Wednesday, June 23, 2010

At Bat: the alternating 9-patch

A while ago, my poor Tin Lizzie had a conniption fit and stopped working.  Turned out it was an encoder cable that had sheared off from the connector.  My dealer has ordered a replacement for me, but it hasn't arrived yet.  In the mean time, since I couldn't be working on Lizzie, I made productive use of my time by piecing a bunch of charity tops. 

Here's 4 of them.   I decided that I'd work on the one at the far right side ... the turquoise and coral alternating 9-patch.

Last night, I spend some quality time at my sewing machine piecing together batting scraps.  I don't save the really small pieces, but I can't bear to throw away "salvageable" ones.  :-)

As a result, I have a LOT of batting pieces.  I've seen a new product on the market to help quilters piece batting together .. it apparently has a fusible surface on one side of the strip, so that you simply use your steam iron to adhere the strip to two pieces of batting.  I smiled when I saw that because I've been doing a variation of that for years!

I had experimented with different ways of sewing batting together by butting the edges together and using various multi-step stitches to hold them together.  None of them worked very well UNTIL I put a strip of muslin connecting the batting pieces.  Using a multi-step zig-zag stitch worked wonderfully except that the one inch muslin strip would wiggle all over the place.   That problem was solved when I spritzed one side of the muslin with spray adhesive! 

So, well before this new product came on the market, I already had a solution!  I've not tried the new product (and more power to the person(s) who thought it through and marketed it) and I really don't intend to because why should I spend money on a single use product when I have the component parts already?  That leaves me more money to spend on fabric.  And patterns.  And tools.  And thread. 

You get the idea. :-)

Eventually, I pieced enough batting scraps together and got backings prepared for the above 4 tops.  I neatly laid them on my sewing machine cabinet last night in anticipation of quilting today.

But the Quilt Inspector had different ideas.

Ya know, I just didn't have the courage to dislodge her.  :-)

It was quite a while before she vacated her spot, but once she did, I swooped in and put the snatch on all four bundles!

And here is the Alternating 9-Patch loaded on Lizzie.  Since my replacement encoder cable still hasn't arrived, I am unable to use the stitch regulator mode BUT, thankfully, I can still use Lizzie in the speed regulated mode.   My stitch length in that mode isn't as uniform and nice looking as in the stitch regulated mode, but they aren't toe snaggers either. :-)
I'm doing a trillium leaf meander in the borders and a continuous curve in the alternating patches.  

Initially I had thought to do (small) continuous curves in all the patches of the 9-patch blocks, as well as (larger) continuous curves in the plain block.  But, honestly, once I stared at all the 9-patch blocks, I didn't want to spend the time required for continuous curves in them.  Instead, I am doing the same size continuous curve in *all* the blocks, i.e. I am treating the 9-patch blocks as though they were plain blocks.  

I won't be able to finish tonight nor even tomorrow (family event is happening) but hopefully I can finish this quilt this coming Friday.

1 comment:

  1. Cute quilt on the frame, Shelley. Nice quilting! I keep some of my larger batting scraps primarily for baby quilts. I even up the edges and as I roll the quilt on the long arm and if I run out of batting as I'm rolling I spray baste a section along the quilt backing that is on the frame roller, and lay the leftover piece of batting onto it butting the edge up to the previous batting edge, continue rolling and quilting. I've never noticed any problems with this method as the quilting keeps everything intact just as if I had seamed the batting before I used it on the frame. I like your method too, but just wanted to share how I use up extra batting at the frame. I guess I need to blog about this sometime---