Friday, April 15, 2011
So it comes to pass that I have been using my cutting mat, rotary blade and ruler the wrong way ever since I have been introduced to them. I don't know how long. I don't remember using these tools in New Hampshire. Just here in Oregon. I have always used the lines of my cutting mat to determine the straight of my fabric and the cutting increments.
I used my rulers of course for measurements when I was cutting long strips of bias bindings. I used my rulers for a lot of things, but basically, my mats were my primary measuring tools. I mean, look at all of those lines. What are they there for? Well, apparently they go bad after a time and become unstable. As I began cutting 672 2 & 1/2" X 1 & 1/2" pieces and 1344 1 & 1/2" X 1 & 1/2" pieces, it attracted all of the quilters in the Fabric Depot neighborhood eager to give me sage advice. And the first advice I received was to always depend on a good ruler. Of course, everyone has their favorite. And I had mine which was the favorite of most of the quilters. Depend on the ruler. So now, on everything I do, that is what I do.
These quilters are also quite experienced and can cut up to eight layers at a time. I found I was only comfortable with four and at that, I felt a little unstable. I had to learn how to spider crawl along the ruler as I cut so that the ruler would not shift as I cut. I did waste a couple of cuts, but that was it and I was able to re-cut because I had a little extra fabric.
Some of the cuttings.
I love the fabrics that we chose. Nancy Tubbs helped me choose the fabrics. She knows the store really well. I don't at all. I am not in the store that much. Nancy knows the store well because she works there part time and she also buys hundreds of dollars worth of fabric a month there. I really depend on the girls a lot when I am looking for something. And they get really proud when I give them credit for their choices. I basically live in my sewing room when I am at the store. We chose mostly Civil War type fabrics in browns and off whites.
Very peaceful. My first set of flying geese, when I brought it in to show the Friday night quilters (there are two groups that meet in the classroom on Friday evenings) I was advised that, although they looked good, my stitches could be a little smaller.
So this is another set, my fourth, with the stitches all being less than an eighth of an inch longs. I do agree that it looks much better. I have to make 56 of these Flying Geese Sashing Strips. i can make one a night. Or I could make one sashing strip a night if I didn't have anything else to do. You know how that is. Who do you know is that single minded that they only ever have one thing to do, one thing going at a time??!!!!!!!!!!!