Monday, July 5, 2010

The Tools Are Getting A Workout

I finished something over the long weekend, but it wasn't a quilt.  It was this book:

I highly recommend this series for those who like to read.  The books are not "great literature" but they are a thrilling read.  The plots are fantastic, really riveting, and the two main characters are interesting.  Unfortunately, the author, Stieg Larsson, died shortly after turning in the manuscripts, so the third book is the last.  I couldn't wait to finish in order to find out what happens, but am a bit sad now that there won't be any more for me to read.  If want to read them, start with the first book, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

I did work on my Christmas Day quilt.  This project is a good opportunity to use some of my specialty tools.  The Angler has been the perfect helper for making the quarter triangle squares.  The Angler is a clear sheet of plastic that attaches to your sewing machine or table (the photo shows it taped to my sew steady table and my Bernina arm).  It has lines that you use to guide your fabric pieces, allowing you to sew straight lines on the diagonal across squares, without having to mark the lines. 

If you are not familiar with this item, you can see (and buy) it here.  It saves a lot of the tedium of marking.  There is a similar tool called Clearly Perfect Angles that clings to acrylic sewing tables, so you don't need masking tape. 

Next up was trimming.   The quarter triangle squares are made a little large, then trimmed to size for greater accuracy.  I'm not fond of the trimming step but the accuracy is worth it.  My Fussy Cut ruler came in handy here, again.

I have all the component pieces of the star blocks made.  The next step is sewing the pieces into the star blocks; the pieces come together like a nine-patch block.  I've got the blocks laid out for fast piecing.  I figure this step will be easy to do in the evenings this week after work, even if I have only 20 or 30 minutes at a time to devote to it.

At the rate I'm going, I could actually finish the top and move on to Christmas Project #2 before the end of July!

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