Friday, December 31, 2010

Joining the rows...some hints

I am joining the rows of the braid and I realized there are a few hints I need to share for those who plan or want to make a braid or french braid quilt.  Here are a few hints....almost rules (heaven forbid!) that  I follow in joining the rows. 
  Take the time to pin....again, take the time to pin.  Save yourself the frustration of using that seam ripper.  Ask me how I know.   I pin about 6 to 8 inches at the top and then move to the bottom of the braid strip and pin about 6 to 8 inches.   Then before I pin any more, I flip open the pinned area and view it from the front.  See the arrows  and the white note card in the top photo---I check to make sure seams are matching  at these points.  They may be off a fraction or so, but you don't want them to be staggered across the quilt top.    (Aren't the arrows cool?  Got them by editing in picnik from Picasa.) 
  OK, got off track.....If the seams are matching,  then I go back and finish pinning the entire length of the strip.  If the braid has stretched---probably there will be some---you need to ease in the fullness to fit to the sashing.   If the seams are off, then you need to shift either up or down  to get them lined up.  
   So how do you ease in fullness?      Remember you have a bias edge that you are joining to a cross width straight cut.  Be sure the straight cut piece--in this case the black-- is on the bottom and the bias edge is on the top.   We know the bias edge will stretch, but so can the straight across the width cut!  It doesn't stretch as much.  If you come to an area of fullness in the bias edge, do not pull on it, but rather use a taut sewing technique for the sashing strip.  Use your right hand to slightly pull the sashing so it is taut--rather than limp--as you sew in the fullness of the bias.  Do this carefully so there are no puckers. 
   Press.  Press the seam from the back....use an up and down motion, instead of pushing the iron.  Then turn it over to the front and press again and check for tuck or puckers.  Don't ignore the pressing. 
   I have 7 rows joined...so far so good.  Two more and then on to the borders at the top and bottom.  More black fabric arrived and needs to be washed before I can finish this one. 

I don't do new years resolutions....I know I won't keep them.  I prefer to reflect on what I've learned and done.  And along the way, I pray I touched someone, and given them inspiration. 
  It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away. 

Happy New Year and happy stitching,

1 comment:

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