It has been a very long time since I’ve worked on the Memories of Smudge Yin Yang blocks. I just didn’t have it in me to work on them until now. So last night I got the finished blocks out to have a look at how many I’d done.
And while I was it, I decided to sort the remaining shapes into groups for the rest of the blocks. Here they are all stacked. This should make it easy to finish the little quilt as all I’ll have to do is grab a group and stitch.
So that I don’t have to grade them all at the end, I spent some time grading the seams on the Memories of Smudge blocks already made. This is from grading the seams of the first 11 blocks. As most of the fabrics in the Memories of Smudge blocks are metallics, which always seem heavier, the difference made by grading them is immediately noticeable.
And this is how the back of one of the blocks looks after grading.
I was asked yesterday about grading seams. I learned that from Linda Franz’ Quilted Diamonds books. It makes an enormous difference in the weight of a quilt top, particularly one with a lot of seams, and makes a quilt drape beautifully. If done as a block is finished, it really takes no time and is worth the minute or so. When I made the first six blocks for the red and white Feathered Star/Sunflower quilt top, I didn’t grade them as I finished them. I didn’t even grade them before starting to put the top together. That was a mistake. It was a larger task grading six big blocks with numerous small pieces in them that had already been joined into a partial quilt top than it would have been had I done the blocks as I finished them. Hopefully it’s the last time I make that mistake!
Grading the seams is just a matter of clipping off a sliver from one of the two seam allowances in each seam – approximately 1/16th of an inch. This was the back of one of the blocks I showed yesterday before I graded the seams.
This is the same block after grading the seams. If clicked on to enlarge the photo, you can see that the top seam allowance of each set has been graded. It doesn’t take much to make a huge difference.
One of our friends got a new car last weekend and came over to take us out in it on Monday. That seems to have inspired today’s Baxtertoon in which Baxter is driving the car but has turned it into a food and toy delivery vehicle.
He seems to have decided the top tier of his cat tree is the best spot for surveying his kingdom.
I love the colors in this quilt, the shabby chic too. The seam grading is such a good idea. I wish that I had done it on the doll quilt I just finished. I had a question though, had you already clipped the curves on the bottom fabric and so when you graded the top one it became visable in the picture or was clipping the curve also part of the grading?
I have not done much curved piecing and the little I have done was in a sampler quilt I made in the mid 80’s. A lot has changed in quilting since then……..
I clip the seam allowance of the concave curve before I stitch the shapes together. It makes it much easier to stitch. The clips are showing up now that I’ve graded the seams. Take a look at the tutorial I did on piecing a Yin Yang block. You can see that the seam allowance is clipped in some of the photos. The tutorial is found here: https://quiltobsession.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/stitching-a-yinyang-block-tutorial-lots-of-photos/
Do you know, I can see the colours of both Smudge and Lester in those blocks. Grading seams is a dressmaking technique – I have been doing it for many years – but it’s also useful in quilting! Baxter has certainly adopted his quilt tree as his favourite spot, hasn’t he?
Looks like a Kia Soul! Thank you for the pictures on grading. I will have to pull out my Diamonds package.
The Smudge quilt will be a nice tribute to Smudge!
Now I’m not sure Baxter is old enough to drive but he does look cool with that arm hanging out as he’s cruising along!
Geesh when I look at Baxter what a gorgeous kitty, he really is.
I love my morning Baxtertoons, you know your DH has started a new tradition it is now a daily toon that I really look forward too.
Smudge memories are now the best time to finish that quilt, I am sure it is with great fondness
Love your Smudge blocks. I hope working on it again will bring good memories.
Baxtertoons are just wonderful. Remy would like Baxter’s delivery service to come to Atlanta lol!
I love the blocks!…the fabric is just beautiful…such a great look with those blocks