Thursday, October 16, 2014

My Two Favorite Quilting Tools

I was cutting my scraps the other day and got to thinking about how much I love this ruler.  So I thought I would share my 2 favorite tools with you today!

#1 Favorite Tool:  Shape Cut Pro

This ruler tool cuts 8 - 2.5 inch or 4 - 5 inch strips very quickly!  No moving your ruler, just lay the shape cut pro on top of your fabric, aline the top fold and cut, cut, cut!  This is great for cutting binding strips.  You can also use it for cutting squares but cutting your strips, rotating the ruler 90 degrees, then cut again.


 Here I am using it to cut my 2.5 inch strip pieces into squares.


Then I put all the pieces smaller than 2.5 in this bucket for Josie to play with.



 #2 Favorite Tool:  Simplicity Bias Tape Maker

You might guess that this tool irons 2.5 inch strips into binding for you!  How can you not love that?  Ironing is my least favorite part of quilting and this tool helps with that.  All you have to do is sew your binding strips together on an angle, load onto the roller and feed through the metal tip.  The 2.5 inch single fold tip is not included with the machine.







  Perfectly folded binding every time!  What are your favorite time saving quilting tools?



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pumpkins and Leaves Fall Jelly Roll Quilt

I've had this jelly roll for years.  Years!  Time to get it off the shelf and onto my couch!


This quilt is modeled after Christa's Quilt Along on Christa Quilts.  I followed her directions to the T except I made my quilt bigger.  And I only used 1 jelly roll.  The difference between how she cut her strips and how I cut mine is this:  I did not cut mine in half. 

We both sewed 2 strips together.  She cut her half strips into 4 pieces and I cut my full strips into 9 pieces.  She ended up with 160 (and used 145).  I ended up with 180 (and used 180).  No wasting and you get a bigger quilt. 


This quilt is about 50 x 62 inches.  One other thing I did different - I laid out the entire quilt on my design wall borders and all.  I wanted to make sure I spread out all the different colors even in the borders.  I took the top and bottom borders off and labeled them 1 and 2.



Then I took down and labeled the sides. I drew a picture and put my numbers on them so I wouldn't forget what went where.  Finally I took down the rows and labeled them with a different color sticky note to keep them straight.


For the quilting I stitched in the ditch around the cream borders.  Then I free handed leaves with a swirl in the border blocks.  On the 2 sides where there is an odd number of squares, I quilted a heart with a swirl. 

The center is a looping meander.  I connected the start of the first row to the start of the next and the end of the first row to the end of the second. It took 4 passes so there are 2 sets continuous loops.






Friday, October 10, 2014

My Scraps and the Easy Angle Ruler

I have been working on getting all my scraps pressed, cut, and organized.  I have finally decided on these sizes:

2.5 inch strips (over 13 in long) and squares:



4.5 inch strips (at least 5.25 inches) and squares:



5 inch squares:


I had these scrapbooking boxes in my closet and they are perfect to store my scraps in:


This is how I used to store my scraps by color.  They may not look like they are getting empty, but most of the bins are at least half way.  I still have one bin of small strips for a string quilt that I might make someday under the table.  I hope to have this all cut up by the end of the year!



So I found this, this, and this pattern for using 4.5 inch HSTs and 4 patches.  I needed to find a way to use the scrap sizes that I was already cutting instead of adding another size.

This is the Easy Angle Ruler.  You may have heard about it from Bonnie Hunter.  It takes 4.5 inch strips and makes 4.5 in half square triangles (HST). 


 I tried it out to see how long a strip you would need to make 2 HSTs.  Start with 2 strips right side together. Line up the left side of the strip with the width of square you want.  4.5 inch will give you a 4 inch finished square.  Cut down the angle on the right side.


Flip the ruler over like this, line up on the 4.5 inch line again and cut down the right side.


Sew down the diagonal lines on both sets.


Press and trim the dog ears (there are only dog ears on 1 corner as opposed to 2 corners when made tradionally).


It took 5.25 inches to make both these HSTs.  No trimming down to size.  No waste.  Gotta love it. This ruler works on any size HST up to 6.5 inches.  But the 4.5 inch HST will pair nicely with a four patch made from 2.5 inch scraps.   



This quilt is one of my favorites I made from scraps.  It uses 4.5 inch and 2.5 inch blocks to make the 9 patches.  I also want to make this quilt that uses 4.5 inch blocks.  


Here is a rainbow quilt made from 2.5 inch squares. I love this one too! You can see the rest of my scrappy quilt inspiration on pinterest here.  There are several quilts that use 2.5 inch squares.  Maybe you'll see something you would like to make too!

