Saturday, October 13, 2012

Still swooning.  Slowly but surely.   I now have four blocks completely finished, and all others in various stages.   That counts as halfway to nine, right?    It's exciting to see it coming together and I've made some new (to me) discoveries with these blocks and all the precise piecing.

Spray starch.  Stiff fabric!  Who knew?   I'm not quite convinced yet that I like it, but it certainly seems to help with trimming things down to size - especially all those HSTs.    I also picked up a 3 1/2" square ruler which has made truing them up against the diagonal seams a breeze.

Pins.   Okay these aren't new to me, but I tend not to be much of a pin-er.   These blocks I'm pinning.   A lot.  Each side of every seam, and one in between.   It takes time, both putting in and taking out, but it sure makes a difference in keeping all those points in alignment.

Pilot Frixon Pens.  I'm pretty giddy about this one.   A fine tip pen (and not a sewing specific pen either) that disappears with ironing.    That's right.   Press your seam and it's gone.  Perfect for marking the diagonal on those pesky flying geese.   I picked mine up at the quilt shop in Long Beach Washington during our last-hurrah-before-school-starts trip to the beach, but they're available at most office supply stores.  A few warnings though - ink will reappear if the fabric gets cold before washing (although it will iron out again) and it seems to slightly fade blue fabrics.   For marking on the back side however, like I've done, it doesn't matter.

Seams.  I have traditionally been a side-presser with a few exceptions, but for the life of me I haven't been able to consistently press these blocks so the final seams are all opposing.   I have since diagrammed it out and it looks good in theory, but I'm not overly optimistic.  I may be doing more open seams in the future....   luckily the spray starch helps with this too.   I have also been plagued with my down-facing seams flipping when they pass over the needle plate.   Then, in a rare moment of brilliance, it occured to me that I could actually adjust the adjustable feet on the extension table to make it just a tad bit higher than the plate.  Yep. That fixed it.  I felt pretty stupid about this one.  But it ranks right up there with the new pen.