Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Quilting Has Begun!!

The quilting of my scrappy blue hexagons quilt has begun!!
Found the perfect thread in my stash and revved up my APQS George for the first time all summer!?!
  I'm keeping to a simple grid that follows the ditch of the seams and crosses through the center of each hexagon.  
I've used this approach before and like the simplicity, the sturdiness and the effect.
I can come and go from the stitching over the next few days and hopefully be binding this sweet little quilt next week!!
After a record fast trip to eastern Pennsylvania to watch my oldest grand-daughter play field hockey last week (soccer with sticks?), I was too tired to do much but sew over the weekend.  While I was finished assembling the scrappy hexagon quilt top, I thought of a few more things to share with you about the piecing process I used for this quilt along with some pressing tips.
My "go-to" Bernina 1031 had a weekend in the spa
and with the hexagons in four sections 
and all my #100blocks100days2019 block finished, it was easy to keep the chain piecing momentum going.  
The Bernina 180 which is my traveling machine, stepped into the void and we kept the flow going!
At this point, the piecing seems tedious -- so many short seams (only 2" at a time) and the stop and go work can be a turn-off for sure.  That's one of the aspects of Set-In Piecing Simplified that I really appreciate -- by bouncing back and forth between two projects to keep the chain piecing going, it reduces the tedium.  

Because the sections are getting larger and the rows of seams longer, I do more pinning at this stage to control the increasing bulk and prevent sewing the wrong two seams together.  (While that creates interesting two-dimensional surfaces, it does nothing to move me towards the finish line!?!)
I prefer to pin parallel to the seam
so I can leave the pin in place until the seam is stitched plus the pin is easy to pull out when in this position. 
It was a pleasant afternoon with lots accomplished -- two big sections joined and great progress on setting together the #100blocks!
With the completion of the piecing, it was time to press the seams.
Another (potentially) tedious task!
Here are a couple tips -- first, turn off the steam because there is lots of close to the fingers work.
When I'm working with smaller hexagons -- 1" or less -- I use my little travel iron. 
All the seams will swirl around the hexagon intersections.  If you don't get the cute little tumbling block on the back side, it could be that you didn't pivot far enough for the stitch off part of your seams.  But don't worry about it this time, just press for flatness now. 
The three seams coming into this intersection are swirling in a clockwise direction.
As you follow the lower left seam out of that intersection, it will set you up to swirl the seams counter-clockwise at the next intersection. 
I flatten the intersection (carefully) and then press the remaining two seams coming into that intersection.  
Then I work out of that intersection to the next one -- usually moving towards the left across the patchwork until everything on the surface of my ironing board is pressed.
It's beautiful when the pressing is finished!
Notice that all the horizontal seams are facing down.
If you trace your finger up the seams diagonally from the lower right to the upper left, you'll notice they all face the same direction. 
This uniform pressing means that as I stitch in the ditch, the ditch is always on the same side of the hexagons as I progress across the piece resulting in straighter lines and less jumping out of the ditch.
I have also seen quilters use a grid that avoids the ditches completely stitching across the hexagons at the center of each side.  The finished look is similar but I think my grid is easier to execute (no marking!!) especially if you are working with a ruler foot and edge guide like I do.

It seems like it might be good for me to stay in the quilting mode for the rest of the month!  I've gotten way ahead of myself with piecing over the summer and need to move some pieces off the "ready-to-quilt" shelf.

 But tomorrow is baby day!!
I'll be hanging with these three while their mom putters around in her garden for the afternoon.
The smiles are getting more regular and bigger!!
(Miss "middle" there already seems to know how to work the camera.)
So much fun!!

Have a good weekend!


  1. So precious! Mr. Cutie is already bigger than the little misses. What a treat to have them over.

  2. Oh my! Such joy! Thanks for the chuckle. Those grandchildren are really grand, right?