Linking with Sarah

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

ABC Rag Quilt Letters

I saw these rag quilt letters and thought Josie might like to play with them.  I followed the directions on her site, but when I printed out the letters they seamed too small.  And it was a lot of cutting.  So I got out my Cricut, hooked it up to my computer and got cutting the easy way!  I made my letters 6 inches tall and used Arial font. 


Some of the letters are still a bit "skinny" for my taste, like the M, W, V, and U. They flop around when you pick them up.  So if you make them, you might make them thicker as well as taller.


I backed each letter with a rainbow polka dot flannel so that Josie would be able to tell the front from the back.  She has been having trouble with a few letters getting turned over during school so I thought that would help her.  I also made 2 of each vowel so she could spell some words.  Really need to make a few more of the more used letters too so she can spell her brother's names!




Sew Fresh Quilts

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Navy, Gray, and Red Baby Quilt


Last night I tried to get some pictures of this quilt with two little girls in the room. Emma figured this quilt must be for her since I put it on the floor.  She proceeded to crawl all over it, throwing herself back and forth on her tummy claiming it as hers!  I wish I could show you the scene, but I couldn't find a picture that wasn't blurry except this one:


Anyway, the block finishes at 6 inches and is made up of 1 rectangle (3 x 6.5) and 2 squares (3 x 3).  The white strips are cut 1.5 x 6.5 and 1.5 x 3.  Then just add the 1.5 in strip between the blocks and she's done.


I quilted it with a panto called loops and stars.  I used the 7 inch, but I think the quilting is a little dense and should have used the 10 inch. It might also be a little denser because of the red fleece I put on the back of it.


Another photo session this morning on the couch.  Yep, Emma was here too!  Gotta love her.



But I finally did manage to get a good picture.


Linking with Connie and QuiltStory





Friday, September 26, 2014

My Oldest UFO Finally Finished!


This quilt top has been sitting in my closet for about 4 years!  Wow!  It's the only one that I never quilted because I paid more for this fabric than any other (I think it's a Moda line  - Bunny Hill).  I bought it on purpose to make this quilt when I first started quilting.  I also didn't want to quilt it because I was new to quilting, was on my sewing machine back then, and I didn't want to ruin it!


So glad I waited to get this done.  I found this bow knot panto in my supplies and I thought it was about time to get it quilted.  That and the fact I was so tired of cutting scraps!  The colors are more like this one below, soft and pretty.  


Linking up with:


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Scraps, Scraps, and More Scraps!

 I have been cutting up my scraps for the last 5 days!  It really does take a long time when you do it all at once.  I either iron or cut until I get tired of it and then take a break for a while.  There are a few scrap quilts I have been wanting to make, plus my scrap bins were getting too full.  Here's what I had done after the first batch of scraps - my "rainbow" colors.


I cut 5", 4.5", and 2.5" squares.  I also was setting aside 2.5 inch strips that were at least 13" long for a scrappy trip quilt.  I am making a 10" block instead of a 12".   I checked my scrap quilt pinterest board to make sure I didn't miss any size I needed for a quilt.  The 5" can be used like a charm pack or cut into 4 - 2.5" squares.  The 4.5" match up with a 4 patch of the 2.5" squares.  And the strips are just handy, they make rail fence blocks and other rectangular pieced blocks.  What size scraps do you cut and what do you make with them?  I'm looking for more ideas!


Below is the second batch.  I haven't gotten too far through this one yet. These are the backup scraps for my 2.5 inch rainbow colored quilt that I want to do.  Or maybe I could use some for the blue, green and orange scrappy quilt.  There's just too many quilts to choose from!



 This is what is left in the buckets.  Agh!  Seems to grow when I'm not looking!  Lots of browns, greens, navy, and yellow-y orange-y tan colors.  Oh, and last night I pulled some "country colors" to make a quilt so those are not showed here either.  Guess 4 years of quilting adds up.  Not to mention that I have made 3 scrap quilts in the past.  But I consider this free fabric, so it must be used!


I just had to show you my young quilting club hard at work!  I started too late on the older ones, but you should see these cuties work on their quilt!


Peter is my seam ripper.  He actually does this for me when I have left over pieces from a quilt back.  Josie is the quilt designer.  She has her own tub of scraps to use.


And here is Emma trying to get some of her own fabric!    Josie had started on the floor, but had to pick up and move to the design wall to keep Emma from destroying her quilt design. 


Josie's finished quilt.  I see some pieces up there that are mine!  Hmm, how did she manage to snag those?  I'll have to find a way to steal them back!

Linking with:

Show and Tell Tuesday and