Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sewing the Huichol blanket panels

I have to admit, this was a very hard task!  Finishing the Huichol blanket and sewing the two panels together was just as difficult as I had suspected, but now I know what works and it will definitely help in the future.

Before I share my woes of the panel sewing, here is a picture of the edging.  (I know Judy was asking about how the edges will be finished.)  First, I did some extra light blue for about an inch around each border piece. So the sides and each end have a little light blue border.  Then I did a hemstitch while the fabric was still on the loom.  I made sure to keep enough unwoven material to make fringe.  I love fringe!  When I cut it off the loom, the untamed fringe kept tangling so before I sewed the panels together, I took the time to twist the fringe.  I love it!

So onto sewing the panels together...

I tried several various methods of sewing the two panels together, like three different times I tried the hand-sewn zigzag stitch up the sides, and it just stretched really badly.  I could just see future children pulling the two panels apart accidentally!  I needed something more robust.  So I tried sewing the panels one on top of the other with the sewing machine so each side had a seam and thread showing.  It was even worse.  And I did it twice, once with yarn and once with thread.  The yarn didn't work well, it kept breaking.  The thread was ok and I would have settled for it, but even though the panels are the same length, I had about 3 inches left over the second time because the sewing machine bunched up one of the panels and caused puckering.  It wasn't pretty!  So I ripped out the stitches and just decided to do an old-fashioned "match the right sides together" seam.  I felt like it was my only option.  And it ended up being the best one.  In fact, on the right side of the blanket you can hardly see the seam!

The back-side shows the seam more, but I am sure not many people will be focusing on that.  I think the design and the softness (and that super cool fringe that sways so nicely!!!) will distract them well enough!


The finished size after washing is 60" by 44", not including the 4" of super cool swaying fringe on each side.  And it is just perfect for those cool early summer evenings here in northern Arizona, where surprisingly as soon as the sun sets it cools off rather quickly!