Friday, May 25, 2012

Sew she grows!

The newsletter is out, classes are filling up and I still find myself short about 10 hours a day.  I had two days off this past weekend and did NOTHING!  I mean nothing!  I've been told that it was probably what I needed but still I felt guilty...with so much to do and so many projects on the go,  I really felt like I should have done something, anything, to keep up with myself.

I guess I gauge my output by my quilting which is probably not fair.  However, truth be told Rich and I managed to get quite a load of stuff out of the storage unit over the past week.  We want to give up the space and so now the boxes from the basement (from the townhouse and the last move) are finally being dealt with.  It's amazing what I've found, and to think all the stuff that was left behind.

Tuesday I worked at the store and came home to work on more boxes but I also managed to work on Lithia Park - there are 12 blocks sewn together with sashings!  It's slowly growing and since tomorrow night is "Don't bring your machine a.k.a. Applique Club" at the store I will be able to work on the last 2-1/2 blocks for the centre.  Here's what it looks like so far.....
 Lithia Park - 12 blocks and growing.....

It's  funny how when I work all day I can come home and just keep going but when I'm home for the day - I get nothing done!  At any rate I had to progress on this project in order to make room for my next project which is my 9 Patch Exchange blocks.

When I had my sewing room in the house this would not have been an issue as I just would have relocated the Lithia Park project but in the apartment I have limited space available so I really have to be more organized.  Don't get me wrong, my quilting is spread out throughout the apartment but because I share the living/dining room with Jonathan, I have to make sure I don't leave things lying around where they can be misplaced or moved.  A little frustrating but it works because I seem to move forward on projects faster.

So, I chose some fabrics for my first 4 blocks for the exchange.

 Fabrics for April (yes I'm behind) and May blocks.....

This gave me the opportunity to try out a few new products we have in the store.  When it was suggested that we host the 9 Patch Exchange, I was alerted to some great products that would insure accuracy in piecing these blocks.  So - I will try to take you through the process step by step here.
 First, a product called Cutting Edge....plastic strips that mark the underside of the ruler.
 The blocks are 3-1/2" blocks so I needed to mark the 1-1/2" on the rulers underside.
First I straighten the fabric....
 Then I butt the straightened edge along the plastic strips marked at 1-1/2" - and cut my strips.
 Fabric one, then fabric two.....
 Check out the markings, perfect 1-1/2" we move to the sewing machine.
 The next product is called sewing edge!  (You can use a few layers of painters tape here instead)
 I take my 3-1/2" ruler and with my needle measure the 1/4" on my machine - then adhere a strip of the sewing edge tape which is about a 1/16" of an inch thick.
 You can cut these tapes but I chose to mark the machine and the table giving me a longer edge.  Then I stitched my first strip.
 Check the perfect 1/4" seam - I was thrilled!  So far, so good!
 The blocks worked out to exactly 3-1/2" - Voila - precision piecing!  To see my pinning method - look up Molly's Meadow on this blog - I give a demo there.
...and my second set of perfect 3-1/2" blocks!

I'm going to try posting this to the Cock A Doodle Quilt blog as a Tutorial Page shortly so you can refer back to it.  Hopefully I will be able to do it - I'm so not a techie!  FYI - you can use painters tape to do either of these things but I have to say I love the ease of these two products and they are both reusable and very accurate.....  

I've also been pretty busy designing quilts - a new mystery quilt for August and a Charm Square quilt as well as a quilt to use up my 9 Patch Exchange blocks.

Okay time for bed - a little reading, then some much needed sleep!

Have a great day everyone!


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