Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Ta-Da! Triangles On My Design Wall!

The past few days have been busy, so I'm pleased to report that I've made some paltry progress on my new Tabby Mountain quilt.  

There are more triangles on my cutting table, along with a stack of other fabrics waiting to  be cut up.

More Triangles Ready For the Wall
I know this might not look like much to show for myself, but it's not like I've been holed up in my sewing room for the past five days; I've been busy as usual with other things.  Since my last post on Friday, I've sung at three church services plus four and a half hours of rehearsals, baked a chocolate peppermint fudge Bundt cake to bring to a post-Christmas choir party that I attended with my husband: 

I Should Have Left Out the Peppermint Extract.  It Tasted Like Chocolate Toothpaste Cake.
...Cooked chicken soup from scratch (with my first-ever attempt at Matzo balls!) and delivered it to a sick friend (that soup was delicious, but alas, I forgot to get a picture for you guys).  I also managed to fit in three hours of exercise, a book study, and two doctor appointments.  All since Friday, and all in my so-called "free time" -- I'm not even listing any of the time I spent on activities pertaining to work, housekeeping, or parenting.  So although my progress may look pitiful to some, I am delighted to see those triangles slowly but steadily multiplying on the design wall.  Sewing them together will probably go faster than cutting them out, don't you think?

I prewashed my fabrics so one thing slowing down my cutting is that I have to press and starch each piece of fabric before I start cutting into it.  I'm a fervent believer in starch for precision piecing anyway, but I knew I wanted to start out with starched fabric for this project in particular to control the tendency of all of those long bias edges to want to stretch.  

My Ancient Chinese Secret: Spray Starch
Cutting the solid fabrics and a couple of the prints goes faster than cutting out stripes, directional prints, and kitty cats.  The Tabby Road print is my favorite fabric in the collection, so I'm cutting those triangles one at a time and trying to get one kitty cat in each triangle.  

Fussy-Cutting My Kitty Cats
Of course I want my stripes perfectly straight, directional prints right side up instead of sideways, and prints like the rows of cat food need to be cut straight as well.  

Fabric Edge Is Torn, Print Is Slightly Off Grain
As you can see in the photo above, despite the bottom edge of the fabric being torn so I know it's perfectly on grain, the rows of cat food cans are actually printed onto the fabric slightly crooked.  I want my Cat Snacks to be right side up and nice and straight on my quilt, so I cut my 10" strip parallel to the rows of cans.

Cutting First Pair of 30 Degree Triangles from Double Layer of Cat Snacks Fabric
...And, as you can see in this photo, there isn't a lot of room for error when cutting triangles from these FQ (fat quarter) prints.  I need four triangles from each FQ, and once I've straightened my fabric edge up and cut a 10" strip, I barely have enough to get those four triangles out of it.  Yes, I'm accumulating large fabric scraps of each print for another project, but there are no scraps large enough to cut out another 10" 30 degree triangle if I was to mess one up.

Cutting Second Pair of Triangles From The Same FQ Strip
See what I mean about not much room for error?  I'd rather cut up these luscious prints slowly and carefully than fast and recklessly.  Speed isn't worth what you lose in accuracy, or the finger you sliced off with your rotary cutter, slicing through fabric left and right like a crazy person.  

Future Triangles Waiting in the Wings: Needing to be Starched, Pressed, and Chopped Up
I am really loving working with these saturated colors and fun prints, I can tell you that.  It's like a feast for my eyeballs, calorie-free and everything, which is perfect for January!

Anyway, this was just supposed to be a "quick" post, so I'm signing off now.  I'm linking up with:


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

with all that you have been doing it is a wonder you get done with what you do!! Hope you have enough fat quarters for all the pieces you need.

Laundered Cotton said...

You were definitely right that each row's contrast must be one fabric to set off the prints well. That cake was looking good until I read the fine print. I didn't use to think there was any such thing as 'bad chocolate' but you may have achieved it. New follower to your blog, looking forward to much entertainment as you channel things I'm afraid to say out loud.

Ramona said...

It is amazing how much we pack into a day and don't realize it until it's written down. What a great quilt design! I'm looking forward to watching your progress and seeing all of the gorgeous fabrics you've chosen to use. Enjoy the process!

Sandra Walker said...

Yay for another slow and steady wins the race quilter... :-) And yep, real life does definitely mess with progress in the sewing room... but homemade soup! I did two different ones over the past week, and they are so good, and have leftovers, bonus, so that frees up some real life time to spend in the sewing room (or on the computer eye roll) Loving where your triangles quilt is going, and YES! so annoying when the fabric is printed off-grain.

Janice Holton said...

That is such a perfect description of these fabrics--FEAST FOR THE EYES! I am trying to be on a fabric diet for a little while so I will enjoy seeing these wonderful saturated colors on your blog. Keep 'em coming!

Quilting Gail said...

You made me laugh!!! Chocolate Toothpaste Cake! Looks like you're having fun with your triangles! Happy Creating!

Susan said...

The triangles look really fun, but I more enchanted with that cake - yummy!

Lynette said...

heeee :D I prefer my chocolate without toothpaste in it. I can never taste mint in chocolate without toothpaste being the predominant mental experience. But it's such a gorgeous cake! Your triangles look awesome - I would sure love working on this fun, perky project. I'm like you in my attention to detail; I'll work slower and take more pains to make sure prints are straight, repeats matched in backing seams, etc. I think those are the things that make a quilt exceptional. And boy, am I glad I found your blog :)

Quilting Nonnie said...

I enjoyed reading through your blog and following the process of ironing and cutting your triangles. I have the same fabric as your cat food cans and more from the same fabric line. I'm looking forward to seeing your progress in the future! I'm glad you're enjoying the process.

Mama Spark said...

Thanks for linking up! Your triangles are so neat! I didn't realize how large they are. That bundt cake looks amazing!