That's what I've been doing with my scraps, too. The cut pieces somehow take up less room than a pile of fabric, with very little waste. I like Bonnie Hunter's quilts. She has a scrappy style similar to mine, and a lot of her quilts appeal to me. In fact, the patches & pinwheels I am going to start this year is one of her projects.
01-01-2019, 02:11 PM
I related to what the article said about having the fabric cut and ready to go. That would make getting started so much easier and more appealing.
I also agree with what she said about using up ugly fabric in a quilt. Stuff does get lost in the crowd, and it becomes more about color tone than print design.
CH, what type of die cutter do you have? Is it very big? Do you think it's worthwhile for occassional use? I'm assuming it will cut a 2.5 square. How many layers can you cut at once? You know I love power tools.
It looks like my templates should arrive Friday or before. Since they're only 50 miles from here now, I think they will come tomorrow evening. It's probably for the best. I should be able to finish the wolves tomorrow without getting distracted. I could be cutting triangles for the 9 patch while I wait, too.
I love it, of course. It takes a lot of strain off my hands from using scissors and the rotary cutter. I can just put the fabric through and know it is the right size instead of messing with rulers and squares on the cutting mat. Mine is roughly the same size and weight of a newer plastic cased sewing machine, not that I ever carry it around. Opened up it takes up ~18x32" of table space.
I have the 8" die set, which includes the 2.5" square. The die cuts 4 at a time, and you can layer up to 6 pieces of quilt weight cotton, though they recommend 4 because the fabric will start to slide. There are other sets, from 6" to 12" and they have different sized dies. The 6" set cuts a 2" square, for example, and the 12" will cut 3.5" squares. You do not have to buy the bundled sets if all you want is the square die, but it can be a cost savings over getting them individually. I got the $100 strip die "free" with my bundle.
Most of the dies are 6.5x6.5, but some are 6.5x12" or larger. I believe the 10 and 12" sets have 8" dies. All the 6.5" dies work on all the machines but if you get into the larger ones, like my strip cutter which is 12" wide you can't use it on the baby "Go Me!" machine. That was a factor in choosing the size I got.
I would say if it hurts your hands to cut, then try the machine. If you are going to cut a lot of one shape, try the machine. If you are not going to be making a lot of quilts it may not be a wise investment. I have heard of libraries and quilt guilds renting them out, that might be an option for you. Or finding a used machine, then buying a new die. Like anything, the dies wear out, though after a year of hard use mine are still ok. Price it out and see if you think it is worth it. It's certainly made quilting a lot more fun for me.
01-01-2019, 04:54 PM
Thanks, CH. Good info. I will look into it. I thought about how much it might get used. Husby is showing interest in making things, so that might be a factor. Not sure if he will follow through or not, but I never thought he'd learn to cross stitch and still love it 30 years later either. He's been hovering around the work table every time I'm messing with quilt stuff, so I think he's genuinely interested for now. Hard to say if he would like it once he tries it. How much we would use it would depend on both of us using it and what sizes and shapes we could make, I think. Husby can stay focused on the same type of projects for years, but I get bored and move from one thing to another in cycles.
I cut a stack of triangles for the 9 patch. I will probably work on the latch hook for a while, and that will be about all I get done for crafts today. Tomorrow I go back to eating right, exercising, and generally being more productive. And finishing the wolves. I really want that out of my hair. I've had an idea how to piece the 2 pieces of fleece for the backing so they look like maybe I pieced them on purpose, but can't work on it while Husby is home.
01-01-2019, 05:45 PM
I also like Bonnie Hunters precut idea. Years ago when I was visiting my sister in Alaska we took a weekend class with Bonnie Hunter - had a blast!! I like her scrappy quilts and how she uses the strings on paper foundation. That helped me to use a bunch of fabric that would have ended up in the trash otherwise.
I really need to get back into quilting and I thought I might now that we have a house but my daughter and her family are going to move in with us sometime after the first of the year....There goes my sewing room :-(
01-01-2019, 06:20 PM
Oh, LL, sorry you are losing your sewing room. Do any of your local shops have sewing days? A couple of stores here will let you bring your machine and use the big tables in the classroom and just hang out all day.
SD, if quilting is something you like, and you have the stash for, then the machine might be motivational for you. You know I got really excited when I got mine last year. Cutting time went from hours to minutes. You know how it is when you are doing your DFG stuff and it is all pre- cut and you can just sew.
They make a Value Die that has two sizes of squares and a pair of triangles. At first I was going to get just that because it could be used for a variety of designs. That might be good to start with.
01-01-2019, 06:40 PM
CH - Great idea! I just looked and there is a quilting store 20 miles away. Might have to investigate if they do long arm quilting. I made a quilt top for my daughter years ago and have never finished it into a quilt.
01-01-2019, 07:53 PM
I doubt there is anyone here who would rent a cutter. Good thought though. I might ask around. Not sure when our craft group starts again.
