Friday, June 19, 2009

Frugal Friday's Experience Speaking....

and the reasons behind why I do MAM the way I do *VBS* There was an interesting suggestion in the comments about the MAM blocks I posted on Wednesday. One of my readers made the following suggestion: "When you get ready to cut your block try turning your ruler on point...I think it makes a more interesting block. I too am a fan of the MAM block. I love mindless sewing" It's an excellent suggestion and I am in agreement with the reader, it does make a more interesting block. But.... 
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as you can see in the picture of a MAM block with my 8.5" ruler, quite abit is cut away. #1- I could/would have to make the blocks bigger in order to cut on point. Which isn't frugal even if you are working with scraps.#2-many of my scraps aren't as large as the pink(in this picture) I'm trying to get used up. #3-it seems like it would create more "waste", altho it could be directed into new MAM blocks. #4-and this is my MAIN objection and experience, all 4 sides would then be BIAS. I'm not fond of working with bias. Anytime a cut is made on the diagonal, bias becomes the outer edge. Most flannel has a fair amount of stretch already. I could do the MAM on foundation, that would take care of the bias, but defeat the purpose of these MAM quilts which is "utility".
I think the reason many string quilts are pieced on foundation is to take advantage of the stability and piece the strings diagonally. The same with string triangles and diamonds. Even traditional quilt block patterns, when set on point, create the "bias factor" for the longarm quilters pinning them in. Given even a small chance, bias will do it's "thing" and stretch.
Thank you for the great suggestion, reader, I love your idea and the look that gets created, but I gotta cut these guys straight so I can keep them under control. *VBS*

10 comments:

belinda said...

Hey....you got all of that right!!!

scrappy quilter said...

Never thought of that Finn, however you are right. I have to agree with the material that would seem to go to waste. Hugs

ROZ said...

Even though I'm really into making a medallion quilt, I've already been looking around for some flannel scraps. Thnaks for the inspriation

Norma said...

It seems to me that no one ever addresses the care that you have to take when you jump into bias edges. Rarely have I seen it in quilt patterns, I guess they assume you know.........I didn't. Hopefully someone will learn from this post and save themselves some grief!

Dear Finn, those of us who know you, know that you would never, ever waste a scrap! LOL

andsewitis Holly said...

Hi Finn,
Popping in to say hello. You bring up a lot of good points about cutting on point that I wouldn't have thought of until I got to that stage of sewing. That's where experience comes in. Things are looking green and good in WI. I had to chuckle about the birds walking. lol I can't just picture that!

jovaliquilts said...

My biggest problem with free piecing is the waste, but I have solved that by turning the waste into crumb blocks. Even so, the bias edges, especially with flannel can be a terror! I try to sash them with straight grain pieces or do something ASAP to prevent problems. And I think your blocks have so much going on with all the scrap fabrics, that cutting them on an angle is not so necessary to create interest.

Gypsy Quilter said...

Hey Finn, when working with bias edges (like star patterns), I like to heavily starch the string pieced section until stiff prior to trimming and removing the paper backing. Heavey starching keeps those bias edges in check and even helps make the paper backing easier to remove. (Of course this is tricky with flannel.)

However, you can see by my last posting of the string star block that it makes the edges much crisper.

Myra said...

Great points Finn! I never seem to think much about them! Thanks for the info! 8-)
Hey! How are the new wheels working out for you!?!
Happystitchings!

Cher said...

I am so with you on this approach. I do like the idea of starching-it just is more work!

meggie said...

Older generation me, hates waste! I also find, I rather dislike the haphazard factor of off center blocks. I can be very untidy, & very random, yet I seem to prefer some sort of order in my blocks. It is odd when I think about how untidy my mind can be!!LOL.