Saturday, February 6, 2010

Back to the Split 9 Patch

Last fall I made many 6" split 9 patch blocks from my stash fabric, some of it I have had since the 1980s. You can read about making them here and here. I got got busy helping with harvest and then took the Scrapaholic class and put the blocks aside for a while. Today I got them out and laid them on my living room floor. What to do, make more or just finish it? I decided I didn't want to make any more of the blocks so now am stitching the 63 blocks together in a 7 block by 9 block formation.

I did have a problem though....look at the two blocks below. The design I chose has the blocks coming together like this. See the problem?

When I made the blocks I pressed the half square triangles open then pressed the block seams the way I thought they should go since at that time I didn't know how I was going to put them together. The problem now is that I have sets of seams that will not nest together like is the optimum way of piecing.

I sure didn't want to try seaming them and having a lump where every seam is as they tend to get pushed along by the presser foot and then the intersections don't meet. I sure wasn't going to rip every block and re-press them either so decided to go ahead and piece them together the best I could.

I did come up with a solution that seems to be working for me though. First I line up the two blocks to be stitched together. Where the two seems meet and go the same direction I flip the top one back and nestle the seams together as if they were pressed in opposite directions. See example below.

I next pined the bottom seam and the top block together as if the seams were pressed in opposite directions. I let the top seam stay un-pinned.

This is what it looks like after it is pinned - notice the top seam is not pinned to anything.

Here is one set of blocks pinned together ready for stitching.

The next step is stitching. I stitched the seams together like I normally do and when I came to the un-pinned flapping seam allowance I just held it down with my stilletto and stitched over it the way it had been pressed. I am not sure why this is working but I have not had any problem with the seams creeping and sliding apart as you can see from this closeup photo of some of the seams. I am wondering if it is working because the pin is holding the two blocks together and there is not a huge lump caused by pinning all the layers together like I normally do.

The seams do press down just fine after stitching too. I just know I am so grateful it is working! If you ever get in a jam like this sometime give this a try and see if it works for you.

I have had a wonderful day of sewing without any interruptions today. John had to be gone all day to a meeting so I took advantage of the quiet and big block of time to sew. I didn't have to have the TV turned on blasting a news show or cowboy movie and I didn't have to cook. (During the winter John spends a lot of time in the office/sewing room catching up on paper work and flips on the TV in the room.) I like to listen to audio books or listen to the quiet as I sew. We are still trying to work out a compromise when we are both working.

When we lived in the house we moved from 5 years ago we shared an office and sewing room - no problem - so we decided to do the same here. The difference is the old house John would leave to do his farming thing over here where his parents lived and would come home at noon and then again in the evening. Now that we live here on the "home place" he is always here and pops in and out of the house all the time. I am still trying to get used to that as I was used to blocks of time with no one coming and going before. This isn't a huge problem but days when I have no interruptions like today are like a mini retreat.

Until Later,

1 comment:

lmno said...

I am not understanding. Could you show an image of the final stitched seam. I am guessing they are NOT nested?


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