Welcome to Week Two of the Creative Spaces Blog Hop! This week we (all 16 designers!) will be focusing on our favorite tools. I'm sure you're going to see a range of favorites - and probably some of the same too - from each designer. In case you don't ...

 

My Favorite Tools - Week 2 of the Creative Spaces Blog Hop and more...

My Favorite Tools - Week 2 of the Creative Spaces Blog Hop

  REVISED Week Two

Welcome to Week Two of the Creative Spaces Blog Hop!  This week we (all 16 designers!) will be focusing on our favorite tools.  I'm sure you're going to see a range of favorites - and probably some of the same too - from each designer.

In case you don't know me, I am a quilt pattern designer and a fabric designer.  I design quilts and other patterns under the label Tamarinis, and I design fabrics for Island Batik.  I also have thread collections with Aurifil (yes, they are going to show up under favorites - big surprise, right?!).  You can find my thread collections here , here and here.

I have to admit - this has been a tough post to write.  Not because I don't have favorites.  Oh - I DEFINITELY do!  It was just difficult to narrow down the list and not overwhelm you with it!  So I've tried to whittle down the candidates to the top 10 (and I'll discuss more in future posts when we look at fabric, thread, tools and rulers - so whew - all the good ones get to see some love).  Please note this post does contain affiliate links - I've tried to make it easy for you to find the same tools if you like what you see!  Just click the highlighted tool name to find it online.

  1.  Cutterpillar LED Light Board   Cutterpillar Glow

I am a huge paper piecing fan.  And in the past, I've used the old school light boxes, which were thick and bulky, or placed my pattern and fabric against a window to help in placement.  But hey guys - there is a new kid in town.  The Cutterpillar LED light board is a game changer.  It is thin, light weight, and has three brightness settings. And if THAT's not enough, it comes with a cutting board that fits over the light so you can cut on it as well!

It is corded, but will hold a charge for 4 hours, so you can easily take to class, use it almost anywhere, and recharge without batteries.  

How do I use it?  My favorite - and most frequent - use is for paper piecing.  When determining placement for those first two fabrics, it is SUPER easy to see where to place the fabrics so that I get proper fabric placement and an accurate 1/4" seam  Cutterpillar fabric placement
allowance.  In the image to the right, my paper piecing pattern is on top, and my Fabric 1 and Fabric 2 have been placed RST with raw edges aligned. 

When I turn the light board on and place the fabrics and pattern on top, I can easily see if the fabrics are placed so that when I sew along the first seam line, I will have a 1/4" seam allowance.  See that shadow line?  That's my raw edge.  I just pin and stitch.  Perfect!  In fact, I just taught a guild workshop in Alabama a few weeks ago and a gal brought hers to the workshop for just that purpose.  It really sped things up for her!

 

2.  Reliable Iron

Confession time - I go through a LOT of irons.  I usually wear them out.   Reliable Iron
But this
workhorse has been going strong for over a year now, which is amazing in my book.

What do I like about it?  It has a nice long cord.  But...the really awesome part is the steam feature (I really like to use steam when I press).  You can turn the steam off, of course, or set it to low or high.  When do you get steam?  Every time you are holding the handle - and you get an amazing amount of steam.  I love a nice, crisp seam when pressing, and the steam is perfect for that.

I've never had it leak or spit (did I mention I've been using it for over a year??).  It uses regular tap water, and the steam is generated inside the iron and it heats VERY quickly.  

You can use the temperature dial to determine the heat - but of course, I keep mine on High most of the time since I'm using quilters cottons and batiks.  The auto shut off feature is nice, because if I am sewing or done for the night, it will turn itself off after about 8 minutes.  No worries, no muss, no fuss! 

3.  Wool Pressing Mat

Iron and wool mat I tell all of my quilting students that I'm pretty easy going, and I don't worry too much about things - they will get better with practice and skills will continue to improve.  EXCEPT for pressing - I am somewhat (ok quite a bit) of a task master when it comes to pressing. Almost everything looks 100% better when well pressed.  So you can image how head over heels I am about my wool pressing mat.  I honestly don't know how I lived without it!

