Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A NEW least favorite part...

A few months ago I began designing a quilt for J & K for Christmas.  The quilt was to be modern (to suit both of them) with Celtic touches to highlight her heritage.  I was still up in the air as to whether each block would be separated by a sashing that was quilted heavily in a Celtic theme. 

Unfortunately, since that time, their 4 year relationship/engagement has ended.  It has been a rough time for all of us, especially my dear, sweet J who firmly believed he had found his soul-mate in K.  But life goes on...

Now that I have finished the placemat gift for our friend, it is time to begin work on a quilt that is J's alone.  His quilt is going to be made exclusively of HST's (half square triangles), without sashing between each block.  I feel this will make his quilt more masculine and modern.  His quilting will be "loosely" themed around his love of computers.  He has been a "computer geek" for the past 16 years and currently works at a computer service company.  Technology is truly "him". 

I designed his quilt to be either 3 or 4 (pictured above) blocks wide and 4 or 5 blocks long. 

His blocks will be made primarily of the light gray, medium blue and dark blue, his favorite colors.  The beautiful batik fabric will be used for the binding.  While sized to fit his queen bed, this quilt will also be perfect draped across the gray sofa we purchased for his apartment last Christmas. 

I have never before made a quilt that consisted of so many small pieces and decided maybe it was time to give my Sizzix Big Shot its first real workout.

I waited for a sale at the Sizzix website and purchased a HST cutting die. 

The die cuts two half square triangles at a time and can be stacked with 8 pieces of fabric per pass through the machine.  Given that the "squares" formed by sewing together the two HST's will "finish" at 4", it is going to take A LOT of HST's to finish his quilt! 

I began by cutting 5.5" wide strips of fabric...

...cutting 5.5" squares to place into the Big Shot...

...stacking 8 squares at a time...

...and running them through the machine.  I realize that I could have "accordion folded" the fabric instead of cutting individual 5.5" squares...but I HATE having to remember which is the front and back of the fabric!  By stacking, I know the front of the fabric is facing up in the machine...and I feel I am less likely to have a triangle miscut. 

Unfortunately, the cuts are not always complete and I sometimes need to snip one or two tiny threads in order to separate the HST's. 

While using my Big Shot is definitely easier and more precise than rotary cutting, I have discovered something about this part of the process that had never quite dawned on me before.  I HATE the fabric cutting stage of making a quilt!  It seems like I am making absolutely NO progress on the finished project...which is frustrating me to no end! 

So, I have decided to move on to cutting some HST's from the other two fabrics and begin piecing the individual blocks, each consisting of a whopping 32 gray HST's, 20 light blue HST's and 20 dark blue HST's.  Maybe then my creative self will feel fully engaged in the process. 

While I had never REALLY believed I could finish J's quilt in time for Christmas, this long "cutting" process is pushing it back as far as his birthday or maybe even NEXT Christmas!  And to think...I hoped to complete a postage stamp quilt some day!  Maybe not...


  1. I do love the colours that you chose for J's quilt and the planned pattern is very masculine.

    How is your Dad doing?

    God bless.

    1. I have not seen dad in a week because I am still sick as a dog! From what I hear, he is doing great! Better than me!

  2. Lin, sorry to hear that you are sick! I feel so bad for Justin that he lost his soul mate, but he will find someone wonderful! Everything takes time. I love blue so I will be watching that progress on this quilt closely.
    Take care of yourself!! Carrie W.

    1. Thank you, Carrie! The past month or two have been SO stressful for me, and then the physical stress driving back and forth to the hospital with Dad's surgery was just too much for my body. I saw my doctor today and he is not at all surprised that I have caught a bug on top of my normal physical stuff. He upped my steroid for the next week to try to get a handle on the pain again. The bug will unfortunately have to go away on it's own. At least the cold has left my head and landed in my chest...usually the last step before I am over it! He also suggested a very short walk every day to get my muscles back to a "normal" amount of use after the recent overuse and shutdown, lol. I guess I have to hang in there until my body is no longer ticked off at me, LOL.

  3. Lin. I have a link that allows you to cut six or eight half aware triangles out of two big squares. If interested I will find it. Ebe with just two I always draw the line and then sew on either side. But then I also have been known to buy the white packs of layer cakes or charm squares in size my blocks accordingly

  4. Barbara, if you have the link I woulld love to check it out! On a "good" tremor day I may accomplish more that way. Thank you!