Sunny Days Quilt and Pillow

img_20160928_1600282_rewindI didn’t make the Sunny Days quilt for any specific purpose; I saw a jelly roll of this line by Benartex in my daily email from Missouri Quilt Co. and decided I had to have it. Flipping through my quilting books, I found a pattern for jelly rolls that seemed like a good fit.

img_20160928_1603074_rewindI backed the quilt with a lovely bright green fabric from my stash, which could probably be considered vintage since it’s at least 20 years old.

I ended up with two spare blocks, hence the pillow. Now that I have granddaughters, perhaps one of them will enjoy this quilt at some point :)

img_20160928_1600370_rewindThis quilt was pieced and free-motion quilted on my supermachine, which I am enjoying immensely, and highly recommend!

Safe Rotary Cutting for Quilters

For over 20 years, I’ve used rotary cutters to cut fabric for my quilts, and I’ve never had an accident. That’s just luck, because plenty of accomplished, careful quilters have cut themselves badly at least once while using this very sharp tool.

Now that I’m on blood thinners, and the least little scratch makes me bleed quite a bit, I’m thinking that I’ve got to do more than just hope my luck doesn’t run out: I need protection! So I decided to buy a ruler guard, a large gripper for big templates and rulers, a small gripper for smaller templates and rulers, and some cut-resistant gloves.

But they added up to over $60, and while that’s way less than the cost of an emergency room visit, it’s still a lot of money. So I thought about it for a few days, and did some research. That’s how I found this blog post about finding sewing supplies at hardware stores. Turns out I could have all the safety equipment I wanted for less than the cost of just the gloves!

So after researching what I needed at their website, I went to the nearest Harbor Freight store and bought the following items:

Here’s my new large gripper, which cost only $6.99 (I don’t know why the photo makes it look pink with green, as it’s actually white with blue):

img_20160924_1349521_rewindI also bought a small gripper for $3.99:

img_20160924_1345374_rewindAnd an even smaller gripper for $2.99:

img_20160924_1346412_rewindAdd in a pair of cut-resistant gloves for only $5.99, and you can see I got quite a lot of protection for barely $20:

img_20160924_1342475_rewindI also bought the ruler guard, though not at Harbor Freight; by calling around, I found it at a local quilt shop so I bought it from them instead of online. I’ve already begun cutting out a complex project, and while it took a little while to get used to wearing gloves, I’m pleased with everything I bought, and find that cutting with grippers actually speeds up the process.

I’ve also begun wearing shoes when I use the rotary cutter. Why? Because I saw a comment on a sewing forum where someone said they accidentally dropped their rotary cutter on their bare foot, severing some veins and muscles, leading to a lot of pain and two surgeries. I don’t normally wear shoes in the house, but I do now when I’m cutting fabric for a quilt!

 

 

Quilt for a New Grandchild

IMG_20160616_1600483_rewindI pieced this top long almost a year before the announcement that my newest granddaughter was on the way; I saw the fabric in a catalog and had to have it, but found that I could get more of it for my money on Etsy. But the line is so muted that it doesn’t photograph very well. You can get a clearer look at the line, called Babes in Farmland by Timeless Treasures, HERE. Here’s a shot of the quilt up close:

IMG_20160616_1601494_rewindThe top sat in my UFO collection until just a few months ago; luckily I had plenty of fabric left over for the backing:

IMG_20160616_1602560_rewindI quilted it in a meandering pattern. Another fun project, made with love for my newest granddaughter.

 

 

College Advice from a Ph.D.

In Thriving in the 21st Century, I described how to assess whether or not your teen is “college material.” In this video, a man who holds a Ph.D. and has taught at several universities explains just how crucial it is that parents ask the right questions before sending their sons or daughters to college. This is well worth watching:
 

 

Paradigm Shift Quilt

IMG_20160616_1556128_rewindI saw a photo of this quilt in a magazine and just had to make it. The pattern is called “Paradigm Shift,” and it was a lot of fun to make. It was the perfect use for a group of black and gray precuts I bought a while back from Connecting Threads.

IMG_20160616_1556269_rewindI know many quilters don’t recommend using sheets as quilt backings, but I thought the vintage sheet I used on the back worked out just fine; I had no problems quilting it on my Brother PQ1500SL High Speed Quilting and Sewing Machine.

IMG_20160616_1557113_rewind