Yes, if you are allergic to wool then this particular tool will NOT work for you.  But for the rest of us - well, this is a dream.  Look closely at my iron to the right - it may look like it's just sitting on a gray ironing board - but actually it's comfy and cozy on my wool pressing mat.

Why is it so great?  The wool captures the heat and reflects it back onto the fabrics you are ironing, increasing the efficiency of the press.  I do a ton with batiks, which have a higher thread count, and this speeds up my pressing immeasurably!  My blocks are pressed quickly, which means I finish the project faster, which means I can move on to the next project sooner!

4.  Best Press

Which brings me to Best Press.  Are you using it?  Yes - isn't it amazing?!!  No - well, you MUST try it.  What is it? Heaven in a bottle.  It is a pressing spray made specifically for fabrics.  And it comes in unscented, or in an assortment of delightful scents.  Most quilt shops carry it, as well as some chain stores.  Get the spray bottle, then purchase additional quantities in the larger refill sizes.

Spray your fabrics and watch the wrinkles disappear! Ok - not like that.  You DO have to iron - but the wrinkles will iron out quickly.  Spray your blocks as you sew, and the seams are wonderfully crisp.  

So you're thinking - wait.  You just said the wool mat was amazing.  It is.  Do I use both?  Yes, sometimes I do.  Sometimes one is enough!  In any event, I make sure I have both on hand - the wool mat and Best Press.

5.  ViviLux Flexible Craft Light

If you are thinking - what the heck is that?  It is a blessing for old eyes when sewing!   Vivilux
As I have age(ahem...gracefully....maybe), I find that I need more light to clearly see.  This little beauty is amazing tiny and yet brilliantly bright.  It is battery powered, and (of course) rechargeable.  It velcro onto the side of your sewing machine (as shown at the right).  

The itty bitty LED light in on the end of a flexible wand.  I bend mine to shine directly onto my sewing area.  Just look at the "before" (left side) and "after" (right side) pics of the area under my sewing machine needle.  Amazing, right?

Virilux compare

What else can I simply NOT live without?  Ah....the list is seems to be endless.  But there are the final five items I consider essential with virtually every project.

Final Five tools

6. Bohin Pins

Such a little thing - and yet such a big thing....these ultra fine glass head pins are a true indulgence.  Like rich chocolate or an awesome massage, they are a luxury that every stitcher deserves.  Fine pins are important because they help ensure accurate sewing.  What, you say?  Well yes.  Think about it.  If the pins are fine and sharp, they will slide through the fabric without distorting it.  If they are long enough, they allow for you to get a good grip on the fabric and secure the pinned area.  And it doesn't hurt that they are bright and pretty!

7. Clover Chaco Marker

Some of you may be aware of my new guided improv patterns.  If so, you already know I recommend the Clover Chaco Markers.  For those of you who don't know about them - they are a marking tool that uses powered chalk that feeds through a fine roller to make fine marked lines on fabric.  

Because of the roller, it is easy to make marks on fabric without distortion (which pens and pencils often do).  And because it is chalk, when (ok - if) you make a mistake, it is super easy to just brush it off and remark.  So......I may or may not make mistakes from time to time, so I use the chaco markers all the time.

Another plus - they come in an array of colors, so you can find one that works for almost every project.  My go-to colors are above: white, yellow and gray.  And you can purchase refills!

8.  Clover Wonder Clips

If you've been quilting as long as I have, you may remember those old, awkward metal binding clips.  Ugh.  These adorable little clips from Clover are incredibly strong given their tiny size.  I use mine for holding binding on when hand stitching.  But I know folks that use them to hold all manner of things together.  I love that they come in a large package (let's face it - if you're using them for binding, you're going to need a bunch), and that they have their own handy dandy storage box.  They also have markings on the flat side that you can use for measuring the depth of a fold, pleat, etc.

9.  Schmetz Non-Stick Needles

I will admit to being a loyal Schmetz fan - I really adore their needles.  The new non-stick needles are an absolute essential for fusible work.  And I do have numerous fusible appliqué projects.  I mean - what's not to love about fusible?  It's quick.  It's accurate.  It's done in almost no time.  No edges to turn under.  No muss, no fuss.  

Edge stitching in a longer stitch is my go to finishing for fusible appliqué - and these needles ensure that your stitches glide through the fusible and the base fabric cleanly, which means your project looks clean and crisp.  How awesome is that for one little package?

FYI - remember to change your needle after approximately eight hours of sewing with any of your needles!

10.  Olfa Ergonomic Rotary Cutter

Again showing my age here, but when I first started quilting, the easily obtainable rotary cutters had straight handles.  I remember being super excited when they started padding those handles.  What a relief to the palm of my hand!

And then came these incredible curved handle rotary cutters.  Why is that so noteworthy?  The curve relieves strain on the wrist (longevity for the quilter - the less strain on your wrist, the longer you will be able to rotary cut!).  

The squeeze grip means that the blade is only exposed when the cutter is in use.  When you set it down, the blade is covered.  No more having to remember to engage the blade shield.

The cutter will work for both right and left handers - simply move the blade from one side of the cutter to the other for the proper orientation.  Hint: the blade should be against the edge of your rotary ruler!

Oh - and I default to the "pizza cutter" size (60mm) - a larger blade surface means quicker cutting!

Are there other tools I use?  Absolutely.  But these are my top 10 - and I wouldn't even mention them if 1) I didn't use them and 2) I didn't truly believe they bring joy and/or efficiency to my cutting and quilting experience.  If you have a favorite tool, I would love to hear about it!

Please be sure to check out all of the other amazing designers that are sharing their favorite tools with you this week!  Oh, and be sure to enter the drawing to win a special prize this week.  The awesome folks at Schmetz have provided one lucky winner their new Bobbin Saver 2, as well as a Pocket Guide to all things needles.

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Remember that Cherry Blossom Quilting will be adding some great grand prizes throughout the hop as well from the terrific folks at Bosal, Daylight lamps, and Crafter's Edge.
 

 Hey Hoppers - just a note.  Please visit all of the talented designers each week.  And we would all GREATLY appreciate your "follows".  As designers, our social media following (our followers) are what enables us to stay in business.  Please kindly click "follow" on our social media platforms:  Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter.  This allows us to continue to work with companies to bring you great content, contests, and giveaways.  Thanks so much!

 

The Blog Hop Schedule: 

 Mondays

Tamarinis

Cherry Blossom Quilting

Tuesdays

Morning Glory Designs

Sew Many Creations

Wednesdays

Seams Like a Dream

Poor House Quilt Designs

Desert Bloom Quilting

Thursdays

Canton Village Quilt Works

Cranberry Pie Designs

Fridays

 Avery Lane Designs

Christa Quilts

Saturdays

Quiltoni

Swan Amity

Sundays

Funky Friends Factory

Simple Arts

Joanne Sharpe

Thanks for sharing the quilting passion with me. Happy stitching!

If you are interested in having me teach at your shop or guild, please contact me!

Like what you see here, and want to hear more from Tamarinis? Like me on Facebook, follow me on Instagram, and sign up for my newsletter at www.tamarinis.com!  Following is one way to demonstrate your interest in my projects, patterns, and partnerships.  Your comments are also GREATLY appreciated, and provide valuable feedback regarding what inspires you, as well as what you'd like to see explored in future posts.

Creative Spaces Blog Hop Week 2

 

Creative Spaces Blog Hop - Week One The Before and After

Creative Spaces Blog Hop Graphic 1@4x

Hello!  I'm so very very glad you are here!  Today is the launch of the six week (yes, you read it right - six whole weeks!) Creative Spaces Blog Hop.  Woot woot!  

What can you expect to see?  Hmmm....insider peeks into the studios and creative spaces of 17 different designers, tips and tricks to organizing and dealing with craft and stitching supplies, and of course fun prizes!

