Sunday, January 29, 2017

Fix a Little, Quilt a Lot!

What a lovely Saturday it was!

Total relaxation, zoning into the project at hand, and this sweet girl by my side.

Gee, I wish dogs and cats came with visible thought bubbles over their heads.  I would surely like to know what they are thinking.

Here Sadie seems to be saying “Enough of this quilt – it’s time to walk me, give me a treat, tickle my belly, step AWAY from the machine!

It’s hard to not give into this kind of behavior.  I mean, just LOOK at this face.  Could you resist?

The job at hand was to complete the inner borders so that the outer border would fit.

And to do it quickly and easily, I had some help:


Creative Grids Stripology Ruler by Gudrun Erla!

Gudrun and I have been friends for years.  The kind of friends whose paths rarely cross in the same place at the same time, but we had a blast during Quilt-Market and she sent me two of her stripology rulers for my birthday this past week. (The birthday month is still in full swing!  In fact we have 3 days left! HA!)

I had tried the June Tailor ones before, but found the slats pretty wobbly.  These, however, in true Creative Grids fashion have the non-slip dots on the back and your fabric does NOT MOVE beneath the weight of the ruler.

I love my Accuquilt Studio.  I do.  It’s still great for big jobs where I am cutting a gazillion strips in the sizes I have dies for.  But I needed some sizes yesterday that I do NOT have dies for.  I doni’t have dies for strips wider than 3 1/2”. 

I folded my fabric, placed the Stripology ruler on top and instantly the the lightbulb went off.  As a right-handed cutter I don’t have to trim up on the right, and flip the clean cut edge of my fabric to my left to start cutting strips.  I just put the line on the ruler at the bottom fold of the fabric, with the ‘0’ line a smidge in from the left edge and did my clean cut on my left!  From there it was easy to cut the widths I needed for my borders, and I didn’t stop there.  I finished off the fabric by cutting the remainder into 2 1/2”, 2” and 1 1/2” strips that went straight in to the Scrap User’s System without having to move the ruler at all.  TOTAL fabric management right there.  I’m sold.

Cue the Monkees.  “I’m a believer!”

Other things to like: This is so very easily portable for retreats, etc.  Taking the Accuquilt Studio?  Not so much.  I think I will be using this a lot in the future, especially when cutting widths that I don’t have dies for, or if I am doing small amounts of cutting that don’t require the whole process of using the Accuquilt.

Thanks, Gudrun!


All THREE inner borders are on – and I’m now on to working on that blue/red string pieced border.

I decided to switch things up a bit, and give myself a sewing break while I did something that has been on the to-do list for a while:


Singer 500a Rocketeer in the card table!

This is my second 500a.  I found it at the antique mall in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina.  I actually only wanted the case and the base that you see the machine sitting in.  the problem with finding a case and base?  It usually has a machine as well.  The machine was missing a foot pedal and cord, and a presser foot.  It barely moved when I turned the hand-wheel.  I don’t think this has been sewn on in 30 years.  This machine is as old as I am.  It’s a 1961 to 1962 manufacture date.

Do you remember when I found this table Craigslist advertised as a “long bed 301” table?  Well, the long bed 301 really doesn’t fit the opening well.  It’s a bit tippy, and you have to prop the edge of the extension table on the left edge of the cut-out to hold it steady.  This opening is also WIDER than the long-bed and leaves a gap.  No, this table is NOT for a long bed, but what is it for then??

When I saw the machine in the base at the antique mall I knew.  the shape of the base FITS that curvy cut-out area at the far left.  This HAD to be it.


Giving her a whirl!

I have a replacement foot pedal.  I have a presser foot.  I cleaned, I oiled, I lubricated the gears.  I got deep down inside to find that this machine was SUPER CLEAN underneath.  Dry, but clean.  I don’t think this machine was sewn on much at all.

I inserted a new needle.  I threaded her up and wound some bobbins.  And as the motor ran to wind those bobbins she got quieter and quieter and faster and faster.  And oh, I was excited!

The plan was to set her up in view of the TV so I could string piece while watching in the evening.  Just a change of scenery.  And she is QUIET!

And so, on the fly, I did an unannounced and very impromptu Quilt-Cam Quickie via Facebook Live and introduced her to everyone.

Check it out:

It was only a short 8 1/2 minutes, but fun to just pop in and say hello.

I’m also linking this post under the Quilt-Cam tab so you can find this little Rocketeer short clip later if you want to view it again.


All 84 are now pieced!

