Thursday, July 6, 2017

Throwback Thursday ~ Old Technique revisited

While putting the recently finished Quilt Doodle Design 2017 BOM quilt blocks on the design wall this week I noticed some fabric shadowing in my blocks.  What's that?  It's when the darker fabrics show through the lighter fabrics on the front of the block.  Let's hang one on the window so we can get a better look.  You really can't see it at a distance.

So let's get up close and personal with my blocks.  The green arrow is pointing to the white seam allowance, which is good.  The red arrow is pointing to the colored fabric that extends past the normal seam allowance, which is bad.  The excess seam allowance should have been dealt with before attaching to the background fabric.  No need crying over spilled milk, all I can do is get inside the back and fix the problem.

   Most quilters these days think if you can't see it from a galloping horse then don't worry about it.  Honestly most of the time I think the same thing.  But I've put far to much time and effort into these appliqued blocks to let  the finished quilt be ruined with something that can easily be fixed in an afternoon.  There was a time back when I first started quilting that it was standard practice when doing applique to cut away the excess fabric on the back.  This would reduce the amount of fabric when hand quilting.  Once you had the back cut away you could fix any shadowing.  Most quilters no longer hand quilt so this technique has been eliminated.  And I personally think there's a little marketing going on here also.  You can buy products to sew or iron into your project in advance to help with shadowing, but it adds more bulk and cost.  And most designers just don't worry about how it looks, its all about selling more fabric and patterns and meeting tight deadlines.  Where do you think the galloping horse statement originated?  Now let me say, I altered this pattern which caused the shadowing.  In the original pattern the center was to be curved pieced and with proper seam allowance there would be no shadowing.  So the above statements do not apply to Cindy's wonderful free pattern.   With that being said let's open this baby up!

  I used my sharpest pointy scissors to poke a hole and start cutting.

Snip, snip, was not hard and went pretty quick.

Now that I'm in here there's two options.  Option one is to cut a large circle of fabric and slide it behind the seam allowance.  I'm using paper for demonstration purposes...I'm cheap!

It would be tucked up under the seam allowance and be carefully tacked into place.  

The second option and the option I chose is the old fashion way of dealing with shadowing.  Just cut away the excess.  I snipped a few of the stitches between two of the dresden blades to make it easier to start cutting away the excess.

This really is the fastest, easiest and cheapest way to deal with an unsightly little issue of shadowing.

TADA! Finished all twelve blocks while I watched the noon news.  

This will look so much better in the finished quilt.

 And I won't need to borrow the neighbors horse to look a my quilt and be happy with it.

The best thing about fixing the shadowing is now I have some pretty low volume scrap to add to the scrap bin.  A happy mistake indeed!

~ Lea Anne ~
Pin It


  1. Lovely. It is the option I would have chosen.

  2. Looks like a lot of work, but if it will annoy you later, it's time well spent.

  3. love reading your blog, always put a smile on my face!

  4. yo certainly did the right thing tidying up the back as it would have annoyed you everytime you looked at it otherwise. So very pretty and worth the time spent

  5. Wonderful instructions and visuals.....thank you!

  6. Oh, my! Where did you find the old-fashioned yellow rosebud print? It is the perfect print for your background. I made rompers for my DDs and have been looking for that print for years! Manufacturer? thanks, Juls in FL,

  7. Lovely block! I learned the snip away the back fabric method. I also used to be a hand quilter (I only hand quilt small projects now).

  8. Gorgeous quilt block, and that is how I would have fixed that shadowing effect too!


Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. At this time I can only respond to comments in the comments section. So if you want to see my reply to your comment check the notify me option in the bottom right corner of the comment box and blogger will let you know when I respond to your comment. Thanks for understanding!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...