First, a bit about our lineup of creatives:  Cherry Guidry of Cherry Blossom Quilting and I (Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis) pulled together a group of some of our most fav people, and they will be taking you into various areas of their studios, sewing and/or crafting spaces each week.  Folks like Crista Watson of Christa Quilts, Joanne Sharpe, best known for her whimsical lettering, and Pauline McArthur of Funky Friends Factory.  Creative minds like Kate Colleran of Seams Like a Dream and Jessica VanDenburgh of Sew Many Creations.  The amazing Toni Smith of Quiltoni and Reeze Hanson of Morning Glory Designs.  Yikes - the list goes on and on!

Each week we will bring you insights into how we deal with creating in our spaces.  And just keeping it real - while many folks will be sharing the before and after of their studio clean up in preparation for this hop, I'll be sharing, well, the reality of my space.  I never quite made it to the "after" stage.  But you can take that steep, uphill, somewhat intimidating journey with me as I reclaim floor and drawer space in my studio.

What?  You've had to deal with the same thing?  Gosh, that makes me feel ever so much better!  I was hoping I wasn't the only one that went into the sewing room with grand intentions of cleaning it up, only to be completely overwhelmed by the sheer massiveness of the endeavor!

Ok, so now of a bit of the studio - brace yourself.  It is NOT pretty!

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Ok, I DID warn you.  Yep - piles and stacks everywhere!  This is the aftermath of Quilt Market prep, Missouri Star prep, and a three day guild lecture/workshop prep.  All of which were totally awesome, and I thoroughly enjoyed doing....but didn't pick up anything in-between.  Can you relate?

I am truly blessed to have a generously sized studio.  Really!  But...what happens when you have space?  Yep, your stuff magically expands to take up all of that space.  Ugh!

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And the flip side isn't much better!  Poor Eugene (more on him later) is hiding in the back - too much stuff cluttering the cutting and sewing area for him to feel free to roam!

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And - ahem...then there's what is supposed to be my paper crafting area.  Yeah...a bit of a hot mess, right?!  

I WANT to have a lovely, peaceful sewing space.  I WANT to have one of those creative spaces you see in magazine layouts and lovely blog posts (ok, but not THIS blog post).  I do.  Really.  So ready to take that journey with me?  Great!

Our game plan:  I will take you through my process, and share what has worked - and is working - for me.  We will look at areas of the studio, piece by piece, and explore some organizing options.  And so will the other 16 designers.  Each week we will look at different areas of the studio and different supplies.  Here's the schedule:

  • Week 1: Studio Clean Up - before and after pics (ok, but NOT mine - mostly before pics!)
  • Week 2: Favorite Tools
  • Week 3: Organizing Tips
  • Week 4: Dealing with Scraps and/or Fabric
  • Week 5: Dealing with Embellishments/Buttons/Thread
  • Week 6: Dealing with Tools/Rulers

I promised I would keep it real for you.  So I was feeling more than a little bad that my studio was such a hot mess.  And while I was COMPLETELY overwhelmed by the sheer volume of everything, I did manage to clean up a bit of it.

Studio Clean Up 2Yes, it IS the same space!  Ahhhh...I know, awesome improvement, right?!  Who knew there was so much floor space!  And you can actually sit on the sofa now and bind a quilt - with your feet propped up on the chest.  Nirvana, I tell you!

You'll notice the space BEHIND the sewing table is in the dark - yep, it is STILL a hot mess.  I'm working on it.

