I’m So Sharp I’ll Cut Myself

That was my father’s verdict on my approach to projects, and it hasn’t changed that much since childhood. I tend to get all self-congratulatory about my cleverness, and then find out I’ve actually been boneheaded.

Case in point, my little Argyle quilt. It began last year as an attempt to use fabric that just wouldn’t play well with anyone else. I used Sandi Cummings’ techniques from her Thinking Outside the Block book to slice and dice an odd assortment of print fabric.  This year I cut up that made fabric into strips, inserted other strips cut wonky, and tried out some strip insertions on the long sides.

ArgyleTo embellish I did some decorative machine stitching.  Then I began to quilt the thing and the boneheadedness began.  First, I forgot to switch to my walking foot so lumpiness developed in the top.  At this point I decided it wasn’t worth ripping out since I wasn’t so crazy about the piece anyway.

Argyle_detailThen, after I finished whatever quilting I thought was sufficient, I decided to finish the edges by simply turning over the backing around the edges.  This approach is used by Frieda Anderson, among many others, and can be a great way to finish small pieces that won’t be washed.

Out came my wavy rotary cutter blade and I had those edges nicely trimmed and pressed to the front, with quarter inch steam-a-seam holding the fabric in place.  I topstitched the edges and thought I was done.

Then I noticed that the edges were fraying a bit and I reached the uh-oh moment.  Frieda and company fused the edging before cutting it, so it didn’t ravel.  I somehow overlooked that step.

On to edge finish method two.  I sewed a close zigzag over the scalloped edges and called the piece complete.


Filed under Commentary, In Process, Techniques

7 responses to “I’m So Sharp I’ll Cut Myself

  1. It’s a success, in my opinion. Thanks for showing, and for talking about your process. THIS is how we learn!

  2. Patti Ritchie

    I am happy to hear I am not the only none that has had the self congratulatory moments only to find that I had completely blown it…LOL oh well, I just tell myself everything is a ‘learning’ experience!

  3. Sometimes those turn out to be the favorites, though! I have some older pieces that I did back before I knew any better, and I keep them around because there’s something charming about them still. Maybe it’s just remembering how (relatively) young and earnest I was when I made them! This one of yours has definite promise!

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