March 11 2008 Quilting Newsletter
Firstly, allow me to sincerely thank all the lovely quilters who contacted me via the email page, to pass on their condolences to my friend Di after the sad passing of her beloved pet dog, Georgie. So many of you have the kindest hearts – some of you sent little verses and I received some lovely poems also. I’ve passed these onto Di and she has asked me to thank you all for your generosity of heart. We had lunch together last Sunday, and while it’s going to take a long time for Di to come to terms with the big gap in her life, it’s expressions of kindness from absolute strangers that has given her so much comfort and strength. Again, my dear quilting friends thank you, thank you, thank you.
My Star/Appliqué quilt continues to grow and I’m starting to really enjoy the process. I’ve finished the central medallion part and am now in preparation for sewing the eight star blocks together with the appliquéd blocks. This will bring the quilt to about 45” X 45”. The next step will be the 84 or so 4 inch stars that will be the first border. I haven’t started to cut them out yet. It will be a big job of rotary cutting, so I need to stop procrastinating (and finding every other sewing task that needs to be completed) and get into the job.
With the thought of so much rotary cutting ahead of me, I thought I might share with you some tips and hints that I’ve found to be very useful when approaching a big cutting job. These tips and hints go a long way to assisting me in accuracy with my Rotary Cutter. So here goes…..
Judie B’s Rotary Tips
• In Rotary cutting we cut strips first, then shapes from these strips. I fold the fabric over from selvedge to selvedge and make four layers to cut through when creating the strip. To cut the shape from the strip (be it a square, rectangle or what ever), I then lay the fabric out to a single layer. This way I only cut through one layer can cut very accurately, and never have to re-measure or check. I find that when cutting through four layers, I can’t trust that all four layers were laying exactly the same, so I waste time re-measuring the other three sitting under the top layer.
• I always, always press fabric before cutting.
• When I have a lot of cutting to do, I use a piece of masking tape and mark the line on the ruler that I’ll need to line up onto. This takes some stress off my eyes to constantly be looking for the correct line. I then can fine tune the lining up much easier.
• After each project, I take my Rotary Cutter apart, by unscrewing the bolt and flange. I lay each component down in the order that I take it apart. I wipe around the blade, guard and cutter. I use a cotton tip dipped into a little machine oil and wipe that around the blade. Wiping the excess oil off, I then re-assemble the cutter ready for the next project. By cleaning the Rotary Cutter regularly, you are taking the natural build up of lint away from between the blade and the guard. If you let it build up it can make your cutting inaccurate by an nth. An nth isn’t much, but if you’re cutting 90 pieces, 90 x 1nth starts to show.
In my article that I posted last Sunday I broached the topic of Guest Speakers and Tutors at our Guilds and groups, and the question of contracting international or interstate tutors at the expense of using the valuable talents of members within our own guilds and groups.
I’m posting a forum today, for you to make your comments. I’d be very interested to know if your group or guild recognizes the incredible talent that we have within our guilds, or whether they tend to focus on the “names” of the quilt world and secure them for workshops and lectures for our guilds. Please go to the article here: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art24168.asp
Or stop by the forum and make your comment. Here’s the link: http://forums.bellaonline.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=43&PHPSESSID=
Well, folks, I’m really hoping to have my cutting done by this time next week. So I’ll sign off now and speak with you real soon.
Cheerio for now
Judie Bellingham, Quilting Editor
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