How did I tackle that mountain of STUFF???  Just like you eat an elephant - a bit at a time.  So here are some hints to you as you tackle your own studio clean up, make over or reorganization:

  1. What do you REALLY want to do in the space?  Think about this before you start your cleanup.  If you want to sew, then make sure all things that impede your sewing are removed.  This shouldn't be your spare wrapping paper storage or off season clothing stack.  And try to have your storage space (shelves, bins, whatever it may be) ready and empty - even if this means making MORE of a mess to begin with by pulling everything off/out and piling it on the floor.
  2.  What supplies or equipment in the space bring you JOY?  If you pick up a cut of fabric and wonder - why the heck did I buy this?  Well that item, my quilting friend, needs a new home.  Don't let something that doesn't bring you joy take up space.  Reserve space for the items that make you smile, lift your heart, brighten your day.
  3. What is working?  Ok - this is just a practical thing.  If it is broken, incomplete, or not being used (as in hasn't been touched in the past six months or is not needed), again, it needs a new home.
  4. Don't try to do it all in one day.  Set the timer and work on it 15 or 30 minutes at a time.  Vow to touch something as few times as necessary. Make this super easy by setting yourself up some boxes for donates, sell and trash. What you are keeping goes directly into the appropriate bin or on the appropriate shelf.

This was exactly how I got from no floor space to a partially organized studio. Not all in one day - but definitely in a few weeks!

Next week we are going to look at tools.  I'll share some of my favorite tools and give you some tips on how I organize my tools for the way I work.

I promised you giveaways!  So here's what you need to do:

  • Check out each designer's blog each week.  We've tried to make it easy for you - we will each be posting on the same day each week, on the topic of the week.  The lineup, along with links, are listed below.
  • Where appropriate, follow/like/comment.
  • I will be offering weekly surprise giveaways for those commenting on MY weekly blog post.  PLUS I'll be offering a PRIZE to new folks on my social media platforms (this week it is a 2 1/2" Island Batik Strip Stack).  Comments and giveaway for this post have closed.  Thank you.  Please see other blog posts for additional opportunities to enter giveaways. See the Gleam.io widget at the bottom of the post to enter.

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  • There are three grand prize giveaways on Cherry's blog: a die cutting machine from Crafter's Edge, along with a huge set of dies (winner chosen July 9 entries begin July 9), a Slimline light from Daylight (winner chosen July 23  entries begin July 23), and a prize pack from Bosal (winner chosen August 6  entries begin August 6).  Winners will be chosen August 19th!Crafters Edge Creative Spaces Blog Hop Sponsored Giveaways

I'm so glad you stopped by - and I look forward to seeing you next week!  In the meantime, set your calendars to check out everyone's posts.  The schedule and links are below.  As always, let's share the love - follow all of these terrific folks on social media, share the posts, and leave awesome comments so we all know what you like and what you'd like to see more of!

The Blog Hop Schedule: 

 Mondays

Tamarinis

Cherry Blossom Quilting

Tuesdays

Morning Glory Designs

Sew Many Creations

Wednesdays

Seams Like a Dream

Poor House Quilt Designs

Desert Bloom Quilting

Thursdays

Canton Village Quilt Works

Cranberry Pie Designs

Fridays

 Avery Lane Designs

Christa Quilts

Saturdays

Quiltoni

Swan Amity

Sundays

Funky Friends Factory

Simple Arts

Joanne Sharpe

 

 

Thanks for sharing the quilting passion with me. Happy stitching!

If you are interested in having me teach at your shop or guild, please contact me!

Like what you see here, and want to hear more from Tamarinis? Like me on Facebook, follow me on Instagram, and sign up for my newsletter at www.tamarinis.com!  Following is one way to demonstrate your interest in my projects, patterns, and partnerships.  Your comments are also GREATLY appreciated, and provide valuable feedback regarding what inspires you, as well as what you'd like to see explored in future posts.

Creative Spaces Blog Hop Week 1

 

Double Pinwheels - A Tutorial

DP Header Pic

One of my favorite blocks is a pinwheel.  But....what's even better than a pinwheel?  A double pinwheel!  Yep - it's like double the joy, double the fun.  Let's make one together!

DP flat lay

Gather your Materials:

    To make (2) 9 1/2" (9" finished) Double Pinwheels, you will need:                         

                    (2) 6" background squares (aqua)

                 (2) 6" small blade squares (lime stripe

                 (4) 6" large blade squares (fuchsia)

                 Marking tool (pencil or chalk marker)

                 Rotary cutter

                 6 1/2" (or larger) square rotary ruler

                

Let's begin!

