Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Rackm' - Stackm' - Sew

Many quilters have their own method of power sewing. I am no different. We all need a way to complete projects faster and efficiently. Most of us have this little "anal" voice deep inside, we just need to concentrate and draw "it" out. Bonnie Hunter, with Quiltville fame, has to be the Queen of power sewing. She shares her methods in patterns, books and of course her website.

Here is my favorite power sewing method, Rackm' - Stackm' - Sew.

From the design wall, I label each column with a number (sometimes I label rows). Junk mail is my favorite source of making labels -- and a stick pin.

Starting from the top, stack them -- all of them, first by columns, then combine them into one or two stacks.
Above is my Blue blocks all stacked and ready for power sewing. Because this top is on-point, I pin the inset triangles to the first and last block -- I have learned, those little boogers are the first to get sewn on wrong if you are not concentrating. (Sorry, I have no idea why the picture loads upside down!)

I leave the stacks in the box as I pull them out to join. They won't get out of order or easily knocked over. This is the perfect time to use them as "Leaders and Enders" (source: Bonnie Hunter, Quiltville). They store nicely in case you have to set the project aside. I have also collected plastic boxes for the larger blocks.

Above are a few columns all sewn from my red top. Next step is to sew the columns together. Now here is my secret to the "snuggle" joining. We are taught to press the seams in one direction, which helps the joining seams "snuggle" and match nicely. Because I have this little anal voice telling me to "snuggle" -- this is important --- I PRESS ODD NUMBERED COLUMNS TOWARDS THE TOP, AND PRESS EVEN NUMBERED COLUMNS TOWARDS THE BOTTOM! If you make up these little rules (your own little rules) and consistently use them, they become habit.


Sarah Craig said...

Thanks for showing your process, Jamie! And what a great rule for pressing - I always have to go back and see what I did on the previous row!! Brain-dead, I guess!! I'll try your way from now on..... ;-)

Izzy said...

I agree - what a great tip for pressing those seams! I too keep having to go back to my last row to make sure I'm not messing up. I'm definitely coming up with those little rules going forward! Thank you!