Thursday, April 7, 2016

SubCutting SpeedUp with Stagger Stacking

Wow, say that title 5 times fast, tee hee hee.   Yesterday I was getting ready to subcut all of my strip piecing for my Ruby Jubilee Braided Irish Chain and I realized that there is a little speedup trick there that I always like to share in my classes, and I thought it would be fun to share it here as well.  So I snapped some pictures along the way to make up this little SubCutting SpeedUp Tutorial ;)  So here it goes.

So the main thing about subcutting strip piecing that I think gets to everyone is just how long it takes.  I  always fold my strips in half when strip piecing, because I never like to move my fabric once I start cutting. (and we are all about saving time, right :)    I just make sure the edges are nice and aligned.  So I was always taught to place my strip piecing on my mat, all nice and spread out, because you really don't want to cut through more than one stacked seam at a time.  But this means you can only cut 3 strips at a time.

So yes,  I will admit, when I first stared, I did indeed try stacking my strip piecing on top of one another so as to speed things up.  And while I can get away with one stacked seam from the folded strip, several stacked seams always mean shifting and some not so fabulous cutting.  So ya, I highly recommend you stay away from this idea.

So here is where the SpeedUp trick comes in.  Instead of Stacking your strips on top of one another, I like to Stagger Stack my strips!!!  To do this, place your first strip ( that is folded and the edges are nicely aligned ) on your mat, aligning the top of the strip with a horizontal strip on your mat.  I like to align this as far down the mat as I can while still keeping it on the mat ;)

Then, place the second strip on the mat, Staggering it slightly above the seam in the previous strip, and Aligning the top edge with the next available horizontal line on your cutting mat.   The Staggering makes it so that your seams are not stacked directly on top of one another so they won't shift when subcutting.

Continue to Stagger Stack strips on your mat until you run out of space.  You can fit seven 4 1/2" strip sets on your mat at one time.  That is a lot of subcutting.   And the stacking actually helps your fabric from shifting, as there is another piece of fabric on top of it weighting it down.   Stagger Stacking is such a great way to really SpeedUp your Subcutting without having to lose accuracy!

So now with the Strips all Stagger Stacked you are ready to subcut.   And since we are already in tutorial mode, I thought I would contine to share how I subcut.  There are actually a few ways I like to do it so you use what you like best ;)

Start by trimming a straight edge to get rid of all the selvages.  I just align my ruler along a horizontal line on my mat and trim.   Then, measure in however far your subcut width is. For today I am using 2 1/2",   Measure in the desired width of your sub-unit (2 1/2") and then double-check that the 2 1/2" mark on the ruler lines up with the newly cut edge of my fabric.   Then cut along the edge of the ruler.

Now slide over, or stack up, your freshly cut subunits so they are out of the way and you once again have a nice straight edge.  Then you can again measure in 2 1/2", double-check that the 2 1/2" mark on your ruler is aligned with the new straight edge, and cut along the edge of the ruler.

But a while back, I decided that I didn't like the time it took to move the cut units out of the way.  So I started using the measurments on my cutting mat.  So from the straight edge, count in 2 1/2" on your mat.  Align your ruler at the top and bottom of your mat on the calculated measurement and cut along the edge of the ruler.  This works great when dealing with 1" or 1/2" and even sometimes 1/4" measurements and speeds things up a bit more, but if I am doing 1/8" I tend to move things out of the way for the double check.

Whether you are moving pieces out of the way and measuring on your ruler, or using your mat to measure . . . just continue to measure and cut all the way across your strip piecing.

Then stack up your subunits and scrap the selvages and folded edges.   I always try not to use the folded edges if I don't have to because that just means one more step in having to press them flat before subcutting them.

And one last little thing.   If you are confident in using your mat to measure, you can also cut from Right to Left. Just align your strips with the selvages on the right.    This is actually the way I cut normally, but I am a right handed person who was taught to cut from a left handed person so I might be the only person that cuts this way.    I never knew this was different from how most people do it until I was writting the basics section in my book and the technical writer asked me if I was left handed.  To funny!!!   Anyhow, this is still my favorite way to cut because of 2 things.  1 - The fabric that still needs to be cut is always under my ruler so it doesn't move at all when I cut and 2 - I never have to lift my ruler, I just slide it to the left after each cut, which also eases out any little "bubbles" in my fabric.  So just one more little option you can try if you want to join the ranks of Righties who cut like Lefties :)

Whichever way you decide to Subcut though, I hope you find that the Stagger Stacking saves you lots of time while still giving you wonderfully accurate units.   I have found it to be a great little trick and a wonderful time saver.   Hope you enjoy this little tutorial.  I am off to make these 2 Patches into 4 Patches ;)

Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!
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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Chatting with Pat!!!

Eeekk,  I am so super excited!!!  Next Monday, April 11th, I get to join Pat Sloan once again on the American Patchwork & Quilting Podcast show!!  I had so much fun last time I chatted with Pat on the radio!!  I just loved getting to share all things quilty and I just can't wait for Monday to do it again!!!

