Monday, November 26, 2012

Flying Geese Scrap Tip

Wow - hello, two weeks later!  I have been offline this week (and  owe a few back emails....)so that post I intended to do last Monday kinda went the wayside. I won't bore you with too many of the details but I'll tell you that it involved a ton of subbing, getting panicky over the arrival dates of ordered sewing supplies (which led to frantic sewing on all things I have right here so that when said arrivals actually happen I can hit the ground with the sewing machine running), an improv evening masquerading as a Bond girl/spy, and a day of guest directing for the upcoming Christmas dinner theatre of "Sorry! Wrong Chimney!" in Eston, SK, which was soooo much fun.  (PS - if you're looking for a pleasant drive, and a fun farce by really lovely and talented folks, you should totally go.  They've put together a heck of a show! Dec 6, 7, and 8) Phew! If you're exhausted just reading that, I don't blame you.  You can understand why I've been falling asleep a little before I go to bed lately.  :-)
Decent wig, eh?  (Save the ragged bangs.) Add in a very thick Russian accent, red lipstick and gold lame and you get the picture...  "Ah, pleh-zure to meet you, Meester Bond."
Anyhoo!  In my frantic sewing of things I can't share for another month, I did have the wherewithal to snap a few photos of a trick I came up with while working on my Swoon, since the project I'm working on has similar building blocks.

If you've spent any time reading this blog, then you know I love scraps and hate wasting even the tiniest of pieces when they can become something else.  Flying geese blocks have potential for a lot of waste. However, if you take a little bit of time (which is negligible if you're already marking lines), you can actually have the scraps sewn together before you even trim your geese.

This method only works if you're using squares and rectangles to build your geese. If you're using triangles, you've got different scraps entirely and will have to find other scrap-saving tips. :-)

Flying Geese Scrap Saver Tip:
Step 1) When marking your diagonal sewing line on your square, draw a second line 1/2" away from the first.

Step 2) When positioning the square on the rectangle, face the second line towards the corner of the rectangle as opposed to the centre side. If you've sewn flying geese before, you're familiar with which side is the scrap side.  You want the second line on the scrap side of things.

Step 3)  Chain piece:  Sew along the first line to make your flying geese block.  Turn your chain of geese around.

Step 4) Chain piece: Sew along second pencil line.

Step 5) Trim/cut your flying geese blocks between the pencil lines - 1/4" from each - to separate the block from the scrap.
It's tidier if you use a rotary cutter but scissors work, too.

Step 6) Viola!  You have both a flying geese block and a bonus half-square triangle ready to square up for use in another project.
For the record, on HSTs I recommend pressing seams open but as this was the ONLY one I pressed that day, I went with the quick press-to-the-side.  Geese I always press towards the outside.

The size of the half-square block will truly depend on the size of your flying geese but a reliable estimate is subtract 1" from the short side measurement of the geese block for your HST.  For example:  my geese block unfinished is 2.5" and the HST trims to 1.5".  Obviously it's small but if you're geese are larger, so are your HSTs.  The Swoon has 3.5" flying geese and my HSTs trimmed to 2.5"...  Regardless, they are already sewn and you don't have to mess with bias-cut tiny scraps.  Yay!!

Okay, off to return back emails and race out for batting.  I foresee many sore safety pin-poked fingers in my near future....

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Gratitude and Re-do'ed

Boy, a week goes by quickly when you're sick/busy/add any descriptor here....!

I have a schwhack of thanks to hand out.  (Yep, it's a word.  Okay, it's a collection of sounds...)

1) A HUGE thank you to everyone who nominated/voted for my quilt, Homespun, in the Bloggers' Quilt Festival!! I'm flattered and humbled to have won Favourite Scrap Quilt.  And totally floored!  Thanks so much!

Thanks to Sew Fresh Fabrics for sponsoring the category. And everyone who commented or even looked at my entry, too.  And to Amy, as always, for hosting. And the Academy... (Okay, going too far...)

2) Thanks to Rita at Red Pepper Quilts who had a giveaway and FabricSpot for the fat quarter bundle, which arrived already!  Karen at FabricSpot is lovely, they're set up in Ontario, the selection is great and her shipping rates are awesome.  Go check it out! I'll wait.

Pretty pretty!

3) Thanks for all the well-wishes over my cold - I'm feeling much better now. :-)


I did manage to get some sewing done this week, most of which I can't show.  Then there's the sewing tool case which I made from some of the leftovers.  Or rather, two sewing tool cases.  The first did not turn out well, not because the pattern wasn't good (it's a great pattern), but because of decisions I made during the process.  I share it now in the interests of transparency and to stop anyone from getting the impression that I know what I'm doing all the time.  Ha!
I'm embarrassed by how badly this turned out... The case and the photo. 

It was lumpy, and in failing to take some measures to ensure proper seams, I missed the top pocket fabric in the seam and had a sloppy fix.  Also, since I was using patchwork, the seams pulled when I turned the case right side out and looked awful.

Now, if you've been by here at all before, you've probably figured out that I'm a very stubborn little thing and despite being beaten by a pattern, a recipe, or series of mistakes.  So naturally, I tried again, with some changes.
1) I used patchwork leftovers for only the front pocket and back fabric.  The rest I used scraps of solids.

2) I trimmed and made sure all my fabric layers were matched up after every step.
3) I layered the batting on top instead of the bottom so that all my patchwork seams were thoroughly sandwiched.  Also, I strategically placed my turning hole on a spot where there would be no intersecting seams.

Much happier with my mulligan.  I used this pattern which I found via The Sometimes Crafter.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Nominated and other news

I have been very busy the last little while and most of my internet time has gone towards checking in with folks who were close to Hurricane Sandy on the east coast or near earthquakes on the west coast, OR soaking up the fabric beauty of the quilt festival! Speaking of the fest...

My quilt, Homespun, has been nominated in the Favourite Scrap Quilt category in the Bloggers' Quilt Festival hosted by Amy's Creative Side.  Thank you so much to those people who did the nominating.  There were 621 quilts entered this time and there wasn't a dud in the bunch so I'm very flattered!
It's blushing!
Voting for favourites goes on for another three days - and you don't have to have entered to participate! Vote here.  And I won't take it personally if I'm not your favourite - there are some amazing quilts.... :-)

Other than that, I've had my hands full over here - mostly with stuff I can't show up until January - but there is the odd thing I've managed to complete/start/ponder.

I finished up my name tag for the local quilt guild and am very happy with it.  Except for the back. Because I'm just that neurotic.  The Newcomer Tea is this evening before the meeting.
Bad tension....
And it looks like the Saskatoon Modern Quilt Guild is a GO! If you're local and interested, get in touch.    It was great to meet some people in person that I'd only known through the internet before (Hi, Patti!) At our meeting, we also pestered the proprietor of our LQS for details about the fun in Houston last week.

Tiny piecing looks almost as pretty on the back...

I'm working on a randomly pieced background tutorial.
I'm battling a cold.  Again.  I tell you - I had an iron constitution and aggressive immune system.  Then I had a nephew.  Tiny people come with exposure to germs heretofore unknown amongst your regular circles. Viruses fierce and treacherous!

There was some luck related news this weekend, too, but that will have to wait until later this week.

So, yes, this post wasn't much more than a pop-in but I felt like posting a little and wanted to keep myself from a tangent.  I hope everyone affected by the hurricane and earthquakes are doing okay and life is quickly getting back to normal for them - you're in my prayers!