Thursday, October 23, 2008
Strip piecing and other taudry tales.
There's a practice in quilting called strip piecing, and it's essentially when you sew one long strip right after another, so you don't have keep lifting up the foot of your sewing machine. It makes what piecing the top part of a quilt (the part that's all patchy and cool looking) go a lot faster.
Truth be told, I love piecing. Period. (Unless and except for the times when I screw up seams, stop, rip them out, then have to start over again. Not so much with the soothing.) But other than that, it's nice and Zen and you really feel like you've accomplished something when you're all said and done.
So, tonight I tried out the new glasses (more on that later) and set to work piecing my strips for my Urban Amish quilt. (Side note: Who knew the hole in my needle was really that big? It's a freakin' wonder I haven't gone blind yet trying to sew with my old Rx. But I digress.) I got about a quarter through. I'm hoping to finish piecing everything tomorrow night, so I can head to Quiltology for some studio time this weekend on the design wall. (Also, as I look at the picture, I'm realizing how dirty my machine is. Time for a dusting...)
Anyway, I know a bunch of you guys aren't quilters, so I thought I'd show you some pictures of the quilt in progress and explain how it gets put together. It's just like Legos -- you start from smaller parts, put them together to make bigger parts, which then connect to even bigger parts.
So, first I started with fabric. Which I cut according to my pattern. Then, I matched up pieces, which is pretty random, because this is a fairly scrappy quilt. But I did have to have a set number and certain width strips in each section:
Here's what one set looks like, rolled up:
Next, when you get ready to sew each set, you lay them out:
Then, you begin sewing along the edge, using a 1/4 inch seam:
And you keep going, feeding in one strip after another. After each strip has one seam, you press them with an iron:
Then, you repeat, attaching a sewn section to a sewn section. Then iron. Then attach a sewn section to another sewn section:
Until ultimately, you have something that looks like this:
There will be about a dozen of these, which will then be cut into two squares, and laid out and sewn to other squares to form rows. Then the rows are sewn together and voila! A a pieced top of a quilt!