Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Piecing Progress

I've been steadily working along on my ruler work sampler project and it's going well, despite a bit of seam ripping one pricked and bloody finger and a one inch burn on my arm from reaching past the iron.

Because I am slightly nuts, I started off with a fairly complicated block. No wonder I let piecing intimidate me. Plus I was cutting out all my pieces and I read: X-5/16. Sixteenths? Do I have a ruler that goes down to 1/16th markings? No. So I eyeballed it. But it came out pretty well, though not perfect.

Piecing

I say it's good enough for me. Then I moved to a slightly simpler block and that came out good enough too.


I bought the Janome Clear View Quilting Foot and Guide Set for my Janome 8200 and it's great. Like the regular 1/4 inch piecing foot, it has a guide for the edge of the fabric. But it is removable. I used it, but I know some quilters prefer to use the foot as the guide, not the 'fence'. Plus without the fence you can use it for sewing down the line for half square triangle blocks. As the name implies, the foot is clear so you can see how the patches are feeding under the machine. The foot is also marked with 1/8 inch lines along and across the foot for better piecing and turning. Twice I marked  the seam allowance with where I wanted to stitch so my points wouldn't float or get chopped off as the point in question wasn't quite at 1/4 inch from the edge.

Janome Clear View Quilting Foot and Guide set

So my questions for you dear readers are: 1) What's your favorite way to make just a few half square triangles? (Not the two strips sewn together and then cut into finished half square triangle blocks) Do you mark just the center line, center and sewing lines? Do you use the paper guides/tape for marking them? 2) What line of rotary rulers has 1/16 inch marks? Or do you eyeball a sixteenth?

Here's your chance to teach me!

9 comments:

  1. In Australia all the Sew Easy rulers have 1/8th lines. For HSTs I place two premeasured squares right sides together, draw a line across the diagonal then sew 1/4" either side of this line. Then cut along the line for two HSTs.
    You did choose a complicated block to piece first up!

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    1. I hadn’t bought the Clear View foot before I did the half square triangles so I ended up doing them by marking the cutting line, then the ¼ inch to either side and stitching with my regular sewing foot. Hardly ideal, though it worked well enough. Now that I have the Clearview foot, I can easily follow the cutting line and stitch off ¼ inch.

      My rulers all have 1/8th markings but the tutorial called for things cut all the way down to 1/16ths for square within a square blocks. Probably other tutorials would cut to the next 1/8 and then cut down, but one of my goals was to follow the tutorial to the letter—since I’m not fond of following instructions!

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  2. I like to make the HST blocks bigger and cut them down to size.

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  3. I make my HSTs the old fashioned way. There's just something about the process that I find fulfilling, plus, I'm never in a hurry. I can honestly say I've never had to work with 1/16th before, but I have a mark on my pressure foot that I use often, esp. for top stitching, that might measure that small.

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  4. I always make two HST's at a time using two squares of fabric. Directions usually call for squares to be 3/8" larger then the finished HST size(e.g. for 2.5" HST, use 2 7/8" squares). Instead, I would cut 3" squares, stich the diagonal, cut into two HST's and then square them up; that is, place the seam on the diagonal of your cutting board, and trim to the 2.5"size. It's the best way that I've found to get that precise 1/4 inch seam you need to piece them in a block. There are special rulers for squaring up your HST's and charts for cutting sizes online to help.

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    1. I do mine as lauraluvsloons does for small quantities. I like to be able to square up my blocks. I don't know if I've seen a pattern that called for 1/16" measurement. Your "eyeballing" it worked well as your block looks perfect to me!

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  5. I use the Easy Angle ruler most often. For blocks that have to finish up at a 16th size, I would make it one size larger and then trim it down. That way it is perfect!

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  6. I cut the fabric exactly +7/8" and cut in half triangles because the cutter is the one get closest to the ruler. and totally stick to the 1/4"seam allowance. I have seen rulers without 1/8"marks but never seen 1/16". I have done eyeballing thing too. I think your piecing is perfect!

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  7. I did the eyeball method on my block that required 1/16 too. It turned out fine. I like the clear foot if I buy a Janome, I'll look into getting one.

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