Friday, 21 March 2014

Starters & Stoppers

Hi I'm back and so are you, if you're reading this, or maybe you're a first time visitor, either way, yay. I mentioned last time patchwork is my current crafting passion. I like doing lots of crafty things, knitting, crochet, cross stitch, papercrafts and the list goes on, but patchwork is it at moment.

For a while now, probably about a year or maybe two I've been using starters or stoppers(I think that's what they're called).
"What are they?" you ask.
They are little scraps of material that you sew through the machine at the end of a sewing run so you don't have to lift the presser foot to pull out the fabric and cut the thread. It also means you don't have to hold and fiddle with threads before you start the next line of sewing.
If you haven't tried it, do. It saves time; no up and down with the presser foot, no pulling fabric out so you can cut threads, no fiddling around with the thread before you can sew. It also saves thread, which doesn't seem like much but given that you have to pull out about 7cm(3") out each time you cut threads this can add up when making a quilt, even when you chain piece. It does mean though that you need to keep a pair of scissors or snippers near the machine to cut thread instead of using the thread cutter on the machine. I very rarely use it anyway.

Well, the other day I had a revelation while I was sewing together my latest quilt, instead of using a scrap of material why not use these.

I have several containers of various size scraps that I  have saved from my previous quilts. When I finish a quilt I cut the scraps into convenient sizes 1.25" to 3.5"+ of either strips or squares. My 2.5" container is by far the fullest so I decided to use them. Each time I needed a stopper I paired a light and dark square and sewed them together. Brilliant, yes? By the time I finished the quilt I had quite a nice little pile.

At some stage I will pair these together and make 4 patch squares to use in a quilt. I don't know about you but I find sewing individual squares together, particularly when there's a lot them, a bit monotonous. Now I have saved a bit time and boredom next time I make a scrappy quilt.

There you go a time saving tip for when you're patchworking. I don't suppose I'm the first person to think of this idea but I thought I would share it with you.

Where is the quilt I was working on. Well I'm not ready to reveal that yet but here is a little teaser. It is a stash buster involving my red fabrics and it has a modern twist.

 Has that got you curious? Til next time, toodles.


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