It’s here!!!

Earlier this week, I succumbed to a long-thought-out plan and ordered an Accuquilt fabric cutter!!

I love working with scraps and spend so much time cutting them into usable shapes (squares and strips) and I find it harder and harder to tackle that large basket that is once again brimming over!!

I had to order the actual cutter from one store and the dies from another and naturally, they couldn’t both arrive at the same time!!

But I was so excited to open the box and find the cutter…..

It was so easy to set up…..

It came with one die (and the others haven’t arrived yet), so I decided that I was going to practice on flying geese blocks!!!

I cut the corner triangles first, simply folding some scrap fabrics over the dies…..

Placed the cutting mat over the top…..

…..and it was off…….

And look at how little waste there was…..

I sewed them together and quickly had 6 flying-geese blocks ready for some unknown project…..

As soon as the dies arrive, I will give the machine a good workout…..can’t wait!!!!

Also, the next International Block Swap has LOTS of 1-inch finished squares so I am going to wait until the dies arrive. That will hopefully make the piecing much easier and more accurate!!

I will be showing you more about it as time goes on…..

Let’s Roll Those Quilts!!

When I left you yesterday the quilts were all piled on my table, waiting to be hauled up the stairs and put away!!

Since I had all of them out at the same time I decided to try another Bonnie Hunter technique and to ROLL the quilts for storage rather than folding them.

I have always worried about folding my quilts, knowing that creases were not going to be good for them and it seemed that rolling might just be the ticket.

I made a video of the process and you can see how easy it is to do. In the video I mentioned that the process was a bit tedious but that was an overstatement. After I had done 6 or 7 quilts it became much easier to do.

It was extremely satisfying to view the finished process…..

I got so encouraged that I moved to the pie safe where I store my “monthly” quilts and rolled those as well……

The quilts on the top shelf FILLED the space when they were laid flat but now I have room for several more!!

AND…..since I now have SO much extra space, I have a reason to MAKE MORE QUILTS!!!

You guys keep reading…..I am off to the studio!!

The Importance of Lighting

We all know how important lighting is in a studio. And, as I get older and my eyes get weaker, it is becoming even more important!!

The other day I purchased light bulbs but accidentally bought “daylight” versions instead of the usual “soft white”….

When I replaced a bulb in the den, it looked like I was sitting in an operating room rather than a family gathering place.

At first I was frustrated that I had bought the wrong thing but then started thinking about other places that these bulbs might work. I am sure that it comes as no surprise that my first thought was …..MY STUDIO!!!

I first replaced one of the bulbs and tried to take a photo to show the difference, but that didn’t work well. However, after I had changed three of them, I noticed the reflection in one of the tables so took that photo instead…..

LOOK how much difference it makes.

So now my studio is even brighter and I am elated!!

Is there a way that you can you brighten your work area?

Quilters toolbox

My last “Quilter’s toolbox” was a simple piece of paper. This one is just as simple…..

White fabric may seem like an UN-exciting tool but I am finding it to be one of the best things in my toolbox. And I am not talking about a high quality fabric…just a simple, cheap cotton.

I happened upon this treasure trove quite by accident!! Lori, one of my crafting friends, was cleaning out her studio and invited me to “shop” in her fabrics and supplies. Among other things, I walked away with these stacks of fabrics……

(And I know you are all thinking that I need more fabric like I need another hole in my head!!! But, if it is offered, what’s a girl to do.)

When I walked in Lori handed me the stack of white fabric (about 15 yards in total) and said that she had put it back especially for me!! I gratefully accepted it, but the thought in my mind was “what will I EVER do with this much white fabric”.

Believe it or not, I have already over 10 yards of it!!!!! On what, you might ask……

  • I made a prototype for a skirt that I was thinking about making.
  • I used it as part of the base fabrics in the “Meadow Walk” project
  • It was the base for my recently pieced crumb blocks.
  • Most often it has been used to make quilt sandwiches that I can use for FMQ practicing…..

….and as you can see, I need a LOT of practice.

It has been so nice to have a stash of these sandwiches all ready for me to grab when needed…..

There are several morals to this story. First, never look a gift horse in the mouth!!! Secondly, a good tool is a good tool…..no matter how simple!!

Don’t Throw That Away

As many of you know, I have recently expanded my studio and have been continuing to clean out “stuff” as I go. I pulled out yet another box full of “not remembered items” (aka UFO’s) and found this…..

This is not an actual rust dye but is a photo of one that has been printed on fabric. The quilting, however is real!! When I was making this quilt……

“Sunflowers in the Rust”

…..I wanted to practice before I took off on the real thing and decided that quilting on a copy would work just fine

I have no idea why I thought it was necessary to keep this practice piece but I am so glad that I did.

I used my special tool, a piece of card stock (read the blog here), and tried out several different orientations …..

When I was happy with the plan, I moved to the garage to play with frames. MANY, many years ago, I ended up at a craft supply sale that had wood frames for $1 each and mats priced at 4 for a $1. I stocked up, not knowing if I would ever use them….

….but over the years I have used over half of them and I’m dead yet so I have hope that my kids won’t have to figure out what to do with them!!!

I played first with just using a single frame….

….and then decided to dress it up a bit and use a mat as well…..

It now decorates a shelf in my office….

…….and I LOVE to see it when I walk to my desk. It not only reminds me of my favorite Sunflowers but also of the fun quilt that I made so long ago!!

So the final moral of this story is to Never….Ever…. EVER…..throw anything away!!! But, if you are reading this blog, I think that I am preaching to the choir!!