A few months ago I bought a bag of scraps at a local quilt shop and it had several pieces of Minkee in it. I saw this cute scarf pattern that I thought would be perfect for giving it a try, but I was not prepared for how difficult it could be to sew small pieces of Minkee together. Suddenly I was having flash backs of sewing some bridesmaids dresses years ago from velvet…not fun. So I am going to share some tips that I learned as I played around with this project.
1. Look closely at the nap. You need to know which direction it is going and make sure that when you put your pieces together the nap is going the same direction in each piece. I did this by rubbing it and seeing which way was smooth and which way resisted my touch. No amount of pins will hold it in place if the nap is not going the same direction on each piece.
2. Use pins. I don’t use pins very often and when I do I tend to only pin at crucial meeting points because I find I can ease the rest of the fabric in easier this way, but on this project I was sewing a mere 8 inches across and I used 3 pins the first one right in the center and then 2 about 1/2 inch in on each end. You could do even more, but this worked for me as long as I first made sure the nap was right.
3. Cut your project larger than you will need it to be by an inch or two. It is so hard to get this precise so you will want to have room for a fudge factor. I could have made things easier on myself and just used one solid piece of Minkee, but I really wanted to use those scraps and the colors all went well with my front fabrics.
I am also working on a table topper for the holidays that I bought at the quilt show in Iowa. The project came in a metal cup with all the fabric, very cute. I somehow couldn’t wrap my mind around the directions though and it was a simple log cabin, must have been all the excitement of the trip. I made it at night in my hotel room. I am playing around with the quilting on this and having some fun. I need a lot more practice on my free motion quilting so this is adding to that. I quilted ear muffs on the snowmen and I will add some buttons for the eyes later. I have a pattern for free motion that I am practicing drawing first, it has mittens and snowflakes in the design so after I draw them a few more times and practice on my practice piece I will add them in. I am using a yellow variegated thread because I like the way it shows up on these dark colors, but that also shows mistakes. I am finding though, that after I wash my pieces the quilting always looks good like it washes out the mistakes and the long stitches. I am having fun learning this technique and it is helping me to get my quilts done. This will be the third project I have finished this month and I have 3 more sitting waiting to be quilted. It would be nice to have everything I have pieced this year finished for the new year and all done by me! I have a problem sending my tops out to be quilted by someone else, I just want to be able to say I made it all the way from beginning to end.
I ordered some Christmas fabric from the Fat Quarter shop that is coming tomorrow so I will be busy with some holiday sewing that want to share next week I hope. I have an advent calendar idea that I have been working on in my mind and paper and I can’t wait to share it.
Happily I sew along…