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April 3, 2013

For those who follow or subscribe, I’ve moved to a new address. I will continue to blog here. Be sure to subscribe by email or follow in your favourite reader so you don’t miss any posts.

Fabric stretch – friend or enemy?

March 27, 2013

Let’s call it your best frenemy. If you work with bias edges you’re aware of the stretch that can cause all kinds of woes if you don’t handle those pieces carefully. Starch, no steam; press, don’t iron. In spite of my best efforts, I still had a little problem with my current project before I added the borders.

(that lower left corner is flipped under, not chopped off!)

All those setting triangles have bias edges, and by the time I finished piecing the blocks and sashing my quilt top was not quite square. About 1/2″ difference along the two sides and 1/4″ difference between the top and bottom. Enough to make it look wonky – not the effect I was looking for. But I used the stretch in my border strips (cut crosswise) to fix the problem. Here’s how it works – measure the 2 sides and take the average to cut both border strips. Then carefully pin the border strips to the sides, easing in the fullness as you go.  The fabric has enough stretch to work with, and the end result is a nice flat border AND a square quilt. Do the same for the top and the bottom border strips. By the time I added the second border, the quilt top was completely square.

Thank you for all who took the time to comment on my last post on imperfection. Of course we are all our own worst critics; people are generally far more forgiving of our imperfections than we are. I kept the blocks as they were, with no regrets.

Now it’s off to the quilter!

Learning to live with imperfection

March 22, 2013

On a scale of 1 to 10 for perfectionism, I probably sit somewhere in the middle. In my twenties I was close to a 10, but a busy life, 3 kids, 2 cats and a dog in the house have considerably changed my priorities (for the better, of course).

Which brings me to my seam ripper. An essential tool in my kit, and I use it all the time.  Because things go wrong. Which brings me to my latest project.

I finished the sashing and added the first border. And then I had a good look at those half square triangles. Most of them are aligned in the same direction. A few managed to get turned the other way. And here’s the thing. I don’t remember paying any attention at all to the direction of those half square triangles when I was sewing them into rows. The odds are that about half would go each way. So now I’m thinking I must have been 90% focused on the task, while 10% of my brain wandered in other directions. Or more likely, I was 10% focused while 90% wandered.

But I’ve put the seam ripper away for today. I’m embracing the imperfection and telling myself it looks whimsical (not wrong!)

Have a happily imperfect weekend!

Goodbye Winter

March 20, 2013

At least by the calendar it’s spring. Yesterday’s storm and the snow on the ground might make you think it’s still winter. But the days are getting longer, and the snow will disappear (eventually).

It’s been a while since I shared a project with you. Mostly because I haven’t done any sewing since I got back from Austin. Until yesterday, that is. The Kanata Guild had a sewing day where 40 or so women gathered to sew and socialize. It was lots of fun (thanks to Judy for a job well done!) I made good progress on a quick charm square project.

I’m using a tutorial from the Moda Bakeshop – Sophie Car Seat Quilt by Jennie of Clover and Violet. I used the 5″ stackers of Life in the Jungle by Doohikey Designs for Riley Blake. I’ll use 2 packages to make my quilt a bit bigger than the sample – I’m adding 2 extra rows and skipping the ties.

Let’s see if I can finish it up in the next week :)

March comings and goings

March 7, 2013

The Kona stash builder for March is the market bundle  – save 10% all month on the fat quarter or half yard bundle, as well as yardage of twelve shades of market green.

Kaffe Fassett’s newest book arrived last week. All the projects are made with shot cottons and woven stripes from Kaffe’s collection for Westminster. This one has all the gorgeous photography you expect in a Kaffe book, with 24 projects from quilts to pillows, table runners and a tote bag.

I stock the full range of Westminster shot cottons, so can kit many of the projects in the book for you. You’ll find some of my favourites here. The woven stripes will be arriving later this month, and I’ll have more kits available then.

The shot cotton charm packs arrived (light or dark – 34 to a pack) for those who want to play with a nice range of colors!

Be sure to check out the Virtual Quilting Bee from Amy at Diary of a Quilter. It’s a sampler quilt over 8 months, with blocks from 16 designers. And there will be two versions – traditional and modern.

You can pick up a fat eight or fat quarter bundle for the modern version in the shop.  Use the coupon VIRTUALBEE10 to save 10% on all regular priced Kona bundles and yardage (until March 15th).

The pattern sale has been extended until the end of March. And the winter sale continues with savings on ChicopeeBella, Flea Market Fancy, Winterkist, and more.

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