Thursday, January 20, 2011

Borders class & continuing Asian Nights

 Monday morning was the class on adding borders.  I was pleasantly surprised to find as I worked on the zebra top that the quilt was almost square.  I did err in trimming one corner of the inner border so the line is not as straight as it could be going into the corner, but I may be the only one who notices, especially as we sandwich and quilt next Monday.

The method we were taught for measuring borders was to lay the strips across the middle of the quilt and place a pin at either end, then match up the pins to find the center. Place the center pin on the center point of the quilt along the edge and then check where the pins sit at each corner - does one have to stretch or gather a little of the fabric to square it up?  I am happy to say that I came within an 1/8 of an inch of being square at one corner and was pretty well on target on the other three corners. It will be interesting to see how far off square some of my first tops are as I haven't reached the borders class yet in Quilter's Academy - though I am getting closer and I have read it at least once.

Since I had the day off on Monday, I quickly set up my machine upon returning home from class.  I spent several hours squaring parts of the Asian Nights quilt and have almost finished the next 12 blocks.  These are the blocks where the seam is pressed towards the little four-patch blocks due to me mis-pressing the blue/blue/yellow four patches.  There is a noticeable difference in thickness along that seam.  I say almost finished as I sewed a little later than I probably should have so I have five or seven that need to be redone to better match the corners.  By the time I hope that I will have these 12 finished and can move on to the final 24 which will be pressed correctly. Fortunately I had not cut the last sets of strips so I could press the yellow/blue and blue/blue to the correct direction.

I see that Harriet teaches Town Square, the smaller version of this quilt.  She refers to it as a precision piecing workshop. That is a very apt description of this quilt.  And I think a big part of the problem I'm having is happening in the pressing of the four patch blocks as they look fine until I press, so I need to work on my technique - and I've got plenty of blocks left to press.


Rocknquilts said...

What recommendations can you give for someone who is coming up on this class? How would you have known which way to press at the beginning? Thank you, Mary Ann

Kirsten said...

The best advice I can give is to write down what colors you are using in place of the colors that Harriet & Carrie used. As near as I can tell, I must have flipped a pile somewhere along the line as I'm still joining four patches with doubled seams. On the other hand - I accidentally reversed two piles the other day, and I think that is where the epiphany to where I screwed up blinked on.

Second best advice is to make one or two blocks before you start cutting and pressing in earnest in order to check that the seams are going to press to the correct direction.

Third is that unless you absolutely love this quilt, stay with the Town Square version, not the Asian nights as this one has taken me forever! There are 1,344 individual squares...

Cheers, K