Sub-cutting with Accuquilt

More Accuquilt Fun

As I was getting ready for my retreat and planning to work on my next scrap quilt, I realized that I was going to need a BUNCH of light-colored 2.5-inch squares.  

I had some already cut but not nearly enough.  What I DID have was a plethora (don’t you love that word) of 2.5-inch strips in the needed colors….

I had read that you can use the AccuQuilt to sub-cut strips into squares so it was time to try that out for myself!!

There is already one 90-degree line marked on the die, but I decided that I wanted a few more markings.  I used a fine-point sharpie and added cross-marks, at 3-inch intervals….

I then took each strip and laid it carefully on one of the lines and folded it back and forth as many times as I could…. 

Remembering, of course, that you really don’t want more than 6 layers of fabrics at a time.

I repeated this process for 5 more strips……

….and ran it thru the cutter……

It looked like this when it came out…..

….and VERY quickly, I had a nice stack of squares to use in my design…..

Yes, there was a bit of fabric wastage, but certainly not worth the time that I saved!!!

I am looking forward to using this process to cut more shapes as time goes on.  

Now that I think about it, I could lay 2-inch strips perpendicular across the 3.5-inch dye and quickly cut rectangles for flying geese…..

…or 4.5-inch strips across the 2.5-inch dye and make bigger rectangles…

…or use the angled markings on the dye to make diamonds….

….SOMEONE STOP ME!!!

Bottom line…..I think that my purchase of the AccuQuilt cutter has been a good one!!!

A Scrappy Retreat

This past week I have spent 4-1/2 days at a guild quilt retreat and it has been a wonderful, relaxing, and creative week!!! As I posted last week, I was wanting to work on a major scrap project and had spent a LOT of time trying to come up with a design to work with.

The winning design was this one…..

The idea is to use full scraps in dark, medium, or light fabrics with touches of red in the alternating blocks.

The first task was to split my 2.5-inch squares into those four categories…..

Now it was time to start making 1/2-square triangles…..LOTS OF THEM!!

I decided to simply draw a line down the diagonal of the light square and then stitch along that line. I would press the dark fabric before I trimmed the extra fabric…..

Then I would trim off the extra fabric from the back…..

….and press it flat.

At first, I worried about the number of leftover fabrics that I would have using this technique, but I finally decided that it was okay to toss some bits….after all, these were already scrap squares before I started!!!

Then I started wondering if there was an easier way to make the blocks…maybe without having to physically draw the line on each square. I started out by placing a piece of masking tape on the machine and using the edge to keep the square straight as I stitched……

But the stitching line wasn’t exactly straight!!

….and these blocks ended up being too big so I had to trim them down!! THAT was even harder than drawing the original lines!!!

One of our retreaters was using an interesting tool that attaches to your sewing machine and provides all of the lines needed to properly guide the fabric……

I am not sure exactly why that made it better but it sure did!! The only thing that I could think was that maybe my tape line didn’t come straight down the middle.

So, I re-did it, this time drawing a line down the middle…..

And it seemed to work!!

The result was that I could piece ACCURATE 1/2-square blocks without having to spend time drawing lines OR trimming…..the perfect combination!!

At the end of 1-1/2 days of sewing, this was my piece…..

After doing a critique of it, I feel that the reds need to be brighter and there need to be more actual white fabrics in the lights.

I will continue to work on this over the next months (or maybe I will just wait until the next retreat in May) and will plan to include these new ideas as I go.

The most exciting thing about this quilt is that I feel really good about the accuracy of my piecing!! There were very few points that were bad enough to require reworking and that is a HUGE improvement over previous piecing!!!

Stay tuned to see the finished project…..someday!!!

TOO… MANY… OPTIONS!!

Tomorrow I am heading off for a 4.5-day quilting retreat….YEA!!!

But, you have no idea how much pressure this puts on me!!

I simply can’t figure out what I want to work on during those days. I have a baby quilt to make and am organized for that, but it shouldn’t take more than a few hours. So WHAT am I going to do for the other 4 days??

I have a large box of 2.5-inch scraps and another one of 2.5×4.5-inch scraps and I really want to do something with them.

So I have been planning…..and planning…..and planning!!

I am planning to work with darks, mediums and lights so I designed TONS of blocks using those three colors…….

Then I started putting the blocks together in twos, looking for special patterns. This is one of the FIFTY-THREE quilts that I have designed…..

Thank heavens for Electric Quilt!!

After lots of playing, I have settled on these two blocks……

…..in this layout……

…..adding in red patches to give it some consistency…..

Wonder if I will change my mind before tomorrow??

Only time will tell!!

Scrappy Variety

I love working on all types of quilts but I seem to always come back to a good, old Scrap Quilt!! I just need time with lots of fabrics, doing simple piecing, and seeing what happens!!!

I have been scouring patterns for the last few weeks, trying to decide on a scrap project to start.

While going thru various photos, I remembered a lap quilt that I made for my Mom many years ago…..

It took a while to figure out what the pattern was but I finally recognized the Split-Nine-Patch…..

The block is super easy to make but once they are all made, the fun begins!!

You can place all of the blocks going the same direction….

Turn them into a “streak-o-lightning” pattern…

….or place them in any number of other configurations….

I am thinking that maybe it is time to visit this block again!!!

Another Happy Scrappy

In December of 2008, I “officially” started writing my blog. Previous to that I had used the site to give updates about various travels but had not added any quilting to it.

After a year rolled around, I wanted to do something to celebrate my first year of blogging so I had a give-away.

The hilarious thing is that I only had about 15 readers at that time so the odds of winning were LARGE!!

The winner would receive this quilt…..

….a scrap string pieced beauty!!!

I dumped my scraps on the floor (not as many as I now have)…..

….and started piecing, using Golden Threads paper for the foundation…..

Sierra Exif JPEG

I was excited when fellow blogger, Terry Grant of “And Sew It Goes” fame was the winner. She has not been as active in the past few years but you should still check out HER BLOG!!

Several years later, she did a tour of her studio….a wonderful two-story house, and it was exciting to catch a glimpse of my quilt on display on the shelf under the young woman quilt……

Over the years, my anniversary celebration has become less and less, and frankly, I have forgotten about it completely in the last 2 years!!

But, the memory of this quilt still remains….the fun that I had in making it and the fun in gifting it to a stranger!!!