After an extremely busy fall at the office, I decided that it was worth my sanity to use a few vacation hours this month to take Quilt School I by Machine at my LQS.
Class one on rotary cutting and piecing was today. I do things differently from the instructor - but neither of us does it wrong. Having spent the past several months working on my cutting and piecing, this session was a good chance to get myself organized for travel with machine & supplies.
Some notable differences in the way that QA presents tasks and in class involve preparation (don't pre-wash - I did intend to pre-wash and then starch, but ran out of time this weekend - hoping it doesn't come back to bite me as one of the fabrics is VERY red... will definitely be using a color catcher when I wash this one); measuring to cut (two ruler method - which I've tried in the past and decided against due to slippage); cutting multiple layers at the same time (have proven to myself that this is generally a bad idea for ME - see slippage comment - others may find that it works well for them); sewing rows (chain piecing was not offered as an option - I love chain piecing the rows when I remember to stack them in the correct fashion); pinning at every seam junction (matter of preference, as even though I'll be redoing a few seams this week as I finish the center of the top - overall I think I'll still spend less time on assembly than I would if I was using up to four pins/seam).
Squaring blocks was skipped - though I wonder if that had something to do with the impending snow storm (didn't happen) and the instructor's desire to ensure that we could get to the assemble a row portion. I need to go back and square a few of mine as I did try the cut multiple layers for my focus blocks - and then realized that I should have pressed open one of my creases.
I was pleased to see that my seam allowance tape is still true - and managed to get a perfect seam allowance on my first try!
I also learned a different method of pressing the seams which I like better than the one recommended in QA - to use the side of the iron. While the side of the iron does work, it is hard on my wrist. I will need to ensure that all of the water is out of my iron before switching at home - especially as the steam function on the iron really isn't working all that well at the moment. Something quickly solved by a squirt bottle of water at my side.
So this week, I will need to remove the seam between rows three and four as there are too many spots where the corners miss - I think I need to fix one of the seams in row four and that will fix most of the problem. Then sew on row 5. I also need to redo a few of the four patch blocks as I don't like the meeting of the center corners as I'm working with high contrast colors and it does show up when I missed the seams. This will allow me to finish the sixth row and add it on.
Finally, I'll press and starch the top (starching was also not addressed in class today).
I did finish enough in class today to go ahead and pick out my border fabric for next week. Forgot to pick up fabric for backing but can get that this week.
Week 2 will be borders.
Week 3 will be machine quilting
Week 4 will be binding.
I do learn best when I have someone in the room to watch and get feedback from, so I'm looking forward to the next three Monday mornings as these are all parts of the process that I haven't attempted yet. And then I'll feel more comfortable with the upcoming QA chapters.
I'm having fun!