Pinwheels can be confusing!!

Last week I posted about the stack of 6-inch squares that I had received and that I was thinking about making pinwheel blocks from them.

I decided to sacrifice 4 squares and try a sample block first and man am I glad that I did. What I hadn’t realized is that from each set of fabrics I end up with TWO sets of opposite squares…..

….which means that I need two more sets that will go together to make two pinwheels, each spinning in the opposite direction…..

Confusing…..right!!!

With that in mind, I separated the squares into stacks where I had two or more patches that were the same fabric…..

….and I started making pinwheels!!

The first step was to make half-square triangles with the lighter fabrics and the background fabrics that I was adding…..

Next, I laid that half-square triangle block on top of the darker fabric…..

I didn’t worry if there was some overlap of the darker fabric square.

The next step was to press and trim the blocks down to 5 inch squares. This was accomplished by first trimming the triangle edge….

…..making sure that my ruler was centered on the block

Note that the center is lined up at 2.5 inches (1/2 of the 5-inch cutting size) AND that that the 5-inch markers are lined up at the intersection of the two block halves.

After trimming this first side, I used the cut side to line up the ruler at 5-inches

So now my two pinwheels are cut and ready to sew together…..

Come back tomorrow for the sewing and for some ideas about the quilt layout!!

Quilt Big….

I am still trying to learn how to use Julio (my Juki Sit-down long-arm) and I think that it is going pretty well!!!

I am much more comfortable with using rulers and am seeing better speed control. But, I wanted to know if I could quilt BIG……fill a quilt with large format, unmarked designs.

I turned to another charity quilt for practice.

I visually divided the piece into four columns and started quilting using a different pattern in each area. The first was a simple side-to-side column down the middle of the quilt…..

Next was a simple stipple pattern…..

….followed by a loopy stipple…..

….and finishing with a funky flower with lots of echo quilting…..

The actual quilting only took about an hour….it took longer to baste and bind than it did to quilt!!!!

It was a great exercise in QUILTING BIG and was so much fun to just cut loose and quilt FAST….FAST…..FAST!!!

One thing that I learned is that I tend to clench my jaw when I am sewing on Julio, so guess I need to remedy that by putting loud music on and singing at the top of my lungs….you can’t clench and vocalize at the same time!!!

So….. if you are driving past my house and hear loud caterwauling, you will know that Julio and I are sharing some quality time!!

Fast and Furious

Michael, my husband, has been out of the country for the past two weeks and I have used that time to get my life organized….particularly the quilting/blogging/business portion!!! I am enjoying blogging a lot more and trying to turn it into more of a business, but it takes time….lots and lots of time!!!

The other night, I was TIRED of sitting at my computer, WRITING AND THINKING about quilting and decided that it was time to do some sewing.

I turned to a kit that my guild’s charity group had provided and was pleased to open it up and see the fabrics already cut and ready to go…..

The kit even had detailed instructions about how to complete the top…..

The first step was to sew 12 W-O-F strips to 12 other W-O-F strips!! I put on my 1/4 inch foot that provides a ledge to butt up against……

…set the speed to “SUPER RABBIT”……

….and off I flew!!

After doing a bit of ironing, sewing, sub-cutting, sewing, and even more ironing, I was pleased to have this wonderful quilt top ready to go…….

I spent 2 hours from go to whoa on it and, not only did it make something that can be given away to help those in need, it gave me the welcome relief of getting to touch fabric and actually create something!!

Many thanks to our guild charity group as they do much of the “dirty” work so that I can have fun with the fabric part!!!

What do you work on when you JUST WANNA SEW?

One quilt done….MANY more to come

I spent this afternoon at my new machine and was able to finish the Charity quilt that I started when I was shopping for Julio, my Juki 2200QVP Sit-Down machine.

To say that I am thrilled with the results would be the understatement of the year…..

I quilted 9 wreaths using the Westalee rulers and then just started adding bits and pieces to the open areas. I used rulers for fill designs, rulers for border designs, free motion squiggles and free motion straight lines……

I have found that the rulers work wonderfully and the larger doodling is easy to accomplish. I can see that I will need to practice on the smaller FMQ designs to gain the fine-motor skills needed!!

I even got brave and started working on the borders for the brown stripe quilt. You remember this one…..I was pulling my hair out over it about 10 days back (see my post “FMQ With rulers is NOT for the faint hearted).

AND, the results were spectacular……

So far I haven’t had a single moment of buyers remorse!!!

Quilting around the border

In an effort to continue the practice of using rulers for Free -Motion quilting, I brought another top home from our guild Charity bee…..

I hung it on my design wall for a few days and fairly quickly decided exactly what I wanted to do!!

I started with a big flower in the center and then started adding diagonal borders flowing out from the middle. The reason that I wanted to do borders was because of a Christmas present that I received last December……

…..the Westalee Border Sampler Template set.

I spent a lot of “treadmill time” watching videos about how to use these rulers and found them to be extremely simple and effective!!

The first border that I quilted was the Continuous Heart…..

Next was the Braid…..

Then came the continuous loop

…..and finally the continuous fill pattern……

The final quilt design was pleasing and I did learn a lot in the process…..

I did learn one other thing with this project. When I quilted the first big flower in the center of the quilt, I had trouble with the foot dragging on the seams. But, when I moved the foot up higher, then the tension started messing up. I thought back to the last project (Meadow Art) and remembered that I had successfully changed the bobbin tension many times and it produced no dire effects, so I increased the bobbin tension with my quilting and it fixed all of the tension problems.

One other comment……..

As I have been watching videos and learning about the various rulers, I have noticed that the Westalee company goes for accuracy. Each ruler has lots of registration marks designed to help you keep everything in line.

The rulers designed by Angela Walters seem to be designed for fun quilting…..not that you cant be accurate with them, but they are designed for you to get on with the job!!

I can see where each type of ruler can be useful and actually like that I have options depending on what effect that I am trying to convey.

Of course, the only problem is that I can easily start accumulating quilting rulers in the same way that I do with fabric or threads and THAT is definitely a ……