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Monday, June 11, 2012
Repairing a block
This is the Set Sail block by Susanne Woods from the Modern Blocks Book. I made it yesterday for the Modern Blocks Bee. This block has a lot of pieces and those masts finish at 1/4" wide. My queen bee sent beautiful blue and aqua background and water fabric and asked us to use our scraps for the rest. It was challenging for me as the background fabric is a lovely light weight fabric which my sewing machine just wanted to chew up with every start.
I changed the needle and started seams in the middle, sewing to each end and finished the block. But that little bit at the top of the third mast was bugging me. If the block was trimmed to avoid the gap, the block would loose the points on the top sails once it was pieced into a quilt. I woke up this morning and decided to fix it, so I thought I would share the quick fix with you too.
The obvious fix is to take apart the block and insert a new mast piece. But given the challenges I had experienced sewing this block I wanted to avoid that. So I unpicked about an inch on each side of the mast.
I pinned another bit of mast fabric in place. I wanted to make sure the seam of this repair did not end up on the seam line of the block making the block hard to piece later.
I sewed the repair piece on, being careful not to catch the edges.
You can see I sewed across the seam twice, just to make sure it did not unravel because it is not very long. Then I trimmed off the excess.
Flipping to the back, I finger pressed the new seam and laid the old seam line along the repaired piece. Then I sewed the seams I had unpicked again on both sides. I did a small backstitch where the new seam stitches overlapped the old, to make sure it would stay secure.
You can see it sewn on both sides. By the way you can also see the little thread loops (or globs) that my lovely Janome Horizon makes - seems this is a design feature to secure the threads, so I have learned to ignore it but I don't care for it much.
Here is the repair from the front.
Trimmed and close up. You can see the seam but it is not a problem. It is low enough so that it does not interfere with the sewing of the block in the quilt. And it is high enough to avoid interfering with that horizontal seam below it.
And from even this distance you might not notice it if I had not shown it to you.
I might not have bothered to fix this problem if this was a block for me. But for a bee, I try to do my best work, while still be alive to the challenges I faced in this case with the machine chewing up the background fabric. After, it is patchwork, and so I patched it.
And now I am off to work, that did not take long at all.