Saturday, September 8, 2012

Colorful Kites

I wanted to do something today, a project for the pure pleasure of sewing and playing with bright colours!  I have been playing with this ruler off and on but hadn't quite ever settled on a colour scheme that I really had the urge to play with.  Sew, here we go!  I am a huge Eleanor Burns fan as many of you may know.  I think her books are marvelous, especially for beginners.  She leaves nothing to chance, she goes into great detail about everything from choice of colours and why, as well as all the tools that you will need.  The Quilt in The Day Books show you every step no matter how big or small the steps may be, the books are well thought out and produced.
Here is the ruler I was playing with today, a 4 1/2" On-Point Ruler. You can use either a charm pack of precuts which is 42 5" squares or you can use 10 Layer Cake squares which are 10" square precuts.  I made my own 10" squares as well as a few 5" squares.

Specialty rulers are great fun to have, some are more practical than others but like all tools if you take good care of them they will last forever.  There are people that will tell you that you don't need them, you can use cardboard or paper templates.  After 28 years of doing patchwork, I can honestly tell you that cardboard and paper don't stand up well with a rotary cutter and your finished blocks will be be inconsistent.

I love using a new ruler, it gives me an opportunity to try different shapes and it challenges me to think about all the different uses and the design possibilities.

I decided to follow the pattern on the ruler, a way of testing it to see if I can get the same results that the ruler claims you can get.

Here is a photo of the pieces for the block.  The center piece is the fabric from the Layer Cake or Charm Square.  I chose to use a white on white background fabric since the undertones of the fabrics that I am using are white.
Do you see how I trimmed the 1/4" corner off the white?  This will allow me to line up my triangles with ease without having to figure out if the overhang of the the white triangle is an exact 1/4". Are you confused now... trust me it took me years to figure out that if I trimmed my triangles when working with say a 60 degree triangle, I would get perfect results.
In the above photo the white triangle is right side facing down and the trimmed corner is even with the edge of the brown fabric.  If I had not trimmed off the corner I would have been trying to guess whether the pointed was a 1/4" above the brown and if I didn't get it right! God help us, the seam ripper would be out and I would be losing time with every set of triangles!!!!

When I open up the two pieces I have even sides.  WooHoo!!!!  It's the simple things in life that make me happy.
The blocks go together very fast, I recommend chain piecing.  Life takes on a new dimension when you start chain piecing, don't be afraid to give it a try.  One of the benefits of chain piecing is that you keep your work very organized and therefore you piece quicker but the biggest benefit is you don't waste as much thread!
After pressing my first two pieces open, I add the third piece, then press that open and here we are!  Actually this picture was taken after I used the ruler to trim all four sides down to the correct size.
This is what I am going to leave you with right now.  This is how I left the cutting table this evening.  Will do some more playing tomorrow!  Stay tuned for more.

Tomorrow is a big day, we have a girls u-12 football county final.  Way to go Clonee, you girls are outstanding!!!!!!  And then we are going to watch the All Ireland Hurling Championship, as the granddaughter of a proud Galway woman.... UP GALWAY!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Sewing!
Anne Marie


  1. Love the ruler may have to add it to my collection! Good luck to Maggie and her team today.

  2. more wonderful ideas and I see you have updated the class schedule also - too much choice and not enough time to do it all.

  3. i love the snipped end of the tringle, SO clever!