Last weekend I was watching Fons and Porter and they talked about quilting with spiders. Not being fond of the 8 legged creatures this got my attention because I needed to know if it was time to change the channel. Thankfully a quilting spider has very little relation to the nasty arachnids so I was able to continue watching. (Have I mentioned yet that I really hate spiders?) In quilting a spider is a scrap of fabric used for stopping and starting your sewing. This eliminates all of those strings that get
left on the back of your quilt trimmed at the end. Because the fabric scrap gets sewed on several times it winds up with little strings hanging off it looking like legs. If I was more organized I could see having small squares that I'm constantly feeding through at the beginning and end of my rows that eventually get sewn into a quilt, but at this point in time I like the use of spiders.
Last winter I took a workshop with my quilt guild and one of the members asked another member if she was going to Swiss cheese her quilt. I'll admit I've only been quilting for a few years, but Swiss cheese was not a term I'd encountered. Sadly it has nothing to do with the snack you nibble on while quilting. Instead it involves chain piecing your rows so that when you've got all of your rows assembled the rows are all connected.
To do this you sew block 1 and 2 from row 1 together, then blocks 1 and 2 from row 2, and continue until you have all of the first two blocks sewn together. Starting at row 1 you attach block 3 from row one and work down the rows until all of block 3 has been attached. You continue in this manner until you've sewn all of the blocks to your row. You're quilt will look something like Swiss cheese at this point in time. Leaving all of the threads between your rows from the chain piecing you sew your rows together.
If you're anything like me you might be wondering when you'll need to use such a complicated form of sewing. (After I finished adding block 3 things clicked and were slightly less confusing.) The quilt I'm currently working on has a very specific pattern that requires each block to be in a very specific location with only one correct orientation. By sewing the top together using the Swiss cheese method it was much easier for me to make sure my blocks were facing the correct way and I sewed everything together in the right order.
This quilt is a memorial quilt for the dog we had to put to sleep last spring. Next week I'm taking a workshop on hand applique and will be adding some rainbow colored paw prints.