It's been a couple of months since I had anything but stray threads on my design wall!
|Pattern inspiration came from a quilt by Theresa Elsinger in Quiltmaker magazine.|
This is a commissioned queen sized quilt.
Stay tuned . . . when I get all these blocks done, I will trace a pattern on each of the light colored centers before completing the top, and I will show you the light box/table my hubby made for me.
This is a typical view when I walk into the studio in the morning.
I simply can't work in a cluttered area and like to keep all my projects neat and tidy.
One photo led to another and I have decided to share a few more.
This is the table arrangement where I sew.
I used to make a lot of clothing, and you can see my serger behind the chair.
Of course, the machines are covered when not in use.
I have been using Qtools vinyl stops on my machine for several years. I am not associated with them in any way, just a satisfied customer. They are awesome!
I keep 2 of them stuck on my Bernina's expanded base: the right one lined up in a 1/4 inch position and the left one is lined up with the needle position. You can chain stitch a lot of pieces together very quickly and accurately using these great little helpers. With these vinyl stops, you can make these half-square triangles without marking the diagonal line in pencil. I hate taking that extra time to mark the squares.
Here's how it works.
I line up the top corner of the fabric with the 1/4 inch edge of my presser foot and the bottom corner with my right purple vinyl strip at the bottom.
Continue to sew keeping your eye on the bottom corner of the fabric, keeping it lined up with the vinyl strip.
I will sew all of HSTs for the entire quilt this way, chain stitching until they are all done.
Then, after cutting them all apart, I will turn them and run them through again, sewing the other side. You have to ignore the fact that the vinyl strip is not lined up with the markings on my extended base. The base markings are not 100% accurate, so I never pay attention to them.
With no pencil marking at all you can get very accurate blocks.
This is my next secret tool: a block of wood with a drilled hole and my little 97¢ seam ripper.
I love these seam rippers, I buy them 5-6 at a time and keep them in different places around the room. I don't want to walk over to get one if I need one at the quilting machine or near the ironing board. I like the fact that they fit in the palm of my hand when I use them. I stand it up in the wooden block and then it makes a hands-free way to slice the threads between all my chain piecing.
It only takes a minute to separate 100 or so pieces! You just need to make sure your seam ripper is new and sharp so it slices the threads cleanly and doesn't pull at the stitching.
Even more redneck than a block of wood is my handle on the cutting ruler that I use on my 12 inch cutting mat that I use at my sewing machine!
Yup, it's a piece of duct tape.
I quickly tired of having to slide my ruler off the edge of the mat to grab it each time I lifted it up to position it. This one little thing has been a huge time saver when you need to cut through hundreds of little pieces or trim the dog ears after pressing.
I guess this design wall post has turned into a share-my-favorite-little-tools post!
I like to use a divider box made for kitchen drawer silverware at the side of my machine. It keeps everything handy, organized, readily accessible and easy to see.
Oh! Now I need to show you the thread holder my hubby made for me.
You can see in sitting towards the back of the tray.
I love simple no-frills helpers in my studio. I hate something elaborately designed that is hard to dust. I showed him what I wanted it to do and gave him some basic dimensions. He spent an hour in the shop, welded a few scraps together, added a little black paint and this is just perfect for me!
I didn't want any eyes to have to thread, so it's made with open loops.
It will work with cones . . .
. . . or spools.
If I applique designs, I might change spools 7-8 times depending on the colors needed. This is simple and easy to change and actually feeds better than my thread holder on my Bernina.
I bought 2 of these magnetic bowls at an auto parts store for under $5.
I keep one here with things I don't want to misplace or have slip off the sewing table. I can pick up this bowl and I have everything I need to hand stitch a mitered corner on a binding.
The other bowl is for pinning the quilts on the frame.
Thank goodness it's magnetic, because sometimes I forget to move it before I start to roll!
Another huge time saver because when you unpin a quilt, you don't have to take each pin and stick it in a pin cushion, you can just drop it in the general direction of the bowl and reach for the next pin. It's amazing how much time you can save through the economy of minutes through out your day. It all adds up!
I guess that's enough for today, like talking, I never know when to stop!
I am linking up with Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict today for her Whoop, Whoop Friday!
Head on over to see what others are working on this week.