Sunday, June 25, 2017

I Can Almost

See Clearly Now

At least, that's the plan. I'm in-between cataract surgeries. Things are looking pretty wonky with one eye recovering from the surgery and my other eye its out of focus self. I'm feeling particularly grateful to the library for downloadable audio books! 

I had my own true love searching through the romance category for me. Poor guy. The titles nearly did him in. I'm late on the audio book train. I've always preferred just to read, but so far I've been through a Debbie Macomber novella and novel and I'm just about halfway through a Eileen Goudge novel. 

I set up some lightweight work for the sewing room. Lord knows what I'll think of my seams once I get decent eyesight again, but finished and imperfect is better than unfinished perfect in mind only, right? 

I pulled out a project I started years ago. Now it's up on my newly created design wall. (I have a design wall! I have a design wall! After all these years, I have a design wall! -- Can you tell I'm thrilled?)

I designed this years ago in EQ. Now I'm remembering why I shoved it in the closet partway done all those years ago. That's a lot of 4" stars!

Still, coming onto the fourth, this seemed like a good project to work on. 

Since I designed it in EQ, it was possible to come up with some really different looking versions. Here's the red, white, and blue version I'm working on: 

And here it is in reproduction pink and brown: 

It never ceases to amaze me what color and fabric choice does to a design. 

And so, this is it for me. I'm done squinting at the screen. Time to listen to a book on tape for a bit. I'm enjoying that more than I expected. I read relatively fast, so having the experience where every word gets its due is new for me. I'm enjoying it a lot more than I expected I would. Old dog, new tricks.

Monday, June 5, 2017

GO! Bee Coasters

This week I was distracted by one of my favorite AccuQuilt GO! projects -- circle coasters.

I love how easy the GO! makes these to make. The directions for these coasters are all over the web, so you can find detailed tutorials elsewhere. Look for Criss-Cross Coasters, such as here and here. I should note that some of the other tutorials don't use batting. I like the extra body and support some batting inside provides, so that's how I prefer to make mine. It's not necessary though. Here's a brief rundown on directions of how I make mine for anyone so interested.

I use the GO! Circles die for the 5" fabric circles and the Dresden Plate die for the 4" batting circles.

First, cut out circles --  5" circles out of the fabric and 4" circles of batting. Each single coaster takes six fabric circles (4 for the four-patch top, 1 for the backing, 1 for the lining) and one batting circle.

Choose the four fabrics for the top and iron them in half.

Then create the layers, starting from the bottom.
1. The lining circle, right side down.
2. The batting centered in the circle.

3. The backing fabric right side up.
4. The first of the half circles.

5. Place the second of the half-circles perpendicular to the first.
6. The third and fourth half-circles continue to work around, with half of the fourth half-circle tucked beneath the first. I use a ruler to make sure my four patch is square.

After that, I clip the circles with wonder clips. I make sure both the front and back are lying flat.

Then sew a 1/4" seam around the edge.

Turn it inside out and there it is, one perfect circle.

With pretty fabric on the back, too, so these are double-sided. (I love that).

We have new patio furniture (well, we have the parts -- my own true love still needs to assemble them).  I'm looking forward to sitting out on the patio in the evening, sipping a glass of wine, and appreciating the bees which have spent a busy afternoon pollinating our flowers. Soon, I tell myself.

I've used the GO! for coaster sets before. I made a fuller tutorial using Insul-Brite instead of batting since I wanted to use them inside with hot mugs of coffee. I also used the Round Flower die on them so that the backing circle is actually the top. You can find that tutorial here.

And last year I made some with clock faces. So much fun. You can see more on them here.

I like to use charm packs. Now, I'll admit, that's a close fit. The charm square is 5" and the circle is 5", so there's no overlap of fabric over the cutting edges on the die. I'm just careful to line up the charm square so that all four sides touch the edges of the circle on the die. It works just fine.

So, that was fun. Now I'm on to a bigger project. More on that later.