Sunday, 4 September 2011

Pinning technique

I was asked about the unusual pinning technique shown in my last post, so here's an explanation.

I'm fusing 3/8in bias-cut strips to form wavy borders on my quilt top. The first one (above) is pale mauve and is in the middle of a very wide light cream border, which I designed then marked using a template and a blue clover pen. The second (below) is darker mauve, and divides the pale cream inner border from the darker cream outer border. I mentioned this before; I pieced the outer border, separate from the quilt centre, fused 2in of Steam-a-seam2 all round the inside of the new border, then marked my pattern on the paper on the back of the fused Steam-a-seam2, cut along the line, then carefully positioned it over the centre and fused it in place. The dark mauve covers the raw edge.

To get a nice smooth curve, I need lot of pins - most places the pins are about 3/4in apart, but get as close as 1/4in apart on the tightest curves. Pinning vertically (I do this straight on the ironing board) has a few advantages. First, it's much easier to just poke it straight down! Second there's no distortion or movement caused by tipping it and pushing the pins back up. Third, I can get lots of pins nice and close, to get a smooth curve. And fourth, it's much easier to pull out the pins as the tip of the iron touches them (no burned finger-tips or melted pin heads!).

I pin a section of about 12in at a time, then slowly work the iron along, only removing the pins as the tip of the iron actually touches them. Pinning ahead gives me a chance to see it's a nice even curve (or fix it if not) before fusing. The tighter the curve, the fiddlier it is - even though I've bias-cut the strips - and the strips need to be pressed into submission to avoid any puckers on the inside edges. Although I'm using Lite Steam-a-seam2, which can be temporarily finger-pressed into position until fusing, on these curves it doesn't hold well enough.

The two applique borders are now fused in place, and as soon as I finsh quilting the Terrain scraps quilt, I'll start appliqueing them.


LynCC said...

The vertical pinning is a terrific idea that I don't know if I would have thought of!

Joan said...

Thats fantastic Emma - thank you for that..

2ne said...

Thanks for showing us :-)