You can listen to the Podcast here on the American Patchwork and Quilting Radio Podcast home.   The show stars at 4 pm EST.  And if you have any questions, check out Pat's site here.  It has all the info you need to know about how to listen, how to subscribe, and past guests lists ;) 

Only 5 more sleeps until Monday!!  I am counting it down ;)
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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Terrific Tuesday Giveaway Day!

It's Terrific Tuesday Giveaway Day . . . let's have some fun :)

First, we need to announce the winner from last weeks Terrific Tuesday Giveaway!!   The winner of the 3 PDF Patterns from Happy Quilting  is . . .   Number #58 . . . Congrats Audrey!!   I have emailed you :)    

And on to today's

Today's Terrific Tuesday Giveaway is being sponsored by Green Fairy Quilts.  Along with sponsoring the giveaway, Green Fairy Quilts has currently a buy in bulk special going on!!!   And have you checked out their Daily Deal!!!  Both are some amazing deals!!    And Green Fairy Quilts ships free in the US and discounted to international.

And today's Terrific Tuesday Giveaway is for a stunning Bee Creative Fat Quarter Bundle by Deb Strain for Moda!! I just love those beautiful blacks and yellows together.  So pretty!!!    
You have two entry chances, the second being optional, and please leave a separate comment for each.  All Entries are welcome, including International Entries.  Please just be sure to leave an email address if you are a no-reply blogger ;)  

ENTRY 1 - Simply leave a comment that tells me something Creative you are working on this week.  

 ENTRY 2 - Show your Green Fairy Quilts love.   You can follow them on BloglovinTwitterPinterestFacebook, or Instagram.  You can Sign up for their Newsletter which will ensure you catch all of their amazing sales, or you can visit the Shop and then share a favorite item ;)   Just be sure to leave a comment of how you showed your Green Fairy Quilt Love!!!

And that's it ;)  The giveaway will be open until next Tuesday, April 12th when I will announce a winner at the beginning of next weeks Terrific Tuesday Giveaway Post :)

Good Luck and Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!
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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Splendid Sampler Saturday

Here are my Splendid Sampler blocks from this week!!

First up, the Checkerboard Block designed by Pat Sloan.  Oh my, did I have fun making this block.  I find tiny patchwork to be so enjoyable, and getting to make a whole checkerboard of tiny patchwork, even better!!!  And don't you just love that little bunny in there ;)  So cute!!

I also loved piecing this Scrap Star block designed by Corey Yoder.   Those little HST star points are so cute and tiny, and I really liked using lots and lots of different scraps to make them up.  And I just love the little frame that Corey designed, it really sets off the star.  

And I also managed to organize my purple and red scrap drawers as well, while working on these.   I also did my pink drawer, since that is pretty close to red ;)  All that is left is the orange, brown, grey and black drawers.   Yes, I might be a little crazy to be "sorting" my scrap drawers.  Ah well, what ya gonna do ;)

I hope you have a very Happy Quilting Saturday ;)  I am looking forward to lots more Splendid Sampler Saturday's over the coming months ;)
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Friday, April 1, 2016

Moroccan Lullaby - Finished Pattern!!!

I am so super excited to say I have a new pattern to share this morning, or afternoon.  I had planned to work on this throughout the week, but ya, that didn't happen.  So I woke up early this morning and have been at the computer for hours, but hey it's done!! So without further ado, the  pattern for the Moroccan Lullaby quilt I shared last week  is now available!!!

The pattern can be found in my Etsy Shop,  and like all my new Pattern Releases, It is on Special!!!!  This week Moroccan Lullaby will be marked down to $5.50!!! After that, it will be marked at the regular pattern price of $8.50 :)

I shared lots of details about the actual Quilt in my post last Friday so if you want to see lots more pics and some of the detail and inspiration behind the quilt, click on over here ;)    For this post, I just want to share a few details about the pattern.

Moroccan Lullaby has 5 size options, a Baby, Lap, Twin, Picnic, and a Queen/King size. and is made of 1 block that has a fantastic intersecting design built into it.

You will notice that the largest quilt size is a Queen/King size.  This is because of 2 reasons.  1. The Large Block size doesn't allow for a whole lot of wiggle and 2. I made the quilt specifically for a King that has a tiny box spring and the 100" x 100" fits perfectly.  So basically, it will fit a Queen with a large drop, and a King with a smaller drop.   And with that said, I added a bit in the pattern about adding a border to get the exact size quilt you want.  I suggest using the same background fabric so it has a nice floating quality to the design and you could do that on any of the size quilts. (ie, if you wanted less drop of the queen, you can use the picnic size and add a border)    I hope that helps everyone make the exact size quilt they need for their particular bed ;)

And you might have noticed, this pattern is Fat Eighth friendly.   So don't feel like you have to stick to repeating prints like I did, you can add as much variety as you like, or even do it all in one print, two prints, or three ect.  . . . there is a yardage option for that as well ;)  

And just like all my patterns, this is a full color pattern that can be printed in either page format or book format.  It is filled with lots of wonderful illustrations to guide you along each step of the way.   And I promise, it is a lot easier than it looks ;)  And of course,  if you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to email me ;)  

And that just about sums it up ;)   Again, the pattern can be found in my Etsy Shop and will be on special for $5.50 all this week ;)

Thanks for popping in today and I hope you have a very Happy Quilting Weekend!!!
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