25 January 2015

High Tech, Low Tech

I wish I could just write *insert witty opening line about not having posted in years here* and have one appear but, alas, life doesn't work that way. Instead, it moves on and before you've realized it has been two years since you even looked at your blog. Go figure!

My quilting has been much slower lately. Since my last post (seems ages ago, really!) my left shoulder hasn't improved, unfortunately. I have had two surgeries on said shoulder, which has put a big damper on rotary cutting. I'm now still dealing with that shoulder's issues (how am I this broken? I'm still in my 20s!) after I fell off my bike on ice and landed squarely on that arm. My latest MRI shows that I have what appear to be small tears in my rotator cuff and possibly some scar tissue growing through some of the tears. I'll find out in late February if I'll have to have another surgery.

I had resisted getting a Go! Cutter until a couple of months ago, when I finally decided that enough was enough and I was being utterly ridiculous. I bought the Go! regular with a 2.5" strip die and a 1.5" strip die (the value die came with it but I haven't used it yet). I love it...absolutely love it. It's easy to use and I get so much more cutting done. Up until fairly recently I had been able to do some rotary cutting but was noticing that I was having more issues with reliability of those cuts. I'd slip at the end of the cut and it would be just a little too big or a little too small, but usually enough to swag and make it work. Getting the Go! has completely eliminated that issue for me, and my 2.5" strip bags are quite healthy.

I haven't had any issues with the fabric being distorted with my cutter, though that could have more to do with the fact that I'm using the strips and not any of the shapes. One of the rubbery feet on the bottom of the center of the cutter has fallen off, but mine gets folded up and moved around fairly often so I'm not too worried about it. I wasn't expecting how much static electricity it produces, but it's not really a problem, just a minor annoyance. It might happen less during the more humid summers, we'll see.

Lately I haven't been able to rotary cut at all, though, so I've gone back to the old days of quilting...drawing lines and cutting pieces with scissors. The Go! cutter is great for making me strips, but I don't have every die and when I need a 2.5" by 6.5" rectangle I can't make it with the dies I have. Rotary cutters were around when I started quilting, but the nice lady who taught me (whose name, unfortunately, I have forgotten some 15 plus years later) was a template woman. She had somewhat opened to the idea of a rotary cutter to add a seam allowance but she would trace her template and then use the rotary cutter to cut .25" away from her line. She and I both hand pieced back then, so the line was necessary to know where to sew.

I became an Auntie recently and, unfortunately, that quilt is still in progress and a secret. I've got another neice on the way soon but her quilt is only a few blocks that are now on hold since baby Quiche's quilt backing finally arrived (names obviously changed for privacy!). The quilt is not quite halfway done with the quilting.

My most recent finish has been for my friend's baby. Baby J-kwelin (it's an inside joke) was born in September and I was able to finish her quilt in time! Her nursery colors are yellow and gray. Her quilt was Bonnie Hunter's Jack in the Box pattern, 4 by 5 blocks with .75" sashing.

Don't look at my messy buffet behind the couch...

And the obligatory shot of the label on the back...
It was a fun little quilt to make. My blocks were a good chance to play with color theory a bit. I found I am not very good at finding "light orange" in my stash, since those color combos invariably didn't read well value-wise. I also started playing with varied neutral backgrounds, though I'm not as relaxed as Bonnie is (each block had the same background, not mixing and matching like Bonnie's quilts usually are...also, all stayed well within the tan color family). I quilted it in rows since the blocks had been made over a long period of time and weren't exactly the same size.

My other finish recently was for baby Jorgito. He was born in August and he's the most serious, studious baby I've met. I used string blocks for his quilt; his nursery was green and brown, hence the color scheme of the quilt!

Oh's my couch again!

I love the backing fabric.


The binding for this quilt was actually leftover bits from Baby S's quilt a few years ago. The brown/orange/blue/green/yellow stripes really looked nice with the colors on the front of the quilt. I had just enough of the stripe (in the direction it needed to go) to do this quilt with about 8" leftover. Stash for the win!

That's enough for now...wrapping up with a link back to Judy L's fabric report! Nothing finished so I can't count anything used yet. Drat! By way of explanation: all added yardage is backings for the two neice quilts. My goal is to use 50 yards this year.

Used this Week: 0 yards
Used year to Date: 0 yards
Added this Week: 4 yards
Added Year to Date: 7 yards
Yards to Goal: 50
Net for 2015: 7 yards added