February 16, 2012

Fran V. wrote:

I have found that there are a lot of assumptions made when it comes to actually stitching the pieces together and in what order. For some blocks it is rather obvious, but for others not so much, especially in more complicated blocks. Some direction here would be nice.

Fran, there are two ways of thinking about what a pattern should provide. Some patterns come with little numbers all over them indicating stitching order of the pieces. To me they look like they have the measles LOL. I’m in the other camp. You know that old expression, “If somebody’s hungry, you can give them a fish, or you can teach them to fish.”

numbered-roseRose block from Easy Appliqué Blocks.

The same process applies whether the pattern is simple and the order is obvious, or when the pattern is quite complicated and has many pieces and layers. Take charge! Just look and see which pieces are partially behind others, and start with them. Build from the back to the front. If it helps you, you can jot down your own measles on your master pattern. :)

Fran also wrote,

Also some hints on deep curves and points would be nice. Could you use your wavy blades to cut these out to eliminate the fray while you work with them?

We’re covered points, notches, and curves in previous posts. As for the wavy blades… wow! Now that’s a thought! A scary one! It’s a good thing Clover makes microserrated scissors with this very idea in mind. They’re like teeny tiny pinking shears. I carry them on my website in the 5″ hand-scissor size, in the Notions section.


Karen Kay Buckley also has her own brand in a larger and a smaller size on her website.

Miscroserrated scissors don’t exactly eliminate fraying. I don’t think anything can — it’s cut fabric after all — but they do make the cut edge less prone to fraying.

Hope this helps! Thanks for your question Fran! So glad you are enjoying the blog.
Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie


3 Responses to “Stitching order, fraying”

  1. Carrie P. on February 17th, 2012 7:30 am

    I have a pair of those scissors and they are the best for cutting out little fabric pieces.

  2. Anna lee on February 17th, 2012 10:39 am

    I do not know what is more important than my many wee scissors (~.~) I delight in finding a cute scissors to fit in my bag to tote along. I believe I have them in every sewing, crochet, needlepoint, bag & case I own. I never tire of looking & finding the better one. My dear dad was always sharpening the big ones. The rule is NO ONE touches the sewing scissors!!!

  3. Yasmin on March 11th, 2012 6:00 pm

    I’ve recently discovered your books, this website and patterns. I’m so happy so beautiful creation.
    I am writing to ask you the following: Search patterns can be sold via download. I live in Santiago, Chile and pay a lot for shipping.