(WIP = work in progress)
It felt like an eternity, but I finally got my exterior piece finished for my Sew Together Bag. First time using that gridded interfacing (1″ squares)–using this tutorial and this one–and I have some thoughts about the process:
- Most important point–think SMALL BLOCKS when using this stuff. My finished piece here, at 13 1/2″ x 9 3/4″, was WAY too big. Cutting and placing and fusing 600+ teeny tiny blocks, trimming all those zillions of seams, pressing them all open–there’s a tremendous amount of tedious, repetitive labor here. Do yourself a big favor and at least make each tedious, repetitive step a bit less overwhelming. I’ve wanted to try the grid interfacing for a while because of the potential to make a quilt like this, and that’s the perfect type of project for it–small, manageable blocks and frequent color changes.
- That said, it doesn’t pay to spend too much time on the innards of a block like this. I got out my mini-iron and labored over pressing all those tiny little seams open, only to mess all that up when I sewed the rows in the other direction. I tried various methods to try to get those seam allowances to stay put with no success. But then I realized that the seam allowances weren’t making the piece lumpy, and I decided to quit worrying about it. Probably a better option (certainly quicker) would have been to skip the trimming and press the initial set of seam allowances to one side.
- There are a couple of interesting advantages to using such small pieces. As Scrap Quilt Goddess Bonnie Hunter says, If it’s still ugly, you just didn’t cut it small enough! This is the place to use up ugly prints in the right colors, or in the wrong colors, but the right color family. I’ve got some stuff in here that I really don’t like, but it totally works. Also, there’s a hell of a lot of seam allowance in this–what you cut winds up half the size in the finished block–so it uses up a fair bit of fabric. And, hey, any quilt technique that helps you burn through fabric you don’t much care for, and gives you something that you’ll love at the end, is a pretty handy thing.
I took a break in the midst of this drama on Monday and cut out the rest of my bag pieces. And my zippers from ZipperStop came today, so I’m ready to go.
I know I’ve bought sage-green zippers from them before, but I couldn’t find any this time. Hope that light tan color isn’t too distracting.
Anyway, I’m hoping to make some progress on this tomorrow. Off to bed now.