Monday, January 31, 2011

How June Tailor made me a better quilter . . .

I think everyone of a certain age knows of the June Taylor dancers . . . they appeared on the Jackie Gleason show (a black-and-white TV show).  In case you don't know (or remember) them, here's a little video:
I can remember watching the kaleidoscopic portion of the dance routine, and thinking, "gee, what great patterns!!"  Of course, nowadays, I'm familiar with mandalas, but I thank June Taylor for introducing me to the concept.

Now, if you've followed me for any length of time, you know that my favorite construction technique is foundation piecing.  I use starch-stiffened muslin for my foundation instead of paper because who has time to rip out all that paper afterwards??  It's quite a process:  wash the muslin in hot water to shrink it; cut the dried muslin in 9-inch strips; soak the strips in a liquid starch/water solution; lay out the strips to dry; iron the strips flat; cut the strips into 9-inch squares; then, stencil or stamp the design on the squares.

Well, that changed.  (You're probably wondering what took so long.)

I tried ironing freezer paper to the muslin, trimming the paper/muslin to 8-inch squares, then feeding them through my inkjet printer.  I was surprised that it actually worked (and took much less effort than my previous method).  The problem cropped up when it came to separating the muslin from the freezer paper; the muslin would distort outta shape (mind you, there was no starch on the muslin).

Back to the drawing board . . .

I recently tried June Tailor's Perfect Piecing.  It's a non-woven, transparent sheet that feeds through my inkjet printer (though sometimes, the sheet just feeds through without getting printed on, or it jams).  It comes in packages of 25 sheets.  I can easily sew my fabric to it; either side, since it's fairly transparent.  Once sewn, it can even be left in as a stabilizer (or, because I'm too lazy to tear it all out).  I like the stuff!!

I'd recommend you go out and buy some (just not here in St. Louis, because I'm buying all I can find)!!

Thank you for reading my blog . . . please leave a comment and follow this blog!!


  1. Hi there, we just stumbled upon your site and signed up as a follower. Interesting post !! Thank you for sharing your insights and creations with all of us.

  2. This is my first time on your blog, arriving here from Tessellation Nation. I love symmetry and tessellations but I find it difficult to read this blog because of the white words on a black background. It's very hard on the eyes.