Monday, May 5, 2014

Paper Piecing

I'm using a technique where you sew your fabric to a piece of paper with the pattern printed on it. You don't need to cut the pieces of fabric accurately, you trim off extra fabric after you sew each piece in place. In fact, you don't want to cut your pieces accurately, as it makes it harder to deal with an already fussy task. A little room for error is a good thing.

However, I'm wasting a heck of a lot of fabric. Not only am I cutting pieces with a 1/4" seam allowance, I'm also cutting them with at least a 3/8" extra allowance on top of that. Sigh. The frugal heart of me is offended. The technique calls for some fabric waste. I understand that. But I can't get comfortable with the amount of fabric I'm going through completing this pattern according to the directions. At least I'm getting this figured out on a set of pieces that are small. The actual amount of fabric that I'm wasting is not that great. By the time I get to the larger sections, I'll have figured out a better way to cut my fabric before I sew.

In addition, there is a slight chance that I should ignore the exact line on the paper and sew to one side or the other of it. See, fabric doesn't fold knife sharp. The bulge of fabric that rolls around the seam can cause the precision of my sewing to be just enough off that it will show up when I least want it to.

There is also a potential problem that the fabric won't be perfectly flat when I'm sewing it to the paper. When I remove the paper, I'll have created something that will be too large and won't match up with the other pieces that I've created. I don't think William is going to care. All he really wants is a quilt that he can sleep under that is large enough that his feet don't stick out. He won't care that it isn't perfect. Really, he won't.

Bud, my mechanic spouse, doesn't understand why I dance around a project, looking at this and that, poking at it, measuring pieces, testing things, and not leaping to get started right away. I'm not dealing with an industry that has exacting requirements based on crash test reports, recall notices, and government safety standards. I'm dealing with folks who majored in Home Ec in college. If they even went that hard core technical. If not Home Ec, then they are Art majors. Engineering, beta testing, and quality control? Not so much.

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