Red Herring - Halfway Pieced

Red Herring Quilt {WiP}

I have made good progress on piecing the Red Herring quilt since I shared my design concept with you on Friday. I am just so excited about the quilt that I jumped right in and got started on piecing it this past weekend. The top 3 rows (or half of the quilt top) are complete. The very first block I assembled was the red arrow, of course. I just had to get that pop of color to start!

Red Herring - Halfway Pieced

Red Herring – Halfway Pieced

One of the things I work through as I piece a quilt top is how I want to press my seams. I really prefer to press my seams open almost all of the time, but I thought that it was worth evaluating if pressing toward the solid borders would be better for this quilt top.

Red Herring - Seams Pressed Toward Solid Border

Red Herring – Seams Pressed Toward Solid Border

It was hard to photograph, but I think the view along the edge of the quilt top gives a bit of an idea of how the solid border wanted to be a bit “puffy” when pressed like this. I have a quilting plan in mind, and I was a bit worried that I would end up with excess material if I left the seams pressed in this manner. So I explored what it would look like pressing the seams open.

Red Herring - Seams Pressed Open

Red Herring – Seams Pressed Open

I think the difference is dramatic in how flat the quilt top lays. I know we all have our preferences on how to press seams, but I wanted to demonstrate that designers do put thought into the choices and recommendations they make in their patterns. :)

Speaking of patterns, one of the things I have in the back of my head is whether or not Red Herring will be developed into a quilt pattern, so I am also working on pattern notes as I go along. If I am going to make a quilt pattern, I like to pre-write things like the cutting instructions and work from them to make sure it all comes out OK. As you can see from my cutting instructions draft below, I don’t always get it right on the first (or second) time around. One of the things I like to keep track of is the number of cut strips for fabric cutting, and the usable width of fabric (WOF) is a crucial assumption. As you can see below, changing from a typical 42-inch assumption to 44-inch means less strips can be cut (I plan to stick with the 42-inch WOF assumption).

Red Herring - Cutting Instructions Draft

Red Herring – Cutting Instructions Draft

I am linking up with WIP Wednesday and Let’s Bee Social to see what everyone else is working on this week!

28 thoughts on “Red Herring Quilt {WiP}

  1. Judy says:

    Love how this one is coming together, Yvonne!

    I prefer to press my seams open as well for that very reason. However, there are times that I do press to the side – that seam nesting thing really does work :) I typically let the project dictate.

  2. Cindy says:

    I usually press my seams to the side but it also depends on the amount of bulk at the seam intersections. This is coming together nicely I’m wondering how you plan to quilt it.

  3. Those were the perfect fabric choices, Yvonne. This is coming together beautifully! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on pattern writing and seam pressing. There just aren’t enough of us doing that!

  4. Sandra says:

    Many things to nod my head about in agreement here: first, love that red and aqua, I did that colour combo in a little project just yesterday! Also the how many pieces to get from WOF (I have started always jotting things like this down if I’m doing my own design, not that I have many patterns published) and the number to use (42″ seems to be the best bet). Then there’s the seams open. Up until this year I rarely did that; I’d always been taught to press to one side and I’ve never had issues. However, I am pressing open now at times, even though I dislike it (to one side is faster) as a pattern suggests. Something I do worry about is the strength of the quilt over time then, as well as threads showing depending on fabric colours.

  5. quiltyhabit says:

    Thanks for the behind-the-scenes look, especially at pattern writing. I can’t wait to see where this is going! The red is a stroke of genius!

  6. Great design! I love following you on your quilts from conception to sewing the last stitch of the binding on. I am a firm believer of pressing seams open too.

  7. Just like your sketch! and ooking great. I actually think it’s part of the fun of making to try and figure out what works best for you or what’s most efficient, kind of nerdy, I know, but there’s a satisfaction in finding out what makes the piece “perfect.” I know people are passionate about the direction of pressing, but I agree, whenever I open the seams it seems like things are straighter, so I always do it when I’m sewing long seams together or I need really crisp lines.. Anyway, lots of fun, and your design is inspiring me to try something I’ve had in my mind for a while…I can’t wait to get in my studio and get started on it…so thanks for sharing…

  8. Jasmine says:

    Your quilt is looking great! I look forward to seeing how you quilt it. And I think 42 inches wide is a safer assumption.

  9. Jayne Willis says:

    Love seeing your progress! This is such a fun design! Seams…I press both ways. I do like to press to the side when I want the seams to nest together. I guess it’s 50-50 for me!

    When trying to write a pattern (so far unsuccessfully), I make constant notes too! And then when I want to make it again, I can’t figure out my own notes!

  10. Little Black Cat Quilting says:

    It really is crazy to see how something as small as pressing seams can make such a difference! Great progress so far!

  11. Jan O says:

    Thanks for your thoughts on pressing seams. I often quilt in the ditch, which doesn’t work for seams pressed open, so I generally prefer to press toward one side. It’s all just a matter of personal preference.
    I like that you shared your pattern cutting notes. There’s a lot behind the scenes that goes into writing a pattern!

  12. Cathy says:

    That is looking fantastic! Such a fun design.

  13. I love it! It’s a great colour scheme. Thanks for sharing your tips. I generally press to the side, but lately I have been pressing open — I agree that it lies much flatter.

  14. Mary says:

    This is looking great, pattern writing is a real skill – good luck with it!

  15. Lynda H says:

    you may not appreciate this, but every time I see this quilt I want to turn that red arrow going the other direction – don’t ask me why – I just do. I do love what your doing with this – great colors!

  16. katyquilts says:

    I really like this! I am going to rethink my only pressing to the side notion!

  17. Kaja says:

    I like the clean, graphic lines you get in your quilts – your style is very striking.

  18. Yvonne, I think you have done a fabulous job creating this quilt and showing the difference in pressing is an excellent topic. I like to press most of my seams open but every so often, press to the dark side. Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful creative day!

  19. Gayle says:

    Great Periscope session last night. Your quilt looks great in video and still!

  20. SarahZ says:

    I love seeing your notes…I love working out the math, but can usually make no sense of anyone’s notes but my own, lol! It is a treat to get to see your progress on this so soon :) Have fun!!!

  21. Great progress! Now I’m anxious to see how you plan to quilt it – keep working!!! (Ha! As if you could be stopped!)

  22. I go back and forth on whether to press my seams open or to the side. Pressing to the side is definitely faster for me, but I like how much flatter a piece looks when pressed open. Whether or not I want seams to nest together also makes a difference. The top is coming together nicely and looks much more vibrant that what I saw on Periscope the other night.

  23. You are right about seam pressing. I usually press to one side to nest seams, but there is no ‘always’ – it depends on what best suits the block.

  24. Love your quilt Yvonne! I prefer to press my seams to one side as I like for them to nest. I believe pressing to the side creates stronger seams. But, there are times when it works better to press them open. Flexibility is the name of the game. But I’m like you, I like it when the pattern designer thinks through to the pressing and gives recommendations for how to press.

  25. I always make a sample block before I start a quilt and a major part of that is to decide which way to press my seams. It makes a difference!!

    p.s. LOVE the name of the quilt :)

  26. sally says:

    I’m almost always a press them open person, and definitely you can see a difference here. Pattern writing looks to me like it’s lots of work!

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)