One of the things I treasure most about being a mom of six children (aside from the children themselves), is how the memories of goings on when my kids were small, forever altered the way my brain buzzes through any given day. Take children’s programming, for instance. Because I spent more than a decade straight embracing (with all my heart and soul) PBS Kids as our TV channel of choice, it’s not uncommon for my brain to shift into this internal monologue-style burst of song or commonplace phrase when such memories apply to my daily life.
A good example: Six. I never think ‘six’ without hearing Sesame Street’s Bert singing, “Six. My favorite number is six. When someone says, ‘Hey, Bert pick a number,’ well I always pick the one nobody piiiicks….my favorite number – is six.” I love Bert and I love his song because for obvious reasons, six is my favorite number too.
As jaunty Sesame Street songs tend to go – if it’s hot outside, I hear in my head Rosalita, a girl muppet with moppy brown hair and a green spotted dress – singing “Hace color, hace calor, could fry an egg on the cement it’s so callente!” Even after all these years of not hearing it regularly, it still puts a spring in my step when it somehow eeks into my day.
So over a gloriously sunny/rainy/otherwise perfect Easter weekend as I was adding my first round of several borders to my Maribel Medallion quilt project, I got to thinking about directional seam allowance pressing, and that sometimes patterns DON’T indicate which direction we should press each seam allowance toward.
The thing is, I kind of like it when patterns aren’t terribly wordy or specific about such things as seam allowance directions. It means I have to figure it out.
In general, there’s a standard rule of thumb in the quilting world to always press our seam allowances toward the darker fabric. The problem is – pressing toward the dark side isn’t always the most ideal.
In the above case, if I automatically applied the steadfast rule of pressing to the dark side, I’d have pressed toward the navy fabric, but I didn’t. I pressed to the white one because…
…I needed it to press opposite this seam allowance – or it wouldn’t nest comfortably (yes, I sometimes think of seam allowances as wanting to be comfortable beside one another. Wouldn’t you want to be comfortable if you were a seam allowance?).
My personal opinion (and experience) is that flat seams always take precedence over pressing to the dark side.
But wait – what does all that have to do with children’s television, you ask?
The more we seek to own our own projects, the stronger we become as quilters. It’s a choice to be independent, as opposed to just following blind, ‘press to the dark side’ rules, or expecting a pattern to tell us every little step of how to make a perfect quilt. Let yourself learn, let yourself grow and take charge of your own project. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to try something that makes sense to your own experience and processes, even if it means diverging from what you think is a rule you must follow. What’s the worst thing? You have to rip out a seam, or two, or twelve? Pth. It’s all for the cause of growing!
So far so good on my Maribel Medallion project. Lots more rounds to go, but with each one, I learn…
..singing silly songs and dancing as I do.