Friday, March 19, 2010

Blue Friday

For a week, the work's been all blue. Last Saturday my friends Julie and Sarah came over to learn how to make a folded Log Cabin quilt block by hand. Although both possess sewing machines, neither is truly at home with the contraption and preferred to do the old needle-n-thread route. I had all the strips and backing blocks cut so they just sat down and sewed.




In less than three hours, both had produced respectable blocks and couldn't have been prouder if they'd laid an egg. See, I told you so--quilting can be contagious!




The fun continued on Monday. In the past I'd made some little folded patchwork blocks in a pattern I named Origami. Then for some reason, I decided to experiment. Sometimes things work and sometimes they don't...

I changed the dimensions of the backing block and the relation of the center square to the rest of the block. And oh yeah, I ragged them. For those who are not familiar with quilting trends, 'ragging' is when you leave raw seam allowances , feather the seams (cut closely with scissors about 1/4" apart)  and then wash and dry the work. The seams 'rag' and get all frayed and fuzzy. You can even brush the frayed seams for more dimension.

I read about ragging before trying it. And since I also wanted to use denim for the backing blocks (I have a little denim--I lied--I have a LOT of denim) the directions suggested really deep seams. Like 1" seams. Because you're cutting through multiple layers, you need a good pair of spring-loaded scissors. To misquote Crocodile Dundee: "Now, that's a scissors!"


While I happily sewed four blocks  and popped them in the washer to fray beautifully, I was not prepared for the uber-fuzzy seams that resulted. These seams are about an inch high and the work shrank quite a bit. Back to the drawing board.  

Note to self: 
1) Choose less busy prints so the geometry of the patchwork can be seen
2) Sew smaller seams--maybe 1/2 inch? 
3) This is just too much! Maybe sew the rag seams on the back of the work rather than the front next time.

8 comments:

Vicki Lane said...

I like your Origami square but agree that those seams are a little much. Maybe on a throw pillow...

Katie said...

I rather like the look, fabrics, fuzzy seams 'n' all.

How did you quilt it? I'm guessing by machine since it's a denim backing, yet the stitch looks so hand like.

BonnieB said...

I love this block. It does my favorite thing--tessalates. Would you mind if I used it sometime to make a quilt?
Experimenting is always fun and no matter the outcome it will lead to something else, which leads to something else, etc.
Ragging is something that seems so comfy to me. It just looks snuggable. But I do see how the seams do appear too large. It is interesting that the ragging becomes the outstanding feature of the blocks.

Robin said...

Love the PUNCH of ,I am guessing orange, in the blocks... Very dramatic.
R

Anonymous said...

All that blue and hand piecing makes my heart happy but I'm too anal to appreciate the fuzzy seams! I love love love cobalt blue! Terry

Pepper Cory said...

For Katie-Origami blocks are all folded and pinned in place until I do Big Stitch 1/2" out from the middle square. Then the layered blocks are sewn together by machine, the seams cut and rag'd etc etc.

Christopher said...

Pepper

Mom has lots of positive things to say about you. I hear about it all the way over here in Amsterdam. Nice that you can help pass along your speciality.

Baker.

Cindy Brick said...

Those ragged seams might be interesting if you beaded and sequinned them! This operates on the "if you're going to do something different, make it REALLY different" premise...

Dunno, but I kinda like all those prints splashing away at each other.