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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Preventing quilt hourglass shifting

I usually measure from the end of my belly bar to the edge of a quilt top when it's first loaded. I full float the tops. Each time I advance the quilt I re measure to be sure the top is staying square on the frame. This measuring alerts me that the top may be shifting to one side or the other. This also alerts me when I may be getting hourglass or waistline effect. Most often hourglass is caused by the borders being too long for the top.... but sometimes it's because the backing is sliding toward the center of the belly bar. This sliding creates tucks in the backing.

To remind myself what the measurement was on both sides I would write the number on a piece of masking tape and put it on both ends of the belly bar. My leaders are slightly off center to give me more parking space at one end of the table than the other end. So the measurement at each end is always different.

My saving of time, money, or space is often done in micro amounts and this is one I came up with today. Micro amounts can often multiply faster than fabric scraps. This idea will save money by not wasting masking tape. It will save time because I won't have to stop to get a piece of tape.

Here is what I did. I removed this label from a juice bottle. Kind of obvious isn't it? The reason I chose this label is because it has a shiny slick surface on the back. (another of my recycle ideas)

I cut it in half and taped it to both ends of the belly bar.... wrong side out.... right next to the velcro tape. What's the velcro for?

That's where I attach a measuring tape which has hook velcro on the end. I don't leave the measuring tape there because I'm always stepping on it. I only put it there temporarily to take a measurement.

I pull the measuring tape over to the edge of the quilt top.... read the measurement.... and

write the measurement on the white label with dry erase marker. Each time I advance the quilt I will measure again to see that the top is still at the same measurement. If it shifts either way or gets stretched out I will know just from the measuring.

This number stays there until I erase it so another number can be written for the next quilt top. No more reaching for masking tape. I also put a piece of velcro onto a dry erase marker so it could be stuck to the belly bar. Sorry, didn't take a picture of that.

Don't be confused by the above picture of the measurement. It's actually the bottom edge of a quilt I am just finishing.

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