Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
In my last post I shared the best quilting advice I’ve been given. Here is another gem. This one comes from Paula Nadelstern. “If you can’t tell if a seam matches while riding past the quilt on a galloping horse, don’t worry about it. The eye of the viewer will see what they expect, a matching seam.” This aligns well with the adage, “Don’t sweat the small stuff. It is all small stuff.”
Does that mean you don’t try to match seams, when matching is expected? Of course not. But you will rarely catch me with a seam ripper in hand undoing stitches because I have nipped a point or left it floating. I trust I am close enough, not just from a galloping horse, but from gallery viewing distance. As an artist I tend to be too close to my work detecting each and every flaw. So, I have worked on letting go.
Maintaining Some Control
Here are ways I ensure that my work appears precision pieced:
- Cut square patches accurately.
- Cut half square triangles generously, not accurately. My rule of thumb is to cut a square one inch larger than the finished size of the square unit that would be made from seaming the two half square triangles together after that square has been bisected on the diagonal.
- Cut quarter square triangles by cutting a square 1.5″ larger than the resulting square after the quarter squares are seamed together.
- Trim seamed units to the finished size plus the 0.5″ seam allowance.
- Follow the seam allowance guide on the sewing machine and/or sewing machine foot. The distance from the needle to the guide is the exact seam allowance. Align the edge of the fabric not under the guide, but just to the left, closer to the needle. This is known as sewing a scant 0.25″. Why do this? It allows for the mini amount of fabric taken up by the seam as it is opened.
Heeding My Own Advice
My primary focus this week was to make the three teal/aqua blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. This gives me a reason to link up with the challenge and since I finished my blocks, to link up with TGIFF. I find precision piecing relaxing, so it is an enjoyable time in the studio, too. Win, win and win again.
I am linking up with: