Thanks for dropping by to take a look at some of my thoughts and ideals. Hope you will let me know if this has been helpful, useful, inspiring or whatever, and remember to come back soon.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Coming to the end of this chapter.

I'm always amazed at how very busy everything gets at certain times like in the summer when I am gardening and canning and freezing.  Those are full time jobs in the summer.  Then I'm always amazed in the winter when I am trying to get ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas at how much there is to do and it isn't that I don't enjoy those things, they just take time.  There are always the unexpected things that pop up also that take so much of our time, like illness when I don't feel well, and then there are family members that require help when they aren't well.  All in all sometimes it seems like I just can't even find time to sit down for a few minutes and relax and do something I want to do without feeling guilty for those things I am neglecting.  Right now with trying to get ready for spring and planning to start a new phase of my life things have been hectic.  Now the problem is I function well with hectic to a certain extent so I really am enjoying some of this "stuff" I am doing.  What I really want to talk about today is coming to the end of this chapter of my life.

I can almost hear the gasp and indrawn breaths out there as you read this, but never fear I'm still quilting.  How many quilts have you finished.  Particularly if you have put a lot of time into making that gorgeous top and overcame all of the little things that seem to throw up road blocks to getting the product finished!!  I seems to me, when I put a large block of time, over several days, or weeks, into making a top and then I finally put the borders on the top I feel a sense of loss.  Now I don't have that to work on anymore and I'm at a loss as to what I will start next!  Can you tell I was a topper in a past life.  I love the making of the tops. 

Next I have to get that quilt on the machine and get it quilted.  Now I really very rarely have a quilting design in mind when I first start a quilt so I have to put some thought into what I want the quilting design to be on this particular top.  I've been to many quilt classes over the years and everyone uses some different inspiration to decide which design they will use on a particular pattern on the top.  The old standby when you can't think of anything else is meandering but after a while I just don't want to do meandering!

Eventually I will just start sewing and the quilt is usually sectioned into different aspects so I do several different patterns on the quilt tying them together with the fabric and the pattern.  Finally I finish the quilting and take the quilt off the machine.  Now it's time to make sure the quilt is squared.  This means my corners are actually corners and not dog earred and not a curve, but an actual corner.  Imagine that!!!  Believe me I have had many quilts where the corners where different geometric shapes and none of them resembled a true corner so I know of which I speak, or type in this case.

Several years ago I found a ruler which I have come to love.  No it isn't just a simple square up ruler though those are great for smaller items, but I tend to make large quilts that are bed sized.  This ruler is a great help when I start to square up a quilt.
One of the great things about this ruler is it's 24 inches in each direction.  I can use this ruler to cut both sides of a corner and since it's 24" that is a significant cut.  First I use the ruler and trim all 4 corners to square and then I connect the dots so to speak and cut the difference.  After cutting a total of 48" that really doesn't leave a lot in the middle to be trimmed out.  I use my longest straight ruler when I connect the dots to finish each side, top and bottom.  This has really worked well for me.  Another thing I love about the ruler is it closes up for storage.

When it is folded if you have a slot in your ruler holder that is somewhat wider than normal this just slides into the slot until the next time you want to use it.  It also works well for squaring up blocks for your quilt.  After cutting the first two sides you can turn the block around and cut the remaining two sides at the same time and it's easy to make sure it's square just by being sure the length measurement is the same for both "legs" of the ruler.

Now I will have to say this ruler was a little pricey, but if you make several quilts like I do, then it is well worth the price just to your sanity alone and the stress over making sure you don't cut it wrong!!  I picked this up at a quilt show several years ago, but I have noticed that "Linda's Electric Quilters" does have this item for sale if you are interested.  I'm sure there are other sites that also carry this but this is just one I have found.

I hope you all have a great day and a ton of success in getting those quilts squared up and ready for binding.  Next week I'll try to write a little about what I have learned about binding and what type binding I enjoy.


  1. Thanks for the square-up ruler info! It was great to see you and Peggy yesterday at the quilt shop 25% off sale. And another big "Thank You!" for all the help you've given us 'newbies' to the quilting world.

    1. You are so sweet, and believe me when I say I really love getting with you and looking at your color choices. You really have a great artistic eye with colors.