DP directional

Match one aqua square with one lime square, right sides together (RST).  If working with a directional fabric AND you care which way your directional print goes, take a moment to "test" the direction by folding back one corner (as shown above).  Since my half square triangles (HSTs) will rotate around the block, I know that I need two going in a vertical orientation, and two going in a horizontal orientation.  

If you are not using a directional fabric, or if you simply don't care, then skip the above step.

Draw a line corner to corner on the wrong size of your aqua squares.  Sew 1/4" seam allowance to the right side and to the left side of the drawn line.  Cut on the drawn line.  You will now have (2) HSTs!.  Press the HSTs open, pressing to the darker (aqua) fabric.  Isn't it pretty?  But we are SOOOO far from being done!

 

DP cut HST cut

Cut the HST in half ACROSS the seam line, from corner to corner.  Hint: Place a line on your ruler ON the seam line, and place the edge of the ruler so that it hits the two corners.  Now when you cut along the edge, you will have a nice, straight line, and two equal units.  Repeat with your second aqua/lime HST.

DP Big Blade

Cut your (4) 6" fuchsia squares in half corner to corner, as shown.  These will become your large blades.  Ready to lay this sucker out?  Yep, me too!

DP Layout

Now comes the fun part - laying out all of your units to see how they will look together.  Take a moment to work with your directional fabric (if you had it).  If you followed my suggestion above, you'll be able to control the directional print and have a terrific looking block.

Layout tip: Note that the aqua portion is the background, so it should alway be to the outside of the block.  The fuchsia HSTs are the large blades, and they should always point to the center.  Take your time, get the layout like you want it, and then starting sewing the large and small units together.

DP matching

When sewing the large fuchsia blade to the smaller pieced unit, note that the fuchsia blade is larger.  That is OK!  Really!  Center the smaller unit on the larger one, matching up the raw long edge.  Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Don't pull or tug on that exposed bias edge when sewing.  Repeat with your remaining units. You've got this!

DP HST Trim

Press to the fuchsia (large) blade.  Now we need to trim our unit.  Our units need to be trimmed to 5" (we are making a 9 1/2" unfinished Double Pinwheel).  We need to do a little math - but relax.  No need to whip out the calculator!  To trim our unit symmetrically, we need to know the halfway point for our block.  For a 5" block, the halfway point is 2.5, or 2 1/2".  Using your square ruler, place the 45 degree line on the seam line, and the 2 1/2" intersection (see picture above) at the seam line between the aqua, lime and fuchsia.  Trim the side and top of the block.

DW 2nd trim

Rotate your trimmed block, and following the steps above, trim the remaining two edges.  You should now have a perfect, symmetrical 5" square.  Repeat with your remaining units.

DP sew 1

Remember that layout step we did above?  Yep, you get to do it again, only this time with your perfectly sewn and trimmed units.  Sew the units together into pairs (surprise - you are going to find that your seams nest beautifully, giving you awesome points!), and then sew the pairs together.  Tada!  

DP Open Seam

Oops - almost forgot!  With all of those seams coming together, this is a great time to open up that seam intersection on the back to reduce some of the bulk!

 

DP left and right

And now - tada!  Two beautiful 9 1/2" double pinwheel blocks.  One spins to the left, one spins to the right!  

I hope you'll come back and visit soon!  Starting July 9th, I'll be hosting a blog hop with 16 other designers!  We'll be sharing inside peeks into our sewing spaces, providing tips and tricks to organizing and dealing with fabric, tools, thread, and more.  AND a little bird told me there will be prizes!  Uh huh - goodies!  So mark your calendar.  I hope to see you then!

Thanks for sharing the quilting passion with me. Happy stitching!

If you are interested in having me teach at your shop or guild, please contact me!

