Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Butterfly Week?

    I feel like it has been a "butterfly week".....flitting from one thing to another, with nothing finished.   Want to see what I mean......

  I have a workshop this fall to teach on making a  water color wall hanging.   It has been a while since I did this and my original samples have been turned into projects.   So I needed to create a couple of small pieces to show the process.  One of these will get partially sewn for class.

  A little straight line quilting on this top of the Carolina Chain blocks.  It needs trimming and some binding.  I really like the overall finish of this block.....I think it is worth a repeat!

   Then just some play time --ticker tape style --with hunks of scraps.... sorted by color.  A couple of these will be turned into doll quilts, and the rest into place mats.  Simply zig zag stitched onto a white background fabric with batting underneath for stability.  I will add a backing and bind to finish off.

  I like doing these as a means of therapy to let my mind roam and see where the pieces fall.   When I am happy with the arrangement, I pin each and place and stitch away.

  And some stay-stitching  to stabilize some edges.   I have several long...long....bands of strips for a piano key border for a scrap quilt.  To keep them from stretching and getting wavy on the edge, I like to stay-stitch about 1/8"  from the outer edge that will eventually get bound.   When I was a garment sewer, I hated to do the stay-stitching for some reason.....yet now I find it very useful.

   I did a check on my machine stitch length a long time ago to learn how many stitches per inch were at the different settings.  I marked a couple of 1 inch lines.....you can see the dots where I penciled in the lines.  Then I stitched at different setting,  like 2.5, 2.2, 2.3.   Count the stitches between the penciled lines.

   For piecing I generally use a 2.3 setting for 12 stitches per inch.  It is easier to unpick, too!

   For strip piecing that will have sub-cuts---and the chance of unraveling stitches---I use a 2.2 or 2.0 setting for 13-15 stitches per inch.

   For the stay-stitching I use a 2.5 or greater setting for anything less than 10 stitches per inch.

  And, lastly, I took the watercolor strings off the design wall. I was ready to begin putting the rows together, yet for some reason I was bored with  the setting.  My instinct told me to stop and rethink the design.  If I wan't pleased with the layout un-sewn, then I was sure to not like the sewn version.   I have another idea to try, but not  yet.
  So that has been my flitting around this week......hope to accomplish something soon...happy stitching.


  1. Sometimes I think that flitting around is because your mind is working on something else, keep flitting and you'll probably come up with another masterpiece.

  2. Checking my stitches-per-inch is something I had never considered doing. Now you have me curious.
    If you keep flitting to and from the same projects, pretty soon they are finished! And the variety keeps things interesting. : )

  3. Thank you for the tips for checking stitches-per-inch. I always wonder about this when I use my Janome. Flitting from project to project can be fun.


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