Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Size DOES matter!

I'm sorry to report that I am not as far along on step 2 of Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt as I'd like to be.  First off, I had longtime dear friends come for a visit.  Our friends the Reffs headed down from Colorado Springs for a quick visit and we had a great time seeing them! We talked about old times when our kids were in the 1st grade, and new times and our kids who are now grown and on their own.

Deann and I enjoying a San Antonio Spurs Game

Then, I had homework.  I usually love going to school but this semester has been a thorn in my side. Homework and tests and presentations, oh my!  What was I thinking?  I guess I was thinking, "I love learning" which is true.  What I am quickly realizing is that I love learning on my own terms without homework, tests and presentations :-)  Oh Well.  The semester is almost done.  THEN I can REALLY concentrate on Christmas and Grand Illusion!

I did get started on Grand Illusion Step 2.  I think the lesson learned here is that it is not wise to cut and sew a bunch of units without measuring to make sure they are finishing correctly.  This is one of the key tenets I have learned from Bonnie-   that is:  It doesn't matter how you cut or what your seam allowance is...it's the UNIT SIZE that is important.  The unit size must be correct or you will struggle with the rest of the quilt top.  I have to admit it took quite a few attempts with the computer and printer to get the correct size template printed out.  I must have printed about 20 incorrect templates but perseverance paid off and I was able to get my template cut out as outlined by Bonnie's instructions.

 What a victory!  I hate letting technology get the best of me so I'm really glad that I got it right AND learned some new things about my Surface 3 (which would not let me turn off scaling) and my laptop and printer (which were not talking to each other at the time but are over it now :-P)  I know lots of people had trouble with this and it did take me a while to get it done but I did and am smarter for it! Anyway...

With the correct size template at hand, I used Roxanne's Glue Baste to adhere my template to the ruler.  I just like it better than tape.  It's right here in the sewing room and it cleans up with water so...there you go.

 After I glued the template on my ruler I realized that I couldn't see the fabric at the edge of the ruler.  I really like to see where everything is so I had to get a little clever....

I took out my zebra tape and laid a strip right at the very edge of the template.  Once I had that on there, I removed the template.  With the tape in place I could see exactly the size I needed AND where the fabric was...Excellent.  As an added bonus, because I put the tape on the under side of the ruler, it gave me a little lip guide for my fabric...much like a seam guide.  It really helped me with accurate cuts especially since it helped me avoid slipping ruler syndrome!

Tape at the edge of where the template was.

Fabric right up against the tape.

Of course, I tested a few pieces for accuracy.  I pieced together 4 units all of which were just about perfect, and then I was on my way!

I was able to get all my pieces cut out and start piecing the pink triangles on.  I used my Accuquilt Studio to cut out those triangles.  I gotta say I love my Accuquilt Studio.  I wrote about it in a previous blog which you can find by clicking here.

Only 80 more pink triangles and then I can start on the black..  I'm one of those people that like to complete each step before constructing blocks.  I will stop the "chain" I'm piecing if it's getting too long just to avoid a knotty mess but otherwise I like to finish each step before moving on to the next.

By the way.... Do you have The Cutting Gizmo?  I gotta say I love it. Saves a ton a time cutting apart those chains!

Well, I better get back to the sewing machine.  Papers and presentations due this week are done but FINALS are next week so quilty time will be extremely limited.  I want to make sure I get this step done so I'm not too distracted to study.  

Piece and Joy


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  1. Good luck on your finals. I gave mine today..now to grade them and then I will have lots of time to work on quilts. I'm a big fan of lifelong learning :)

  2. Go Irene! I'm doing the bonus triangles method...'cause I love getting that little "bonus." :) I'm not done with step 2 yet...but I will be before Friday!!

  3. Your blocks are looking good!

    I've never seen the cutting gizmo before, but it looks interesting.

  4. Looking great! Have never heard of that glue and you are making me want to buy the Accuquilt Studio cutter...I think after awhile cutting my diamonds got less accurate...can avoid that if I have the machine....hmmm...

  5. Pretty! Love my Accuquilt Go!...Looking forward to Friday