Monday, December 15, 2008

More of those T's

Here are the last of the braid quilts. When photographing them a friend commented that she didn't like the bright yellows in the braids, and she said they seemed to jump out. I don't think that is the whole problem. I think the yellows are too close in value to the muslin background and they disrupt the design, leaving a "hole" in it. I think your eye goes there because it is drawn to the disrupted part of the design.

I stitched up all the old leftovers of trapezoids that were facing one direction into picket fence blocks.
I have tried to use the yellows in the center section of the blocks so that I won't have the same problem with this quilt design.

Part of my purpose for starting this blog was to share some of the tools and tips that help me in my scrap work. There was a real challenge in squaring up these blocks. They should be 6-1/2-inches, but I had to square up to 6-1/4-inch. When working with a block that is divided as this one is, cutting off the outside can lead to elements not matching up when stitching the blocks together. I was fortunate that the center section was just a bit smaller, too, so I used a square-up ruler which I remarked with a red permanent pen. I marked where the center secition of the block needed to be, and used the diagonal line on the ruler to position the ruler on the diagonal of the center of the block. To square up the second side of the block the block was turned and not the ruler. I marked where the new outside line would be so that I was not having to hunt for it when cutting the second sides of the block.

My messy pile of blocks has grown in the past few weeks until after stitching all one night (SADD dysfunction) I decided I had enough of these blocks.

After they were all pressed and squared up I counted them--245-and here's the kicker--just enough to make 5 quilt tops with no leftovers!
I'm stitching the blocks into pairs, then foursies, then into sets of 3 x 4 quilt tops. Meanwhile, back at the machine...

I took a class from a noted national teacher who had designed a set of rulers that worked together to cut very wide strips. When students asked her if she wouldn't put out a shorter 12-inch ruler she touted that she would not as her rulers were not designed to "work that way." She later did produce this very ruler, and I have used it a great deal in my work. Rulers may be designed for one purpose, but should not be so limited as this instructor saw them. I often use rulers designed for one purpose to meet another need.

I have had to cut more trapezoids as my color selection was getting too thin and needed to add some more so that what I had cut was able to be used. I chose to use this EZ International ruler made to cut diamonds to make my diagonal cuts easily. I used freezer paper taped to the ruler so that the ruler could be aligned with the strips that I cut. The ruler was rotated for angle and straight cuts along the strip.
Permanent pen marks are easily removed with rubbing alcohol, and paper pieces can be removed easily. There are many useful tapes available for marking, but I find they move too easily when many repeated cuts are required and often do not show up as well as my eyesight requires.

No comments: