Friday, April 22, 2011
Grading a Quilt
Nope, we are not sending the quilt to school for one of the infamous tests.
At yesterday's meeting of Fiber Art Options, grading came up. Some of our members were not familiar with the term or concept. Those with some tailoring background were familiar with it, and why it is used.Grading is a tailors term and technique to soften the edge that is created under the top fabric when sewing multiple fabrics together.
A hard edge is produced by the layers ending at the same place. This hard edge is sometimes seen on the front of the quilt where the edges of the four layers (binding, batting, and top and backing) of the quilt show through.
The top photo shows the hard edge created by the four layers ending on the same line.
The hard edge can be softened by angle cutting the four layers so each ends at a slightly different place.
I have a pair of very special scissors for this job. In fact I have both a pair of Mundail's and Gingher's. They are very sharp, have one long skinny pointed blade and one blade that is rounded. On the Gingher's, the blade is beveled to allow for ease in grading. So I use the Gingher's for grading.
The Mundails are great for cutting out behind an applique as their finger holes fit my fingers better.
In the second photo, you can see the angle to hold the scissors to do the grading. The scissors are almost flat to the edge.
And the final photos show the graded or beveled edge of the four layers to reduce the hard edge. It is a bit raggy because I square up the quilt after quilting it. So the sewn lines are a bit harder to grade.
Do you grade your edges, or have you found another process to reduce the hard edge showing through on the front?