A-Bunting we will go – Act 2
In which Miss Lily matches points, zigzags edges and performs delicate manoeuveres with dangly bits of thread.
Match up your triangles – one individual piece with one backing piece. (As you might notice above, I had to use 2 backing fabrics for this batch of bunting as I didn’t have enough of either to make the required 44 triangles! Never mind, it will just make the repeating pattern a little more complex!) The triangles are placed BACK TO BACK and it is important that the bottom point matches as precisely as possible. The sides should also be aligned neatly as I will need to catch both with my zigzag stitch.
As I zig zag down each long edge of the matched triangles, I make sure I keep the raw edges lined up with the middle of the foot. This makes the most attractive zigzag stitch – too much to the right and the fabric edge crumples, too much to the left and the stitch is too small. Oh, I also make the stitch quite long but keep the width narrow.
And I use a thread colour that will look nice on every triangle colourway. I don’t switch colours according to the colours of the different triangles or a different colour in the bobbin – this just makes things look a little messy and busy – using the one colour keeps it neat and the eye is drawn to the fabric not the thread. For this Christmas bunting, I used a Christmas red.
I don’t pin the triangles together – the pins make the fabric bulk up and distort. However, if I find the fabric moving as I near the bottom point, I use a pin to hold the points together – with my left hand, I simply stab the pin into the point and hold it there as I sew towards it.
Now here’s the delicate bit! When I get to the point, I raise the needle and foot, and pull the triangle away until the threads are about 4 inches long. DO NOT CUT! :-)
Then I position the triangle ready to sew back up the second side, put the needle and foot down, and holding the 4 inch loop of thread out the back – I pull it back gently with my finger in the loop – I zigzag up the second side.
Why so much effort? Well I like to hang the bunting across doorways and windows so I want it reversible. But I definitely do not want to sew the triangles together face to face and turn them out – this is amazingly time consuming and fiddly and the bottom point rarely looks any good. But I do want the bunting to be long lasting and washable. So I zigzag.
But! If I try to turn the corner at the point, the point just disappears down the feed dogs and by the time I get it out – there’s no point at all! So I pull the threads way out and form a loop with them – this gives me a handle to hold onto whilst I stitch neatly up the second side, and when I’m finished I can thread the looped ends onto a needle, slip them between the two triangles and they are neatly finished off, point intact.
Oh – and I don’t have an overlocker/serger! :-) I guess if you have one of these, you could just go zip, zip and done :-)
I usually chain piece, but just watch for the drag – the weight of a bundle of triangles can sometimes pull the points skew-if.
Oh – and I don’t stitch across the top, and I don’t worry if it doesn’t match exactly – the binding in Act 3 takes care of this!