Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bits and Pieces

Yes, there’s been some of that ever so lovely sewing going on that I was looking forward to.  Mostly little bits so far.  First, there’s the swap blocks.  This Bee Obsessed block needed to be an X pattern made up in red and gold (ketchup and mustard).  I will admit: this block was a serious pain to make.  It shouldn’t have been, but it was.  I do love how it came out though.

Then there was the black, grey, and white with splashes of yellow in a modern aesthetic.  Now, I love, really love, the modern quilts I’m seeing all over the internet.  I hadn’t actually tried to make one though and discovered I am not, let us say, a natural.  My first effort is in the “not-in-this-lifetime-bin”  (otherwise known as the trash).  These two took me far longer than they look like they should have but, you know, I’m really  happy with them.  And I love the color combination.

Finally, there were the very simple but bright and happy strip blocks.

Luckily, my sister and I snuck in a sew day before the snow hit.  Well, it was mostly a shopping day with just enough time for us to each sew up a pretty zipper bag.  Have you seen the zippers from Atkinson Designs?  The colors are perfect with today’s fabrics and they only cost a dollar!

I did, as hoped, finish up the AccuQuilt Xmas Trees tablerunner, though I didn’t get the binding on until today.  I’ll have more on that tomorrow.  But here a (lousy) photo of it meanwhile.  I really love how it came out – far brighter than it looks here.

And, because we read a lot of books in my family, I decided I needed to make up another set of bookmarks.  This year I used the Double Diamond Ruler and the free pattern on their website.  I actually bought this ruler several months ago and just finally got around to using it.  Addictive. 

First, you cut two contrasting fabrics 3" by 8" and fuse them together.

Then you fold them back side together and press.

Take the small Double Diamond Ruler

and lay it so that the slotted edges line up against the folded edge.  Using your rotary cutter, cut into all of the slots.

Open your piece back up and flatten.   Where you cut into the slots now folds back.

With a little glue to keep the flaps in place, iron them down so that each flap tucks under the fabric below it. 

Here’s where I slightly deviated from the pattern as given (because when do we ever follow all the directions?).  The pattern had you choose a fabric that is good on both sides, like a batik or hand-dye, lay it across the back, and then finish off the edges.  I decided I wanted a different fabric for the final backing.  So first, I cut my fabric 2 1/2" by 8" and added a half inch strip of fusible webbing to each long side on the right side of the fabric.

I then fused this onto the backing of the bookmark in process.  Here it is from the back side,

and here it is from the front.  Isn’t that a gorgeous effect?

At this stage, you just stitch down the flaps.  You can just sew right down the center.  I did that and also outlined the edges.  You can see it best from the back side. 

After that, I fused on yet another fabric to the back side of the unit.  I then trimmed down the side edges and trimmed off the top and bottom as well.  Like this.

After that, it’s just a matter of finishing off the edges.  On a few of the bookmarks, I used a loose satin stitch.  A few I stitched a quarter inch in from the edge and then used my wavy rotary cutter blade to finish the edges.  So fast and so easy.  (Two of my favorite words, I’ll admit).  Here’s a sampling. 

Which leaves me ready to write up some lightish directions on the tablerunner and plodding along on binding a bed size quilt (which never makes my heart go pitter patter).  But, after that chore is done (I do look forward to the finished quilt being on my bed), I can get back to the AccuQuilt Round Flower wall quilt.  And a mini-quilt design that I have the squares cut and ready to go.

Yes, indeed.  When the students are away, teacher gets to play!


  1. It looks like you have had some wonderful play days. Every project looks wonderful.

  2. Hello. I'm Kim Templin, the inventor of the Double Diamond Ruler. I love the colors of your bookmarks. I especially like how you topstitched in and out of the diamond shapes instead of just sewing straight lines. I'd never thought of that. I'm gonna' have to try it myself!

  3. These are gorgeous. Definitely ideas for next Christmas!!