Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sewing My Brains Out!

How have you spent your Sunday?

I wound up having an empty house.  Jeff went over to a friend’s house, DH went with his buddies motorcycling out in the wilderness ---and SHEESH it was frosty cold this morning! I’m so glad that is not me.  It’s not that I don’t like outdoors and adventure, I’m just not crazy about my feet being cold.

I’m working on some sample quilts…you know that Quiltmaker Magazine is putting on a Quilt Along RETREAT in August—in Williamsburg, VA right?  Well --- Somehow I don’t think that my students would be very happy if I just showed up with a BLOCK for them to make…I need an actual QUILT for my workshops….all THREE of them.  And I have until about May to get them made, quilted, and bound…so I can send them off to Quiltmaker for publicity photos, etc….Exciting!  I get to actually turn these blocks into QUILTS!

I decided that instead of working on book stuff today --- I needed a break.  And with the house empty…weehhhaaa! I can sew!

See those strips at the top of the page?  Yup.  The red and neutral ones--  If you remember my Winston Ways block from the Vol 3 last May---  It’s a great star block, with little tiny 4 patches as the accents.  16 4 patches per block.  If I set this quilt 5 X 6 blocks..I need only…*cough*  480 4 patches.  I could get by with only 400 and set it 5 X 5…for a center that is 60” X 60”…but do I really want a square quilt, or do I want it rectangular?  I don't have a lot of use for 60" square quilts. I’m shooting for one row longer and figured for the extra 80 4 patches….if I end up not using them I can use them somewhere else.

I’ve been really making use of my Accuquilt Studio….and getting brave enough to try different things with it.

I pieced all my strip sets…and thought that I could match my strip sets with right sides together and feed them through to cut them into matched pairs….sounds good right?

Well…first I had to draw some perpendicular lines on the black foam of the die --- so I had guides to lay them and wouldn’t place them all crooked.  A silver quilting pencil and a ruler took care of that chore. Now my dies have line up lines!
winstonways 002

Here are my strips all laid out on the tray….I’ve played with this and played with this, and I can honestly say that I’ve got it down to the point where there is not any more waste than there would be with rotary cutting.  Only….this way? I cut about 100 pairs at ONE TIME that can easily be sewn into 100 4 patches, already matched together, in nothing flat!

winstonways 004

I know this looks funny----but I found that if I just put the plastic sheet on top of the fabric, it has enough static electricity in it that it pulls my sets apart into a big mess.  So…I lay a piece of junk newsprint on top.  When I pull the plastic sheet up after cutting…the paper sticks to the static of the plastic thing, but my fabric pieces are all nice and neat, and stay on the tray.  Happy me!

winstonways 005

The plastic sheet is on top of the paper, which is on top of the fabric, and this is ready to feed through!

winstonways 006

Here are my sets, all cut into their 4 patch pairs!  From here, I stacked them in sets of 10 and put them on a cookie sheet so I could tell how many I had and determine how many more sets to make. I ran 4 trays full through -- I ended up with 484, 4 more than I needed!

winstonways 007

Does this look like 484 4-patch pairs to you?  Well it is!  They are by my machine ready to start sewing….I love silverware trays and other divided things for carrying my pieces back and forth…..
Let’s see how many I can get sewn and pressed before our Mystery Monday Link-Up goes live tomorrow morning!  You’ll want to come back for that.  It’s been great fun to see what everyone else has been up to!
If you want to check previous Mystery Monday Link-Ups, you can find them at the top of the blog under the Orca Bay Mystery tab!

Back to the machine ----


  1. Wow! I like that newspaper trick. I only have a GoBaby, but it should work for that too...Thanks..

    And you are the epitome of organization!

  2. How long did it take for you to successfully make your 484 4 patch pairs? I think I am drooling for an Accuquilt.

  3. Thanks, Bonnie - I'm going to have to try your junk newsprint trick! I have a GO! and have had trouble with the static electricity making my cuts a mess, too. Sounds like a great solution to the problem!! ;))

  4. wow ! you are something @! I wish I could be 1/10 as efficient as you are Bonnie ! I would have gone riding with my husband and blew the whole day off ! Our Harley is put up for the winter ..... boo .

  5. oh .............. and thanks for the paper hint for the GO! static issue ! that will help me here in the very near future !

  6. I am quilting on a customer's quilt that is batik top and bottom. Having terrible tension problems. Grrrrr.


  7. You are clever chickie! There seem to be a lot of these gadgets out for patchwork, I haven't gone out to buy one....yet?

  8. Wow! That's impressive! I really need to get sewing and try to catch up with Orca Bay. I've got almost everything cut and piled up, ready to sew.

  9. I have asked My DH for the $$ to come to Virginia next year. We'll see if I get there. Looks like fun with four patches. No sewing here, I'm recovering from my Tonsillectomy last Friday. Wishing for a "Go" also for Christmas from the McCall's Contest. Guess what will be in my suitcase??

  10. I would like to take a peek at your die without fabric on it blocking the view. =D

  11. Bonnie
    I have the studio like you do. Which dye are you using to cut those? Thanks Paula in KY

  12. Now how am I ever going to keep up with you lady?
    If I had room for the Studio cutter I KNOW I would love it. SIGH!
    I am going back to working on sewing the lovely wing units. I love tiny pieces and this newest Mystery is so great!
    XOXOXO Subee

  13. I spray my die mat with Static Guard. It lasts a long time. I sew small scraps into bigger scraps and then cut shapes from the scraps. My favorite die right now is the 9 1/2" hex die. I cut the hex shapes in half. It's addictive.

  14. O.K. this concept is simply mind blowing.Holy Cow, I have never been interested in the acucut thingy till now. I'm sold. Thanks for being an awesome inspiration.

  15. The paper on top is an inspired idea - thank you!


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