Thursday, March 16, 2023

Spring Forward Fail!

From the looks of her, Lola feels the exact same way I do about this springing forward thing in the spring.

It's now Thursday - and I find I can't get to sleep at night, and getting up in the morning is a drag.  As in - Gotta drag myself out of bed and force myself into this day when all I want to do is throw the covers back over my head and snooze an extra hour or so.

It gets harder as we get older, doesn't it?

I LOVE having it lighter in the evenings.  That part is great.  It's the getting to sleep at a decent hour and being able to get a restful sleep and waking up refreshed that is just not happening.

I did spend some time with this, though!

It seemed like these went on forever - and there is still more to do.

I'll need to restock the green basket before I can move forward.

It's been tons of trimming and de-papering as well.

But they look SO pretty, don't they?

Perfect for St. Paddy's day tomorrow.

On the de-papering thing:  I guess there are two camps when it comes to the best time to remove the paper from foundation pieced units.

For me - As soon as the units are trimmed I get the paper off.  I need to see to really be able to match points when joining things, and I don't need the extra thickness that 2 pieces of paper add to the mix if I were to sew unit to unit with paper still on both.

And sometimes I need the paper off so I can press a seam in the opposite direction.

Yesterday's #igquiltfest2023 prompt was all about "BEST TIPS."  And since I was deep into paper piecing mode and trimming up a katrillion things, here's one I use quite often:

A square of shelf liner.  A ruler with a marked 1/4'' all around the outside edge. (I've had this Optima ruler forever and it is my favorite though I can't find who carries them anymore.)

For trimming, I place the 1/4'' line on the outer seam line of my block.  And because rulers love to slide on paper more than they do on fabric, I leave the margin of my ruler just over the edge of the square of shelf liner.  It really does keep the ruler from sliding.

From here I trim up the right side, and across the top - two sides at once without moving the ruler.

Then rotate the unit to put the other raw sides in position, place the 1/4'' line on the seam line again, and part of the ruler on the shelf liner, and I'm good to trim up side three at the side, and side four across the top.

I just keep this square of shelf liner on my mat at all times with my rotary cutter.  And yes. it works great for cutting fabric.

Are there other solutions? Of course. But this works for me. 

All trimmed and waiting for the next step!

Oh, and the other best hint?

I've posted about this many times, but we've got so many newbies that joined during our Chilhowie mystery I think it bears repeating.

I really should go back one step further to the beginning- Cutting comes before seam allowance! ⁣
Make sure the ruler line you are measuring by is up ON the fabric, not sitting next to the fabric on the mat or your strip will be one line-width too narrow and your problems can compound from there!⁣
In order to see if your seam is giving you what it should - number one rule is to NEVER trust a 1/4'' foot of any kind until you test it.
And never measure just the seam allowance - because it can look perfect, but your unit might not be the right size.
As always - seam test, seam test!
Two 2'' squares sewn right sides together and pressed should measure 3 1/2'' on the ruler.
When we press after sewing, the fabric actually folds up from the "other" side of the thread, so the fabric has to go up and over the seam and still reach unit size. This has to be compensated for within the seam allowance.
The thickness of the thread and the fabric also matter, so if you change from sewing with Kona cotton to working with batiks, you may need to tweak your seam allowance after doing another seam test to be sure your unit sizes are correct.
Measure the whole unit. Not just the seam.⁣
Along with this is my best seam guide hack - a piece of hotel room key with double stick removable poster tape to hold it down. It sticks for a LONG time, and I like the hard edge to feed my fabric against.
My seam guide rulers have holes for 1/4" all the way up to 3/4" so you can choose your seam based on your project. Find them in the Quiltville Store.

And remember: The numbers on the ruler don't lie! LOL!

Wow!  My email was blowing up yesterday - New River Star PDF pattern purchases are flying out of the Quiltville Store and the Quiltville Etsy Pattern Shop.

The introductory price is already marked 25% off and is good through 3/31/23 - no coupon code needed.

We've got over 2500 entries already!  So hop on over to the Gift-Away post and get your entry in.

All of the pattern details and particulars are there -

Stash Enhancement at Cotton to Quilts!

The folks at  Cotton to Quilts have been busy at work getting fabric rolls and even yardage ready for you!

Facets of Blue color rolls will add some pizzazz to your blue scraps on hand, and of course their Notable Neutral rolls just can't be beat for the fun prints your quilts long for.

New this time around - they've got Bella Solids in both Chartreuse and Key Lime if you want to go a bit brighter. You can purchase a 3 yard cut on the website, or they will cut by-the-yard for you if desired.

And we are going to be giving a way two of these rolls!

I'll be drawing for two winners who will each receive a New River Star PDF pattern from me and a Facets of Blue color roll from Cotton to Quilts!

(Winner must have fabric prize shipped to a USA address.  If you are outside of the USA, we can send to a friend within the USA who can forward the prize on to you.)

So go get that entry in!

The Richmond Express gals pulled in just before 4pm yesterday afternoon - it was a beautiful clear sunny day without clouds - but boy is that wind still a bit chilly.

We are hoping things will warm up through the weekend.

