Having been given a jelly roll and a quilting book for Christmas 2010, there is no excuse not to get on with quiltmaking.

Here's what happened next...


Monday, 17 January 2011

More Piecing

I finished piecing the brickwork on the mats & runner tonight!

Although I must confess to a ‘cheat’ which is helping with the accuracy of my seams no end – a 'vanishing fabric marker' called an 'air erasable pen', sold in the haberdashers, right next to the tailor's chalk.

It means that I can lay the ruler on the seam below, and run along with the pen on the actual sew line - and I have no more narrow bricks! I don’t think that I’ll have to use it for too long, as I get more used to sewing seams, but I must say that it’s been very helpful.

So all mats are pieced, and now I have the makings of the borders to go round. I bought this gents cotton shirt in Oxfam today for £3.45.

Originally it was from Next, and it felt really new - the buttons were still stiff!
I've cut round all the seams and have started to cut it into 2.5” strips.

Once these border pieces are on, I’m going to have to start to worry about wadding, backing and actual quilting…


  1. Just one little hint about the air-erasable markers - don't leave the markings on for long if the weather is humid. They disappear! I discovered this to my cost after marking up a large part of a king size quilt with one. As I was hand quilting it, the quilting took me some time, and a lot of the marks disappeared when I wasn't looking.

  2. Hmm, don't like those markers in anything that won't be frequently washed. The line might fade but the chemical will remain in the fabric.

    About your "cheat" - it's not a cheat but it is a step more than you need to take. If you can fix a guide to your sewing machine bed (a wodge of post-it notes is good as well as the other suggestions already made) then it will be easy to maintain an accurate ¼" seam. Have a look online for a "Quarter inch foot" for your sewing machine - absolutely essential IMNSHO.

    Accuracy might not matter quite so much now, but as you get more "adventurous" it will make a difference. If you were 1/16th out on every seam it might not sound a lot but when you start joining things together it all mounts up.

  3. Hmm - I'd not seen the self erase markers before, and did have half a thought as to using it to mark out the quilt pattern in due course (ha! Not running away with myself or anything!). Might have to think further!

    I give in, Bilbo - have put a marker tape on the base plate of the machine. I couldn't see how it could possibly work as I can't get a marker near to the needle as either the foot, or the teeth were in the way.

    However, have swapped the foot for the see-through one (both are bigger than 1/4" - I think this is an area for investment!), and put tape as near as I can get it. First indications are good - will report back when I start piecing the borders.

  4. Hazel, the marker tape/post-it notes/Scholl padding/whatever acts as a guide to lead your fabric towards the presser foot, and then actually having the proper foot keeps things straight as you get to the feed dogs.

    I will try and send you a photo tomorrow of how my machine is set up and you can see what I am blethering about.

  5. I'm sure that I'd find that helpful, Bilbo, if you wouldn't mind.

    The photos that I've taken of the sewing machine 'business end' have been frustratingly unclear - the needle is so fine that it's tricky to see it on a photo in relation to the foot/crocodile teeth/base markings. The pic on the 'Borders' post is about the best I could do.

    Todauy I bought (on a return-if-it's-crap basis) a magnetic 'seam allowance measurer', which clangs on to the base of the machine, but again, it is so far forward (in order to avoid the foot/teeth), it's not been of any real help.

    I'm not driving myself overly mad on this (although it looks like it!) as I do believe that if I b*gger around long enough it will just come good - I'll have developed an eye for it without realising. I think.

  6. I have often used the blue water erasable markers and have found them to be great. It's the air-erasables that disappear in humid weather.


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