Saturday, March 24, 2012

Piping - Use the right foot

Today I re-learned lessons I KNEW when I was 20 but haven't used in ...uhhhh a long time.  I am adding a line of piping between my quilt and the border -- it needed just a teeny bit of something.  My friend Jody (Goddess) gave me some tips, and indeed it is not hard, but takes time, but the end result is so snazzy! Thanks Jody.  (BTW, I call her "Goddess" because she's so danged good at so many things!)  8-))

First thing, get the RIGHT foot!!  I was told my zipper foot would work - NOT!  My zipper foot is flat on the bottom, by design, whereas the piping foot is rounded underneath.  The right foot makes all the difference in the world.  ($10.99).  Sewing is almost done by itself -- I just had to fold the fabric over the piping.  There are 2 rounded grooves - I haven't figured out what the right one is for.  My machine is a Janome 6500. 
Here is my pile of cording and piping, all sewn together.  I cut my fabric strips at 1 1/4 in., and for this use, straight of grain.  This process goes easily. 

Now, I am trimming it.  My LQS had the neatest gadget/ruler for trimming where the piping slips into the groove in the ruler and then you can easily trim, protecting your fingers from the blade, but I passed that up and used my bias bar.  Kinda dangerous, but it did the job - not nearly as well, but it's done.

Here is the border with the attached piping, on top of the quilt, ready for sewing.  I learned this from a Ricky Tims DVD -- see the crease to the left of the thread?  Use your fingernail on your right hand (I was holding the camera with my right hand) to make a crease very close to the piping.  Somehow that crease gives you another bit of space to sew closer, so no (dark) threads show when you are finished.

The entire side was nearly perfect, with only a few inches in one place that needed a tighter resewing.  Like many new projects, it was easier than I thought!  This is my present Pinwheels and 4-Patches. 

Ta dahhhh!


Anonymous said...

wow this is cool...i shall add that to my things to try list!

Janet O. said...

This looks like a very nice finishing touch. Great job!
You know, I have put piping in a lot of clothing and I was taught to do it with a zipper foot. The foot just bumps up against the piping, rather than traveling over it, but I can see how the piping foot would be very slick. I wonder if I can get one for my machine? : )

paulette said...

I tried my zipper foot for this too...and did a terrible job! I need this foot!! I'm going to have to have a better look at this foot...I have a Janome too!

Gari said...

What a great reminder that it is always better to use the right tool for the job. Love your pictures and you piping looks wonderful.

SubeeSews said...

Beautiful work and fabric as always. Your pictures are great. It is so hard to take one handed photos! I will look and see if I have that piping foot. I know I have the cording...

Judy said...

Looks great! Was the ruler at your LQS the Darr piping ruler? I've been debating buying it for ages.

Vivian said...

Great border--piped bindings are too cool!

You can use the zipper foot but you have to position the edge of it to the right of the cording so the edge of the foot skims alongside it, pushing the cording snug into the fabric.

I'm going to tell Susan Cleveland you're stealing her thunder!

The Calico Quilter said...

The second groove is for the other side of double piping, which you see on upholstery sometimes. You sew it on with a stitching line between the two cords. I always just used my zipper foot and snuggled it up close to the cording when I was applying piping on pillows, etc. and didn't have any problem. Never have put it on a quilt, although I have used a "peeper" before, which is just a piping without the cord inside. That was much easier, but I didn't see a lot of bang for my buck. I never used one again after than first quilt, and it was only included because the pattern said to.