Friday, 11 October 2013

A lesson learned

What do you do when you have no option but to sew in the lounge and your boyfriend's TV viewing is interrupted by the whirling of your sewing machine? To the point that the subtitles go on? Well, I could just leave it but I try to be more considerate than that. 

Sewing mat

I made a mat to put under my machine in the hope that it would dampen the noise. The jury is still out but at the very least it provides some extra protection to the table to. I had some left over batting that seemed the most logical thing to use. To make the mat look pretty I thought I could use up some my scraps and then quilt it. I would use the leftover fabric from my Laurel as the back and bias. A quick look around the internet led me to half square triangles. I had plans for nice, neat edges that matched up perfectly.

Sewing mat

Turns out I was doomed from the beginning. I struggled to get the squares the right size, even with using a template. However, I didn't realise this until I had created the triangles! I thought about trying to straighten up the squares with my shears but caved in and bought a rotary cutter. I honestly don't know why I didn't buy one before. 

Sewing mat

Sadly, the magic of the cutter didn't work. While I ended up with squares that were uniform in size, the centre seams were off, horrendously off in many cases. I could see just how off once I had stitched several of them together. I almost threw them away, to start again from scratch but realised that many of the imperfect matches were going to live underneath my machine. No one would see them! 

Sewing mat

So I pushed on. The quilting was interesting as I needed to use the seam lines as a guide for the pattern but of course they weren't helpful in many places! If you squint, you can see how uneven the stitching lines are on the back.

Sewing mat

Ah well, it isn't perfect but it will do. And I learnt a lesson: cutting accurately for patchwork at the beginning of the project really is essential for a nice finish. I must remember this for my next project as I'm planning Christmas presents now...


8 comments:

  1. Ah, the fun and games with half-square triangles. Have you come across 'thangles'? I haven't used them myself, but they're paper templates that you sew over, which are supposed to give you the perfect HST for sewing together. I mostly google 'HST Math' (because most quilting sites are American ;)) and use a combination of them. My points are rarely perfect, but they're usually not too bad.

    Hope the mat does the trick!

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    1. I haven't come across thangles but will definitely look them up the next time I attempt this!

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  2. I didn't notice the skew whiff-ness of these until you pointed it out. I think it looks brilliant! :-) and a great idea for noise reduction, you'll have to let us know if it works.

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    1. Thanks Deborah. I'm hopeful it will work.

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  3. A rotary cutter will change your life! I think this looks good and you are so thoughtful!

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    1. I haven't yet tried it with cutting out clothes patterns but I can see why everyone raves about them!

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  4. This is gorgeous, and what a brilliant idea! My machine sits on a ratty old piece of green carpet underfelt. It looks awful, and bits of the green rubber keep falling off! This is a much more stylish idea, and one I may have to copy.

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    1. Thanks Lynne. If you do go for it, double up on the batting - apparently one layer isn't making a difference to the noise!

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