Sunday, October 26, 2008

Runaway Stash

Posted by Strlady at 4:38 AM 1 comments
I recently went back to New England on a business trip and had a chance to visit with my sister, Brenda. I love New England this time a year and I had not seen my sis for close to two years since she didn't visit us last Thanksgiving.

I hadn't been to her house since the day I left New Hampshire for warmer climates in Tx. She was just starting her Quilt shop business and had purchased her first inventory. BTW: My sister is owner of Pumpkin Patch Primitives Quilt Shop - If you haven't had a chance to discover her great shop you are missing out!!!

So when I got to her house and discovered the treasure trove of fabrics and patterns it was a little freaky. I don't know where I thought she would hide the goodies she has on her site but all of a sudden they were everywhere. Needless to say I wanted to take it all home with me (except for that funky line of patterns with the bunnies).

The thing is that this is her business and guilt was riding hard when she was generous enough to offer me some stash enhancers and started cutting. It was even worse when she just wouldn't stop cutting. Well, guilt go to hell because I still took home all she wanted to give and then some!

I arrived with a duffel full of clothes for her and left with a duffel full of beautiful flannels, charm squares galore and a few jelly rolls too!

Don't you just love it!! She has the best packaging and the work she puts in making every kit is incredible. I don't know where she gets the energy and the time!

Well, I couldn't just walk away from her house with all these goodies and not offer something in return so I promised her that I would construct the pieced background to a quilt she wanted to make. It is heavy on the appliqué but the background is pieced so she was not going there. Since she loves appliqué and I love piecing - it all evens out in the end. So some of the stash will go into making the background in question.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Time vs Accuracy

Posted by Strlady at 2:27 PM 1 comments
Making Alba's Quilt has made me wonder about some of the techniques we piecer's use to speed up our work.
The quilt uses many half square triangles to make the pinwheel blocks but also for the posies. With today's innovative thinkers we have choices as to how to approach the construction of these blocks. But in each one you still have to sacrifice something.

Time: I don't know about you all but the statement time is money is always accurate in our house. I have a short attention span and honestly, if it's going to take me too long to make, it sits in a UFO pile.

Don't get me wrong, I will do very time consuming things - like edit a video to make sure the subtitles on it pop up at just the right time, or tweak with a digital image until I can see no flaws in it, or change the color on an html script over and over again - but I hate doing something that is mindless over and over again.

But some quilter discovered that you can skip rotary cutting a square into triangles so you avoid working with bias edges (now that is a nightmare on itself). All you need to do is draw a line where you would have cut (across the square diagonally) and sew the light and dark square together by sewing a quarter of an inch away from the line you drew. You do this first on one side of the line and then you go back and sew again on the other side of the line. When you are finished you cut the square on the line drawn to yield two squares constructed of half square triangles.

Are you confused yet?

The problem with this method is that it is soooo time consuming drawing those dang lines on each of the 212 square you might have. And if you have small squares it's even worse. So you think, forget this crap, I'm just cutting the dang things and winging it, choosing to sacrifice something precious to most quilters...

Accuracy: When you cut the squares and 'wing it' you still need to align each triangle with it's mate and pull the small triangles (if you think the square were small - think of the size they have after you have cut them in half) across the feed dogs of your machine and then pressing them open. Results: You end up with squares that have a seam more curvy than Marilyn Monroe.

I know, I tend to over think things but when I keep procrastinating working on the quilt I get to a point that I ask myself why? Just like the dress that never made it into my sisters closet because I HATE to hem.

So the question is do I sacrifice the Time or the Accuracy?

If you know how anal I am you don't have to even think about my response. I would rather spend 10 hours of numbing, mindless work than have a seam out of place.

These are my blocks all cut and ready to go with the damn line across each those ivory squares. This is just the fabric for the pinwheel blocks.

These are the pieces for all the posies that will be on the quilt and if you can't distinguish the ivory fabric in the little ziplock bag, I'll tell you there are over 200 - 2" squares, all with a fucking line through them.

~~~ Off to sew some squares!

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