You know how sometimes you have a lightbulb moment, and wonder how you never thought of it before? (Or if everyone else already does this since it's such a practical solution, but had never mentioned it before before it was just so obvious?)
I had one of those yesterday, and thought I'd share it. You know, just in case you were in the dark like me! I'm a chain piecer when it comes to quilts, and I like to piece several pieces/blocks rows at once rather than piecing one seam, iron, then back to the design board to check placement and collect the next piece. Repeat ad infinitum...I'm just too impatient! Of course, rushing this part of the process can result in blocks joined incorrectly, out of order, upside down and what have you. In scrappy style quilts it doesn't matter quite so much, but sometimes you want a definite placement. I've tried marking the blocks with wee post-its, pinned scraps of paper on the blocks with its placement details, and made a *key* with pins attached to the block. These made identification a little easier, but there were still flaws with the plan - the paper becoming separated from the block, orientation of the block, drawing way too much blood from awkwardly placed pins...you know, the usual! ...and ohmygod this is taking an excrutiatingly large amount of words to describe something quick and easy and designed to speed up the process of chain piecing without compromising placement. Verbal diarrhoea much? Honestly Jo...imagine all the things your poor readers would have to find to fill up their time if instead my post had read:
Hey, I've just realised if you write the placement of each block in a quilt directly onto the block with dissolving fabric marker (or your kids' Crayola washable markers work a treat too) - it keeps everything in the correct order as well as the right orientation...which makes for much speedier quilt construction for those quilts when you need everything in the right order (ie non-scrappy) but still want to chain piece. No paper scraps/post-its or weird codes marked in pins cut down on the complexity, and the markings wash right out once you're finished. Ta-dah!