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Showing posts from January, 2013

Taming the scraps (part 1)

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Almost two years ago I resolved to cut my scraps into usable precut pieces, “à la Quiltville”.  I spent days cutting, got discouraged, then decided I would just cut down some of the unruly pile every time I had my rotary cutter out, and would always cut new scraps down right away as part of the cutting for any new quilt.  That way, in a couple of years I’d have a box of tidy scraps to make a scrap quilt.  Fast forward…Are you laughing really loudly yet?  The mess you see at the left shows you how well I stuck to that plan!Pulling strips of scrap fabrics to start working on my small lone stars made me realize just how much fabric is sitting, forgotten, in my two scrap bins.  I am inspired and determined (again).  I will tame this pile and not let it get out of hand again.Yesterday I dumped out the wrinkled mass of strips and pressed every one of them.  This week they are getting trimmed down!  The stack of strips is about 4 inches high.  The strips in the box are the ones that I trimme…

Basting …ugh

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I have said this before.  Basting is definitely my least favourite part of making a quilt.  The simple basting frame I made last year has helped, but I still drag my feet about getting around to the task.  For the past couple of weeks I’ve been wanting to curl up on the couch in  the evening with some hand project, but didn’t have a quilt basted ready to quilt or any yarn to knit with.  The itch to work on something finally built up enough momentum to carry me past my dislike of basting.Here’s the Canada Quilt on the basting frame.  I did a much better job putting the frame together nice and square and the right size for the quilt than I did with the two other quilts I have basted on this frame.  A tape measure and a carpenter’s square and taking my time helped.  Taking the time to do that carefully made loading the quilt much easier, so I won’t dread that as much next time.  However, the actual basting was still deadly dull so I guarantee I’ll still have basting inertia to overcome f…

Small Lone Star Block Tutorial

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When I pieced another small Lone Star block yesterday I took pictures to share how to construct it. 
Materials:
1 strip dark green (1.5” x 20”)
1 strip medium green (1.5” x 20”)
2 strips light green (1.5” x 20”)
4 white squares (3-3/8”)
1 white square (5.25”) cut diagonally twice into 4 quarter square triangles.

Sew 1/4 seams for all seams.
Strip sets and sub-cut units
1.  Sew a light green strip and a medium green strip together along a long side.  This finished strip set should be 2.5” wide.
(Oops. I forgot to take pictures of theses steps, so I had to sew up another strip set after the fact to demonstrate.  Pretend that leafy print is light green!)
2. Lining up the 45 degree line on your quilting ruler with the bottom edge of the strip set, cut the end of the strip set at a 45 degree angle.

3. Line up the 1.5” line on your ruler with the cut end of the strip to cut one unit. Repeat to make a total of 8 units.
4.  Repeat steps 1 to 3 with a light green and a dark green strip.
Sewing u…

Remembering how it works

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When I cut units for my new project, I cut enough extra to make a practice block.  I think it was good idea. I spent several hours today reviewing how to sew set-in seams and now I just about have the hang of it. The next blocks shouldn’t take as long to make (I hope).  As a bonus, I have a fun scrappy bonus block.After finishing this block I toyed with the idea of mixing up all my prepared units to make all the blocks scrappy, but I chickened out. The blocks for the runner I’m planning will be much more matchy-matchy, most with only three fabrics.   The exuberant block above will become a little wall quilt though.  I have a small bit of wall that is just calling out for it.

New Year, New Project

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On New Year’s Eve before heading out to a friend’s house to see out the old year and ring in the new, my daughter and I pulled fabrics for a project to kick off 2013.  Inspired by Katie, who intends to make a serious scrap busting effort this year, we dove into the scrap strips bin that up until now has had fabric put in but not taken out. We started with this…                                                  …which of course spilled out further as we rummaged.In the end we pulled these:Today I trimmed all the strips down to 1.5 inches wide, sewed pairs of them together and cut the strips into units.Tomorrow I will pull out and cut some neutral fabrics for the background, then I’ll take a deep breath and tackle y-seams again.  I haven’t tried any since May 17, 2011.  Those turned out well but took me hours.  I’ll see if doing a whole stack at once improves my technique and speeds things up a bit.  The plan was for this first project of 2013 to provide a quick first finish.  I’ll let y…