Tradewinds – Part 2

Yesterday I posted about making the Strip sets for my newest project….”Tradewinds”!!

Now it was time to sub-cut them into triangles.

The pattern uses a special ruler called the “Strip Tube Ruler”…..

One of the things that I appreciated about the pattern was that they included instructions for how to make the sub-cuts using a different type of ruler and this is what I did.

I used my “Easy Angle” ruler and simply put painter’s tape along the line that I would be following….

I actually put several layers of tape along that line…..

….so that I would have something to butt the fabric up against.

It worked beautifully!!!

For some of the cuts, I actually drew the lines on the ruler using a fine-point sharpie…..

I did try several different cutting lines until I got the size that yielded the proper triangle.

I also added smaller pieces of painter’s tape to help me see which line I was cutting on!!

This wasn’t an ideal way to do the cutting, but it was better than having to wait for another ruler to arrive.

As I started sewing the two triangle sets together, I marked the center of both blocks and used that to line up the pieces…..

It was enjoyable to quickly sew the triangles together to form the blocks……

…although twice I got a little carried away…..

It is SO frustrating to have to stop and rip when you are on a roll!!!

With all of the blocks made, I was excited to throw it up on the design wall and see how it looked…..

I wasn’t exactly sure about the layout but thought that I could go ahead and piece the big blocks together.

It was so exciting to see the corners and points match up …..

Isn’t that a thing of beauty!!!

Since every other block is rotated, I found it easiest to sew all of one type together first. Because I did it this way, I saved two or three blocks that I was about to sew incorrectly. I would notice that I wasn’t having to match up the same lines as before and that would be my “twig” that I was doing it wrong.

On the wall again…..

And, although I love the bright colors, I think that it needs something else…..

Come back Saturday for the big finish!!

Strip storage

If any of you know me, you know that I love Bonnie Hunter. She amazes me with the quality, consistency, and quickness of the work that she does. One of the reasons she accomplishes so much is because she is super organized, and that certainly appeals to me as well.

If you’ve never heard of Bonnie, you need to click here and spend a few hours perusing her site. I mean it……Leave my site right now and go visit hers!!!

For many years I have cut my scrap fabrics using her “scrap saver” system. She suggests cutting your leftover fabrics into usable sizes having them stored and ready to be grabbed at a moment’s notice.

Her suggested sizes are… 1.5 inch, 2.0 inch, 2.5 inch, and 3.0 inch. She cuts as many strips as possible and then uses the smaller pieces to cut squares in these sizes.

I currently have a large basket of scraps that need to be cut so that I can have them when I need them…..

I always say that I am going to cut after every project but we all know that is just something I say to myself to make me feel better.!!

One of the things I have struggled with is how to store my strips. I started out by trying to keep them in stacks by color, but that was quickly messed up. I tried putting dividers in my drawers, but that didn’t last long either. Finally, I just threw them all in drawers and would pull them out when I need them.

The problem was that the strings became tangled, causing the edges to shred, and making them harder to use.

In one of Bonnie’s recent posts, she talked about her strip storage method of putting like colors together, folding them over, and putting them in Ziploc bags. This appealed to me greatly and I decided that I needed to do it immediately!!

I started by pulling out the drawers that held one particular size of strip…. 2 inch in this case.

Next, I sorted them into basic color groups. It looks better already!!!….

I took each group to the ironing board laying out the strips flat on top of one another and giving a quick press every few strips….

If the strip stack started getting too big, I simply started another one….

After I finished with one color of strips, I rolled them loosely together……

……and placed them in a gallon-size Ziploc bag…..

I did not seal the bags up in order to allow air to be able to circulate around them.

Here is the final solution for the 2 inch strips…..

I kept going until I had finished all four sizes of strips and then moved on to my crumbs. When I was making the crumb blocks, I sorted one drawer of crumbs and put those in zip-lock bags as well. Today I sorted the 2nd drawer and added them all together. This is SO much better…..

So I will say “THANK YOU BONNIE” and go to bed knowing that ALL of my strips and crumbs are ready for use!!

Brown Strip Quilt gets a back….

As I started cleaning up my leftovers from the Brown Strip quilt, I realized that I had TONS and TONS and TONS of strips that I had cut and never used…..

I knew that they would just languish in the scrap drawer so I took things into my own hands and started piecing them together to make FOUR strips that would fit end-to-end on the back. I added some other solid strips and ended up with this as a back…..

I was running out of the main fabric and was getting desperate as I finished the last outside strip. I ended up piecing FOUR 2.5 inch strips together to make it long enough…..

Count them….FOUR seams!!!

Now….what can I start next to avoid having to think about quilting this!!!!

It’s Brown Border time…..

In my last post, I took you thru the creating of the inside of my Brown Scrap Strip quilt. As I mentioned there, I made WAY too many brown strip sets and was determined to not let any of them go to waste…..

So, it was imperative that the border contain as many of those strips as I could cram in. I started with laying them out end to end but that was just BORING!!!

Next I thought about the block design….

….noticing that the brown came to a point in each of the blocks.

HMMMM…wonder if I could emulate that in the border??? I made a few test blocks and decided that I had hit on the answer…..

I also made the decision to put a 2 inch background strip as the first border so that the striped border would float.

The only problem with this design was figuring out how long each of the strip sets needed to be to reach the edge of the quilt. TOO MUCH MATH…. So, I did the next best thing and decided to make them different sizes so I could “fudge” it to fit.

I would love to say that the process of making these border blocks was well thought out, the fabric sizes were properly calculated and cut. But, the truth of the matter is that I cut big, sewed and trimmed to size!!

I used the Essential Triangle Tool to cut the initial points and used my trusty painters tape to mark the edges of the strip so that the points were always in the middle of the strip…..

I love this measurement on one of my smaller rulers. It made trimming the point super easy.

To finish the top, I added another strip of background fabric to finish the “float”.

And at last the final seam was sewn…..

…and I was able to hang the finished top on the wall and step back to admire it…..

Of course the next question is how to quilt it….. but that decision can wait for a while….

Dueling Sewing Machines

Yesterday Kaitlynn came over again to sew. While she happily worked on two new blocks…..

……I kept working on the border for my stripe quilt……

It was so much fun to have good music, good conversation and dueling sewing machines…..

And, in case I haven’t said this enough previously…..I LOVE MY NEW STUDIO!!!!

Kaitlynn did work on a third block but I couldn’t remember how to size the strips for quarter square triangles using the Essential Triangle Tool. So, after I had her cut them too large and then too small, I suggested that we stop for the afternoon and start again next week. I promised that I would do my homework and get her off on the right foot next time!!!