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Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Call me a perfectionist ...

During my first conversation with a new acquaintance recently, my precious 12 year old daughter innocently volunteered the information that I am a perfectionist. The woman we were talking to suggested to my daughter that perhaps she didn't need to divulge her mother's bad habits so soon! Well, I have to say that I actually don't consider my perfectionist tendencies a bad habit. They make my life much more complicated than it needs to be, but it is how I have been made. As proof that I am comfortable with my perfectionist nature, I will share the following! For as long as I have been quilting, I have aspired to a perfect quarter inch seam. My seams have consistently been a smidgen too deep, which for most patterns isn't a problem. But I am really keen to master a perfect seam allowance before I attempt the scariest quilt on my 'to do' list - Miss Rosie's 'Summer Wind': As you may be able to see from the picture, the smallest seam error will simply compound as rows are added consecutively to the central block of this pattern. In my quest for accuracy, I came across this wonderful post and this one, which detail how to perfect a seam width which will give accurate block sizes every time. In summary, I build a temporary barrier from a wad of Post-it notes and tape it to my machine at a position which gives me a 'scant' 1/4 inch seam. As I sew a seam, the fabric butts up against the barrier as you can see in the photo, and prevents me from sewing too deeply. The little notch cut out of the Post-it notes accommodates the feed dogs below. If you are totally confused as to what I am on about, read the links I have listed. This technique has really worked for me. I have been teased about my perfectionism so many times, it no longer offends. So feel free to tease away! But call me 'anal' and that's quite another story!
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