Tuesday, February 03, 2009

How perfect is your piecing?

I've read lots of discussion recently about pros and cons of these cutters and while I'm not trying to convince anyone to buy one I thought I'd address two here.

One con is that you still have to precut and you might as well just do all the cutting yourself: My answer is yes, for the Kaleidoscope blocks, I had to rough cut 7.5 inch squares - that was really quick....much quicker than cutting all these triangle shape pieces. In some cases, you can just fanfold your fabric over the die without cutting too.
Rolling through..... I'm typically cutting 8 layers at a time ...that's 16 of these triangles I get with one quick pass. I couldn't begin to cut them this quick.
Another con I've read about is about wasted fabric. These triangle shaped leftovers will go into my crumbs and string bins so they don't bother me...it might bother you - I don't know.
Now, to my question for today. How perfect is your piecing? I've been fiddling with these blocks and some are better than others but the funny part is the more I TRIED to get them perfect the worse they were so I went back to my usually method of pinning which depends on feeling and manipulating the seams with my fingers and then using pins to hold it in place. I tried the pin through the middle of the seam and even tried basting the center in place first (easier to pull out if it's off) but the blocks I tried those on were worse.

Most of the blocks look like this and I'm NOT showing closeups of the bad ones!

Not sure where this top is going - the fat quarter packs I started with are small ... and I pulled one fabric from stash that works too (12 blocks total at this time) but I'm going to have to border them with something. I think this fabric has too much green in it.


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11 comments:

rosewillow said...

This is a very interesting block, Mary. I like the way you have alternated the light and dark values on the different triangles. To me, it gives the impression of fan blades spinning. Very cool! (sorry, couldn't resist the pun) :-) Take care, Dianne in England

SandyQuilts said...

Mary I can get almost (99.7%) perfect piecing. How? Elmer's washable school glue. I never use pins now ... open the top just a little and a very fine line. You can force blocks where you want ... you can even force borders.

I started using Elmer's after watch SSchamber use it for bindings, applique and etc ... there's were I branched out to my blocks.

goldenneedle said...

Mary, The blocks you showed looked fine......what I have found is "you have to decide what level of inperfection you can live with".....for me I gave up perfect piecing years ago.....saves my sanity.

On the center, this is very difficult to get perfect....you have some many layers of faric meeting all at the same place.....tough to get perfect and flat.

Something I have found with dealing with bias edges.....the heat from the iron can make them go wacko..... so when I press, I make sure I don't put any heat (steam makes it worse) on an unsewn bias edge...that helps to keep its shape.

This is going to be a great quilt when done....I like the way it making a secondary star when you get the blocks together.

Karen L

YankeeQuilter said...

I think those blocks look fine. I do the same as you - feel the edges until they sort of click then sew it quickly! Besides after a few washings all the edges soften a bit...

ps. I like those colors!

meggie said...

Like those colours. Your blocks look fine to me!
Love those pics of your boys too! They all look good to me.

heather fish said...

I think the piecing on those blocks looks just fine. I tend to get all OCD but truly, when someone is looking at a whole quilt completed, no one is going to notice a seam that is a hair off!

Marianne said...

Yes, I agree with the others. The piecing looks fine. Heck, that's what gives quilts their charm, those little imperfections!

Nanci said...

I really wondered about those cutters. Some of the blogs I follow I suspected that they might indeed use a cutter due to the amount of quilts they produce, however, squares are a lot easier to cut than triangle I have found. My sweetie says that it's not a race...I like your end product and the colours you choose are always so great. I sometimes look at some of your finished quilts to see the combinations.
this blue one is fabulous dahling.

Denise in PA said...

I definitely aspire to perfect piecing - I know I've gotten better because I'm finishing UFOs from 10 years ago and I am MUCH better now! I do find that if I do have a take a block apart, it's probably only going to go back together the same way. I don't know why that is. I'll give it 3 trys and then it stays!

Tanya said...

Very, very interesting! I have never seen this machine and had to read the post to twice to figure out what it was doing! I can see that would be a great timesaver! Great for getting blocks ready for teaching too. I needed that when I was cutting for the Winding Ways!

Clare said...

I think they look fine too and nothing wrong with the colours either.