Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Not for the Faint of Heart: Snip, Snip, Snip!

So last night, my Reality-Romance-Addicted husband was camped out on the sofa to see who got engaged from Bachelor in Paradise, and I was sitting next to him with my applique project.  

Trimming Away my Applique Backing with the Duck Billed Applique Scissors
I decided that I needed to trim the backing away from behind my Whig Roses PRIOR to stitching down those brown center circles that I glue basted in place on each block last week, because I didn't want to risk accidentally stitching through to the backing and not being able to remove it later.  These are large applique shapes with multiple layers of fabric, and I don't want to be quilting through all those layers later.  Yes, I know some people feel like applique is more durable if the backings are not trimmed away, but look at the size of my hand stitches -- anything smaller than that and it would be weaving the two fabrics together instead of stitching them.  My hand applique is more secure than my machine piecing, and it's not going anywhere.

Itsy Bitsy Stitches Aren't Going Anywhere
Of course, after investing months and months into these blocks already, it would be absolutely devastating to accidentally slice through the applique work while trimming away the backing behind it.  My poor husband was a nervous wreck just watching me, and kept saying things like "Don't you think you should SLOW DOWN?!!!"  Hah!  He thinks I'm reckless with my scissors; isn't that cute?  In reality, these special scissors make the task a lot less fraught with danger than it appears, as the wide, curved lower blade pushes the applique work down and out of the way of the slicing action.  Worth. Every. Penny.  I don't remember where I bought them.  They're probably either Gingher or Dovo.  The cutting action was stiff and was making my hand sore at first, but a drop of sewing machine oil on the scissor joint got them working smoothly again.

All Gone!
I got all eight of my blocks trimmed like this one, and one of the brown circles stitched down as well before the big Bachelor Proposal at the end of the finale.  I will have time to stitch a few more circles down during Anders' violin lesson this afternoon.  The prep time is a drag with prepared edge applique, but it sure makes the stitching go more smoothly to have those raw fabric edges already turned under smoothly and ready to go!

Meanwhile, I did NOT get my math quilt loaded onto my longarm frame yet.  I bought an assortment of longarm thread to get started with when I picked up my machine in March, but alas -- none of the sensible neutral thread colors I selected is going to look good on that black, lime green, purple and fuschia quilt top!  Bummer!  I think my Bernina shop probably carries longarm thread now that they sell the Q20 and Q24 machines, but they aren't going to have the size L magnetic prewound bobbins that I like...  And I'm still chicken to wind my own bobbin, since my machine has been stitching out with flawless tension using the prewounds!  Why mess with success?!  I'll probably pick out some more thread at my training class on Monday.

So the new plan is to load up a yard of cheater cloth onto my frame and practice with my rulers, stitching straight lines around the printed "piecing" lines and filling in with free motion fills.  We'll see if that actually happens or not by the end of the week.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I thought you were going to say you cut through the fabric! so glad you didn't. I cut the backing of applique off to if they are big pieces quilts better. I have those scissors too but rarely use them - I'm pretty sure mine are Gingher.

Vicki in MN said...

I was watching B in P also, good ending! Like Karen I thought you were going to say you had a mishap, so glad you didn't.