Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A QUILTING DAY FOR ME

When this hobby becomes your career there is a shift in thinking from what pleases you to what will market well. What pleases you is still a part of the decision making process because that is part of what gives your product the stamp of your personality to your product. So when the rare day happens that you get to work on projects that will never be in a show, never be used as a class sample, never be published, it becomes a real treat. I got to have one of those days today.

When we woke up this morning we had a light dusting of snow and freezing temperatures. Schools called late openings and I called my Tuesday sewing group to let them know we wouldn't be having class today. The temperatures warmed through the day and I was snug as a bug in a rug enjoying working on a quilt for my daughter-in-law Andrea. She needs a "new Momma" quilt. She is in the hospital at complete bed rest awaiting the arrival of our grandbabies - twins, Colin and Lucy. We're hoping she can make it to at least the end of February before having the babies. She's been in the hospital since the week after Thanksgiving. It's been a very long haul and she's being a very good sport through this ordeal. And, I think I need to get this Momma quilt done pretty quickly. So today I started cutting.
This quilt features the fabric line from RJR called Sweet as a Rose. I was able to pick up the quilt kit while in Houston for quilt market. I got a good start on piecing the blocks today but I wanted to share a tip to help make piecing the square-in-a-square block a little easier and more accurate to piece.

When sewing the triangles on to the sides of the squares most patterns direct you to crease the middle of the square and the triangle and then match the creases for accurate placement of the triangle on the square. I like to use the point trimmer from Judy Martin. I trim the corners off the triangles before sewing them on. Then when I place the triangles on the square the nipped off corners fit right up to the edge of square. No creasing ... no guessing. And, my square in a square comes out right to size each time.

I don't know what it has taken me so long to get on the pillowcase bandwagon. But today I jumped in with both feet and had a ball. I've always had seasonal pillowcases and special pillowcases to match the quilts, but I always made them the way my mother taught us when we were growing up. Her pattern features a cuff and hem all from one piece of fabric. She always had us use French seams, too, so there were no raw edges on the inside.

But today, everything clicked into place about how to make these pillowcases with the little accent strip and the separate cuff. I was still able to do my French seams, so no raw edges for me. I think our new Winter pillowcases turned out pretty great, and I have a Puppy Pillowcase/quilt bag for delivering Pat's Puppy Love quilt to her. We're almost finished with the binding!

For the last thing of the day, I'll let you in on a little secret. I really like the way the February Free Pattern of the Month is going together.
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