I like some of the string quilts I've seen. I've been tempted to save my little skinny scraps but haven't taken the plunge yet. I have several more regular quilts to make first, and if I start collecting supplies beyond those, I have to find space. I might be able to, but have to do that first. I cannot go back to the chaotic mess I used to have in my sewing room. Getting things done in there is infinitely easier now and I'm not going back. But I think I could empty a pail or 2 to get started.
Did I just talk myself into digging through my trash yet again? :sigh:
01-01-2019, 08:07 PM
I have pain sometimes in my wrists, caused by wrestling all those moosehide mukluks years ago. I've managed to avoid surgery for 25 years, but lots of sewing still aggravates them, as does stuff like using certain tools like drills, if I'm not careful. Cutting shield parts hurts, mostly because of having to hold the scissor at odd angles to get around the curves. Most of the time I don't have a problem, but it got painful working with the Lone Star as it got bigger and heavier and harder to deal with.
CH, I thought your cutter was electric, for some reason.
We had a die cutter in the basement when I worked in the boot factory. When that thing stamped out leather parts, we could feel the vibrations in the second floor sewing room. We could hear it, too, even with multiple industrial machines running. It was a huge beast. So was the guy who ran it.
01-01-2019, 10:06 PM
If I really get into the fabric art in a serious way - this year will tell how that goes - the dream machine I have read about for that is a felting machine. It lets you attach multiple layers of fabric without sewing them. I doubt I will ever get to that point, but it’s sounds interesting. I have only found one and it was around $280. It’s not on the wishlist for a long, long time, if ever.
The other day I didn’t see a pothole and hit it hard. I thought that might have taken out a tire. It did. When I drove out to get the mail yesterday the low tire light came on. Bummer. I have an appointment Thursday afternoon so I have to get to get it fixed tomorrow. Tomorrow it is going to be pouring and we were just given a parish wide flood warning through Friday. It’s supposed to start raining soon. Not weather I want to drive in. My neighber will come over tomorrow when I’m ready to leave and air it up. It’s a weird size tire so Its best to take it to the dealer. Actually it’s more likely to be a bent rim than the tire itself. The road has chewed them up before.
Anyway, by the time I get that done and in the miserable weather I’m scrapping the JA trip though I will be very close to it. Getting the walker in and out of the car in pouring rain is a non-starter. I have small pieces of some of the supplies I was going to get so it can wait. If I run out of something I can always work on something else. My birthday is in April so I will just ask for everyone to chip in on a JA gift card. By then I may know better what I need and I can get it all at once. I have to say though that the long planned supply run to JA would be more fun than messing with a tire. But so it goes.
01-02-2019, 05:15 AM
I am soooooo impressed!
01-02-2019, 05:23 AM
I've been without a sewing machine for several years, and finally got one again. I'm probably not going to quilt, although I admire quilts. But I do have some pieced fabric placemats that my MIL made many years ago, and thought that might be interesting to make into a throw or quilt of some kind. So....... anyway......I don't have a fabric stash. But I do have a paper stash. I do a lot of crafting with paper, and golly gee....... that stuff can accumulate!!!!!!! I've organized it by size, somewhat by color family or pattern, but I really need to just knuckle down and work with it on some projects.
01-02-2019, 08:13 AM
looks like there are a lot of Bonnie Hunter fans. I try to get her mystery quilt before it gets taken off her blog and so am collecting those patterns. too many I want to do. I managed to sit at my machine for about an hour yesterday stitching away on some string blocks. ( can't work on the wedding dress until the bride to be comes on Friday to try it on) I think my big thing to get done today though is to find my table and also get my kitchen caught up on dishes and find my counters. haha! ( I also try to get 10,000 + steps in a day too. so I beter get stepping and washing and clearing)
01-02-2019, 08:35 AM
My goals are to get my yarn stash down to 3 from 4 banker boxes (I make hats and scarves for the warming shelter). Also to finish the wall quilt I am supposed to be making for a friend. And to be able to honestly call myself a quilter again instead of a fabric hoarder. And cut up some more scraps for the charm square packs I sell online.
01-02-2019, 09:29 AM
I made a skirt with some plaid fabric. It was wool or wool-ish. I am not sure of the actual fabric content. I am making a bear out if the same fabric.
I have a few more pieces I can use to make some simple skirts. I think I can get three more done.
My plan is to use up one of my three boxes of fabric then fill it up again. I would like to work more with fabrics like felt, flannel and maybe minky. And those take up a bunch of space.
The shutdown is not showing any signs of ending soon. We have some money saved up, but I suspect many of my coworkers do not. The mood in the office when we finally go back will be pretty bad for a while.
I am going to try minimizing checking news stories. Some will offer a tiny bit of hope, only for it to be crushed in the next story.
I am glad right now to be frugal. I am glad I have lots of craft bits on hand.