Monday, July 4, 2011

Get Ready!

Are you getting ready for the Red Letter Day Quilt-Along? You should cut some strips of your background fabric. Cut lots of 1-1/4" strips, some 1-1/2", some 2" and a couple of 3" strips.The rest, you can cut as needed. I always prewash all my fabrics in the hottest water they can stand before I bring them into my sewing studio.
When I make my letters, I usually add a spacer to the right side of each letter. Although the spacer ends up being 1/2" when it is sewn, I never cut 1" strips. They are too fiddly too work with. I use 1-1/4" strips, so I have a bit extra, and don't burn my fingers when I am trying to iron.

Speaking of which... Whenever I need a really narrow piece - like the 1/2" wide black pieces in the IF YOU OBEY, above, I -never- cut a 1" strip. I always cut the strip wider - usually 1-1/4", sew the strip to its neighbor, press away from the narrow piece (here, press away from the red)and then measure and trim away the excess (actually in this example, I want a 1/4" finished piece, so I have trimmed it to 1/2".) This makes the pieces nice and straight, and allows for any inconsistency in those of us who are perfect-1/4"-seam-allowance-challenged.

Oh! Wind a few bobbins too! I use a medium gray thread in all my piecing. I think it disappears best on light and dark fabrics alike.

Clear your workspace, and stack your fabrics in A-B-C order. We'll start tomorrow with the letter A!

If you have any questions, be sure to let me know in the comments. (I'll be working on the Picasa album a bit later - I really have to clean my house!)


The Selvage Fairy said...

This is probably a stupid question, but I need to know.
In the example of the "A" from yesterday, does the grain run straight along the length of the strips, or so that the straight grain runs true vertical when the letter is finished?

Darling Millie said...

No stupid questions. Do you mean the fabric in the letter or the background? For all strips, I use the straight of the grain along the length of the strips. Or crosswise grain, I'm not that fussy. For anything with a diagonal (bias) edge, I am VERY careful to handle it as little as possible, and try to sew it down ASAP.

Jean said...

Can anyone join in or do you have to sign up somewhere. This looks like fun and I would love to try it.

Millie said...

Hell no, nothing so formal as a sign-up! Join anytime and have some fun.