Are perfect points possible?

Before I start in earnest, I must emphasise that I am not, nor ever will be, a member of the Quilt Police!  I don’t look at a piece of patchwork and wrinkle my nose if points disappear into seams or if seams don’t meet.  It is always a wonder to me that someone has persevered and finished a quilt, I have too many unfinished quilts not to admire every completed project I see!  That said, I am going to share a little quest I have had this week to move up a level from my usual ‘there or thereabouts’ attitude to perfect points in my own patchwork.  A secondhand book bought at North Hampshire Quilters exhibition a couple of weeks ago has given me the confidence to aspire a little nearer to perfection.

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Alex Anderson’s ‘Simply Stars – Quilts That Sparkle’ is full of pictures of beautiful quilts made from a wide variety of star blocks (all with pin-sharp points!).  There are lots of clear instructions and illustrations showing how those perfect points can be achieved.  Keeping with my Christmas Star theme (‘Seeing Stars’ post, October 2014)  I chose the block ‘Sawtooth Star’ and decided to make a table runner.

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Following Alex Anderson’s instructions gave me far more accurate and consistent points and seam joins than usual.  I did start with the attitude that I’d go slow (my machine speed dropped from a middling whirr to a slow plod) and I’d be prepared to unpick seams and re-sew as necessary.  I found I needed to adjust my needle one stop over from the usual setting to achieve a more accurate 1/4 inch seam and having pinned seams and points I made sure to sew seams just one thread over from where points had been formed.  And I did need to use the seam ripper on several occasions!

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The points and seams on one of my 8″ Sawtooth Star blocks

Joining the three 8″ Sawtooth Star blocks together was not easy – so many seams made it difficult to keep all of the stitching straight and I had to lower my expectations of perfect precision just a little!  I had fun making two 4″  Sawtooth Star blocks – the tiny triangles and squares I had to rotary cut were the smallest I’ve ever done.  I followed the instructions in Judy Hopkins’ excellent book ‘501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks’ to cut out the fabrics for my blocks.

All pieced, a sandwich ready to go!

All pieced, a sandwich ready to go!

So, in conclusion, it is possible to improve accuracy given the right instructions and a bit of applied patience.  To achieve perfection though?  Well! Maybe that is for the very talented few!  The main thing is to enjoy the process of constructing blocks and quilts.  Stand back at the end and and see your creation as other people will – the overall impact of a finished quilt rather than the close-up inspection we give our quilts as they travel under the machine needle!

Happy piecing,  Allison

Find out more about Alex Anderson  at http://www.alexandersonquilts.com

I’m linking this post to Work In Progress Wednesdays at Lee Heinrich’s very informative blog http://www.freshlypieced.com

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About allisonreidnem

New Every Morning – About Me Hi! I’m Allison, an obsessive patchwork-quilter who has no desire to be cured! I’ve been developing my skills and knowledge by paying attention at my local quilting group and by putting my questions into the computer search engine. I’m so grateful to the generous people who have taken the time to share their knowledge with me in person, via YouTube videos or their blogs. I’m intending my blog to be a link into the worldwide patchwork and quilting community and a means to contribute helpful hints and inspiration as I continue to discover more about this addictive craft. So, why ‘New Every Morning Patchwork and Quilting’? Well! I am a morning person! I often wake in the wee small hours and think through design and quilt construction issues. My woolly–headed evening brain finds such issues far too difficult to resolve! If I’m disciplined enough to be asleep by 10pm, I can be up cutting, piecing, pressing and quilting before sunrise! By the time daily family routine kicks-in I’ve had a satisfying, soul-feeding creative fix. (I should mention that ‘family at home’ is: my patient, faithful husband of 27years; and our equally patient 16 year old son, who acts as our in-house IT support complete with sighs and rolling eyes! Older daughter and son have both recently flown the nest). Not only do I find early mornings my creative time I also find it a time for receiving spiritual nourishment. I often find myself humming a gentle chorus and reflecting on God’s constancy as another new day dawns. ‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, new every morning; Great is thy faithfulness, O Lord, Great is thy faithfulness.’ Edith McNeil’s chorus is based on verses from the Bible – Lamentations 3: 21-23.
This entry was posted in Christmas, P&Q Books, Piecing tips, Projects, Projects 2014, Quilt Blocks, Tablerunners and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Are perfect points possible?

  1. I like your conclusions – to enjoy the process and appreciate the finished product. It sure adds more joy all round to quilting if we give ourselves permission to produce imperfect quilts which we are still in love with.

    Like

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