I was invited by the lovely Pat Sloan to participate in BLOGGY LOVE DAY!
This is so fun for me, because it is NOT a give-away thing…just a way for 5 un-related bloggers ((Well mostly, except for our love of fabric and quilting!)) to post some things about OURSELVES that you might not know!
Further down this post you will find the other sites to check out, but for now…are you ready?
And be sure to read all the way to the bottom because there is a PROJECT down there!!
The FIRST QUESTION….
1- What is your most interesting or unusual item in your studio?
THIS IS HARD for me! I would have to say that my most interesting item is my vintage machine collection, and it is fairly extensive! Not as large as some, but it is more than one item…Everywhere you turn, there are MACHINES!
I do love the old sweeties. I admit it. I have a hard time resisting them, as you know if you’ve been reading me at all. And I have a confession. This is just what is in the STUDIO proper. It does not include the other machines in the rest of the house, or what is packed away in the storage closet…My friend Lucy got me collecting the old toy machines. And the others? Well, it all started with my great grandmother’s old black singer shown in the above slide show! It’s the middle black one on the blue shelf. It’s a singer 15-91 from 1942. My mom was born in 1941, and later toward her teen years, my great grandmother gave this machine to my mom’s mom, my grandmother and it was used to make all of my mom’s roller and ice skating costumes, among other things. I'm the 4th generation down the line who has sewn on this machine and I’m thrilled to have it!
You can click HERE for more of my machine collection, but I’m embarrassed to say that it is not quite complete on the web page either…there are some I haven’t added yet! Especially the hand crank machine I bought when traveling through Tennessee last month! She’s a beauty! ((I did include her cover in the slide show above…))
And if you happen to notice lots of dolls, etc in the pictures, that’s another thing that most don’t know about me. I started “Needle in A Haystack!!” doll pattern company in 1992. I designed over 70 patterns for dolls and stuffed animals, eventually licensing many of them through the Butterick Pattern company. You could find them around the globe through the Butterick pattern catalogues. Boy, was that ever a lifetime ago! ((and occassionally they still show up on ebay!!))
This plaque is of my first magazine article in Doll World, February 1995. It’s been a long journey!
2-Who would you like to hang out with for a day and why?
Kim Woodburn & Maggie MacKenzie!! The lovely gloved ladies of “How Clean Is Your House!?”
Disclosure: My house is NOT THAT BAD. Seriously. But I have a LOT of stuff in the basement studio, and I’d love to make it work better. And at the same time I fully realize and acknowledge that I am ADDICTED to my stuff, and I can’t let it go!
I’m walking a fine line between Quilter and Hoarder ((No, seriously..It’s NOT THAT BAD!)) But I’d love to let them come in and see what they could do ;c)
Haven’t seen these gals in action? Here you go:
And yes, there is a part 2, and part 3, as well! So…my question is to YOU!? Who would YOU like to meet and spend a day with, and why?? Come on, do tell! There is no giveaway involved, other than what we can learn from each other! FESS UP!! Now that we figured out the problem with the comment-leaving HERE, I hope to hear from more of you!
3- Give your "Top Tip" or link to a Tutorial you have written
Which is the Top One?! I have no clue..but there is a link of tips at the top of my blog under the Tips & Tutorials tab! Not to mention a huge selection of free scrap patterns, tips and techniques at my website proper, Quiltville.com!
However, there is SOMETHING that I have been demo-ing in my workshops that might not be entirely new to you, but might shine a bit of light on why things go the way things go! And while I’m explaining this…I’ll give you the directions to the 9” Jacob’s Ladder variation blocks to recreate this antique quilt I showed last week! Because this quilt was found in Florida, and is made with wonderful 1940s & 1950s Florals, I’ve nicknamed it Florabunda!
Get your printer friendly version HERE!
Yes, I still love this quilt, can’t get it off my mind, and I’ve started in on the blocks! Wanna join me? Here we go! For each block you will need the following cut from two fabrics:
(1) 2” X 21” strip of floral print
(1) 2” X 21” strip of yellow
(1) 3.5” X 9” rectangle of floral print
(1) 3.5” X 9” rectangle of yellow
Place the 3.5” X 9.5” yellow and floral rectangles right sides together, and using your easy angle ruler, cut 4 triangle pairs from each set using the 3 1/2" line on the ruler. Each block requires 4. There is a bit of margin left at the end of each strip set as cushion for cutting and squaring up!
