I ended up with an evening almost totally devoted to sewing. Very unusual circumstances, actually. Normally I don't expect to get much sewing done during the weekdays. But tonight, my husband was out at a meeting, and my daughter decided to make dinner for the two of us, so after I was done with work I moved straight over to my sewing machine and got busy. I got a great dinner for only the price of having to do a few dishes afterwards. I could deal!
I'm still working on the Use It or Lose It Challenge log cabin rulers. Technically, I could now say I've used them and move on, but I would like to at least get the whole center top pieced before I walk away from this project and go back to UFOs. I know--the irony. Creating a UFO and leaving it just so I can finish other UFOs. Only another quilter would understand.
In the name of posting process rather than product pictures, here's what I got done tonight.
Nope, this step really isn't a time saver. I could've sliced these strips a lot faster just using my regular method.
The next step is where the rulers do come in sort of handy--not so much from a time perspective, but from a math perspective. I forgot to take a picture of it, but you use the ruler to cut your strips to size. You lay the ruler along the strip and cut to the line marked "A," "B," C," and so forth, to get the bricks of the appropriate size. You'd just need to determine what width of strip you wanted to use in the first place (choosing from a width available on the rulers), and from there it's just a matter of following the letters. Pretty easy. Not necessarily any faster than the usual way, really, just no-math, which for me is a good thing! Whether or not its more accurate is still out to jury--I won't be able to determine that until the blocks are done and I'm putting them together.
Lay the bricks in the order you're going to sew them. Looking at this, though, I realized I'd be sewing blocks with all the same fabrics, so I had to do some randomizing first.
Partially constructed block. In this one "randomization" worked against me. I ended up with two identical fabrics right next to each other. I have another one with the same problem. I didn't catch them in time. If I were truly randomizing, I'd just let that happen and roll with it. But after those two blocks, I'm starting to watch now and flip fabrics around in the stack to prevent this from happening again.
It's taking a little longer than usual because--in the name of using this as a learning experience--I also decided to take a shot at pressing all my seams flat this time. Normally I do press to one side, but I've been reading more about pressing flat and thought it was worth a try. I like the final effect (the whole block lays really nicely) but it takes a lot longer as you're in the process.
Also, I was going entirely from fat quarters in my stash--didn't want to buy anything and didn't want to cut into any larger yardage. I thought I had a lot of fat quarters until I was trying to find eight darks in blues and eight lights in neutrals. So not all the darks are as dark as I'd like, and the lights aren't all as light. But I think the end result will still work. Might even be more interesting--who's to say?
I'll post pictures of the finished blocks--won't be for a couple more days. Tomorrow night's my turn for having a meeting.