Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Latest Rag Quilt!

I just finished this the other night but I had to wait for good weather to photograph this.  This is my latest rag quilt and I just love it!  I've had these flannel-tiks in my stash for YEARS now and I was so happy to turn them into something so cuddly!  This quilt has already been claimed by my youngest son he slept with it last night.


This quilt was all cut with my Accuquilt Go! 8.5" rag die so the fringe is cut before you even piece it together - yey!!  I love this die - it is one of the reasons I bought the Go!  Some people tell me that they don't like rag quilts - and frankly - I just don't get that.  Here in Canada we can have some fairly cold winters and there is nothing better than a rag quilt to snuggle with.  This one is very warm since I used 6.5" squares of batting in the middle instead of an extra layer of flannel.  I love the heaviness of it.  So cuddly.

I did something a little bit different in this quilt.  I free-motion quilted it in a meander pattern.  Why?  Well, two reasons.  One, I am tired of the X!  Two, sometimes the batting will sag in the middle of the blocks if you don't catch it into the fringe so by doing a meander the batting will stay put.  Plus, if you are new to free-motion quilting these are excellent little squares to practice on!!  Flannel is so forgiving and helps hide uneven stitches ;-)


Isn't the back cool??
This was my husband's suggestion.  I was going to do a very geometric trip around the world sort of pattern; but, he suggested a gradient and I LOVE it!  I love how the red/orange is slowly progressing into the green.  It's like a fire spreading.  Now go back and look at the first picture again and you can see how the reds and oranges come through to the front.  I really like the effect.

All these fabrics were in my stash for so many years it is just so good to see them turn into something.  All the batting squares were left-overs off the sides of projects and when I was finished I didn't have any batting left in the house!  Rag quilts have to be my favorite use for batting left-overs.

Now where did that rag quilt go?  Oh there it is - my son came home from school and snapped it up!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Using the Scraps From the Lil' Twister Ruler

Hi all!

I teach how to use the Lil' Twister ruler frequently (because I seriously <3 this ruler) and the most frequent question I get is - what do I do with the waste?  So, since I was piecing a new store sample yesterday I thought that I would share with you all what I do with mine.


The Twister ruler is really cool - you can make interlocking pin-wheels easily from a straight set of blocks with a border.  You can see the twister ruler on the bottom with a couple of cut blocks.


Once the twister is cut and re-pieced there is waste from the sides and from the center of each block.  Luckily I have my Accuquilt Go! cutter - but you can do this with a rotary cutter as well - don't worry!

The waste from the center of each block fits wonderfully on my 2" square die (you all know how I love my 2" squares).  So, I just load up the die with over-lapping scrap squares.


And, run it through my cutter.

After that, I sort out the little bits of scraps and toss them.  What's left is a bunch of 2" squares - yey!


Next I take the border scrap pieces and use my 1.5" finished half square triangle (HST) die.  These pieces won't fit on the 2" square die so the HST die comes in very handy.  I think these might also fit on the 2" finished HST die too; but, the 1.5" HST die and the 2" square die work perfectly together.


Once you have a bunch of these scraps, you ca,n either save them for a leaders and enders project, or, just start piecing away!  I am going to do a scrap split nine-patch project with mine.  Here are the scraps laid out and ready to be pieced.


And here they all are sewn together.  I think that maybe a couple hundred or so more of these and I would have a really neat quilt!  Obviously there is a lot of different things you could do with squares and HST but I've always been so attracted to the split nine-patch.

I thought that I might share this tip here since so many people wonder what to do with the scraps from the Lil' Twister ruler.  Do you have any other suggestions for things to do with these scraps?  I'd love to hear them.

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Hurry Up and Wait!

Happy New Years Everyone!

Well I did something New Years Day that I've wanted to do for years but kept forgetting to do!
Every year Planet Patchwork hosts a new years day mystery quilt and I've been wanting to do it for years now - but, somehow I would usually forget.  Well, this New years morning I woke up, and, since I "like" Planet Patchwork on Facebook the start of the mystery quilt came up on my Facebook feed.  I thought that it was an omen or something like that and I immediately started hunting through my stash to find the fabrics for the yardage requirements.  

Since one of my New Years resolutions is to use my stash as much as possible, I dug into my Asian prints bin and found the 23 fabrics required and set to work! I made my choices quickly since I was already a bit behind in the pre-cutting - I just went with my gut and initial impressions.  

I followed along with the clues and worked for most of the day and voila!  I had a finished quilt top!  It was really fun to follow along with the other quilters on The Planet Patchwork facebook page.  I also LOVE that this quilt is completely from my stash using up some fabrics I bought for the stash and also some scraps - it's a mix of collections and designers but I think that it all works well.


I pulled the orange Asian print from my stash - it was on the 50% off table and I couldn't resist!  It has sat in my stash for about 6 years so it's time to use about 4 meters of it for the back I think ;-)


Next, I pulled out my scrappy chimneys and corner-stones quilt and got to work on a piano key border.  Once again I used my 1.5" Accuquilt Go! strip die and cut all the strips for the border from scraps and from some random green and blue fat quarters in my stash.  At first I thought that the final border was too wide for the quilt; but, once I got all 4 borders on the quilt I started to really like the impact!  And, once I laid the top out over our bed, I really liked the way that the piano-keyfell over the edges of the bed.  The wide border is staying ;-)

One thing I did, before adding these borders to the quilt, is sew along the edges at about 1/8" in so that they don't stretch out or warp when the quilt is one the frame.  This only took a few minutes but I think I'm going to be really happy I did this while I'm quilting it.  

If you can believe it I also have a navy backing fabric in my stash that I am going to use for the back of this quilt too!  It was also on the 50% off table so I snapped it up and there it sat - well, it will work perfectly for the back of this quilt.  So far so good with keeping my resolution!

So, why haven't I loaded either one of these quilt tops onto my frame to start quilting?  Well, in a couple days my LQS is having a sale and I think that batting will be 25% off; so, since I will need about 6 or 7 meters of batting for both quilts, I'm going to wait a bit and save a few $$$!  Oh well, I can use that time to actually decide how I'm going to quilt them!

So - did anyone make and quilty resolutions?

Binding Update

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