Monday, October 25, 2010

Stolen Moments

I usually feel like a day just isn't right if I haven't sewn a stitch! However, I sometimes forget just how much can be accomplished in just a few stolen moments here and there. I will admit that I'm not an early riser by choice, but last week I decided to get up a few minutes earlier so I could squeeze in some stitching before work. I started with two layer cakes: a new Dream On layer cake (by Urban Chiks for Moda Fabrics) and a Moda Bella Solid in snow.

After a few days of "stolen" sewing moments, I had a bigger pile of squares:

Half of those squares became this quilt: (the other half are still waiting!)

And then, a few days later, the binding was finished! (I love the green stripe!)
Even though I had a lot of school work and house work to accomplish last week, these stolen sewing moments gave me a sense of accomplishment that kept me going on the other, less exciting tasks (a quilt can be finished -- does laundry EVER get finished?). Give yourself a few moments of sewing playtime every day -- you deserve it! Everything else will still be waiting for you when you're done! (I mean, I eventually HAD to fold the laundry in my living room so I had enough space to lay out the blocks for the quilt, right?!)

The quilt, and more pictures, are in my Etsy shop!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Why I Love My Accuquilt

(Disclaimer -- I'm not affiliated with Accuquilt in any way -- just a happy customer!)

7:31 PM: Exhibit A. Stack of 9 half yard cuts of pink, yellow and white Heather Bailey Nicey Jane fabrics (For my tumbler lap quilts, I like to start with 9 or 10 half yard cuts -- this gives me a nice variety to work with in the final layout, and I can get 14 tumblers plus some usuable scrap pieces out of each half yard.

7:34 PM: Exhibit B. Stack of 7 1/2 width of fabric strips cut from the half yards shown in Exhibit A. This is why I purchase half yards. I can get two strips from 15 inches, and have a 3 inch strip left over for scrappy projects. Third yard cuts (12 inches) would be too small.

7:51 PM: Exhibit C. Stack of 126 tumblers ready for sewing. Not only are these cut AMAZINGLY fast, they have pre-trimmed corners that makes sewing them together incredibly easy. You don't have to worry about off-setting the blocks to account for the angle of the seam -- just match up the sides and sew. I lay these out in 10 rows of 12 blocks, which gives me a really nice size lap quilt (approximately 48 x 55).

So for those of you doing the math, that's 20 minutes of cutting. That's why I love my Accuquilt Go. Now, they're not the cheapest investment, but I did some research last year on price comparisons and decided it would be the perfect thing to put on my Christmas list! My husband bought it for me, and I asked other family members to give me some dies to "play" with (and I do admit that I was like a kid with a new toy on Christmas morning, cutting everything in sight!). The dies I use the most are my tumbler die and applique dies. I do have some of the squares and triangles, but unless I'm cutting up uneven bits and pieces of scraps, I don't think these dies are the most efficient way to cut the basic shapes -- they waste quite a bit of fabric if you're cutting them from yardage. However, cutting tumblers from the 7 1/2 inch strips wastes very little fabric (as you flip the strips after each cut to match the angle of the next cut). The next dies on my list are the soon-to-be released mini tumbler (3 1/2 inches) and equilateral triangles (with precut corners!). I highly recommend the Accuquilt for cutting anything that would normally require a template and precision cutting! In addition to the new dies, they are releasing a smaller version of the Go Cutter (Go Baby) which will be even less expensive than the Go! (just make sure all the dies that you're interested in purchasing will fit in the smaller version).

So that's my take on the Go! Cutter. Now I've got to order some backing fabric, because these tumblers will be a quilt top very soon!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Excuses and Eye Candy

I have been neglecting my fledgling blog, and here's why:
1. Finished out the school year (my day job!)
2. Went to California for a month to visit family
3. Sewed quilt tops like a maniac with the sewing machine I had sent to California
4. Quilted the quilt tops I sewed like a maniac (actually, still working on this one!)
5. Started the new school year.
6. Realized it was already mid October.
7. Had to reset my blog password -- it had been so long since my last post that I couldn't remember how to sign in.
Anyway, the new school year is always like a New Year's resolution time for me, so I'll add to my list a pledge to post on my blog a little more often than once every three months!

Well, those were the excuses -- here's the eye candy.

First, some projects I can't wait to get started on:
1. Heather Bailey's Nicey Jane fabrics in pinks and yellows (I purchased these in San Diego and have been drooling over them since July) -- destined to become a tumbler quilt.

2. Joel Dewberry's Deer Valley fabrics (I have admired these for so long that I finally broke down and purchased some!

3. Anna Maria Horner's brand-new line "Innocent Crush" (not sure what these will become, but I'm happy to admire them while I ponder the possibilities).

Projects I'm in the midst of:

Tula Pink Neptune stroller blanket with floral applique

Dream On by Urban Chiks

And finally, projects I just listed in my Etsy shop:
Nicey Jane tumbler quilt in blues, greens and yellows

Lap/baby quilt in Riley Blake fabrics (Wheels and All-Star)

Hopefully, I'll be back with fewer excuses and more eye candy soon!