Monday, June 18, 2012

Slow Quilt Monday--and a Few Other Items

I finally broke down and bought some Bobbin Mates so that I could stop guessing at which bobbin in my little bobbin holder actually matched the thread I wanted to use. They mostly work pretty well--and you'll see in a couple of cases you can pop two bobbins onto it if, like me, you realized that for some unknown reason you never finished one bobbin before loading a second.

The only thread I own that they don't fit well is my Aurifil which, as you know, is a significant proportion of my thread stash. But balancing it on one edge and propping it up on my thread holder on the wall just so actually isn't too bad. I haven't had any fall off yet. Workable, anyway. Now my thread stash feels just a little bit more organized.

In terms of works in progress, now that I finished Joy I'm feeling the need to finish the gift for my pregnant friend and get the baby quilt done this week, if possible. So I've started making all the required half-square triangles.

This is the method I'm using: Cut two squares an inch bigger than desired finished unit; draw quarter inch seam lines on either side of the center line; sew down each drawn line; cut in half. Press the triangles open, square up/trim down to necessary size. Easy schmeasy, and you can easily chain piece a bunch of them. (By the way, I cut my squares 1" larger than my desired finished unit because I wanted some wiggle room. The standard formula is 7/8" larger but, really, who is that 1/8" going to kill? I like nice round numbers in my math whenever possible. My brain hurts less that way.)

This method is even easier when you use a tool like the Fons & Porter Quarter Inch Seam Marker. Yes, I could line up a regular ruler to draw the line on one side and flip it to draw the line on the other, but there's always the chance for variation based on exactly where you line the ruler up along that center line each time. As we all know, 1/16" here and there can make a whole big difference when multiplied by lots of blocks. I prefer to use this ruler. It comes in a package of two sizes for the one price.

Where is my slow quilting this week in all my talk about chain piecing and efficiency-building rulers? It's in my head. While I'm going through the rater mundane, rote motions of drawing lines and cutting in half, I'm designing my next quilt in my head. I'm also finding that my Total Color Tuesdays are already influencing what my plans are for that next project. (Be sure to check out the linkies on those posts! Folks are playing along!)

Also, this weekend my husband and I went hiking. How can one not be inspired to quilt?

(Taughannock Falls State Park, near Ithaca, New York.)