**Note** These half square triangles will measure 3.5” before being sewn into the block, finishing at 3”. You can use any method that gives you 3” finished triangle units.
Sew the two 2” strips together. Press toward the floral strip and measure the strip set. It should be 3.5” wide. If it is too narrow, your seam allowance is too wide. Adjust where necessary! Sew the triangle pairs as well. Press seams toward the floral. Clip dog ears! The triangle units should measure 3.5". Double check that seam allowance if they are not!
Do YOU do this? I cut the strip set in half…and then layer it with yellow on floral, and floral on yellow…so when I make my sub-cuts, the 4-patch parts are already matched with right sides together and ready to feed through the machine! This saves HUGE amounts of time..just think of all that time it takes to align the two-sies one at a time to get them lined up before sewing pairs. Give this a try! You can feel the seam lock as you lay them together.
Cut five pairs of two-sies! There will be a small extra margin for squaring/trimming left over.
Each block will use five 4 patches! ((I was cutting for two blocks at once, that is why there are more shown here!))
See the left hand pic? All my pairs are stacked the same way! THIS IS IMPORTANT! You will notice the X on the last pair in the pic on the right… "One of these things is not like the others!” and he’s wrong!
And THIS is why!
See how they are all being fed in the same direction? Florals are leading, yellows are following. Then look at the right hand pic! Mr. No-no with the red X is heading to be fed in upside down! Can you guess why this is a bad idea?! You might think it doesn’t make a difference, but it DOES! Stick with me! I’ll show you why!
Let’s spin those seams! I know this technique has been around for a long time, but in the beginning, I couldn’t figure out WHY half of my 4 patches would spin clockwise, and the other half would go counter clockwise. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason, and it meant that when I sewed 4 patch to 4 patch, my seams wouldn’t butt and oppose any more and it drove me nuts. Are you with me?
It all goes back to TIP #2! If you want your 4 patch seams to all go around in the same direction…they have to be fed through the MACHINE the SAME when you are joining the two-sies! SERIOUS!
To get them to pinwheel like this I grab the 4 patch with the center seam going side to side as shown. A quick twist will let a couple stitches loose within the seam allowance and allow you to spin them around. Which way will yours go? Look at the TOP seam allowance to see which way it is pointing. In this case, they are pointing right, so mine will go clockwise, like this:
Does it matter which direction they go? Clockwise or counter clockwise? Nope! You just want them all to go the SAME direction. The only time it wouldn’t matter is if you are joining all these 4 patches to units with seams that don’t need to match up. And some patterns, no matter what you try, you’ll find you have to re-press a different direction depending what you are sewing the units next to. So think it out. Of course, if you are joining all of these to plain alternate squares, you can press them any way you want because butting up doesn’t matter.
Let’s finish that block!
Lay out the five 4 patches for each block as shown. Now, lay out your four half square triangle units for each block as shown. Remember…the yellow is the ladder down the center! All the 4 patches chain in the same direction…
One block done! The Antique quilt above has blocks set 6 X 8 for 48 blocks. This will give you a quilt center that measures 54" X 72" before borders. As for me? I’m thinking bigger! 8X9 is 72 blocks for a center that measures 72" X 81" before borders. Do-able? Definitely! And a great place to use all those florals I have not had any clue how to use! I'm gonna be RUTHLESS!
Thank you so much for your visit today, and I hope you learned something you didn’t know before! If you are new here, I hope you’ll come back and visit often! Feel free to click the FOLLOW link in my right side bar, you won’t want to miss anything! You’ll also find my facebook widget in the right side bar….please click LIKE! We’d love to have you in on the quilty fun going on over at our Quiltville Friend Page!
And don’t forget to visit these OTHER Bloggy Love friends today--
- Amy - http://amyscreativeside.com/
- Amanda - http://msmcporkchopquilts.com/
- Sarah - http://thelastpiece.typepad.com/
- Pat- http://www.patsloan.typepad.com
Be sure to leave them a comment and tell them that Bonnie Sent You!