Tessellations with the 4 1/2 inch strip die

From Wikipedia: “A tessellation or tiling of the plane is a collection of plane figures that fills the plane with no overlaps and no gaps. One may also speak of tessellations of the parts of the plane or of other surfaces. Generalizations to higher dimensions are also possible. …”

I am so excited. My 4 1/2″ strip die came yesterday. I just let it sit for a few hours as I was working on other things. Then I opened it, looked at it, walked around it awhile, and then a wonderful idea just popped into my head. It has a blade right down the middle which means that I can make my favorite pinwheel tessellation with it. It was late last night when I started, but the ideas are spinning in my head.

So far, this is what I have done:

I cut a 4 1/2 inch strip, and then cut it again into squares. I made stacks of squares all with the right side up.

Then I marked the die so that there is a parallel line exactly one inch on either side of the center blade. I made this line a different color than the blade lines.

Then I laid stacks of 6 squares on the die with the upper right corner touching the line on the right and the lower left corner touching the line on the left. You can reverse this; but if so, the blades of your pinwheel will rotate counterclockwise.

Then I cut them.

I stitched and pressed. This gives me a wonky rectangle.

The wonky rectangle goes on the 3 1/2″ square die using the registration lines to get them fairly even across the blades. It doesn’t matter if they’re a little off.

Then I have four squares which make a finished 6 inch block.


Delirious Again is on the frame

I finished piecing this yesterday. Because it’s set on point, I got two of the borders measured wrong. Haven’t done that in ages, but there were puckers, so I took it off the frame measured and re-measured, laid it out flat on my 12′ quilting table, pinned it well, and re-stitched. It’s good now. When it is hanging, it looks a bit ripply, but it lays completely flat on the frame and will be perfect once it’s quilted. Remind me the next time I start making something on point that I like really flat quilt tops and straight of grain is so much easier – LOL!

I’m doing random spirals all over on it. Here’s what it looks like on the frame.

The blue-violet looks completely blue in the photos, but it really is more purple. And the green is very bright as I’m quilting over it. I had some trouble with skipped stitches, but turned my needle just a bit and it’s running great now. Will keep you posted. 

Ribbon Weave Quilt (Accuquilt strip die friendly)

This is a quick and easy quilt to make and can easily be cut using the 2 1/2″ and 3 1/2″ Accuquilt strip dies, or it can be cut using your rotary cutter. Either way, cutting the 8 1/2″ strips across the width of fabric is the best way to do this. It means your strips are cut on the lengthwise grain and they stretch less when you’re sewing.

It has been blazing hot here. I hope everyone is staying as cool as possible. We’re looking for cooler temps, lower 90s, later in the week.

I’ve been working on ‘Delirious Again’, which is what I’ve decided to name her. Hopefully will have pictures tomorrow.

Click on the image below for instructions for the Ribbon Weave quilt.

Ribbon Weave (click for instructions)

Paper piecing with freezer paper

I don’t do a lot of piecing, but I don’t have a top that has to be quilted right away, so I decided to try some triangle piecing. I usually stick to squares and rectangles because I like the dependable way they go together, and I love to twirl those seam allowances on the back. I’ve been playing around with Star Struck from http://www.quiltville.com. For this block you sew together two 2-1/2 inch x 4-1/2 inch rectangles to make one 4-1/2 inch square. Then you sew off a light 2-1/2 inch square on the dark corner and a dark 2-1/2 inch square on the light corner. Four of these units makes a block with a light friendship star in the middle.

 Sewing diagonally across the corner square to make a triangle is supposed to be one of the best known shortcuts in the quilting world. However, it just doesn’t work for me. They always go wonky and are not square in the end. So I tried some other things. I got out my Easy Angle tool so I could cut them into the right sized triangles first and then sewed them on. That was no better.

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How to prevent seam shadows on your quilt

When piecing a quilt, one should not be able to see the edge of the seam allowance of the darker fabric showing through the light fabric when a seam has been pressed to  the light side. Now I admit, I’m a little compulsive about this. We’re always told to press to the dark if we can, and there’s nothing wrong with pressing to the light side; it can be a good thing if it makes our seam intersection flat. But sometimes that dark fabric just wants to show through. There are ways to take care of it when we’re piecing.

 If it has already happened, there are remedies. I’ve been told that you can go back and trim the dark fabric to be shorter than the light. I’ve tried that and it takes FOREVER!!!! as well as being pretty risky if you accidentally nip the quilt top or trim it so short that it unravels at the seamline.

 So, I took some photos while I was piecing some brown and yellow blocks to illustrate one way to avoid those dark slivers. This is what I usually do if I can.

Continue reading “How to prevent seam shadows on your quilt”