>>>>

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Amazingly Smart!

I had an “AHA!” moment yesterday that about blew me away.  When I say that sometimes the teacher learns more from the student than the student learns from the teacher, I mean it!

Some of the ladies in yesterday’s Strip Twist class collected their strip variety through the activity of strip swaps with each other.

One thing we did during class was to cut some test strips with various rulers and varying ruler placement in the cutting process just to demo how much variation in strip width can happen so easily without us even realizing it.  And we all know that we are not going to be able to get a strip set to reach a certain height if the strips themselves are of varying widths!  It’s a recipe for frustration, right?

Well such is the case as one Super-Quilter who showed us a technique that I thought as SO INGENIOUS.

Note the top picture carefully.

Our Super-Quilter was sewing with 2” strips.  Some were a hair narrower than others.  Some were a bit wider.  Some had uneven or thready edges --- and this is where her lesson in precision comes in.

KY_Sept2012 133

She cut a piece of cardstock the size of her FINISHED strip.  Lay the cardboard template up against the first seam line.  Align next strip right sides together with the strip set, new strip on the bottom so you can view the previous seam on the top.  Carefully sew down the edge of the strip set keeping the needle up against the edge of the cardstock template ---but not piercing it.  The lines of stitching will be 1.5” apart, and the strip that is a hair narrow (The underneath red strip that you see peeking out below the top cream strip)) will be ‘corrected’ in the seam.

She was quite quick in working this way ----and I would love to give this a try to see how it works for me.  Her 1.5” inches was measured BETWEEN the seamlines, and doing it this way allowed for the thickness of the thread and the pressing.  She was getting good results!

I’m really happy that such talented inventive and ingenious quilters cross my path on a near daily basis.

In Instances such as this ----THEY are the teachers, and I am the student!
Addendum.  I tried very hard to remember the name of the Quilter.  As this post posted, I had taught over 70 quilters over a 3 day period, and given a lecture/trunk show to 100 at an evening meeting.  The name escaped me but I DO have her permission to post this.

For those wondering --- MY copyright is on the photos because *I* took the photo.  Just as if I took a picture of the Eiffel Tower --- I don't own the tower, but I do own my photograph of the tower.  Make sense?

52 comments:

Sue K said...

you could do that with template plastic too - the thin stuff that won't curl on the edges the way card stock might do eventually with use. Fabulous idea - thanks for sharing. I'm going to cut some of various widths and have on hand!

Loris said...

Great idea!

Lifeguard Laurie said...

Fantastic idea!

AddieNCE said...

Now, this idea is so great! I will surely give this a try since I have some strips where I messed up while cutting and that I did not want to cut smaller so far - now they might work with this great idea!
Thanks for sharing!

Tami C said...

Being one of the beginners that have problems coloring on the line, so to speak, I'm ready to give this a try! Thanks for sharing!

Judy said...

Great technique! I have had the same problems as AddieNCE and I too can now use these muffed up strips! Yea!

Lisa said...

I was going to say the same thing as "A Left-Handed Quilter" about Brenda Henning teaching a similar technique in a class I took from her 2-3 years ago. Seems the Bali rolls of 2.5" fabric are hand cut and vary a bit and this is the best way to get accurate piecing. It seems awkward at first but I got the hang of it as the day went on.

Jay said...

Very cool. And it explains the variations when the seam is accurate.

Linda J said...

Did the student say if she had come up with this idea herself or tweaked if from a quilt shop class or another source? Maybe she had access to the Brenda Henning information and was happy to pass that tip along in your class session? Or maybe great minds think alike. I had done pre-sashing long before I heard Fons and Porter use that term, for example.

I know I wish I would have had this idea when I was making a Terry Atkinson Popsicle Sticks pattern as I was using a combination of my own cut 2 1/2 inch strips along with a commercially purchased jelly roll. Where the heck are you supposed to be lining up with those pinked edges anyway?? I kept having to jockey my seam allowance to the farthest right position to get the block size to come out right. Fortunately accuracy was limited mainly to the block size, not for lining up and nesting.

I thank both the left handed quilter and the student for the tip!

Kelly said...

Genius and simple - thanks for sharing!

