Saturday, January 12, 2008

Different "Marking Methods": TIF, Day 6

If I can find a fast and efficient way to "mark" my seams before I embellish them, in order to create slightly more even stitches, I will use it. Why not? (I use quotation marks because I do not like using actual pencil or pen marks on my fabrics if I can avoid it.)

So I've been experimenting with a few different methods...and they have potential to be quite useful in the future!

Do note how carefully that drawing was done! ;-) This motif is from Joan Waldman's book, Quilt Savvy: Embroidery Stitches.
This is Golden Threads tracing paper that is used by sane quilters for drawing out machine quilting designs, then basting it over their quilts, and machine quilting right through it. (I went to the manufacturer's booth while at the Houston Quilt Market, and they are incredibly lovely people.)
This paper was designed to tear out easily after the stitching is done.

And indeed it did. I had just done the chain stitch through the paper, and added the other elements free-hand after removing it. I don't think I would have gotten the spacing of the fan "blades" or the curve along the top as nice without the paper. Thumbs up on that.

Next I tried the graph paper method that Joan presents in her book.

A narrow strip of graph paper is basted into place, and the stitching goes over it. I thought this would be helpful for accurately spacing the base element of a seam quickly.

And indeed it was. Another thumbs up.
All this must be obvious to so many of you stitchers out there, but I am slow on the uptake in some matters! How to obtain accuracy, for example....I do like the imperfect look of hand stitching, as with my fly stitching here, but it is still good to have spacing right, otherwise the effect of the seam treatment can be compromised by sloppiness.

Finally, I tried good old Tiger Tape. This product was also developed for the sane quilting world, to help get those hand quilting stitches even and perfect!

I planned a simple cross stitch seam here, because.....
.....a continuous line of cross stitch will unify this curve, and after it is on you won't notice that the piecing seams don't line up nicely in that corner of the white border. I use this gambit all the time.
The only problem with the Tiger Tape is that it was rough on that smooth satin when I gently pulled it off, causing some fibers to pull out. One needs to be aware of that, and not press the adhesive tape in place with to0 much pressure.

Here is the third side of the border complete. You can see the cross stitching came out nicely on the left there, and that it reads as one smooth curve.
One side to go! This one is going to have some waste canvas lettering on it.

JoWynn mentioned this book in one of her posts. It sent me scooting off to AbeBooks, my preferred online purveyor of hard-to-find used books. My copy arrived in the mail from London last week, and I am thrilled! There are dozens of alphabets charted out for cross stitchers. I am going to pick one out and work on it this week-end, while my DH and I fly to Los Angeles to help his father celebrate birthday #85.
Back at you Monday!


Marty52 said...

Which method did you prefer? I use Tiger Tape all the time and really like it. I think I'll try the tear away paper method. Hopefully it won't drive me crazy. er. ;0)

Debra Dixon said...

I use that ¼" tape that quilters use for handquilting with great success. It's been recommended that I use a clear (like saran wrap) stabilizer over my fabric for machine emb. I tried it once but didn't like it. I prefer to embroider directly on fabric so know I wouldn't like the tracing paper method.

For the butterfly on my Little Flower Urchins quilt, I did a machine outline stitch with the emb machine then embroidered over it with a thicker thread. I thought that was a pretty cool idea.

Jane said...

Thanks for showing all the different stitching help methods and their outcomes. 85 is getting up there and I'm sure you're glad you got to go for a visit! Do have a safe trip.

Cat said...

You get more done in a week than I do in a year! I'm just amazed at how beautifully productive you are.

Love the colors on this piece too.

Hugs, Cat

Mary Johnson said...

I love the fan and actually have some Golden Threads paper if I can find it in the mess of my closet. I hadn't tried the graph paper method from the Quilt Savvy book yet but I should give that a try too.

I did buy some waste canvas today - it's been on my list since watching you work on the H quilt.

Susan said...

Thanks for sharing some ideas about marking. It's always good to have a quiver full of arrows. =) I like the fan design and the row of flowers, both. Thanks for sharing them.

Remember that purple I liked in the border? I think I had a square of that from the kit I bought from you! I used it today to make a RR block. =)

MaryjoO said...

what great ideas, thanks! MaryjoO And now I start looking for the Golden threads paper....

Possibilities, Etc. said...

I have two really great books on alphabets - they are French - will send you the names, etc. when I dig them out of the shelves. I bought them new from a shop somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Allie, have you ever tried a hera marker?? I use it a lot. Depending on the color you sometimes need good light.

Unknown said...

what a pro!!!

Julie said...

Allie: This is great information and I think would make a great article for the magazine. You are always so productive!
Hope your FIL has a great BD! What a milestone.

Rian said...

Hey, I never saw this paper at Houston! How did I miss that!

Very nice tutorial. Almost inspires me to do some hand work. I said almost.