha!Ha!) it’s possible get them back in order without having to lay them all out again and check the arrangement.
- The numbered labels help me keep the blocks up the right way. Otherwise, in the short movement of lifting blocks from the table at the side of my sewing machine to bringing them under the needle, blocks have a strange habit of spinning in my hands and having the wrong edges stitched together!
A few minutes adding labels can avoid having to spend a lot of time unpicking seams 🙂
Caveat – This system is not foolproof. I, Dear Reader, must count myself a fool. Look what I managed to do last night – I placed the higher numbered block under the lower numbered block and stitched them together! Resulting in blocks being the wrong way round – TWICE!!! 😀
I’m adding this and other tips to my newly launched Facebook group called ‘Patchwork Tips and Tales’ – you can access the group via my New Every Morning page. I hope you will consider joining this branch of the worldwide quilty community. My intention is that the group will allow us to share tips, learn from one another and help find solutions to patchwork or quilting project problems members may encounter. I’m very happy for you to share links to your blog posts and helpful tutorials with the other members of this closed, members only, group. I look forward to receiving your membership request and welcoming you into the Patchwork Tips and Tales group 🙂
As I stated at the top of the post I will have to give quite a bit of time over to dealing with the unexpected, and here in the UK we have a Bank Holiday weekend coming up too, so I’ve decided not to create a Saturday Quilting Bring & Share post this week. The posts will be back through the rest of May and on into the Summer – that’s as long as I’m not in for a run of ‘unexpecteds’!
Linking with Connie at Free Motion by The River for another Linky Tuesday – click the link and find lots of patchwork & quilting inspiration, storage ideas and maybe a recipe or two as well 🙂
Also linking with Amanda Jean for Finish It Up Friday – she’s been finishing a UFO too!