Impera_Magna said...

Brilliant.... thanks for sharing! I will definitely remember this!!!!

Linda J said...

I DID wonder how it is that you can copyright the images for the technique/tip if it came from your student or whatever un-named source she may have used. But I could be wrong with how copyright works in the blog format.

Bonnie K Hunter said...

The PHOTO is my property. The same way as if I took a photo of the Eiffel Tower. I don't own the tower, but I own my photograph.

Linda J said...

Got it!

Pam said...

What a smart idea! Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Great idea! I was thinking this would be a good way to ensure accuracy on longer strip sets, such as when doing bargello quilts, and you just have to keep sliding your guide forward as you sew.
BC in BC

Anonymous said...

And here I was just thinking that the lady didn't want to be identified! LOL! Maybe because she DID learn the technique from someone else. This is definitely something I am going to try as I do struggle with this, though now I am retired and can take my time about sewing (and everything else!) I AM getting better at things turning out just about the size they are supposed to! I really like Sue K's idea for using template plastic. Off to give it a try!

Andrea

Mary said...

That is such a neat trick! thanks for sharing!This is certainly one of those," Dang, why didn't I think of that!".You get a bunch of clever souls together and you have a magnificent think tank!

Shellie G said...

This is great! I've never seen anything like it. I can't wait to try it. Thank you so much for showing it to us.

Anonymous said...

Such a great idea. I was taught a similar one in a walking foot quilting class. The teacher was Jeananne Sharrae. She used a card to quilt across the diagonal of a suare or a block without marking. She called it "the card trick." I use it all the time. Thanks Super Quilter..

Rhonda D. said...

Thanks for passing along this technique. I an certainly going
to try this!!

Deb Reed said...

Simple and ingenious idea!

Karen in Kentucky said...

Great idea and also some of the ideas above such as the "card trick!" Thanks for sharing everyone!!!

qltmom9 said...

THAT is SO Cool! May God richly bless the woman who should you this so you could share it with us and May He bless YOU. I wish I had something that cool to teach everyone.~ Thank you.~

Lucy~

SweetAmbrosia said...

Isn't that a great idea! Don't you wonder how someone comes across something like that? She has earned her name "Super Quilter"!!!!!
Thanks to both you Bonnie, and The Super Quilter for sharing her idea with us.
Smiles,
JulieinTN

Virginia Severson said...

What a great idea and thank you for sharing. Without sharing, we fail to learn. Thank you again!! You put the fun into learning :)

Virginia

Pauline said...

I am such a sucker for gadgets, especially home made ones. This one is great. I just happen to have an empty Cherios™ box that will be perfect! (Bonnie, see my trademake credit?) I might also try a plastic cutting mat bought at Walmart. Thanks so for sharing and thanks too to "Super Quilter!"

KaHolly said...

Brilliant!!

kwltnut said...

Great tip Bonnie. Thanks for taking the time to post it. And thanks to "Super Quilter" for showing it to you and allowing you to show it to us.

Sharon said...

Great tip, Super Quilter! and thanks Bonnie for sharing. Soooo sorry some sourpus spoiled it for all of us by complaining to you. Lady, you are tops! Don't let the negatories get you down or non corubundum illigitimi!

Sherri said...

Bonnie, I'll bet if we made the template out of fine grit sandpaper instead of cardstock, this ingenious idea, might be even better. The sandpaper being put grit side down against the fabric would help the template to stay in place once the pressure of the left side of the presser foot becomes a factor as we're sewing along the seam line. Thanks Super Quilter for the idea, and thanks Bonnie for sharing.

DianneB said...

Absolutely Brilliant Idea!! Thanks so much for sharing. I'm very disappointed people would post something negative on your blog. You share so much!!! Thank you for all the great tips you share, pictures of where you've been, people you quilt with and free patterns given from the heart. You should only receive praise!
I think your the BEST.

DianneB said...

Forgot to mention - you also keep an insanely busy schedule.

Ariane said...

I love this idea!! Thanks Bonnie for all you share on your blog. I wouldn't be as good of a quilter if it wasn't for everything I've learned here on your blog!!! And thanks for the Super Quilter for sharing it with you. Love it!!!

