Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Quilt Studio Improvements

While I am thrilled at the amount of quilting I have been doing, it's very frustrating that I can't show you, because they are Mystery Quilts.
On the other hand, I'll have a lot of new stuff to show you next month!

A great help in being productive was the re-do of my sewing machine tape. It had become so bad it was actually catching on the fabric.
Here's my new tape:
The line between the two colors is where the needle is (in center position). I'm getting ready to make a "sew & flip" triangle here, so I'll put the top and bottom corners of that white square right along the tape line and then sew.
Yes, I even do that with really large peices and just sort of eye-ball it until the corner nearest me gets up to the edge of the table!
Chain-piecing this way saves a lot of time. Use your needle-down setting if you have it. That helps to keep the corners under control going from one unit to the next. Our machines seem to like eating the corners. A single-hole throat plate will also help with that.
I have also drawn a line 1/4 inch away from the needle line (you can see it marked there). It's good for just plain old sewing, but also for making half-square triangles two at a time.
For those, you have 2 same-size squares. Line up the corners on the 1/4" line and sew.
Turn the unit around and repeat...that gives you two seams 1/4" away from each side of the diagonal center, without drawing a line first. To finish, cut apart, press open and trim....I'll have to do that with pictures sometime again!
The pictures you see here are just that sew & flip triangle, like for a snowball block, where a triangle is formed in the corner of a larger square.

Another amazing thing in my studio is that I got the cutting table as cleaned off as it ever gets!
The best thing about getting cleaned up is I am inspired to get it all messy again!
It's a thrill to cut fabric immediately without moving 10 things out of the way first....and then having to move those same things back to use the space I moved them into!
Oh, there's that cute little trash container I got at the dollar store. It has a special purpose now. It's collecting small batik scraps for a friend who is going to Africa to help at an orphanage. This trip she'll be teaching the children how to make fabric beads.

I hope your studio is messy beacuse you're into a good project. I'll give you another peek at mine when it's in a more "natural" state.
Meanwhile, I'm getting ready to go to Gwinnett Co. in Georgia next week for "Pot Holder Therapy" and "Blooms for Beginners (& Other Flower Lovers)". 
I also owe you two book reports, which I'd better get done soon, as Cherry-Cherry has been waiting since November to borrow them!


Anonymous said...

Hey, where's Shayla? She usually makes it into the studio pictures...

Just to let you know I'm thinking of her. :-)


Sunnie said...

Shayla O'Puss does not like me to take her picture, but I'll try to get one on here soon.

Anonymous said...

Well! I, of all people, should support you in respecting those who are camera shy!

E. (who is very camera shy)