Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happily Stripping


Here's the photo that got Eleanor Burns on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.  It's from Failblog, and the caption reads "Nobody wants to see that.. ever."  To me, what's really funny here is that the teenage boys (and Ellen, apparently) who run Failblog assumed that Burns didn't understand the double entendre.

I saw this when it first posted on Failblog, but it wasn't until I watched Eleanor on TQS that I heard about Ellen's involvement. I would love to say that I stopped reading Failblog because I'd matured, but the truth is that the ads became so intrusive that I couldn't hear the videos! Here's my all time favourite photo from Failblog:


Today's title includes the word "happily" because I have just figured out that I can sew strips without pins.  It is extremely freeing!  Not to mention way faster.  Right now I am making placemats.  These ones will be with the Christmas fabric I just bought at Fabricland:


 

These are nice, wide strips that will finish at 3.5" and are mostly from a lightweight home decor fabric. They went together so well that I was inspired to try it without pins. Then that went so well that I tried it with quilt fabric. First with 2" finished strips, and then when that worked, with 1" finished strips:


The real breakthrough came this morning when I tried to put the final chequerboard together, also without pins:




Every corner came out perfectly! Win!

The secret is to keep the strip with the seam allowances that are ironed upwards on top, with the seams pressed the other way on the bottom strip. This happens automatically when you are alternating directions like I did here. Then the presser foot pushes the top seam against the bottom one, and does the work for you. I have a few strip-pieced quilt projects similar to these waiting in the wings, so I am thrilled to have improved my process like this!

Although I have never read a book from Eleanor Burns, I really enjoyed her Legends show on The Quilt Show. She wrote her first book before she finished her first quilt! I identified with her quite a bit. :)

8 comments:

  1. A fantastic discovery - and looks brilliant. Well done!

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  2. Great job on the sewing without pins. Very freeing! Also, congratulations on pre-washing all of your fabrics. What a chore, but you did it! An inspiration to us all.

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    1. Thank you! It also occured to me that the pre-washing has helped with the sewing without pins, because the fabric sticks together better. Wins all around!

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  3. I like anything that saves time. People are coming up with all sorts of ways to take traditional blocks and strip piece or stitch them up in a different order that leads to an easier and quicker result. Love it!... As for me, I tend to do a lot without pinning myself unless I've given it a go and found it really *needs* to be pinned or basted. My laziness sometimes leads to a bit of "serves me right" time unpicking and then pinning and resewing.

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    1. Never mind the unpicking. No risk, no reward!

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  4. good to see you are using some of the fabrics you washed the last few weeks, the table mats will look great on the table, just make sure no one spills on them!!Might even make some myself with the jelly rolls, which as you advised I will not purchase again because of washing

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    1. Thanks, Margaret. I'd rather they spill on the new mats than on the new table! I chose all the dark colours on purpose for that, lol.

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! It is well appreciated. Happy stitching!

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