Monday, July 18, 2011

There are Jacob's Ladder quilts all over Blogland at the moment; I originally saw Lucy's and had to make my own, then Quiltville's  Bonnie put up the instructions for her Florabunda quilt, and then lots of people made one. Yankee Quilter  has one, and so does Lynn, and Subee as well.  This block can look so different when it's coloured in different ways, and there are even more variations when the colouring is reversed in half the blocks.

One thing that can really annoy me when putting blocks together side by side is the way the seam allowances build up.  I took care to press the seams a certain way to eliminate that problem, and when the time came to put the blocks together there wasn't a single seam that didn't butt neatly together. 

I had to draw a little diagram and leave it by the ironing board, because I forgot what I was doing every single day.  I found the idea for this little note holder on Sew many Ways blog.  She has a ton of good ideas on how to use everyday items in the sewing room or office; just click on the Tool Time button on the side. 


This is a double-sided photo frame from Ikea, but it's also useful to display notes and reminders on a crowded desk.  I slipped my diagram into the frame behind the photo, so whenever I needed to check what I was doing I could just swivel the frame around.

I'll have to do a series of posts on how Ikea has revolutionised my sewing room; everywhere I look I see something from that store!  It's one of my favourite places to visit.

Basically what I did was press the dark chain blocks one way, and the light chain blocks the opposite way.  I made sure to position all the four patches so that both seam allowances that touched the outside edge went to the dark fabric.  It was no extra work to position them like this, and it certainly paid off when I put the blocks together.  I just hate having to mash seam allowances flat and hope they stay that way.

Bonnie's instructions show how to fan the seam allowances so that they match up at the edge of the block; I didn't bother with that, because on this block the fourpatches can be positioned so that the seam allowances mesh together anyway.

Because I didn't add a border I ran a line of stitching around the outside of the quilt, so that all those seams would be held tight.
My tops tend to wait a while before they get quilted, and if they don't have a border and are handled too much  the seams can start coming apart.  It was the work of minutes to stabilise the edges, and now I don't have to worry about those seams unravelling anymore.

3 comments:

sewprimitive karen 6:35 AM  

Thank you for the Sew Many Ways link; I would like to see a post on your IKEA items!

pdudgeon 6:38 AM  

i love your quilt! i'm getting closer to geting my own Jacob's Ladder blocks done...only 7 more to go!when i get all 30 done I'll go on to the 30 pairs of flying geese blocks, and then on to the 3 borders.
thanks again for your inspiration.

Henrietta 4:49 AM  

That is a good idea on the edge stabilization. So obvious now you have written about it but I probably would never have thought about it. Thank you for sharing!

After pouting whining and nagging mercilessly my daughter took me to Ikea in Sacramento as I passed through on my way to South Dakota. naturally we do not have one in the Islands at all never mind on my island.

I didn't get to spend nearly enough time there but at least I have been and seen. Sigh.

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