Friday, July 13, 2007

How Do You Piece?

I have to be in the mood to piece. I LOVE my sewing machine (I've had this one for a year and a half) but the tedium of making sure pieces are placed correctly and the seam allowance is maintained is sometimes more than I have the patience to do.

Having a few different choices makes this process easier for me. I choose the method for each top that will provide the least amount of aggravation and the surest results.

Hand Piecing is, believe it or not, all I did for the first 4 years that I quilted. The thing I like about it is the precision. Perfect corners and points, even set in seams were sewn with ease. It's portable and only a few supplies are needed to take a hand piecing project along. It's obviously much more time consuming than machine piecing.

I'm sure that a vast majority of piecing is done by machine. There are a few notions that can make the process more accurate and enjoyable for some. For a while, it seemed paper piecing was very popular. Is it still? I really don't know, I do know that quite a few pattern books are out there for this method as well as individual patterns with preprinted paper foundations. There are also kits available like the one shown at right. These cute little kits were made and sold by a friend of mine. She still has an Ebay store where she sells them, the link can be found here. While searching for buttons for my daughter to use, I found these little kits. The fabrics are all cut and ready and perfect for a day when I feel like sewing without all the prepwork. I don't do a lot of paper piecing, but for miniatures it can't be beat. It seems I can't sew those little pieces together without difficulty, paper piecing makes this a much less painful process.

One thing I use a lot of is triangle paper. Whenever there are multiple half square triangle units with the same fabrics I use this and it's a lifesaver for me. While it means a few extra steps, I like the precision and there is no stretching of the piecing like one can sometimes get piecing/pressing triangles.

Triangle paper comes in a few forms, it can be bought in sheets, on rolls, drafted yourself, there are strips called Thangles and a program to print your own in any size called Triangulations.

I piece so I can quilt. Most of my piecing is rather simplistic and I don't use a lot of small pieces as they quickly become tedious to quilt. Finding methods of piecing that make things easier and more precise makes the process more enjoyable for me. I tend to go on piecing binges and will make several tops at once, then I'll mostly hand quilt for a while.

I finished another UFO, for those who are also UFOing, here's the pic of my latest finished project.

Yesterday was a busy, trying day. I ran errands and afterwards our 2 1/2 year old was rather out of sorts. I did finally have a bit of time to settle down to quilt.

Today proves to be about the same. I woke up to my daughter's car having a flat tire, when she wakes up we'll have a lesson in tire changing. I'm doing billing for our business, have to ready my husband's lunch for work and his dinner for while I'm gone as I'm going to visit a dear friend this afternoon. There, I can can sit down and take a breath. We visit, we quilt, we have cake and coffee and for a few hours "Mom, can I" are not a words that grace my ears.

I'll come home to quickly making dinner for the kids as they have a double header softball game tonight. Most of them will leave and just the little ones will be left (perhaps even our almost 7 year old will be going along to watch.) It might just be a good evening for a fire in the firepit, some lazy quilting and snuggling with Ruthie on the swing.

And now I'm off, to finish those things that must be done before I can leave the house. May your day be filled with sunshine, laughter, and quilting!

1 comment:

Pieces From Me said...

You already know how I feel about piecing! I am very excited about the Flower of the Month Blocks. Getting Kyle's teacher's quilt out the door and working on my next quick fix miniature. Hope Rebekah's tire was an easy fix.