Friday, August 29, 2014

To Pin or Not to Pin . . . .

. . . . that was a question I had this week from one of you who has been learning to use the Set-In Piecing Simplified technique.  I thought some others might like to read my response, too.

My usual response to the question of "pinning or not pinning" is that I don't pin very often, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't pin.  If pinning is helpful to you, then by all means pin!!

But this time, I decided to try it out and see if pinning was helpful to me.  The reproduction hexie piece that I'm machine piecing is growing steadily thanks to the self-imposed deadline of finishing it before my spring 2015 workshop at the Lake Metroparks Farmpark. 

I'm currently adding the last row around the large center star motif
and finishing up the third round of the sixth motif for the central part of the quilt.  Doing both at the same time enables me to employ the chain-piecing approach demonstrated in the DVD. 
After a few attempts, I realized placing one pin in the center of the hexagon was quite helpful.  It's easier to get it under the needle and presser foot when the motif is so large and eliminates the shifting that I encounter at that stage.

  The pin needs to be parallel to the seam I'm stitching! 
Placing it parallel made it easier to remove the pin just before I made the final pivot for that seam.  So I guess I have a new answer for the question, to pin or not to pin?
Yesterday I started to audition for the final layout.  My version isn't going to be an exact copy of the original quilt which dates to the late 1800's.
I have an EQ layout of it and have been playing around with the "filler" units on paper -- just can't decide which orientation I like for the large central unit. 
What do you think? 

Mary Huey


  1. I too like to pin when I sew because I find I get better results. I think I like your first arrangement best because the focal point is the light coloured rosette and I always find it more comfortable to my eye when the complete hexagon in that rosette is at the top! Your quilt is looking really great and I can't wait to see what you do next!

    1. Thanks for your feedback, Karen -- I'm leaning towards the second one, but the jury is still out!

  2. I like your first arrangement also. I'll have to check out that DVD. Thanks for the progress report and linking to Hexie Weekend.

  3. Whether I pin or not, my problem is always the last 1/4 of inch. At the very last moment, the fabric seems to sift to the right and many times I have to redo it straight. Arrgh!
    I love the first layout best. In the second one, I see the star of David (hope I am not offending anyone). For personal reasons, I don't like the star of David. Sorry.