Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Fabric Folding Frenzy

Early this year I refolded my whole stash so it would fit better into the shelves (i.e. I could get more in!) It took me 4 days of solid work. My friends scoffed at me (to put it politely, I'm pretty sure the "a#@l" word was mentioned a few times.) because I was using a piece of cardboard to wrap the fabric around so it would be neat and tidy and all the same width piles. ( I got the idea from that fab book about designing quilting spaces. I forget the title and author at the moment, but you all know which one I mean. I borrowed the book from a friend - a great read.) The author suggested using a 6" by 24" ruler as a guide. The 6" width didn't work for my shelves, so I worked out I could fit 3 piles side by side on each shelf if I made the cardboard 7" wide.

Frances came around last Saturday night and asked if I had any spare cardboard. Her shelves were groaning and she need to organise them better. Of course I fell about laughing and "I told you so" was close to my lips, if not actually through them! I made Frances one and a new one for myself as the original was getting pretty tatty.

Since some of you were very impressed that I was sleeping with my fabric and managing to not knock over the lovely neat piles and given that Frances is now a convert to the 'a#@l way of fabric organising I have an illustrated tutorial for you:

Cardboard placed on fabric:
The first fold:
All folded up:
Cardboard removed:
Folded in half:
To get neat piles like this:
Please feel free to scoff at your leisure!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I'm sleeping with my fabric!

How sad is that?

I have been known to take a pile of quilting magazines to bed to drool over when I am looking for inspiration and this week it has been a just about every night thing, but I have never before taken my fabric to bed to stroke! Today I have been doing a major re-organisation of my sewing area and I had to temporarily move some fabric piles somewhere. The only available space was my bed. When it came time to have an afternoon zzz I was too tired to move the fabric piles back, so I climbed into bed with the piles still there (along with some magazines to the left of the fabric):

I have to say I had a great sleep! There is a quilt on that bed. It's hiding under the duvet which has been on for winter. It is just about getting warm enough to put the duvet away. Today was a beautiful sunny spring day. Roll on summer!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

How come I never knew??

How come I never knew you could make half square triangles from the same width strip of fabric that the matching whole squares get cut from? Last week (instead of blogging!) I was watching a video (is that the right word?) of Elisa Wilson of Back Porch Designs over on Quilters TV and she was showing this method of cutting them using a special ruler. The 45 degree tip has the "dog ear" marked on it and you put this above the strip of fabric and then cut on the diagonal. You get a half square triangle to sew with one dog ear already cut off. Then Janice came to club with this "Half and Quarter" ruler from Fons & Porter she had got in USA on her recent travels to do the same job. It also cuts quarter square triangles from the same width strip.

I have seen a picture of it in the Fons and Porter magazine, but they were only showing the half square triangle bit. They didn't show that the squares get cut from the same strip. I don't have this ruler and haven't seen them available in New Zealand. BUT I do have a triangle ruler for doing side setting triangles. I improvised with a bit of masking tape using Janice's ruler as a guide and had a go:

Two 3 1/2" strips of fabric right sides together:

My triangle ruler with the improvised bit of masking tape at the top:

Two half square triangle units cut and the matching 3 1/2" square. Notice how the left hand tip at the top of the first one, and the bottom right hand tip on the second one, is cut off:

Because I have 2 strips of fabric right sides together it is a snip to pick up these nits and sew without pinning. Here they are. Notice the dog ears in the top right hand corner but not in the bottom left:

The two half square triangle units and the two squares placed ready for sewing:

The finished unit. It is supposed to be 6 1/2" unfinished. Mine is a little on the small side so I guess I need to work on the tip and/or my 1/4" seam!

And four of them make this very nice block"

Now what I want to know is who thought this idea up and how come I haven't seen (noticed?) if before !! Do I need to get myself the Fons and Porter version or will my home grown version cut the mustard?

I feel a quilt coming on!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Ready for Quilting

The raffle quilt got basted at club yesterday and is now out of my hands and will be on its way to the quilter soon. When it comes back all I will have to do is sew the binding on and label it. I actually like hand sewing the binding down. When I get to that last stitch it gives me a wonderful sense of achievement.