Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Gentle Art

I don't remember whether or not sewing was ever called "The Gentle Art".  It seems like it would be logical and natural if it was.  Throughout history sewing was a close second only to food preparation when it came to a wife's part of providing what the family needed.  And we have antique quilts which prove that sewing provided a way for women to exercise creativity, even when she was making do with scraps and old clothing.  Of course, many quilts were made with new materials bought especially for quilt making, but many were not.

I'm guessing these were Carrie Nelson's thoughts when she named the May "Vintage Schnibbles" pattern "The Gentle Art".  I have always wanted to make a spool quilt, and now have finally had the chance.  The pattern calls for 25 blocks, but I made a couple extra so I'd have choices when arranging the blocks.  One of those can serve as the label for the back.  In addition to the fabrics I named yesterday I pulled random charm squares from the drawer and fabrics from the shelves.  I needed a fat quarter for an inner border so that had to come from the shelves.  In order to "tie it in" with the rest of the fabrics I used the piece for several backgrounds too.

A big "Thank you!" to my friend Kim, who owns two featherweights that she rarely uses, for lending a machine to me while Miss Feather is in hospital.  This allowed me to finish these blocks so I can tidy at least one area of my messy sewing room. 

This isn't the final arrangement of the blocks - I lined them up by color to make sure I had a balanced number of color choices.  I still need to cut strips for the outside border, which I'll do tomorrow.  The blocks have already been talking to me - telling me how they want to be quilted - so I imagine I'll be hand quilting this top very soon.

The construction method for this quilt calls for squares and rectangles to form the trapezoid with corner triangles.  This is NOT my preferred method, though I know many people love doing it this way.  (I find the old fashioned way of cutting a trapezoid and triangles and sewing them together to be much more accurate.)  This way worked best for this quilt, however, as it is made from charm squares, so I didn't change the construction.  I refuse to toss the tiny "waste" triangles so I will soon have a nice selection of tiny half-square triangle squares to use in a mini quilt one of these days.  They will finish at 1/2" square!

When I make half-square triangle squares that finish at 1" or smaller, I always press the seam open.  When working with pieces this tiny the seam allowances need to be as flat as possible.  It makes it a bit trickier to match intersections as the seams can't "snuggle up next to each other"; careful pinning and stitching takes care of that problem.


Crispy said...

LOL we all do that and we always wonder how the heck we didn't notice.

Nancy E said...

I always save the waste triangles, too. Do you have something in mind that you plan to use the little triangles? A couple of times I have used my little triangles in Carol Hopkins pattern, Rosie Fench.