February 04, 2012

Pins, Ironing, and Leftovers

Pinned Lone Star Strip Set
Check Alignment Using a Standing Pin
Pins:  Jayne made a good point about pinning.  This quilt doesn't just beg to be pinned - it demands it.  Here is a picture I took while pinning.  The standing pins go in first and I pin them all the way and then check them so that they are lined up on the front and on the back too. You can do that by flipping and checking the pin on the back, does it line up as you see below?  If it does you can move on but if it doesn't fuss with it now until you get it.  Then I add more pins to be certain nothing slips as I sew.  Then for good measure I sew slowly and carefully to be certain I hit aka sew right on top of where that standing pin was.  I never sew over pins though, that scares me.  I also like the flat head pins because I feel like the make less bulk and less wiggle room for things to not turn out okay.  Stitch with a nice wide seam, check it and then sew over top.  It's worth the extra time.  Trust me as I did my diamonds both ways depending on my mood, and that meant plenty of unpicking when the points didn't hit right.  Jayne pinned hers a different way so feel free to look at her way too.

Lone Star Diamond Ironing
Ironing:  I made a comment in this post about this time last month I think, about ironing.  After trying all ways of pressing that I could think of, I found that I liked the look when I ironed my seams open.  That meant my first strip set was ironed all up, the second all down, and then when I put the diamonds together I ironed everything open like this.  And while you'd like to think I'm joking you know I'm not.  All eight of my diamonds have their seems pressed this way, and you can even click on the image to see it better if you'd like (and then tell me you iron better than I do, perhaps that way I'll give you my ironing from now on ;-).  Now, you might find with the way you sew that you can iron everything to the right or left, which is fine.  Even great, for you.  But I found after hitting that point just so I really wanted it to show and show well.
Lone Star Strip Leftovers
Leftovers:  The more carefully you cut a strip pieced set the more leftovers you will have.  I cut as carefully as I could and checked my angle each time.  Sometimes I corrected it more often than the pattern said, and sometimes I corrected it less often.  I tried to be extra careful because I hate waste and because one of my strips was shorter than all the rest and I was worried it might not be long enough.  I am now the proud owner of 21 extra strips of diamonds.  At the most I would have 4 extra strips from a set, but every set (even the one with the short strip) gave me at least 2 leftover strips.  That's about 460+ feet of pieced diamonds.  Can you say, "border anyone?"


Vicki said...

Yes quilts like this scream for pins and you need to sew with intent watching where you are going.

As for the ironing I recall reading some tips on a couple of other blogs about quilts that have a lot of seams like the Lone Star. They do recommend to iron the seams open since it does ellimate some of the bulk especially at the intersections and the quilt will lay better.

stitchinpenny said...

The pins worked so it was wonderful to pin.

Jayne said...

Since I made my stars so many years ago, pressing seams open was frowned upon back the. In recent years with the increased interest in long-arm quilting, open seams have become more commonplace. I have done it on several quilts I've made in recent years.

And, I wanted to compliment you again on your color choices. This is going to be such an amazing looking quilt when it's done! Can't wait!

Barb said...

Wow, this is fabulous, and when you are trying to be exact, pins are the best.

QuiltSue said...

I remembered last night that I have some of those forked pins which are supposedly made for this type of occasion, so I might try them today and report back.

As for the seams, I had pressed them one way, but I will also try them open and see how much difference it makes. Did you use steam or just dry iron?

Hazel said...

This quilt is too difficult for me at the moment - but maybe one day! Yours is superb, Elizabeth - well done!

Barbara said...

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