Friday, May 11, 2012

Land's End saves the day!

Well after my rant from the other day about bathing suits, I happened to be passing through Sears the other day on our search for prom shoes and I saw Land's End bathing suits ... they looked like they had underwire in them!  No time to try them on then ... so I went back today!  They have a whole slew of suits with underwire in them ... I am a happy camper!  I came away with a bathing suit that is cute, youthful, and most important supportive!  Hurray ...
The bottoms are navy blue, and look weird here because they're darker inside
A close up of the top

Here's another quilt I worked on this week ... this is a Christmas strip quilt that my customer bought in December from our store, and gave me about 6 weeks ago ... I'm always so impressed with people that get their Christmas projects done early ... I always have good intentions, but I don't know why I even THINK I'll get started early ... I just never do!  Time has this way of really getting away from me.
This is only her second quilt, but she is a very precise and particular piecer!  The quilt layed really flat ... with a little bit of wave in one of the sides and the bottom border, but nothing that I couldn't ease in.
A little hard to see, but I quilted a stipple pattern using a Glide lime green in the top and bobbin.  It showed up nicely on the dark colors and gave the quilt a little pizzaz!
Didn't she do a great job?
When I talk about how the borders lay, or something a little off in the quilt piecing, I want you to understand something ... it is never meant to criticize the piecer.  I only mention it as a teaching tool ... I think we all have issues with our quilts, whether they are ones we piece ourselves, or ones we are quilting for others.  By discussing problems we have while quilting, we can help solve each other's issues.  I've talked before about the proper way to measure for a border ... measuring horizontally and vertically through the center of the quilt, and then attaching the borders using those measurements.  While that wasn't the way we were taught years ago, this seems to be the preferred method now for acccurate borders.  That being said, I can tell you that most people I know do not measure their borders that way -- they just cut a strip the width they need, start sewing it on, and then when they get to the end of the quilt, they just wack the strip off.

This doesn't work and I'm going to explain why ... I know it's easy to do, but ... when you sew a quilt, you are cutting and piecing, pushing and pulling fabric, ironing, etc.  By the time you get to the outside of the quilt, you pieces that are laying on the edge of the quilt can really be distorted from the whole process.  Take your measurements on the outside of your quilt top, and then measure through the center ... see the difference?  I guarantee you there will always be a difference, no matter how careful you are when you piece.  It is just natural that the outside edge is going to have stretched out of shape.  If you just add fabric to that outside edge, it's going to not be straight beause it's stretched here and there, and when you just add a length of fabric, you are adding to the craziness.  You have this center that is a different size, and now the outside is just doing it's own thing.  If you measure and add the borders based on the measurement through the center, you are controlling that top, easing the waviness in, and squaring the top up.  I hope that helps someone ... I can tell you that when I take my time and add my borders in this manner, my quilt lays so much better ... try it on your next quilt!  You'll get used to the process and it will be just as easy as your old method, but will produce much better results!

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