My pressing experiment

23 Apr

Fellow Quilters,

Happy Thursday!  How are you doing today?  Are you managing to get outside for a walk around the block every day?  It helps keep the cabin fever at bay.  Despite the daily snow flurries, I think it is allergy season – at least that’s what my red itchy eyes are telling me.  Hubby says the maples are budding.  He must think that winter is over because he is switching out his tires this weekend.  I am happy to report that his visit to the Chez Patti Hair Salon was a success.  I’ve seen so many Facebook comments about emerging bad hairstyles – Covid hairstyles – as people grow out their regular style, and perhaps their regular color as well – just saying!

We are at Block 16 of the Time to Quilt quilt-along already – that’s 2/3 of the way through!  I’ve seen some great photos of design walls with blocks on them.  Don’t worry if you’re only on Block 8 or 9 – it won’t take you long to catch up.  Keep those photos coming!  Block 16 is straight-forward – I could think of no changes to the original instructions on Northcott’s, Banyan’s and FIGO’s Facebook page.  As I was piecing my blocks I was thinking what I could share with you for a tip.  We are getting REALLY good at those half-square triangle units.  I had a conversation yesterday with my quilting friend Betsey and we were discussing how much easier it is to sew half-square triangle units when we use squares and sew ¼” each side of the line vs. cutting the square in half first and then feeding a pair of triangles under the presser foot of our machine.  My machine, with its wide feed dogs (those teeth that pull the fabric along), want to pull the ends of the triangle units to one side, resulting in inconsistent seam allowances at the tips of my units.

Today’s tip:  I like to trim my triangle tips to reduce the bulk in my finished block, particularly for the make-it-mini size.  I was trimming them after I cut the square along the line and pressed the diagonal seam.  I had bitty triangles everywhere!  Then I decided to trim them as I was cutting along that diagonal line.  I cut a little square out of each end of my unit before I cut along the line.

I trim a little square out of the corner on each end of the diagonal cutting line

I trim a little square out of the corner on each end of the diagonal cutting line

I find this works better for me – half the number of bitty pieces and they’re twice the size of the triangles.  How do you manage the triangle dog-ears?  Pop me a line in the comments below to share your thoughts.

So, let’s talk about pressing.  I struggled a bit with determining the best way to press the seams in this block.  We can’t spin the seams like we could do in some of the earlier blocks.  Since I had 6 blocks to experiment with, I tried a variety of methods.  On the Midsommar blocks I pressed the seams in Rows 1 & 3 toward the center and Row 2 toward the sides, then I pressed the horizontal seams open.

Rows 1 & 3 pressed toward the center, then horizontal seams pressed open

Rows 1 & 3 pressed toward the center, then horizontal seams pressed open

On the Vino blocks I pressed Rows 1, 2 and 3 toward the center square.  On one block I pressed the seams to the top/bottom edges and one the other block I pressed the seams open.

Vino blocks - vertical seams pressed toward center, then one pressed top top/bottom and the other pressed open

Vino blocks – vertical seams pressed toward center, then one pressed top top/bottom and the other pressed open

On the Shimmer blocks, I pressed 1 block with the seams toward Rows 1 & 3 (as for the Midsommar blocks), then pressed the horizontal seams toward top /bottom.  On the other Shimmer block I pressed all seams open.

Shimmer - block 1 is pressed to the center, then top/bottom and block 2 is pressed all open

Shimmer – block 1 is pressed to the center, then top/bottom and block 2 is pressed all open

The result of my impromptu study is that I would recommend pressing all seams open.

You can find my instructions for Block 16 here.

You should see the cool quilts on the Northcott and Banyan Facebook pages – Northcott has used This Calls for Cake and Banyan is showcasing Daphne’s Tapa Cloth in the citrus colorway  Speaking of Daphne, it’s been fun seeing the quilt layouts that she has come up with on her daily blog posts.  Yesterday she came up with yet another way to construct Block 15.  And please send me your thoughts on those dog ears – I’m curious!

Cheers,

Patti

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