Paper piecing this quilt is going a bit slowly. I’ve made a couple of changes to how I’m piecing, however I can see already the end result will be well worth the effort. The accuracy of paper piecing weird angles is great…pleasure beyond measure so to speak. Okay they’re not really weird or unusual just not terribly easy to piece as a result of the bias edges. When the bias stretches watch out! It’s not always easy to mash bias, I mean press it back into place.
Something to consider with paper piecing is needles. A good needle will make the whole process easier. A good, appropriate needle will make any part of quilting easier. Let’s face it using a heavy thread with a smaller size needle just creates aggravation and waste. One thing I’ve learned about quilters is that we’re a pretty frugal bunch. Oh don’t get me wrong, we like to shop, we just shop for the best deal around and will look in several places (given the opportunity) before making a purchase. It’s kinda cool.
A couple of things I’ve learned not to skimp on are needles, thread, fabric & pins. Wait! That’s just about everything we use in quilting. Yup that’s true it’s the basics. Oh I look for deals that’s for sure. I’ll even wait to see if I can find a better deal here or there. I’ve been known to spend way more time than is necessary looking for the best deal on fabric. Anyway with needles & pins I don’t like flimsy stuff that is going to bend or snap on me the minute I insert it either into the machine or into fabric so that I can sew. Last summer I used someone else’s machine for a few hours trying to repair a friends habit I think I broke 5 needles because of the weight of the fabric, the machine and needle just couldn’t handle it. I felt really bad because I could just see the tension disks going off balance. Yipes! That could be a real pain in the bottom.
With thread I have learned to do a couple of things 1) use thread appropriate to my task and 2) use what works for me. For piecing I love 50 weight, 2 ply thread this nestles into the seam so well, it’s like it’s a thread in the fabric. For quilting almost anything goes as long as I’m using a needle that goes with the thread. I’ve been told that I can’t use rayon for quilting, well, it does go better with embroidery however since I’ve checked the manufacturers website I know what needle to use with the rayon threads and don’t have a problem using rayon.
Pins. I think I shared with you that I’m a pin thief. I stole my friend neens pins when we were sewing together one day. Well, I didn’t really steal them they just sorta ended up coming home with me because I was a little careless. Pins that bend easily aren’t good. I keep a couple of different sizes of pins on hand for different things. The flower head pins are great for piecing, they’re long and keep my fingers away from the needle as I’m stitching (that’s when I pin). I usually pin when I’m making the tote bags because of the bulk. I keep short sharp pins on hand for pinning binding down. When the pin bends I stick them in an old pill jar so I won’t use them again. When the jar is full I’ll tape it up and put it out in recycle. I don’t want anyone getting hurt from these things.
I’m off to work on the paper piecing.