понедельник, 6 января 2014 г.

Часть 4.

 FOUR-PATCHES!

This is another section of floor at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland. I thought I had more photos of floors with four-patches from a different location, but couldn’t find them…but still…aren’t 4-patches just the icing on the cake?  I have to admit they are my favorite unit ever. Simple, and yet simply wonderful.

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For the SMALL quilt you will need  120 Orange/Green 4-patches
For the LARGE quilt you will need 300 Orange/Green 4-patches.

These will be made with green and orange 2” strips, and will measure 3-1/2” when sewn, finishing at 3” in the quilt.

If I asked you which was the harder unit to do…the half square triangle from Part 3, or the 4-patch from part 4, how many of you would say half square triangle?

You’d be wrong!

The 4 patch has more seams, so more of a chance to shrink smaller than we want it to be – so we have to be extra sure our seam allowance is where it needs to be, and that is where testing becomes KEY!

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I use this little seam guide to mark the 1/4” seam on my machine.

It comes with holes for 1/4”, 3/8”. 1/2”. 5/8” and 3/4” seams.  (Seam guides can be ordered singly with a book purchase, or in a seam-guide 6 pack on my website HERE so you can share with friends if you don’t want to purchase a book in order to have a single one.)

I put the machine needle in the 1/4” hole, put the presser foot down…and then:

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My sticky seam guide made out of Scotch Re-stickable mounting strips and part of a hotel room key goes up against the ruler, and the ruler is removed for sewing.

(Talk about über cheap and über great!) Click HERE for more info on the seam guide!)

But even HERE there can be some adjustment needed because there is a bit of play in that needle hole.  I might be sewing with heavier fabrics that will take up more space in the fold when I press to the dark, or my thread may be a slightly different weight.  Or – what if my strips are cut just a hair UNDER the 2” we need?  All of these things come together to give us the unit size we need – you can’t judge the size of a unit by the 1/4” seam alone!

We need to sew…and we need to measure the UNIT – not the seam.

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Oranges and greens go right sides together!

I PREFER sewing with a foot that is less than 1/4” (the original feet on vintage machines are narrower) so that I can SEE the edge of my fabric up against my seam guide.  This way I know I’m sewing where I need to sew.  If all the fabric is under the foot, and you can’t see it because an edge guide is in the way, how do you know how you are sewing?  Be CAREFUL with machines that have guides on the outside of the foot – just by the nature of them already being OUTSIDE of the foot – if you run your fabric too hard up against them you can over-shoot your seam.  Use caution, and test – always!

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Got one strip shorter than the other? No worries…Just butt another one on and keep sewing!

Press strip-set seams toward your greens.



Measure your strip sets!

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They should measure 3-1/2” tall.  Not 3-3/8”!  Not 3-1/4”!  Sew a  short strip set and measure.  Adjust your seam until you’ve got it right.  I actually had to make mine a tad more scant than I had it set the first time.

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I like to do all the choosing of what is going to end up next to what in the cutting process.  To do this, I’m going to cut my sections with two strip sets right sides together, having the center seams nest like this with green on orange, and orange on green.  Work from SHORT strip sets to get your variety.  They’ll already be right sides together and ready to feed through the machine.  Don’t cut hundreds of single two-sies only to have to shuffle and match and shuffle and match and shuffle and match to build your variety – cut them so they are already in matched pairs!

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Cut the layered strip sets into 2” sections of matched pairs. 

If I have 6 or 8 or even 10 4-patches that are identical in this quilt, and there are 300 of them scrambled all over – is anyone going to know?  Nope!  Short strip sets with lots of variety are how I keep things from looking too similar.

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When you feed them through the machine, be SURE that you feed them all the same direction.  Do you see how the green squares go under the presser foot first?  The top seam allowance pointing toward the green?  This actually helps nest your seams closer together, and prevents the bottom seam allowance from flipping since it is already pointed down on the underneath side of your unit.  Do not send most of them green first, and some orange first...or they will spin differently.

Why be consistent?  So we can pinwheel the seams on the back side all in the SAME DIRECTION instead of having some of them go clockwise, and some go counter clockwise…

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Spinning the same direction!

Do you see how if we were to sew these side-by-side that the seams would nest from 4-patch to 4-patch no matter which way we turned them?  This is what we want!  For more info on how to spin those seams…look at the pics on my Florabunda post here: http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2011/06/floribunda-re-post.html

And before you sew all 300 of them…again….sew a couple and MEASURE!
  
Seams can shrink things up!  There is bulk in layers!  I first measured my test one –and it was about 2 thread widths too narrow.  Guess what is going to happen if I multiply that by the 300 4-patches needed?  I adjusted my seam a hair more scant:

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Spot on!

The motto of this step is always, always, always test.  If it doesn’t measure right, fix the seam and test again.  There is nothing that feels better than having the right size of unit under your ruler!  You can DO IT!  And I bet you will be a bit surprised at just where your 1/4” really needs to be for patchwork.

For those of us who find rotary cutting difficult as we age, due to arthritis, carpel tunnel or tremors--check out Linda Franz's inklingo blog HERE for how inklingo is keeping quilters quilting longer even as we age!

If you like to hand piece, or want to print your shapes onto your fabric so your sewing lines are visible –Linda Franz has a special inklingo offer for you!

Click the image below to view the collection info for inklingo!

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