Seams to be Working

Yesterday afternoon, I started sewing together the remaining 76 flying geese into four borders of 19 geese each. I was chain piecing all four borders to make the job go faster. First, however, I needed to tackle this problem of too-narrow seam allowances resulting in too-long strips of blocks because those multi-seamed borders are going to be attached to seamless sashings. There will be no forgiving spacers as there were with the previous Vintage Tin strips.

The first thing I noticed is that if I line up the edge of my fabric with the edge of my foot, there is about 1/16th of an inch difference between the foot measurement and the hash mark on the throat plate.

My previous strips were made up of no less than five friendship stars each, and so I'm estimating at at least 16 seams just for the friendship stars. Then there were more seams in the strip to boot. It's easy to see how my strips ended up a full two inches longer than they should have been.

With that in mind, I'm going to need to train myself to use the hash mark as a guide, rather than watching the quarter-inch foot.

Vicki W. made the excellent suggestion of measuring the sewn piece rather than measuring the seam allowance. As I sewed each successive goose to the four strips, I measured them to see how things were going. By watching the hash mark, my pieces were ending up pretty much spot on. The first group should have been 6 1/2 inches wide.

The next needed to be 9 1/2 inches wide.

And the next needed to be 12.5 inches wide.

And they continued to be pretty consistent. When I'd sewed six geese to each strip, I decided to break and make new strips. I'll sew them together when I've used up all the individual geese. It's just easier for me to work with them when they aren't too long and start twisting and tangling. And, honestly, what can you expect when you're trying to tame geese that want to fly around the room honking.

When I had two groups of four strips, each with six geese, I needed to stop for the day. I'll sew the next 28 into four strips of seven each, and then sew the lengths together. I'll still need to add a pieced crossroads block to the end of two of the strips, and then my borders will be finished. All I'll need then is for that sashing fabric to arrive. This morning I received a notification that it would be delivered tomorrow.

As I mentioned yesterday, we took our mechanically-ill-behaving boat out on the river yesterday, hoping it would run right. I'm happy to say that it did. The engine was "missing" when we first started. Our goal was to run it up and down the river at a relatively high speed. By the end of the evening, it was running like its old self. 

We found a shady spot in the river (because the sun was intense, even at the end of the day) and tied up to a snag.

Then we feasted on chilled cucumber-avocado soup, shrimp cocktail, olive bread, and a bottle of rose. Nice. (You can find links to the recipes in yesterday's post.)

Our boat has a little table we can set up for lunch and dinner cruises. We don't use it often, but it's nice to have it.

It started getting dark, and so we headed back to the launch ramp. The nearly-full moon was rising and the golden light of the afternoon made the river beautiful.

And that was our evening. Fun.

Today I'm getting my monthly pedicure and then I'm returning a birdbath like the one you see in the image below.

It was purchased just a couple of months ago. It is constructed of bamboo, and it isn't holding up at all. Where the wires attach, it has broken, and the underwater surface is beginning to bubble up. Obviously it isn't up to the job for which it is intended. I'm hoping they'll exchange it for something else. After that, I can get back to my sewing.

10 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vicki W said...

Glad the seams are working out now!

Teresa in Music City said...

Getting a consistent seam allowance can be such a pain! Glad you were able to fix the problem :) Love the fabrics you are using on this project. And your day on the river sounds & looks like one of those gloriously perfect days we all live for!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

To get an accurate 1/4" seam on my Janome, I have to move the needle over, even with a 1/4" foot. I get tired of having to remember to move the needle, so, I don't piece on it anymore. Glad you've figured out what works now.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Yeah for bloggers helping us out - glad the seams on all your geese are flying straight and accurate. What a great little 'get away' - everything looks grand, yummy, and relaxing.

beaquilter said...

I JUST found the same problem on my machine two days ago, but the other way and using a 1/4" foot! argh, so frustrating, trying to figure out a solution, I think just lining up the edge of the foot or the 1/4" mark can get off track easily, I want to change my 1/4" foot or the needle position, but the hole is so small.... sigh

gayle said...

Glad your seam woes have worked out!
Your dinner cruise looked perfect...

Sheila said...

The quarter inch foot is my biggest complaint about my Bernina. A lady at the Bernina dealer says that a lot of the ladies are using stitch #1325 with the 20D foot, needle all the way to the right. I tried it, it works perfect. It also provides a lot more contract with the feed dogs. I'm also doing Vintage Tin, so I am enjoying watching your progress. Nothing better than time on the water. Have a great rest of the week.

Kate said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time on the river. Glad the boat is running well now.

quiltzyx said...

I remember reading one time about how to figure the correct 1/4". They did it by sewing a threadless needle thru' paper to check where it actually was, then marked the sewing machine bed with tape. Since your machine's hash mark works, even better!
Your dinner cruise looks wonderful! Good company & good food on the water - excellent!!

Lyndsey said...

I'm pleased you got the seam allowance sorted out. It's so annoying when seams aren't accurate and it tends to put me off the quilt I'm sewing.
Your dinner on the river looks delicious.