Monday, August 15, 2016

A Quilt Showing and A New Project...

Quote for the Day:
"In this world, there's always going to be people who are better then you, so stop comparing yourself to others, and just be the best you."
~author unknown

Our local quilt group, the Millennium Quilters, held their quilt show.  I had never entered any of my quilts in a show before because:  1)  I give away almost all of my quilts so never have one here to enter;  and 2)  I don't think my work is "show-worthy".  

I wasn't going to enter one this year because the only quilt that I have of the six I made last year was the one I sent out to be long-armed and there isn't enough quilting on the borders, and knew I'd get dinged for that.  The rest of the quilt is beautifully quilted, but there just wasn't enough quilting done in the borders.  :(  I should have added more quilting there myself before I added the binding, but didn't...and if I try to add some now, it will all just pucker because of the binding being on already.  

Then about 2 weeks ago, I was laying on the decompression table at the chiropractor's office and saw the "Mr. Chillingsworth" quilt hanging on the wall...the one that I had gifted to him last year...

I asked to borrow it for the show and entered it.  The show was this past weekend and here is it hanging in the show...

Well...would you look at that???  It got "Honorable Mention" in it's class!!!  Wow!!!  Cool!!!

So...yeah...I'll be entering more quilts in future shows!  LOL

I have started on a new project...
I save the selvages off of the edge of my fabric (for those "non-quilters" out there...the selvage is what they put on the edge of the fabric to hold it onto the printing machines in the making of the fabric.  The make-up is denser and has printing on it, so you don't want to put it into your quilt.  However, many people save them and make them into a separate quilt...aptly named "selvage quilts"!)

This is what my selvage basket looked like...time to use them up!!!

I am making these star blocks using up some leftover 2.5" HST's from other projects as well as some new ones made with my new Accuquilt GO...all made from my scraps!!!   The selvages are foundation-pieced to used dryer sheets...which I press lightly with a cool iron, then cut down to 4.5" using my Accuquilt GO.  (I use my dryer sheets 2-3 times in the dryer before using them in a quilt to make sure there are no more oils or softener on them.  Once the softener is gone from them, they are merely a lightweight piece of non-woven material...similar to very lightweight interfacing.  I keep an empty tissue box on the dryer to put the used dryer sheets in when I pull clothes from the dryer.)

These blocks are so much fun to make and go rather quickly because there is no sewing/flipping/pressing like with other blocks.  Here is the tutorial I used:  I use all the selvages...not just the ones with writing.  Here is a YouTube video showing how to make a selvage block, too, for those of you who like to actually see them being made:  

This is what the creative mess process looks like in my sewing room...

Hope this gives you some ideas of what to do with that fabric that you've been cutting off and not using.


Friday, August 5, 2016

Where Have You Been All My Quilting Life???....

Quote for the Day:
“Be decisive. Right or wrong, make a decision. The roads of life 
are paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a decision.”
~ Unknown

My dad used to say "the roof only needs fixed when it's raining."  The meaning was that sometimes we only learn that we need things WHEN we need them.  That's how it has been with my difficulty with cutting out quilt pieces.  I average about 5-6 quilts a year...and the actual "cutting" part is only a portion of the quilting there are only a few times a year that I remember that I need help...and that is with the cutting part.  

With my neck and back issues (arthritis, stenosis, and herniated discs), I have difficulty cutting using a rotary cutter.  I even bought the Martelli rotary cutter that was supposed to be easier to use.  (I found that I don't care for it that much...out of all of my rotary cutters that I have tried, I actually prefer my "Splash" Olfa rotary cutter.)

Every time I have to cut pieces for a quilt I wish that I had a fabric cutter.  In fact, I *almost* purchased an Accuquilt GO last December when they went on sale for Christmas.  But, alas, I wasn't cutting out a quilt so I didn't *need* one.  Are you seeing the thinking here?  I only realize I *need* one when I'm cutting out a quilt...and each time, when I am done cutting, I think "see...I really don't need one...I can do it just fine."  But really I can't.  :(  

At my last massage session my massage therapist was appalled at the issues I had from my right neck down to my right thumb...all from having cut out the Christmas Stars quilt.  :(

So that was was TIME to splurge and purchase something that I needed to make it possible to continue quilting.  And to my very pleasant surpise...the price had dropped $100 from the previous price!!!  (The usual price was $349, but would go on sale in December for $300.  The new low price is $249!!!)

I set it up yesterday and tried it out using some scrap fabric like they suggest.  Within MINUTES I had cut 36 HST's (half-square triangle pieces) and sewed them together!!!

I did some "test" sewing on the first 3 sets to find my exact needle position for the new pieces...since they are cut perfectly each time, they are all the exact same I had to find out where the perfect needle position was for them...

I even took some of the "corners" that I had saved when cutting off of previous quilt blocks and ran them through the Accuquilt.  I was able to resize them to exactly the size I needed!  How easy was that???  No more measuring, flipping/rotating rulers, etc., that is involved in cutting out pieces!!!

Like I said, within mere minutes I had turned a pile of scraps into 2.5" HST's!!!    :)  

Of course, now I wish that I had invested in this sooooooooooo much sooner!!!  

And now...onto other news...

The roof got replaced about a month ago from the hail damage we had in April.  The 4 windows we were getting replaced got done about 10 days ago.  And today they started replacing the siding...