Saturday, May 26, 2007

It's All About the Tools

My Just Beachy quilt had been progressing nicely until I reached the point a week or so ago where I had to cut out 6 16 1/2" squares. No matter what combination of quilting rulers I used I could not get an exact 16 1/2" square. It seemed to me to be a pretty simple process. Make sure fabric is ironed, check, measure several times with rulers, check, secure ruler to fabric with tape, check, hold ruler extra secure with hand while cutting with rotary cutter, check. Sounds like I should have no problem getting a 16 1/2" square. Yeah, right, this is me we're talking about. Below you see my pile of 16 1/2" squares. How did I finally manage it after a week of throwing fabric all over the place and calling my friend Pam crying about how I'm too stupid to quilt because I can't use a ruler?
Well these guys here were no help. I tried every combination of the three and got every size square but 16 1/2". I tried calling several quilt shops in the area and they didn't have a large quilter's square. I called Keepsake Quilting and they had one in their catalog but I wanted one NOW. For the first time I was truly enjoying the quilting process except for the whole not being able to cut an exact 16 1/2" square. So yesterday while running errands I stopped in at the quilt shop in Ft Walton Beach, I had forgotten they were there. The real reason I turned in the parking lot was to check out the Goodwill for sheers for my kitchen windows, I wanted to play around with some dye and see what I could come up with and didn't want to use new sheers, but I saw the Quilting Shop Around the Block(I think that's the name) so I forget about Goodwill and walk in the store and they ask if they can help me and I said, "What are the odds of you having the largest quilter's square known to man in your shop?" They said, "Well if 20 1/2" is good enough for you very good." I hugged the lady at the quilt shop, seriously. While buying this most amazing of quilter's squares I explained to them that I was not really a quilter, I'm a cross stitcher, I can count but apparently measuring is not one of my skilz. Then the lady asked me if I had thought of folding the fabric and cutting it using my smaller quilter's square? I said, "That would require math wouldn't it?" She said, "Yes." I said, "No, I wanted a big square, no math, just painless cutting." She said, "I think we're going to be friends!"

Above you see my new bestfriend the 20 1/2" Quilter's Square.
While discussing what a good investment this square will be I pointed out that my 12" Quilter's square is close to 20 yrs old and so is my rotary cutter. I bought those when I took my very first quilt class when I was pregnant with the 19 yr old. But I'm not really a quilter so they are like new. Good investment indeed.
Three Songs
Right now three songs bring me a lot of joy when they come on the radio:
Pink-You and Your Hand
Justin Timberlake-Summer Love
Avril Lavigne-Girlfriend
These songs just scream summer to me. They make me want to roll the windows down in the car and sing at the top of my lungs.


claudia said...

Congratulations on your find of the largest quilter's square in the world. It's gonna made a huge difference in your life.

Tracy in TN said...

You've convinced me I need a ruler that large! I also didn't know there was a quilt shop in Ft. Walton. I love Quilting by the Bay in Panama City. Can't wait to see the quilt come together.

Anonymous said...

Yay for finding that huge quilter square thingy! Cutting the fabric just right is not one of my skills either. Crochet is so much more forgiving... Good luck with your quilt!

Michelle said...

Congrats on finding the ruler. When I have to cut something larger than my ruler will go, I just use the measurements on my cutting mat to measure.