Sunday, May 22, 2011

I Really Need To Read the Directions!

I really need to read the directions sometimes and just stop skimming!

We are having a Grandmother's Flower Garden Challenge at our guild and they gave out little fabric packages.  I got an idea for the challenge and plunged on ahead without reading the instructions.  I didn't want to use the fabric in the package so I bought my own - sigh!

 
 If you enlarge the photo you can see the very first instruction "use all the colours in your fabric pack" - woops!  I completely messed up!  Grrr.

Then I pulled out my book More Elm Creek Quilts by Jennifer Chiaverini since I thought that the quilt was completely cut out and ready to sew - well it wasn't.  I was only about half finished the cutting.  I had cut for Variation 1 and not for Variation 2.  Woops!  If you enlarge the photo you can see the cutting directions very clearly.  I guess I just stopped reading - oh well!  I pulled out my Go! cutter again and got to work with the remainder of the scraps I had set aside a long time ago.


It took a little while - but I just put on a TV show and away I went!  This required that I cut 416 1.5" red squares but I had them cut in only a couple of minutes with my Go!  I love that machine and never would have cut this quilt out if I didn't have it! 

So note to self - read ALL of the instructions all the way through and stop just plunging in head-first without reading ALL of the instructions!  Ok maybe most of the instructions first  LOL!

So what do you all do?  Read all of the instructions or read as you go along?  let me know in the comments - I would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bright Twister

A participant in my Twister class dropped by and brought her finished Twister top over the other day and she let me snap a picture!  Thanks Missy V!


Isn't it great?  She used a charm pack of some great bright fabrics and I just love it!  It will make a nice little table topper that would brighten up any room.  

I think that thing I love the most about the Twisters is that they all look so different and always amazing.  I also love it when I get to see the results when people take my classes ;-)

Have you made a Twister yet?  If so I would love to see it - you can share it on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/SunshowerQuilts

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Extending the Life of Your Rag Die Mats

Hi all!

Sorry for the small break between blog posts but the weather has been amazing and I wanted to get my gardening finished before we got all the rain they are calling for this week.  I spent days in the garden getting all my seeds planted and everything cleaned up - yey!  Now it's back to quilting!  So today I have been machine quilting and shooting a video.

I've heard so many comments about how much the Accuquilt Go! chews up the rag die mats, and, they really do, but, you can really extend the life of your mats, and still get beautiful cuts, if you do a little shifting around.  So, I decided to make a small video tutorial on how to extend the life of your rag die cutting mats.

I hope that you find it useful!  This particular mat, as chewed up as it is, is now cutting it's fourth rag quilt and still cutting beautifully!

If you have any questions please feel free to leave them here; and, if you have any video ideas or suggestions please let me know.

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

I hope that all the Mothers, Mothers- to be and want to be Mothers have an amazing day today.  You all deserve it.  Do something for yourself today!!!

xoxox

Friday, May 06, 2011

Shopping the Stash!

Look what I found in my stash!!  *ok well all except the red at the top left LOL*


Here's a little back-ground.

I am demonstrating the Go! tomorrow at the Ottawa Valley Quilters Guild show tomorrow and I thought to myself - you know I bet I'll be showing the rag die a lot since people seem to love it so much.  Then I thought - wow I should cut out a rag quilt while I'm demoing so that I'm doing something useful.  I went to my LQS today to see if I could find some flannel that was calling to me.  I saw that lonely little piece of red on a bolt in the 50% off bin and thought - hang on!!  I think I have a whole bunch of flannel-tiks in my stash in that drawer I hardly ever open!!  So I grabbed the red and came home to see what I had.  I pulled all the rest of these out of my drawer - how cool is that??  The ones on the bottom are fat quarters and the rest are some yardage.

These were the flannel-tiks from Princess Mira from several years ago - I bought them with no clear purpose, I just really liked them, and they got stored away.  Now I think I have a project for them but I am thinking about taking out the orange and red fabrics (yes, the red I just purchased) so that I can have all just blues and greens.  I think that a rag quilt - like my Pink Rag Quilt - might be really nice in these colours.  And then maybe my boys would stop stealing mine ;-)  And since I could cut while I work this might just be a win-win-win. 

  1. I get to use my stash 
  2. I get to cut while I demo the Go!
  3. I get another fuzzy rag quilt
So, note to self, shop the stash before you shop at the shop!

What do you guys do?  Shop the stash first or shop at the shops?

Speaking of shopping the shops - anyone in the Ottawa area going to the show this weekend?

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Machine Quilting Today!

Hey everyone!

I've been machine quilting the past few days and since a few people have asked to see my machine quilting area, while I am quilting, I thought that I would share that with you today.  From the next picture you are seeing the back of my 9" harp machine with the quilt covering where my piecing machine is.  You can see it just sunk down on the bottom right of the picture.  I sink the machine using the air lift we installed.

Want to see more pictures of my sewing area without the quilt?  You can find them here in a previous post.  I show basically how we constructed the table and some links!

 
This is the other side of my sewing area.  See the additional space on the left and how I put the bulk of the quilt on the left and behind the machine?  This makes a huge difference on maneuvering the quilt without it hurting my back and shoulders.  I try to never have any of the quilt on my body; but rather, have the whole of the quilt supported by the table.


I love my sewing area and how there is shared space between the machines that can be used easily.  
What do you think?  Does it make more sense now that you see a quilt on it?

Any questions feel free to ask them here!

Happy Quilting!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Leaders and Enders Video Part 2

Here it is!  Part 2 of my Leaders and Enders Video!  This one covers the construction of the X-Block, or Crossroads Block, as a leaders and enders project  I hope that you enjoy it :-D

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here and I will do my best to answer them!  I love to hear from you all.

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Big Gulp!

Yesterday I took a big gulp and plunged in head first! 

I needed to cut 336 1.5" squares of red fabric, for the quilt I have been cutting, and I really really (emphasis on really) did NOT want to do that with a rotary cutter.  I mean I could have I just didn't want to.  I knew that I could cut those strips and then squares on my Go! cutter using the 1.5" strip die that I've been using.  But, honestly, here's my confession, I hadn't cut yardage yet this way!  So I thought I would give it a try.

I cut my strips and then loaded them onto the cutter folded so that they fit across the cutter.  Yep, I loaded all my strips at once - might as well jump in head first right?

Then I took a big gulp of air and put the fabric through the cutter.
 

I took off the mat and wowzers!  Look at all of the perfect 1.5" squares!!!  I got all my 336 squares in seconds.  I measured them and they are totally perfect!!  So fast, so easy, so perfect! *insert happy dance here!*


I stacked up my little beauties in  my plastic container and sat back to admire them - aren't they pretty??  Sorry for the gushing but I am just so happy with my Go! cutter and the 1.5" strip die.  I honestly didn't think that it would:
a) be able to cut that many squares at the same time and
b) cut them so perfectly!


I am one happy quilter!  
The quilt that I am making from the book More Elm Creek Quilts by Jennifer Chiaverini is now completely cut out and ready to start being pieced.  I am very excited since I have wanted to make this quilt for a few years now - but I really, really didn't want to cut those small pieces.  Again, it's not that I can't cut them with a rotary cutter but that I didn't want to.  Laziness?  Maybe, but, I am ok with that ;-)  I think I prefer to call it efficiency LOL!

I am now ready to start sewing the blocks together and truly - I am so excited to see this scrap quilt come together - I don't think I'll be able to save it for a leaders and enders project.

I love to read your comments so if you'd like to leave one here or on my Facebook page you are more than welcome!

So what is everyone working on today?