Posts Tagged ‘rules’

Adapt the Rules to Fit the Worker

September 12, 2018

I love the life lessons quilting brings. There is the grand structure of the quilting universe – 1/4” seams, press to the dark, square things should always be square – then there is the reality of the individual worker. My latest Progressive project reminded me that rules are meant to instruct, not bind, and can always be adapted.

This twisted block came with two sets of instructions, neither of which worked for me. The first came from the artist who began the project, the second from another quilter in the group. I measured angles and straight lines, trying to come up with an interpretation that would achieve the desired result. Nothing worked. “Self,” I said, “just choose the block that you like best, scribe the cutting lines on the fabric you need to work with, and run with it.” I folded the seams back on each other, marked the cutting lines, and sewed the best 1/4” seam I could manage. Repeat for three rounds and you have a twisted block.

My contribution fits in well with the others in the collection, and that’s really all that matters.

Luck and wisdom!

Following Instructions

November 30, 2016

Week two of trying to keep the sewing table clear made me realize I can’t stand empty space. I decided since I need something to work on I would only start short-term projects that could easily be put aside. I took out the book I bought on repurposing clothes and discovered I had read the table of contents wrong. The project I wanted to do wasn’t in the book. So I pulled out the second book I bought, The Tunic Bible by Sarah Gunn and Julie Starr. Also, for the first time in a long time, I read the instructions carefully.

Lani Longshore The Tunic Bible

Most of the clothes I’ve made were really costumes. It didn’t matter if my technique wasn’t perfect because I was only going to wear the garment to a Halloween party or an amateur production where I was usually part of the chorus or in a crowd scene. Now I want to make something I can actually wear around town, so I followed the procedure outlined in the book.

Gridded paper makes tracing patterns easier, just don't ask me why

Gridded paper makes tracing patterns easier, just don’t ask me why

Rather than tape a bunch of graph paper together, I bought some gridded pattern paper. It was cheap enough, and works well. At least I didn’t have to draw over the taped seams.

Lani Longshore test piece

I unearthed some tattersol plaid curtains I had tucked in a box years ago. Since I like designing with a grid, it seemed the ideal fabric to use for my test piece. In my first try, I forgot to sew darts in the back, and misjudged how my measurements fell between the sizes. There was enough fabric left over to make another test incorporating the changes I marked. This one fits.

The fabric I want to use is a heavy, washable silk. I can’t even begin to guess when I bought it. That’s probably a good thing, because I’ve forgotten how much it cost and thus won’t panic quite so much when I finally make that first cut. At least I have the satisfaction of knowing how this pattern will go together since I am following the instructions.

Luck and wisdom!