My favourite teacher in high school had an interesting saying. If something was gross or disgusting to him, he used to say “It looks like a dog’s breakfast.” I have been thinking of him a lot lately, because when I look at the back of my hand-piecing, I think “it looks like a dog’s breakfast…how am I going to iron that flat??” So, here are a few simple pressing tips that everyone who hand-pieces needs to know.
First, go put the kettle on and make a pot of tea. Everything is easier to do when you are drinking tea. Speaking of tea, my friend Kathy (an awesome and way-out-there quilter) gave me this tea pot for Christmas, along with an assortment of tea.
My daughter gave me a Downton Abbey mug and Marilyn (a talented artist who designed my BOM “To Everything There Is a Season”) gave me a Downton Abbey tea towel, so I am all set!
Now that I think about it, Marilyn gave me a Downton Abbey teapot last year for Christmas. Hmmm…. I see a pattern here!
Ok, so here we go. We want the seam allowances to swirl in the same direction (either clockwise or counter-clockwise), to reduce bulk. Here are just 3 hexies and I have swirled the seam allowances. First, I just picked one of the seam allowances and pressed it to the right. (It’s under the iron.)
Next, I take my left hand and position my fingers on the connecting seam allowances, folding them in the same direction as the first one. Notice that all 3 seams are going counter-clockwise. That is about as complicated as it is going to get. Seriously! So, just remember this, we are only swirling 3 connecting seam allowances at a time. Do you notice what shape appears in the very centre when swirled correctly? It is a quilt block called “Building Blocks”. Magical! I am using Inklingo to make my hexies. It’s as easy as stitching on the line!
In this next example, I have stitched these hexies together and am now ready to start pressing. “Looks like a dog’s breakfast.”
I am going to do exactly what I did when I only had 3 hexies…press the first seam to the right…the one under the tip of the iron.
Next, I position my left hand and guide the seam allowances in the same direction as the first one…
So now I can see that the orange seam allowance is heading in a clockwise direction, so the connecting seam allowance have to follow in the same direction. Notice my index finger and my thumb are holding the seam allowances in place. Then I just pick up the iron and press.
Here is the finished block from the back….
…and the front. Fancy!
I finished stitching the corner block of Friends of Baltimore and dipped it in the sink to wash all of the ink and glue out. Now, I am finishing the next corner block. Cannot wait to finish this quilt!
Once it is dry, I will trim it to the proper size.
Til next time….