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Archive for June 2010

After much consultation with family and you my quilting friends, I have decided on the path to take with this quilt.  After getting several sashing strips stitched and cut, and several 9-patches created, I started thinking that just making the blocks would be faster to get this quilt completed, but I had already started with the sashings and cornerstones.  In fact, I need 110 sashing strips, and 59 cornerstones.   YIKES!  What was I thinking.  Well, it does give me something “quick” to work on, where I can sit down in short periods and work on it.

As I was crosscutting the strips for the 9-patch cornerstones something occured to me, and that is the next segment of this post.

Finally, I can actually use a “tool” I bought some time ago.

You may have heard of the June Tailor Quarter Cut ruler?  I had bought one several months ago, thinking that it would be a good tool, to cut multiple strips.  Boy was I disappointed.  I still had that “V” and in some cases, because I double folded, I had 3 of them.  So I put the ruler away on my ruler rack.

Today, I was using my 6”x12” ruler to cross-cut my three strip for the 9-patch cornerstones for the Blue & Yellow String quilt (still un-named), when I happened to glance up, and spotted the Quarter Cut ruler.  WOW!  I can cut my 1¼” cross-cut strips, and not have to move the ruler… and get more out of my pieced strips.!  Eureka!  A use for this ruler.  Okay… so what if I put two pieced strips down.  Now I can cut my Yellow/Blue/Yellow and Blue/Yellow/Blue at the same time!  Now it IS important to be sure your strips are straight… a couple of visits back to the iron helped out with that.

This is lining up the strip set, getting ready to cut.

8 pieces all cut up, in less time than it took to cut 2 when using the 6×12 ruler.

And as I started writing this blog, I thought if you hadn’t heard of this ruler, that linking to a website might be handy.  I wish I had thought of looking up this ruler when I bought it… there is a short demonstration video!  Who knew!  In fact there are videos for a lot of their rulers.  I will have to watch the video to learn how to get rid of the “V” in my strips.  But for now, I need to get back to stitching those strips together and cross-cutting them with the ruler.  Oh, I need to cut more strips, so I’m going to check out that video first, maybe I’ll pick up a few pointers.

-Alice

Food for thought: Have you ever bought a gadget/tool for your quilting,  thinking it would make your “life” easier, only to have it tucked away somewhere, because it was such a disappointment.  Tell me about it!  And my lesson learned from this, is to go and check the manufacturer’s website (if possible), and see what they have to say.  I’m sure you’ll have an “ah-ha” moment like I did.  Granted, I only got the “lightbulb” turned on, because I decided to write about actually being able to use it.

I’ve been letting the string quilt just “be”, to see if it will speak to me on a setting.  I even considered making more blocks just to make the quilt bigger, but the blocks are a little tedious and to be honest, I’m tired of making them, and I want to finish this quilt.  And I missed the deadline for work on a scrappy quilt, but I still want to get it done!

I read all the comments and suggestions and pondered some more.   I’ve been playing a bit more in EQ6 (boy, I wish I would just take the time and learn the program more), and although I had considered doing the centre piece without sashing, and then going from there, I couldn’t figure out how to do it in EQ6, without creating new blocks and such.

I laid out all the blocks on my bed, and took a photo.  (Feel like your in a tunnel??).

I took the blue yardage and some yellow scraps and laid out the blocks over top, to get a better feel for the sashing.  Then I was thinking… scrappy or use one blue fabric throughout to anchor it.   I decided on the one blue and yellow.

Then I loaded up EQ6 to figure out if I indeed had enough fabric on hand to do the sashing and 9-patch cornerstones.  I cut the 1¼” strips.  I recall reading or being told about using only 1/2 the width of fabric, to ensure a straighter seam when strip-piecing.  So I did that.  Which got me to thinking… I”m going to need a lot of blue/yellow/blue strips for the sashing, and very little of the yellow/blue/yellow for the 9-patch.  That’s okay… I”m thinking.  I’m only going to be able to get 2 “strips” from each 1/2 WOF pieced strips, the extra couple of inches could be used for the 9-patch!  GREAT IDEA!  Then I thought… what if I change the dark/light formation of the 9-patch.  Make it 5 yellow and 4 blue.  What a difference to the quilt in EQ6.

The first 9-patch rendition from the post What’s Blue and Yellow I think borders each individual block, which allows more focus on the block itself.  The second 9-patch rendition, here, takes the focus away from the string block but still adds interest to the entire quilt.  On the other hand, looking at it in a photo, it is almost to busy!  So… I think I’ll make up some of both 9-patches, and lay it out with a few of the blocks with the sashings, and snap another photo and see how that goes.  I noticed something else.   The quilt with out sashings in the other post is the same size image, which makes the blocks larger, then the quilts with the sashing.  I used Photo Editor, used the zooming feature on each photo, to get the blocks to be about the same size.  What a difference.  Now if I could only figure out photo editing software to show that too.

After typing all this up, I created both the 9-patches, pinned 4 blocks onto my design wall, pinned the sashings and cornerstones, and here are the results!

Blue 9 patch

Yellow 9 patch

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: I have no idea how a scrappy quilt ended up with so much more design time.   I’ve spent more time on the sashings and cornerstones.   Hmm… isn’t that what designing is all about though?  Funny thing is, when I took the class, I was only going to do a few blocks and make pillows out of them.  I didn’t need another quilt to work on.  So I am eager to get this one done, and get some of the others done too!   I think we may have discussed this before, but have you had a quilt (or two, or more), take on a life of its own, and become something totally different than you first thought it would?

-Alice

This crazy string quilt I’ve been working on.   I can’t believe it, I am half way through the last 12 blocks.   They should go fast, as the yellow is much faster to put on then the blue.

I’ve been playing with some ideas using EQ6 for layout.  Using sashing and cornerstones will easily make the quilt bigger… we need a bigger quilt (or two) around the house.

SIDEBAR: trying something different here… I’ve never “inserted gallery” before, so we’ll see how this turns out.   Not sure if I’m liking what it does.  click on a photo, and it shows an enlarged photo, but you lose the post, you have to press your back button to come back here.  Tell me what you think?

Okay, back to the quilt.   I was getting discouraged having to make all these blocks, and started playing in EQ6 to see if it I could make it bigger, and hence the sashing.  I’m thinking of using a dark blue with yellow centre.  It will finish at 3″.  And I’m liking the 9-patch block as the cornerstone.  I’ll have to check my stash and see if I have enough fabric to do that.  Once I have all the blocks done, I’ll take a photo for a progress report.

The other one is with no sashing and border, it does make a different design to it.

In the latest Quiltmaker magazine, Bonnie Hunter shows how to make 2 blocks from one set of patches.   All you need are 4 – 2½” strips cut down to 4½”  (2½x 4½).  Sew a light and a dark together.  Cut in half on the diagonal.  Take 2 from unit 1, take 2 from unit 2, and put together.  She calls the blocks Twin Sister.  I visited her website to see if I can find them there.  She has been posting her articles on her site, but this one isn’t there yet.  Be sure to check out her site (if you haven’t before), she has some really wonderful ideas on how to deal with those scraps!

Food for thought: How do you work out a quandry to finish off a quilt?   What do you do with all your scraps?  What is the smallest scrap you have used?  If you haven’t considered making a scrap quilt, why not?   Scraps are anything that have been used, and are just sitting around.  They can be any size!

-Alice


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