Saturday, April 30, 2011

Things I block (and things I don't)

I hate all the finishing details of a project. I really do. And frankly, I'm lazy.

I hate sewing in ends. So I hardly ever do it. Most times, I either pre-plan and do the Magic Thread Trick using floss threaders, or I go from one round to another without cutting. Thank heavens for split rings and split chains.

I hate blocking. And really, I hardly ever do it. I never, ever block little things like bookmarks. I either smooth them out, or I cheat by soaking them in spray starch sprayed on a plate, then running them through the microwave. No, I'm not kidding. I stick them in the microwave.Works great.

But sometimes, I gotta block.

I finished my Daffodil doily last night while watching a re-run of the Royal Wedding. It looks nice (BTW - the pattern is wrong - the last chain of round 3 should have only 4 picots.) The fourth round of the doily started ruffling pretty badly, as you can see. But that changed, by golly.

I blocked the durn thing. As this is a round doily, I went to LadyShuttleMaker's blog and found her round blocking template. Very useful. And ya gotta have a whole lotta pins! I had some bad things to say to those little rings of round 3 - all of them are forced into submission. The same for the ruffling motifs in round 4. Behave!

And it did. what do you think?


  1. very very nice,
    I looks like they listened to you and behaved!. I like the colors.

  2. It looks nice! I don't mind blocking too much, I actually almost enjoy it (almost...). I can agree with you about hiding ends, though - depending on the project, I cheat and use superglue because I usually forget to do the magic thread trick until it's too late.

  3. Oh, how pretty! Very nice job! Karen in OR

  4. It wouldn't DARE misbehave! It turned out beautifully, but, from reading your commentary on the piece, it seems that this is yet another of the flawed patterns which just haven't been proof-read properly. Too many of those around, at least, in my recent experience, and it has had the effect of turning me off tatting for the time being!I hate being stressed by patterns that simply don't work.

  5. The doily is beautiful!! One must tap into the dark torturous self to enjoy the endless pinning of blocking. I also struggle with blocking and hiding ends...but, eventually get around to it. The book containing that pattern has a follow-up document floating around with corrections. It's a PDF file...but I'm not sure of it's origin.
    Have a great day!

  6. Oh now isn't that gorgeous and clearly worth the blocking!

    I used to spray starch and iron all my stuff but that seemed to be a pain because picots moved in the process. Then I started wetting them and pinning them out and it seemed so much easier. But then, most of my stuff is small and I don't pin every picot, just the main anchor points. I finger press the picots and they're fine when they dry. Occasionally I'll have something that uses tons of pins, but not very often.

  7. Your doily turned out great! I love the colors.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one that hates all the finishing work of projects - I usually spray starch everything and pin them out. Like Gina, I don't pin everything, and just finger pressing the picots seems to work. I never thought of microwaving the little buggers - my luck they'd blow apart!

  8. I'm intrigued by this whole microwave thing.... What do you do? Spray starch on it & microwave it until it's dry? Hmmm... I feel like I need more details :)
    It's lovely by the way. I love that thread too!

  9. Beeeeuuuuuutttiiiiiiiiful!

  10. Great job. It looks lovely I am sure it's in better up close and personal. Well worth the effort.

  11. This is a beautiful doily, and you've blocked it well! That's one of my favorite Lizbeth colors.

    I haven't done that much blocking, but I HAVE used the microwave since the 1990s to 'stiffen' my items after dipping them in the fabric stiffening solution and shaping them the way I want.

    However, I always place a cup or bowl of water in the microwave along with the tatted piece(s) to help
    'absorb' the 'heat'. Apparently you haven't burned your microwave up, so maybe I don't need to do that!

    The microwave very much speeds up the drying process! I also use a heat gun (from my stamp embossing supplies) to re-shape things that get out of shape! The heat makes the piece go 'limp' and then I have about a minute to reshape it. Works every time!

  12. Wow, that is SOME doily! Goah-JUSS!! (How's my accent?)

    Between your microwave tips and Kathy's heat gun, I think I could be fearless about blocking! (Blocking has always been akin to lion-taming or cat-bathing in my book. Too much like contact sports!)

  13. It's so pretty and you obviously have WAY more patience than I do.