Monday, September 12, 2016

Moving It Forward Monday: The Gadget Addendum

As noted on my "Moving It Forward" post, I've had a fun month so far with QOV projects:


My word for the year is Efficient and for me part of achieving that is finding good tools to help get tasks done quick.  So far this month, this "Gadget Fanatic", had lot of fun with old tools, relatively new tools, newly purchased tools and "first time used" tools!!

Starting off, the quilt in the center of the picture above I call "Combat Gratitudes" and it is a great QOV mystery quilt design by Vickie Welsh of Field Trips in Fiber.  It is made with only four different blocks, all finishing at 8".  So all of these:


Were cut out with just these:


I used the Accuquilt Go! Value die for 2-1/2"(2" finished) HST triangles and the 4-1/2" (4" finished) HST triangles die.  Ever since I bought my Go! cutter, I've looked at projects to determine if I could "Make It Go!" and this was definitely one of those.  In the pattern, Vickie made the blocks with the HST corners using the "sew and flip a square" method.  However, I just cut extra 2-1/2" HST triangles and laid them on the corner of 4-1/2" squares lining up the 1/4" sewing line to the edges of the square and sewing them on with my 1/4" foot.  While I could have used the Value die to also cut the squares I needed, I used my trusty old and well used June Tailor Shape Cut template.  I was able to cut both the strips needed for the triangle dies and to sub-cut additional strips into the 2-1/2" (2" finished) squares and  4-1/2" (4" finished) squares needed to make the blocks. 
 
Since I used this project as a leader/ender for another one, there was A LOT of chain piecing going on while working on both.  For that, another big help and a "new to me" gadget was this:



It's called the Chain Ripper which I ordered from Gay Bomers at Sentimental Stitches.  The story here is that when my MIL was here on her last trip back in July, we were constantly searching my "quilt space" (aka the dining room) for seam rippers.  I don't know about the rest of you but for some reason I never use the seam ripper that comes with my sewing machines -- I hold them as sacred!  I know that at one time I had bought two extra seam rippers for general use but for some reason one is missing.  After working on blocks with my MIL, I was thinking that it was finally time to invest in a Gypsy Cutting Gizmo, the big purple standing seam ripper that I've seen around for a few years.  When my MIL left, I was just about ready to order one and then also go buy another regular seam ripper the next time I went to the fabric store.  However just then I got an email from Gay highlighting the Chain Ripper and the replacement set of two!  I liked the idea of being able to replace the ripper blade in the stand if it got dull so I decided to try it.

Gotta say, I love it!!  It's small enough to sit in the throat space of my machine so stays handy when chain piecing but out of the way when stitching.  The base is small and light weight so when you need to rip, you can also pick it up and use it in the traditional manner without needing to remove it from the base.  However, you can also remove the ripper from the base if you need to use it away from your machine.  At days end, you can also flip the point down into the base, handy for those of you with small children or cats who may hang around your machine.  I also love that I now have two extra rippers in the event any get misplaced.

When "Combat Gratitudes" became the main project, a new leader/ender was started: my "Cosmic Valor" blocks:


These blocks may look complicated but are actually made up of very simple units all of which were cut out with only the two tools seen here:



Like with the "Gratitudes" project, while I could have used my Go! Value die for the 4-1/2" and 2-1/2" squares needed for the blocks, it is just as easy for me to cut those with the Shape Cut.  The 4-1/2" tall triangles needed for this block are given as a template in the pattern (which is "Patriotic Cosmic Stars" in the May/June 2016 issue of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting magazine) but it turned out that the shape was exactly the same as a long owned but never used tool in my arsenal:  the side triangle from the Tri-Recs Ruler set!  This was one of those gadgets I bought early on because it made one of those basic block units that I thought I'd use a lot.  Turns out that has not been the case, although I have used a companion ruler to the Tri-Recs, the Tri-Mate ruler which I talked about in this post
 
The Tri-Recs rulers work a lot like the Easy Angle Rulers in that you can cut a strip and then flip the ruler up and down to continuously cut the shapes you need (you can see that and all three rulers demonstrated in this video).  I needed triangles straight and reversed and was able to do both just by what side of the fabric was facing up while cutting.  Layering up to four width of fabric (WOF) strips of fabric at a time meant the cutting went fairly fast for the number of triangles I needed.  It should be noted that if you want to "Make It Go!",  Accuquilt does have "Triangle in a Square dies" that will cut these shapes and the dies come in 4"   , 3" and 2" finished sizes.
 
Here's hoping that now that my Tri-Recs have been christened, in the near future I'll get around to making one of the many "One Day" projects that will use them.  Do you have a favorite gadget?  Let me know what makes your quilting tasks go smoother or faster!

1 comment:

Alycia said...

Wow - you have a lot of cool things there - that Combat quilt block is beautiful - very unique!!