Like what you see here, and want to hear more from Tamarinis? Like me on Facebook, follow me on Instagram, and sign up for my newsletter at www.tamarinis.com!  Following is one way to demonstrate your interest in my projects, patterns, and partnerships.  Your comments are also GREATLY appreciated, and provide valuable feedback regarding what inspires you, as well as what you'd like to see explored in future posts.

 

Have Needle and Thread - Will Travel

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One of the truly fabulous aspects of our chosen craft (wait - you are a stitcher/quilter/fabric fanatic, right? Ok - good!) is that you can often take it with you.  Since so many of us are hitting the road or the skies this summer, Kate and I thought we'd share our thoughts on travel projects.  Head over to Kate's blog - wait, not now!  But when you finish my post - ok, THEN head over to Kate's to see what she has to share on traveling and stitching!

So traveling and quilting.  Now I get that hauling the sewing machine around may be a BIT cumbersome - but there are other projects that are terrific for toting on the next road trip or family adventure.

I thought I'd share my checklist for a successful road trip project - you may find this helpful in preparing your next mobile stitch project.

 

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Organize

    Think kits.  

Pull out that new project that you have been putting off because you just haven't had the         time to work on.  Or that special project that you save for quiet times, or when you need a bit of busy handwork.  Side note:  I had a needle turn appliquéd, hand quilted wall hanging that I worked on for TWO YEARS!  It was my go-to travel project, and I pulled it out every time I would fly to visit my parents.  I finished it - eventually, and it helped to pass the time.

Read through the directions.  

    Do they call for any techniques that will require special rulers or tools?

Read the supply list.

    Do you have the fabrics and other supplies needed to work on - or finish - the project?

Shop your stash.

Pull what you need from your available supplies.  And then - rats - darn it all - go     shopping for everything else you need (take a list!).

Think travel friendly.

Clover binder clips are awesome and can work as well as pins - without the sharp points that might poke little fingers - or a fellow traveler in the next seat.  Check FAA regulations before bringing scissors or other cutting implements with you.  

 

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Downsize

Where possible, go small.  Small scissors, small spool of thread, small hoop for embroidery.  Size it appropriate to the task, but as small as you can easily work with.This will ensure you are comfortable - and so is everyone else around you.

 

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 Pack   

    Embrace the Bag Lady look.

I LOVE closed storage.  Zippered totes and bags are simply the best.  They keep things in place and together.  And when someone slams on the brakes (hey - it can happen), supplies don't get tossed or roll under the seat, only to be discovered next Christmas!

And more than one zippered bag is great.  Group your supplies by task.  If you are binding, put all of your binding clips, your fav needles for binding, and that awesome spool of neutral thread all in one compartment - or even better, in their own bag.  

 

What's my current travel project?  You just saw bits and pieces of it - a motif driven hand embroidery project - that yes, I've been working on for a while now.  I LUV my zippered pouches, because I can fit one inside the other, but organize my fabric squares (someday they will all be embroidered, and then stitched into a quilt!), my must have Aurifil floss, my Colonial needles, and my adorable, teeny tiny scissors into their own little compartments.  Nirvana!

Ok, so none of this is rocket science.  Actually, it is just a bit of preplanning for the trip so you can complete projects - or start a new project - and add even more enjoyment to your trip.

Whether you are traveling just a few hours, or for an extended road trip, happy trails to you - and happy stitching!

Come back next month for more Adventures in Quilting with Kate and Tammy!

AND....come back July 9th.  The Creative Spaces Blog Hop begins July 9th and runs for six weeks.  16 different designers - yep, you read that correctly! - will be giving you peeks into their design spaces and sharing tips and tricks on organizing.  And a little bird told me there will be giveaways too!  Mark your calendar!

Thanks for sharing the quilting passion with me. Happy stitching!

If you are interested in having me teach at your shop or guild, please contact me!

Like what you see here, and want to hear more from Tamarinis? Like me on Facebook, follow me on Instagram, and sign up for my newsletter at www.tamarinis.com!  Following is one way to demonstrate your interest in my projects, patterns, and partnerships.  Your comments are also GREATLY appreciated, and provide valuable feedback regarding what inspires you, as well as what you'd like to see explored by Kate and I in future posts.

