Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sullivan Ruler Review

Waaaaay back at Fall Market I got one of the Sullivan rulers from Pat Sloan and have been playing with it ever since.
I've had trouble doing a review because I was thinking how can I accurately say anything about the sharpness of the blade when I didn't really know how quickly I was going through them before, along with several other variables.
Well, I haven't figured that part out but I did think of lots of other things to say that may help you decide if you need to have one of these too.

 First is the sound. This was a HUGE thing for me as I cannot stand the sound of metal on metal or any other hard surface. Someone dragging their fork across their teeth sends shivers down me and makes me physically ill. So you can understand how concerned I was about the sound.
Turns out its fine. It sound more like sand beneath your heel then anything else. It is a bit loud but nothing I couldn't deal with, which says something considering the number and severity of headaches, it also didn't set off Little Bit, who has auditory integration issues.

The sharpening part is only on the right side of the long edge.

Second was actually looking at the blade (an Ofla). I've had the blade on my cutter since December. I know because I wrote it on to make sure I'd know. It has no nicks or scratches, and from looking at my older, duller blades I know that they have tons. So it definitely smooths the blade as it cuts.

I know I haven't been cutting as much, and I have two different cutters depending on which I can find, but I have made about 5 quilt tops so I'm going to go and say it does keep it sharper longer. I really don't think I've kept a blade this long. It seems to have worked better with the Olfa blade then the Dritz, but that is also possibly a usage issue.

The back of the ruler has little grips which does help the ruler from slipping on the fabric, but not so much that it doesn't easily move across it.

The one issue I did have with the ruler is the way it is numbered. It reads right to left, so 6.5" to 0" the same as most rulers, but the 1/2" lines are red, where the inch and 1/4" lines are black. More then a few times I miss cut because for whatever reason my brain kept saying the red should be the inch line. This is a me issue I think but I did want to say something about it.

Overall I'd say if you're looking for a new ruler, replacing old ones etc it is definitely worth your while to check these out!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Baby Quilt!

My ex-BIL's new wife just had a baby and my sister suggested I make them a quilt! (also am I the only one who doesn't think the last sentence is somewhat strange?)

Since I've been playing around with the Sizzix Big Shot I decided to use one of their geometric dies, the bottle. This was a stretch for me as I don't do much curved piecing but with the die I felt comfortable that at least the cutting would be accurate so I only had to focus on the piecing. It took me less then an hour to cut out an entire layer cake of bottles, I got 4 from each square having cut the layer cake into strips first. I used Modern Workshop, which is a line from Moda from last year, or is it two now?

I really will do a more thorough review soon but again wanted to get this up. I miss my blog and have been so terribly remiss in posting lately that I'm trying to post more.

The bottle went together fairly easily, but slower then I like, and the baby decided to come early, or my sister's timing was off, so I went with fewer rows then I had planned, added the Moda Solids Chocolate brown to space it some and then did some raw edge applique of bottles end to end instead of side to side.
I cut the edges of the vertical bottles so they will rag and get softer as they wash. And, of course, I used Moda Snuggles on the back. It really is the only thing I back baby/kid quilts with. They all love it and it's just so cozy and easy to work with.
The quilt is 48", I forgot to actually measure it before packing it up. I could have made it larger, I still have 30 or 40 bottle pieces but I think it works nicely for a baby/toddler.

Hat Shop Book giveaway!

Go check out Stash Books blog! The have a review and giveaway of the book!

Why am I so happy about this??

I have a project in the book! I haven't seen the book but was sent PDFs of my pages so I'm really excited to see it showing up! I can't wait to get my copies!

Monday, April 16, 2012

DQS 12

I've already sent this off to my partner but hadn't blogged about it. This is the doll quilt I made for the flickr swap.

I used the Sizzix Big Shot to cut the circles and did a faux-trapunto, faux-drunkards path. I'm going to be doing a full review of the Big Shot but wanted to show this now.
I used linen, which was a first for me, other then lining a notebook cover. It is thicker and stronger then regular cotton but  has such a luxurious feel. I loved it.
The Big Shot 4" circle die cut threw multiple layers of the linen easily and accuratly.

 I curved the corners of the final mini hoping to add a bit of additional interest to the design. Since I did a dual colour quilt I quilted the light blue with yellow thread.
I really have a hard time in swaps, I never really feel confident that my partner will like it, which is why I rarely do swaps. I'm really hoping I wasn't totally off the mark, I'd hate to disappoint her.

How do you feel about swaps?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April's Tool Day!

ModaLissa from Moda sent out an email asking people about their favorite quilting tools. I've seen the list and there are some awesome tools on it. Most are basics, things we use every time, but lots of variety.

For me I have two I use pretty much on every project.
First is Mary Ellen's Best Press. This stiff gets EVERY wrinkle, crease and fold out of fabric. This is especially useful with Fat Eighths which has some pretty stubborn ones, even more so then fat quarters.

 It also gives fabric just a little bit more structure, nothing like starch but a little extra. It also works to true size cuts, which often have a little more or less then they should.
The scent is fairly light, especially in comparison to some other sprays, like Niagara (which also works but has a bit more build up and heavier smell, and thanks to Ruth who gave me some to try!)

The second is my seam ripper. Not the little dull one that comes with a machine but the awesome Clover ergonomic one. This is sharp as a scalpel and easily cuts through a missewn seam, though if you're not careful it will also cut your fabric.

There are lots of sharp seam rippers out there, the thing I most love about this one is the fat, tapered handle. It doesn't cramp my fingers, it's easy to hold and control.
Also pretty sure it could give you enough control to stab someone, but I don't recommend trying that.
I also like this Dritz one, it helps that it also has a hard cap, which makes it safer for me to carry around.

So I know they're not very sexy but those are my two favorite tools! What about you?