There will be a bunch of squaring u p, slicing and de-papering happening today. 

I’ll also be using the Stripology Ruler to cut my red strips quickly into the length I need for inserting them between the string pieced border triangles.

One more night here and I believe I’ll be heading home tomorrow because there are a couple of patterns that need to be ready for digital release on February 1st!


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Vintage Dresden plate quilt found in North Carolina.

Oh, the things a quilt can teach us! Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone!

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  1. What perfect timing. I was looking to order a new June Tayler ruler today as mine has seen it's day. Instead I ordered this one. It looks wonderful and I love the idea that it grips the fabric. Have a great sewing day.
    Upstate NY

  2. I love the Singer 501a! My mom has one and still uses it. I grew up sewing on it. My mom is 86 and remarked the other day that she supposed I didn't want her 501 after she died since I probably wouldn't have room for it. I laughed and told her that I would make room. She thinks I have too many sewing machines. I have a 401 of my own which I bought because it reminded me of the 501, a 301 which is my favorite for piecing, two older Berninas, and a Singer Featherweight. Not a patch on you! But I love them all and can't bear to get rid of any of them because they all have their specialities.

  3. my mother has a singer 328k....same great features but a little less jetson-esque...repairman told her it was the last good machine singer made...still runs well today...named her sunny....circa 1961

  4. Love your Rocketeer! I have a 503A that I've used a little but need to get it out again and give it a "tune up" so I can start using it again. I also need to refinish the cabinet it came in.

  5. Love the Stripology ruler. Used it for the first time for the mystery. After that I ordered her other ruler and some patterns. My MIL has a Rocketeer that I can have and you've inspired me to go pick it up and try it out. Thanks for everything.

  6. What a fun looking machine. I have started your Jamestown Landing as my leader and ender project for this year. Your string piecing inspired me to get started on this one while I try and finish up four others I have in process.

  7. I'm going to put the Rocateer on my wish list! It looks awesome. Thanks for sharing. I think I'll have to try to Creative grip strip ruker. Love that it has the grip so fabric won't slide. Mary in Boston

  8. I love my Rocketeer. I found it while searching for a 301. It sews so well that I now use it for piecing instead of my Janome.

    Aileen in Florida

  9. Well that was great!!!! There was closed captioned!!!!!! so I got all the skinny on the 500 series and FUN you had getting it up and running !!!!

  10. I think Sadie is one of the most photogenic dogs on the internet. She is so expressive! What a sweetheart.

  11. Now I need to get the one that has been camping in the living room for the last year up and going! Thanks for the boot in the butt!

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  13. I'm sure you have seen the 'tools' she is advertising, but what caught my attention was her method of squaring up without turning the fabric. https://youtu.be/aQ6oBkgGyvo

    Most of the time my cutting nat is where I can just walk around to the other side of the table to square up. I was thinking for a scrap quilter like you that a much wider cut would produce a string that was usable when squaring up.

  14. I have squared up my fabric this way for YEARS. Why walk around the table when you can just cut from one end, then square up that one piece? I take it one step further, and purposely cut my first strip extra wide so I can get a nice sized string or a 1.5" strip. Takes just a few extra seconds to do it this way.

  15. Sadie is such a cutie! Love the look of the quilt she's sitting on ... guess that must be for a forthcoming string quilt book? Enjoy your sewing time :)

  16. I bought the stripology ruler when Gudrun visited our local guild last year....totally agree with you, a definite step up from the June Taylor rulers! Much quicker to grab and use for short cutting sessions than getting out the Accuquilt GO...though it still has its place for longer cutting sessions! Give Sadie a hug for me...she's such a sweetie!

  17. lovey your Rocket. I have 3 sewing machines myself, would love to own a feather weight. MY dining room in my 1 bdrm apt is my sewing room and have utilized the space well. I have the June Taylor but get frustrated with the slots. I am going to check this new ruler out.

  18. I use a 2-ruler method for squaring up the "wrong" end of my fabric (I too am a right-hand cutter). I place the large ruler on the body of the fabric, aligning it to the fold, and place it 1/8-1/4" in from the raw left edge of the fabric (the edge to be trimmed). Then I butt up a second ruler to the left edge of the first, remove the first (large) ruler while holding the 2nd ruler securely on the cutting board and that little 1/8-1/4" edge of fabric, and cut. I feel more confident that this helps eliminate the slight chevron that can happen at the fold. Of course, periodic squaring up is always needed (using this same method). The rocket is adorable--almost as cute as Sadie!


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