HeyJudee said...

Sherri, great minds think alike! I was thinking of glueing a piece of sandpaper on the back of the cardboard template to help keep it from moving while sewing. Using just the sandpaper itself might be too thin and cause it to catch/bend or tear while sewing.

Goldogmom said...

I like this idea too. As others have said, when sewing wtih scraps, the two pieces are raraely the same width and once I start sewing, I find my brain wants to shift between the two pieces as to which is the true edge and I've caught myself averting to in between the two of them.. LOL

I use the comic book boards for folding my fabric. I plan to cut one up in various widths, mark the sizes on the strip and keep them on hand for projects. This is a great

Melinda Pepper said...

I love it! What a great idea!

JeanInMaine said...

Maybe you could use that long wire quilting attachment instead of cardboard, you know the one meant to help you do parallel quilting lines.

groovygranC said...

Great tip. May I share with my quilt friends

groovygranC said...

Great tip. May I share with my quilt friends

Maribeth Schmit said...

This is a clever technique. The thoughtfulness of the student and Bonnie to share it is appreciated. Bonnie's pictures are her copyright. She took them. They are her "design." However, since this is a technique and not a design, it cannot be "copyrighted." That's how the law reads.

Carin said...

Thank you Bonnie! Great tip! Imagine using this technique together with a presser foot that has a seam guide in the center that you can align against the card stock....I have one 1/4" foot and one wider foot for my Pfaff.....

Carin said...

Great tip Bonnie!
Imagine using this technique together with a presser foot that has a seam guide in the center...I have a 1/4" foot and a wider foot that fits my PFAFF....

joan said...

Showing my ignorance here....what is the name of the sewing machine foot being used in this wonderful tip - I looked through mine and I don't have one like it - perhaps I could buy one on line - thanks!!

Joan
joan311@sympatico.ca

Carin said...

To Joan!
I guess it depends on which sewing machine you use....but I've done some checking on Pfaff's website USA and I've come up with the two feet I use for my particular model which is a Pfaff Performance 2056:

First one called Narrow Edge Foot 820609-096 http://www.pfaff.com/global/3482_3450.html (where you can move your needle position) and the second one is a Stitch-in Ditch Foot http://www.pfaff.com/global/3482_8391.html. Hope this helps.
Carin in Uppsala Sweden

Lynne Tilley said...

Genius technique! Can't wait to try that It makes so much sense!

R said...

I found this on Pinterest and don't know how old the thread and comments are. Hope my question gets noticed.

First, would it work to narrow the cardboard (or plastic) guide, so that it runs up against a zipper foot or the left side of whatever foot you're using?

Also do you just keep moving the cardboard back toward you as you sew? (I'm assuming it travels with the fabric.)

FreezingInDakota said...


I am so going to do this. I will have multiple sizes on hand. TY for sharing this with us. Lyndy
anotherfatwoman@yahoo.com

Nancy said...

I learned this back in the 80's when I took a class from a very talented now deceased lady who specialized in very small miniature AMISH quilts. We used thin gridded plastic to sew against. It made THE most accurate mini seams ever. No wiggles which are very noticeable in minis!

Tina Wemyss said...

That is the best idea I have seen in ages! I am always measuring three times and now won't have to thanks to my bit of cardboard! I have cut some at various width and marked the finished width! I work a lot for Age Concern and use 2 1/2 " lengths so made the template 2". Wow, what a time saver! Many many thanks, Tina

Ruth Ann S said...

I really like this idea. I cut a piece of card stock & placed it on my strips as directed. Then I tried using a frixon pen to mark a sewing line. This worked pretty well for me, and then when done, I turned it over and used the card stock to see how accurate my seam was. It was perfect ! Thanks so much for sharing this idea!

Minda aka MiMi said...

I am a virgin quilter, haven't even made a quilt yet - - so far all I have made is little tiny quilt in a quilting class and I made a table runner on my own, just to get a feel for the whole quilting process - - I have been perusing the internet to gather information and ideas and tips and this one is a keeper! That was part of my problem with making that table runner - - there was a lack of precision in joining all of the strips that were supposedly the same size, but this will fix that. Onwards and upwards!!!