Saturday, February 16, 2019

Getting My Ducks In a Row, Or My Geese Lined Up In Circles

Hello there, and happy Saturday morning!  I'm pleased to report that I've actually STARTED on my son's graduation quilt.  I haven't sewn a stitch yet -- just prep work so far, but I have a feeling the upfront prep work on this project will pay off with an accelerated pace once I do start piecing.
Precut Geese Patches, Bagged and Labeled

First things first: After the Disastrous Dye Bleed Detour of 2018, my first step had to be checking each of these fabrics to make sure there was no loose dye from the dark fabrics waiting to bleed all over my yellows!

Once Bitten, Twice As Likely to Check for Colorfastness!

I just snipped off about a 2" square from each fabric and stuck it in a glass of boiling water.  The white paper towel beneath the glasses makes it easy to see whether any of the fabrics is turning its water into Easter egg dye.  Happily, there were no issues with any of my fabrics this time.  I was able to skip the step of preaching/preshrinking my fabrics because they are all Kona Solids.  Since they're all from the same line, I predict that they are all going to have the same rate of shrinkage.  I am totally cool with that shrinkage happening AFTER I quilt this, because I like that puckery texture and I'm short on time.

Bigger IS Better When it Comes to Light Boxes!

Since I designed this quilt in EQ8, I was able to print my foundation paper piecing patterns for the arced flying geese directly from the software onto newsprint.  However, these are 12" blocks and the foundation pattern is too big to fit onto a single sheet of newsprint.  I used my giant lightbox to precisely match up the registration marks on the two pattern sheets and then taped them together with Scotch Magic Tape (unlike cellophane tape, Scotch Magic Tape won't melt when ironed).

Foundation Patterns Taped and Ready to Go!
I printed and taped together six of the 48 arced geese foundations and then set them aside to start cutting into my fabric.

When paper piecing, I have best results if I roughly cut out each patch the correct shape but with an oversize seam allowance.  That makes it easier for me to tell if I'm positioning the piece correctly when I sew it to the foundation, which translates into less ripping out stitches and redoing!  Going back to my EQ8 design, I printed templates for all of the flying geese triangles directly onto card stock, but set the seam allowance to 1/2" rather than the default 1/4" that I'd use for traditional piecing.

Precutting Fabric for Paper Piecing with Oversize Template
Each triangle in the arc of flying geese is a different shape and size, and I have 14 different shades of blue, yellow and green in each one so I know I need to be organized to piece these accurately.  Since there are 48 blocks, I'm cutting out 48 patches from each template. As you see above, I use my rotary cutter and ruler to cut strips, and then I use the ruler to cut the straight edges of each triangle from the strips and freehand the rotary cutter around the curves.  This is actually going pretty quickly since the patches don't need to be exact, just roughly cut with room to spare, cutting four at a time.  I did mark my grainline on each template, though -- I want a straight grain on the bottom of every little goose unit.

All of Unit T4 in Kona Solids Oasis Have Been Cut and Bagged
All of the patches for a given template get bagged in a ziplock baggie, labeled with the template letter (generated by my EQ8 quilt design software), a number indicating the order in which the patches get sewn to the foundation, and the Kona Solid color of that fabric, in case of an oops requiring more fabric.  I am also cutting extras of everything -- it's so much faster to cut a few extra pieces up front than to have to go back and cut a replacement patch later on, interrupting your piecing groove!

Here's my quilt design again, in case you missed my previous post:

My EQ8 Design for Lars's Graduation Quilt
It's an extra-long Twin size for a college dorm.  Forty-eight blocks, each block finishes at 12" so the quilt should end up around 72" x 96" or slightly smaller, depending on how closely I quilt it and how much shrinking happens in the first wash.  I love, love, LOVE that I can design any quilt I want in my EQ8 software, color every single patch with actual fabric so I know exactly what it's going to look like from the very beginning, and then print out my own personal foundation patterns and templates to turn that idea into reality.  Seriously, my quilting software is probably my favorite quilting tool second only to my sewing machine!  

Introducing Goldilocks, my new Bernina 475QE Travel Machine!

...But, speaking of sewing machines, look who followed me home from the Bernina store last week:

Meet Goldilocks, My New Bernina 475QE!
This is the newly-introduced Bernina 475QE and she's my Goldilocks machine -- not too big, not too small; not too pricey but still fully featured, with all of the Bernina features that I use on a regular basis and nothing extra that I don't need (or want to pay for) on a travel machine.  I'm totally smitten.  I'll post a full review of the machine within the next week or so.  Meanwhile, there are more flying geese triangles to be cut out for Lars's quilt!

Have a great weekend, everyone!  I'm linking up with:

·      Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts 
·      Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
·      Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
·      Moving it Forward at Em’s Scrap Bag:


Ramona said...

I am so excited to see your progress on this quilt. I have loved it since you first showed your design. I do not have EQ anything and have never used the software, but am thinking I really need to look into getting it. And your new machine is wonderful. I've been thinking that I need a travel machine, too. :)

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

yes the prep work is tedious but like you say it will move faster when you sit down to sew each time - I have never had Kona fabric bleed!

CreationsbyPaulaMu said...

This is going to be awesome! I can't wait to see your ptogress.

LA Paylor said...

why is it a travel machine? I went to see the video... looks great! Does it have the spiral stitch? LeeAnna

Gretchen Weaver said...

This is a lovely pattern. I think it seems like it take just as long or longer to prep a project than it does to actually sew it! But all the time spent carefully prepping pays off when sewing. I also oversize my pieces for foundation paper piecing. It's so much easier to trim down than to take apart and resew. Happy stitching!

Laurel Strand said...

Very taken with your design. So much so that I've drafted my own pattern with the intention to make it. FYI: Found 12 x 18 newsprint on Staples that will fit the whole foundation pattern.

Janice Holton said...

You are a very good saleswoman! Your raving about EQ8 makes we want to try it! I am to a point where I'm doing a Block of the Month QAL and I am having an AWFUL time making up my mind about fabrics! If I could just seem how they would look ahead of time without cutting out the pieces and wasting fabric, I would be happy camper. I don't now if I told you on your other post or not, but I am VERY impressed by your design for your son's quilt. It has such a 3-dimensional look to it with your use of color and sizing. Great design!

Preeti said...

I have said it before but it must be repeated. You exhibit the zeal of a warrior with the sensitivity of an artist, along with the precision of a surgeon (newly added).
Kudos to you. Someday, you should do this as a Quilt Along.

Rebecca Grace said...

They say "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." I'm glad you like my quilt design well enough to want to make one of your own, Laurel! :-). However, now I have anxiety that: 1) Your quilt will get finished before mine 2) Your quilt will be better than mine 3) Mine won't be one-of-a-kind anymore... Silly, right? Seriously, though -- I'd love to see your version, so please send me pictures! All I ask is that, if you ever show the quilt, submit it for publication, or post it to social media, you credit REBECCA DEMING RUMPF for the design and include a link back to my blog. Also, thanks for sharing your source for the larger size newsprint!

Jaye said...

Great quilt design!! I love it.

I also love the name of your blog.

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

What a beautiful pattern, a lot of preparation, but it's going to be amazing!