Monday, May 30, 2016

Problem Solving

First, let's take a moment to honor and remember our veterans who have served and sacrificed for our country. We honor and thank them for their service and for our freedoms.


I left yesterday's post with a bit of a tease: what was going on with the edge of my quilt?

Let me explain. One of harder things (for me) to figure out when reaching borders or in this case edges of quilts in a quilting frame is how to stitch those borders or edges while also keeping the quilt as taut as possible. This had me stymied until I recalled how my grandmother handled the sides of a quilt when it was in her old, traditional-style quilt frame.

The picture above is vintage  - probably 1980s - but it's the only one I have of Grandma at her quilt frame. If you look at the edge that's in front of me, you can see some slack on that side. Grandma had strips of muslin - usually just two for each side - that she used to stretch the quilt taut on the horizontal. The quilt frame took care of tautness on the vertical.

I figured that what worked for Grandma would also work for me, so I found scrap strips of fabric and some straight pins. I positioned the quilt so that the edge I needed to access was just a couple of inches away from the frame. After pulling all three other sides as tight as possible, I pinned one end of each strip to the underside of the quilt at regular intervals on the edge I wanted to quilt. Then I pulled it under the bar of the frame and back towards the quilt on the top. I gently tugged the quilt outward to an acceptable tautness and pinned the strip.  Can you see it from the pictures I've provided?

This gives me access to quilt right to the edge of the quilt, and I have the tautness I desire for pleasing results. What an ingenious method - one that is at least a century old. And if Grandma used this method, there's a good chance that she saw her own mother use it, and perhaps even farther back the line.

Cool.

Well, back to quilting, and I hope you all enjoy your Memorial Day picnics!

Happy Quilting, Friends!