Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Clean Up as You Go

As we all continue through this very trying time in our lives, I thought I'd get back into a bit of blogging.  This project has been in the works for at least 4 years. This is a sampling of the 81 blocks that I have finished.



It all started when I saw a 16 patch blue and white quilt at a guild presentation.  Somehow mine turned into a 49 patch.  One by one, the squares got cut and sewn together.  No strata's were used in the making of these blocks.


My rows of 7 blocks were together and I had four bundles left to sew into blocks.  A light spray of Magic sizing and the blocks were pressed.


Here is my TIP.  After pressing your blocks, clean up the threads that are between the seams.  Sometimes its a frayed thread from the fabric and someitmes it's a thread from sewing.  Some of them can be very hazardous when getting your quilt longarm quilted.  If the hopping foot catches on a thread that is sewn into the seam, it can cause havoc.  Here is a freshly pressed block.
And here is a cleaned up block.  If you do each block as you press, you won't have a big job once your blocks are all sewn together.  I'll have a second go at this process once I sew the sashing between the blocks.
threads from one block
and threads from four blocks.  That's a lot of thread that can get stitched onto your top when it gets quilted.

Before I packed up all 81 blocks, I scratched out the measurements for the sashing fabric, corner posts, backing and binding.  Fabric for sashing will be purchased from my LQS when they open up.  Yes, I could order online, but that online store doesn't have a meeting room for my stitch group to meet, or a room to rent for my retreat group.  Shop local and keep your quilt shop LOCAL.  The backing needs 9.75 yards and I have a bolt of solid cornflower blue that has 10 yards on it. 
My second TIP  People talk about changing your needle after so many hours of sewing.  How anyone can keep track of the time they actually are sewing is beyond me.  Projects are not sewn start to finish in my studio so that doesn't work as well.  My needle gets changed every 10 or so bobbins.  At the same time, I clean my machine and wind a new row, so I'm always ready to continue when my bobbin runs out.

My nice neat row of Auril 2310 thread that I use for almost every project I made.

Stay home, stay safe and let's all be part of the solution.
Keep stitching
Sharon

6 comments:

Mimi said...

Well darn.....you put me to shame. You're awful neat. I should have done that with my last quilt as I am sure there are many little threads that are hanging around. This is going to be a gorgeous quilt when done. But....four years is nothing. My last UFO was 20 years old and I just finished the top this past week. See....there is always hope. Stay safe.

Karen said...

Blue is my favorite color, so I really like these colors and prints you're working with. Looking forward to seeing it when it's finished. I remember the first couple of times I made a quilt, I was cutting threads from the topside, in between the seems, and around the edges. I thought I was suppose to get rid of all the loss strands, but it turns out you really only need to do the topside, like you were demonstrating here. Thanks so much for sharing all your little tips, Sharon! Take care and stay safe!

Lori said...

That is going to be a wonderful quilt!!

Nicole said...

So nice to see a post from you! Your blocks are so beautiful and will make a gorgeous quilt. That is such a great tip about trimming stray threads. I find them unsightly and trim them away for that reason, but the idea of the havoc they could cause when being machine quilted is such a good point.

Karen said...

Sucha pretty variety of blues in your blocks. My blue fabrics are somewhat low in supply. I have told myself to purchase a piece or two when I am shopping for other fabrics.

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