Monday, June 11, 2012

Repairing a block

Set Sail Block - Modern Blocks Bee for Lizz

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.

Repairing a block 1

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.

Repairing a block 2

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.

Repairing a block 3

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.

Repairing a block 4

I sewed the repair piece on, being careful not to catch the edges.

Repairing a block 5

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.

Repairing a block 6

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.

Repairing a block 7

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.

Repairing a block 8

Here is the repair from the front.

Repairing a block 9

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.

Repairing a block 10

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.




Canadian Abroad said...

Great fix because you really can't see it until you show us it is there.

Francine said...

Thanks for sharing a fix - always helpful to know that even the pros have to go back and revisit/rework a problem. The block looks awesome!

Teje Karjalainen said...

That is a fantastic ship! Great work and patchwork is patchwork! x Teje

Valerie said...

Leanne-that's so clever! I would never have noticed it if you hadn't said something. I had difficulty with those background pieces too, and had to recut several pieces. But I agree, always my best work for a bee block!

Debbie said...

good job.

O'Quilts said...

Great job on the block and great job on the fix.

Annie said...

Great job on the fix! Thanks for posting this and reminding us we are all mortals and we can fix our mistakes.

Rhonda the Rambler said...

My new machine also does that "secure" stitch and I don't care for it either. I have found it is much less noticeable if I hold the tails taught. Great fix!

Cindy said...

Awesome fix! Thanks for sharing. This is my first time seeing this block - it's interesting and different. I'm happy to have had a peek :)

Katy Cameron said...

Wow, amazing job on the fix, I'm not sure that would have occurred to me!

Mary Menzer said...

Funny how we will do a little more for something that is for someone else! Very clever the way you figured out the fix.

Mrs Flying Blind... said...

I will make no comments about the friggin' in the riggin'.

Great save xxx

Susan said...

Clever girl! My Juki does that with the stitching at the start too! Holding the tails helps a little but I've learnt to live with it too!

Sarah said...

Lovely neat fix. Thanks for sharing, Leanne - it's good to see how others go about making repairs. If there's a hard way to repair something, I'll find it!

Marla's Crafts said...

Nice job.

Kelly said...

Love the blcok and great fix :)

Judith, Belfast said...

Oh what a clever sausage you are! Jxo

Run Quilt Knit Write said...

It looks great - and I love your block Leanne!

Amy Prior said...

so much great help here...I just wanted to say again how much we enjoyed looking at your Noise quilt (for the Umbrella Prints Trimmings Comp);we showed it on Facebook this week it really is a beautiful quilt. Thank you!

pricillaprecise said...

The snarling of thread underneath can be sorted out - here are a few ideas that yield results :
Check your tensions - top and bottom.
Make sure you sew with sharp needles.
Hold both threads when starting your row, or
Sew Leaders and Enders a'la Bonnie Hunter so that there is minimal row-starting, or
Use a doubled over scrap of fabric for a starter, which will take up the loops. Snip it off and use it again and again at the beginning of all your sewing.
Good luck !
Love your sailing ship. Margaret

Jess @ Elven Garden Quilts said...

Love your ship! And that is a brilliant idea for fixing it, so clever!

Marci Girl said...

Great fix Leanne! My machine hated that fabric too, and since it was a poly/cotton blend, I melted some of it by accident too. Opps.

Pieced Brain Quilt Designs said...

Well done! My machine gets hungry every once in a while (or when I am working with thin fabrics), and it drives me nuts... The sail boat is beautiful!