Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Machine Sewing

Since 'Goldfinch' needs only hand stitching to finish it, it's time to find something else to sew by machine. Not wanting to start one of the new drawings yet, I found an older quilt, started this winter, to finish up on the machine stitching. The way I piece and sew quilts is somewhat unique to my needs. I would be lost without 'Wonder Under' fusible web. Each color piece I use is backed with fusible web. I lay all the pieces out on my large work table on their background using straight pins to keep them in place. If I need to change something, it's done at this point. I take a look and decide if some fabrics need to be sewn under others. These are the first to get sewn down.
Ironing can be tricky because not every piece gets ironed at the same time. Above is an area of leaves that was ironed down first and will be one of the first to be stitched. I have to use lots of safety pins to keep my background from slipping and bunching. Stitching at this point entails using a tight satin stitch to edge the piece entirely. This way I don't have to deal with rolling the edges to avoid a rough edge.
Often I will have only small areas ironed as I start to stitch. The rest of them remained pinned with straight pins. It is such a welcome part of the process when I have progressed far enough to remove all the straight pins and iron all that's left. I am always getting stabbed as I sew.
I often leave flaps of fabric unironed so that I can pull them back, as above, to sew the piece underneath. With large quilts such as this one, the more you can iron first the better. I will inevitably look up from sewing to see one of my cats running away with a fallen piece that has not yet been ironed down.

My next move on this piece is to continue sewing down the fabric pieces, moving the safety pins as needed and ironing as needed until the top is entirely sewed down. I don't really name the pieces until they're done. Just as my last one was called 'Goldfinch' for obvious reasons, this one will be called 'Poppies & Iris' for the purpose of identification for now. Both 'Goldfinch' and 'Poppies & Iris' will get new, and hopefully fun names when they are done.

I'll be posting my progress on this piece as I go. So for now, I'm off to a date with my Bernina!

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