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Lazy Gal Sews Part 1

Here we go.  You figured out how to thread your machine, right?  The bobbin too?  Good let’s do this.

I use white thread and a quarter inch seam allowance.  My foot has a quarter inch guide, so it’s always pretty perfect if I sew straight.  Remember to use the same seam allowance for the entire quilt.  If not, your blocks aren’t going to line up.

Take two strips of different fabric and lay them with right sides together (right sides are the pretty sides of the fabric).  Pin every few inches.  Sew along the long end.  I don’t backstitch.  Backstitching tacks down the sewing so it doesn’t unravel, but we’re going to cut through the stitching so it doesn’t matter (aka more work)  Find another piece of fabric and sew it to the opposite side.  One block is finished.  3 large strips sewn together.

I like to make an assembly line and just feed it through my machine.  It goes by a little faster.  This is called chain piecing.  Lay out enough fabric for 3 blocks.  I like to add contrast to each block: 2 lights and a dark or 2 darks and a light.  I then stack up the top two pieces.  Sew one strip.  Stop the machine and start to feed the second strip.  Stop the machine and feed the third strip.  No cutting the thread until all pieces are stitched.  Then I cut the connecting threads and lay the bottom strip on it’s proper block.  Chain piece again and done!  3 blocks in a couple minutes.

When chain piecing, create a method to remember the order.  Either write it down with sticky notes or take a picture.  I’ve gotten cocky and thought I’d remember.  And royal  screwed up.  With this pattern, it probably doesn’t matter that much.  With Scrappy, I almost started to cry.

Time to iron.  Fill up your iron with water.  You want a ton of steam.  Remember the damn 2 Ways to Quilt?  Here we go again…  You can iron the seams open or iron to the side.  Ironing the seams open irritates me.  I burn myself all the time and it takes more work.  I always iron towards the darkest piece of fabric.  Ironing open reduces the bulk and can make sewing sometimes easier if wonky folds irritate you.  Ironing to the side moves faster for me and I don’t mind wonk.  Not yet anyway.  Iron really well on the wrong side.  Turn it over and iron the seam again.  I always give it a little tug so the seam lays really flat.

Repeat so you have 3 different blocks.  Iron them really well people.  That’s key.

Now we cut.  Here’s the Momma in me coming out.  Be careful!  The cutter is so dangerous if not used properly.  Practice if it freaks you out.  I did.  A lot!  Get in the habit of always closing your cutter.  Don’t leave it open!  When using the ruler as a guide, make sure you have even pressure.  Stand directly over the fabric and lean down on the ruler.  Hold the cutter firmly and glide it in one even motion.  Slide with one motion.  Don’t stop because the ruler will probably slip.  Slide it just like butter through the fabric.

Let’s cut a block.  Lay it straight on the cutting mat.  Do your best to line it up.  Push it a little past the 0 mark.  We’re going to square it up.  Push the shortest end to past the 0 mark.  In the photo below, I had to push the block until the glasses fabric was a smidge past 0.  Cut.  And then I cut every 6 inches.

Repeat with 2 other blocks and check it out!  An 18 inch patchwork block!

Get sewing and cutting until you’ve gone through your strips.