Piecing blocks in the hoop is fun, easy and accurate. The first color of a piece in the hoop quilt block is a numbered outline. The outline tells you where to place the individual fabric patches and frankly, I’d be lost without it.
I learned early on to use a thread color that blends with the fabrics to avoid thread bleed-through. The outline above was stitched in black so you can see it more clearly.
I’ve tried two different stabilizers for this process. The first was fusible poly mesh, a permanent addition to the blocks. Then I tried Piece & Stitch, tear away wash away stabilizer. I liked the idea of removing it after piecing but I noticed the stitched numbered outline hindered the removal of the stabilizer. I couldn’t quite remove all of it from the seam allowance areas. Ugh.
Then a light went off – what if I stitched the outline without thread? I removed the thread from the needle and turned off the thread sensor on my machine. Then I stitched the outline sans thread. I could see the numbers and the outline and it was easy to add the fabrics in the proper order.
Now, removing the Piece & Stitch stabilizer was easy. Those small remaining fibers will dissolve once the finished quilt is laundered.
Now all my blocks are flat and the seams are crisp. Love that!