Saturday, February 18, 2012

Oh! My! Goodness!

You know when you make a comment on someone's blog and you have to type in some nonsense word to verify that "you're not a robot?"

It doesn't have to be that way!

Thanks to the wonderful Claire Jain of  Sewing over PinsI have turned OFF "Comment Word Verification."  And I am SO sorry I didn't know before that my blog even HAD Comment Word Verification, let alone that I could turn it off!

So now, comment away and I believe in you, and I believe you are not a robot!  P.S. click on "Sewing over Pins" above to learn how to turn this annoying big-brother setting OFF on your own blog!

And:  I only have 10 more decreases on the sweater sleeves (why, yes, I do knit sleeves two-at-a-time, so they wind up the same length) and I will be back to the sewing machine and my 52 quilts!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pezzy Print Pinwheels

How fun is this?  My half-square pinwheels out of Pezzy Print (get yours here) with a Michael Miller border print from High Country Quilts.  I'm re-stocking my stash of baby quilts, someone will love this one!

I think next time I will make the center row of pinwheels "spin" the opposite way.

Won't this make a darling backing? It's kind of hard to see in the photo, but I will piece in one row of border print.

Quilt #13 for 2012! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WIP Wednesday -- All Pinwheels all the Time

Today's WIP is the beginning of a pattern test.  This cute little quilt features two sizes of pinwheels, made with two different techniques.  Both sizes are made from half-square triangles (HSTs), and start with two 5" squares, one from print and one from background fabric.

The larger HST is the classic "draw a line from corner to corner on the wrong side of the background fabric.  Sew 1/4" away from each side of the line and cut on the line."  I like to use this nifty tool, the Quick Quarter ruler.  It comes in two sizes,  8" long or 12" long.  Just slap this puppy on your right-sides-together squares diagonally and draw a line along each side of the ruler:

Sew right on each line:
 I place the 1/4" mark of my regular 12 1/2" ruler on one of the pencil/sewn lines and cut the block in half corner to corner:

The smaller pinwheels are made by sewing all the way around two 5" squares placed right sides together with a 1/4" seam.  Then cut corner-to-corner one direction:

And the other direction:

Four HSTs at once!

To make a pinwheel block, first press the HSTs carefully toward the darker fabric.  This is a bias seam, so don't be over-energetic or you'll mis-shape your HST.  Lay them out in the pinwheel -- notice that since I am using a directional print, I have the opposite HSTs going in the same direction:

Sew the top two HSTs, then the bottom two. Because the HSTs are pressed toward the dark fabric, the diagonal seams will snuggle nicely together.

Then flip the left two HSTs up and the right two down, like this:

Finger-press the seam on the left down, and the one on the right up.  Then when you sew them together, the top seam will face toward your presser foot.  This will make the seams snuggle up nice and tight:


When you press,  if you open the last two or three stitches on the crossing seam, it will make a mini pinwheel, like this:

Which will result in a nice, flat center to your pinwheel!

 When you join multiple pinwheels together, make the seams between the blocks also "spin" and all your blocks will lay nice and flat:


Of course, if I had read the directions first, I would have realized there was supposed to be sashing between the large pinwheels -- oops.

I'm posting to Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday -- go look at some other great Works In Progress!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mystery Monday

No post since Wednesday?  I've been knitting, not sewing.  And no, I can't show you what I'm making because it's a surprise.  I'm almost done, so I will be back to the sewing room full-time soon.

I did cut the pieces for Step 2 of the BOM for my Wednesday Block Party.  Because there are a lot of strips in the step, I used Debbie Caffrey's Power Cutting technique.

The trick is to cut as many strips as your ruler will fit.  In this case, I am using my favorite 8 1/2" X 12 1/2" Creative Grids ruler.  I can cut three 2 1/2" strips by placing the ruler at 7 1/2" and cutting one strip.  Then sub-cut at 5" and 2 1/2".  This is faster and more accurate than cutting each 2 1/2" strip individually.

I like the Creative Grids rulers because the lines are very thin, but easy to see.  Some rules have lines thick enough that your cuts can be almost 1/4" off  if you cut multiple strips at once.

Here are the pieces for Step 2:

And here is what they look like sewn together.  Notice that orange square sewn to the background triangle?  The dog-ears are 3/8" -- now that's a mystery!

And here is what they look like pressed and trimmed.

My friend Mary and I have a bet that the strange-looking quarter-square triangle is going to result in a three-quarters square triangle.  But we have to wait to find out!