Monday, May 19, 2008

Rulers Rule

Ready for some ruler rules??? Well, my words of wisdom really fall short of rules. Basically, I think your favorite and best ruler is the one you are used to! Sounds like a cop-out I know, but it is true. Some how we seem to like best whatever it is we know.

BUT, here are some general comments on the rulers I use lots and lots.

*6" x 24" (or 6 1/2" x 24 1/2") is a BASIC. You need it to cut from the fold to the selvage when you use yardage.

*9 1/2" square or a 12 1/2" square is a BASIC. They are used to square finished blocks and since most quilt blocks fall between 6" and 12" square, these two cover most needs. You can get square rulers in almost any size and can buy one to fit any block size imaginable but either of these will do you to start.

* 6 1/2" x 18" (or anything approaching that size) is NICE TO HAVE. A shorter ruler is great on fat quarters and smaller cuts. You don't have to fight lots of extra ruler length just to make a short cut.

* 16 1/2" square (or larger) is NICE TO HAVE. This giant one is great for squaring the finished quilt top but you can use the smaller squares too.

Other rulers come in millions of shapes and sizes...some you need for special cuts (flying geese, tri-recs, circles, etc) but they can be bought for a specific quilt rather than general use.

Ruler colors vary and my rule of thumb is to ask what works best with your eyes. Not the COLOR of your eyes!!!! How well you eyes see!!!

As I grow older (Oh no! not the 'as I grow older' excuse) I seem to have a harder time with the yellow or green lined rulers, but I did use them for years and years. Now I tend toward the black line rulers and if I need to mark a certain line I use the colored transparent tapes.

Sorry, no pearls of wisdom here, not even very funny stuff. If you're a beginner , though, I think this will help you.

This is a great place for me to take a survey. Comment on the ruler YOU like best. We may find we have an interesting piece to submit to Quilters Home. I promise to use you name (or alias) if we do get published.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Yellow Brick Road Quilt

Yellow Brick Road is one of my favorite quilt patterns. The designer is Terry Atkinson of Atkinson Designs. She combines clear written directions, great diagrams AND the correct yardage amounts!! Those of us who look at the pictures first can always find clarification from the written parts and those of you who always read first can do the same from the drawings. Who could ask for anything more?......(sounds like a great song title!).

I have taught this quilt to beginning quilters many, many times, suggested it to others at the shop ( many, many times and made it myself in a variety of ways, many, many times. In fact, I should probably contact Terry Atkinson and ask for a commission.....anything to earn fabric money!!

Anyway, just a few more comments before I actually give you the fabric requirements (for those of you taking my class or if you just want to check your stash for possible quilts).
* It is great for beginners, requiring you know only basic skills.
* It looks more complicated than it really is!!!!
* It shows off the fabrics, letting you choose any theme or style.
* It is great for 'fussy cutting' and inserting alternate blocks.
*Once you have made it a couple of times, you can HONESTLY make a lap quilt in a weekend! WOW!

Now, the quilt information:

Pattern: Yellow Brick Road by Atkinson Designs
Materials: Lap size (See pattern for baby, twin,queen,king)
12 fat quarters for center of quilt
2 yards for outer border and binding
3 1/2 yards for backing
1 3/4 yards for batting (from a 90" wide roll)
1 twin packaged batting
Sewing machine (with new needle)
Thread and full bobbin
1/4" foot for your machine
Rotary cutter (45mm or 60mm, any style)
Rulers, 6 1/2" x 24" and a 9 1/2" square (or larger)
Cutting mat (for home, not for class)
Basic sewing supplies (scissors, straight pins, ripper, etc.)
Fabric preparation:
Today's quality quilting fabrics rarely shrink or have a problem with color fading or bleeding. You can confidently use the fabric right from the bolt.
Some quilters prefer to wash, dry and iron their fabric anyway. Washing removes the sizing and changes the way the fabric feels. Pre-washing does not affect the quality or workability of the fabric.
Flannels and homespun fabrics are the exception. These are loosely woven and will shrink a little. You should pre-wash and dry them. This is especially true if you are mixing them with regular quilting fabric. Not pre-washing them could cause different parts of your quilt to shrink or distort when the finished quilt is washed.

THERE!!! all the stuff and info needed for one of my favorite quilts. Even if you don't take a class with me, I guarantee you will love the results when you make it on your own! I'd like to stay and chat, but I have to go make a Winnie-the-Pooh Yellow Brick Road for my niece's new baby boy AND I only have two days before the shower!!!