Sunday 8 December 2013

Show & Tell: Assembly Line Quilting

Hello again and welcome to this week's Show & Tell. I thought I would share a little more about my QAYG potholders this week. I shared one last week. I have a tendency to overdo sometimes, so I'm not just making 1 potholder, or even 10 or 12. I decided to make 35. Yes, that seems excessive, but I came up with a list of 31+ people that I want to make them for, and since I can get 5 8-inch squares out of a width of fabric, I decided I might as well do a number that's divisible by 5. Assembly-line processes made sense when I was making that many of a single item.
I cut enough 8" squares of the backing, the Insul-Bright and the batting to complete all of the potholders I planned to make. Then I stacked them in layers, with a paperweight to hold them down.
All of the centre squares were cut. These were approximately 3-3/4" to 3-7/8". I just divided the squares up evenly, but if you're not using fussy cut squares, you could just use a 4" square. Next I cut enough 2-1/2 strips of fabric to do the rest of the top. I calculated that I would need approximately one strip x WOF for each potholder. I am keeping the strips that I am currently sewing with, plus the precut squares, in this basket. 
Here are the extra strips handy in a bigger basket (and no, not everything in this basket is for the potholders). 

I also cut enough 2-1/2" strips x WOF for binding the potholders. One strip for each potholder. Since they are the same width as the strips for the top, any extra cut off after applying the binding can be used for the next top.
Because I am using different thread for applying the binding than what I'm using for piecing, I do the piecing on several potholders first, then switch threads and apply the binding. If I was doing true assembly line, I would piece all the potholders first and then bind them all, but I find that gets boring. In this picture is one finished potholder and three ready for binding. I pressed the binding and pinned it to the potholder it belonged to. As I mentioned in last week's post, I do not want to repeat any fabric in each potholder, so I wanted to keep track of which binding belonged to which potholder. 
I managed to finish these ones and get them mailed away, one to my Aunt Isabelle and one to each of my sisters. Yes, I have that many sisters. One is actually my brother's widow, who has since remarried, but I still consider her a sister. 
And these are ones I just finished. I have 20 completed so far, 15 to go. And no two will be identical.
Now it's your turn. Here's my button:

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