There may even be a group walk this afternoon if the temps permit.

I'm eager to get over to the inn and see how everyone has set up their spaces and check out what they are working on.

What do you have going on for this Thursday?

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Here's something that only Quilters and Sewists will understand! 

Fabulous quilt shared by Siobhan!

Have a productive quilty day, friends! 



  1. I feel like you and Lola. Just can't regulate my sleep. But going to work on a new Grand's baby quilt today. We got storms coming. So a great day to quilt.

  2. I had to chuckle when I read the thought of the day. I'm part of a quilt ministry and we had one of those days things weren't going right. We discovered that our feed dogs needed to be cleaned. I've never had that problem and was greatly surprised to find what looked like felt there. Lesson learned and frequent checking of my feed dogs now. Thank you for all you do. Happy Quilting!

  3. To catch stray threads put a piece of the poster double stick on the corner of your sewing machine bed and as you find scraps of thread on your fabric stick them to the tape, no threads dropping to the floor or needing to be picked up multiple times.

  4. Anonymous9:42 AM EDT

    My best tip for foundation paper piecing: take blocks in need of “de-papering” to my Mom. She’s 93, and is part of an assisted living community. Working with friends and exchanging news makes the paper removal an enjoyable and productive way to spend some time together.

  5. I wish ALL pattern makers would give you the unit size- especially on blocks that have so many units. It really makes a difference in my sewing.

  6. Thank you, Bonnie, for the tip of using shelf liner under the ruler. I find that sometimes my ruler moves a little no matter how hard I push down on it. Your tips are always welcome. I love your latest design. Unfortunately. I won't buy it because I don't like paper piecing. I am just not good at it. I have many of your patterns in my folder to chose from. Yours are the only patterns I have been using since I joined.

  7. Cheryl Wright10:45 AM EDT

    Love seeing all your pieces pressed and line up. Looks so perfect and pretty!

  8. I KNOQ that 'draggy' feeling. It's why so many have requested that our "electeds" cease and desist" with the time change nonsense!! We voted on it and now some one of them must do something in WAS, DC to make it so, and they can't seem to get around to it, so, once again, we suffer thru and complain and ache and nothing seems to be done.!!!! I'm thinking if maybe all of us quilters would find out who is responsible for carrying out our wishes, and contact our electeds, we'd getter done... It's supposed to happen in California, dunno about your neck of the woods... Excuse the political driftingl... but so glad to find you, too are kindred in the pain and suffering of time change... which is an illusion anyway/!!! We have a finite number of hours in every day... You can't "re=set" a cat, why should we try to re-set ourownsweetselves, Love, hugs and hang in there, Cats in Carlsbad CA

  9. I had to laugh at myself after I read your thought of the day. First time through I missed the word feed, and I thought how does she know that I have 2 and it is time to feed them. Then I reread it. LOL

  10. I love when you start with Lola... all curled up in a box of scraps. I have to chase my kitty out of my chair when I want to sit and sew. But, thank goodness we are on Spring Break, so that kind of helps us with getting adjusted, but not really. It just gives us an excuse to sleep in that extra little bit. But I am right there with you, in the dragging one's self out of bed. Next week I go back to waking up at 4:45 CST for work. I know that will be worse than anything. And it's all anyone will be complaining about. Today we are escaping for a movie before the winter weather comes back to South Central Texas and it becomes perfect sewing weather! HA! Loving the tips that you post everyday. Happy Thursday!

  11. Anonymous1:03 PM EDT

    I took a class 20 years back and the teacher told us: wind 3 bobbins, when the last bobbin is empty, oil and clean your machine, check the needle sharpness. It has served me well over the years. I sew on vintage Berninas and a Juki.

  12. I try to clean the feed dogs when I change the Bobbin. it has been a while for my Purple Bernina! it was growing stuff in there. I like to use a small paint brush on the longarm to clean dust bunnies. Some threads are more linty, lol Next week is the time for my Rhododenron Trail reveal! I can hardly wait to see it in the Quilt show. I'll send pictures. Spring is coming, we see Tulips and crocuses up and ready to put some color in the world.

  13. Yes the time change is a drag on us all. It messes with our circadian rhythm. Studies show it messes with our health and they see an increase in health issues for a few weeks after the time change. I'm not sure why they do it. All the research shows nothing but negative effects. It doesn't help with energy used to cool homes either. Seems like to me it's time to stop the insanity!

  14. Anonymous4:05 PM EDT

    My favorite part of reading the blog is playing "match the stash" with your scraps. I'm sad to say that quite often I can find a fabric I have, but I did laugh this morning at those scissors on the yucky green! I've had that fabric and have finally used it all up. Jacky Barton

  15. Anonymous4:07 PM EDT

    Been quilting my Chilhowie and will go bowling tonight..

  16. Anonymous8:28 PM EDT

    I know some people really like this time change as soon as you get used to it. But our bodies were made for the real time, which we just left, so our circadian rhythm gets all messed up and thus the sluggish feelings. This direction always takes me forever to feel decent. Love your new work in progress! So sparkly! Gayle Kush


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