       
 

Adventures in Quilting - Flying Geese

Adventure 5.8.18

Welcome back! Or if you are just joining me, welcome!  This month, Kate and I are exploring flying geese.  No - not the ones with feathers.  The awesomely versatile, terrifically directional flying geese blocks.  

Do you love 'em?  Do you hate 'em?  Or just not sure how to approach them?  Like HSTs (half square triangles), flying geese blocks are remarkably versatile and multipurpose.  They can stand alone as individual blocks, they can create wonderful direction and movement when places in rows, or they can be combined with other shapes to create star points and other blocks.

Head over to Kate's blog to see how to handle construction when you need a huge stack of them.  But wait - before you go, let me show you how to put together a flying geese (hmmm...shouldn't it be flying goose block when you just have one????) when you just need a few.

First - a few general guidelines.  If you are creating your own design, the easiest ratio when working with fabric is that the finished length of the block should be twice the height of the block.  For example, an 8" wide block should be 4" high finished.  Yes, other sizes/ratios can be made, but that may require special rulers, paper piecing or templates.  

Ready to start your block?  Great!  Let's make a 4" x 8" finished Flying Geese block.  You will need:

    (1) 4 1/2" x 8 1/2" rectangle (flying geese "point")

    (2) 4 1/2" squares (block corners)

    Rotary Cutter

    Ruler

    Chalko liner (recommended)

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Here are my cut pieces.  My background (the black print) is cut 4 1/2" x 8 1/2".  My pink square are each cut 4 1/2" x 4 1/2".  

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Mark a line corner to corner on the WRONG side of your 4 1/2" squares.  I recommend a chalko liner because if you make a mistake, it is super easy to brush off the line and remark.

You may have noticed that I am using directional fabric.  Yep - it's on purpose.  I wanted to show you how to work with directional fabric, should you want or need to.  Notice that my lines are running two different directions.  I want to show you how the orientation of the fabric print affects the overall look.

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I've done the "fold test" to see how my corners will look once stitched.  Just like it sounds, the fold test is simply folding on what will be your stitching line (in this case, the line we marked on the wrong side of the square).  As you can see, my lines are going in two different directions.  Not what I want!  So....time to redraw the line on one of the squares so that my lines will be going in the same direction.  And before I stitch, I will again do the fold test.  Saves TONS of time seam ripping (rip, rip, rip....yep, we all do it!)

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That line we draw - that will be our sewing line!  Match up the outside edges of the square and rectangle, RST (right sides together), and stitch on the drawn line.  Actually, for more accuracy, stitch just a thread or two to the outside (the outside corner away from the rectangle) of the drawn line.  This accommodates the thickness of the fabric when folded back (oops - spoiler alert!).

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Want a bonus?  Draw a second line 1/2" away from the first line - to the outside edge - and stitch on that second line as well.

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Cut between the two lines.  You now have 1/2 of your flying geese block done AND you have a bonus HST!

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Press AWAY from the center.  Place the second marked square, RST, on the opposite corner of the rectangle.  The drawn line should go across the pressed seam line (as shown above).

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Repeat the same steps: sew on the drawn line, and (if so desired) draw a second line 1/2" away, sew on it, and cut.  Again, press AWAY from the center.

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You now have a 4 1/2" x 8 1/2" (4" x 8" finished) Flying Geese block.  And if you did the bonus steps, you'll have two HST units as well!

So NOW head over to Kate's blog and see how to tackle multiple flying geese units!

Thanks for sharing the quilting passion with me. Happy stitching!

If you are interested in having me teach at your shop or guild, please contact me!

Like what you see here, and want to hear more from Tamarinis? Like me on Facebook, follow me on Instagram, and sign up for my newsletter at www.tamarinis.com!  Following is one way to demonstrate your interest in my projects, patterns, and partnerships.  Your comments are also GREATLY appreciated, and provide valuable feedback regarding what inspires you, as well as what you'd like to see explored by Kate and I in future posts.