Saturday, May 12, 2018

50th Birthday Quilt Tools Quilt - or How I Spent My Birthday Money! :)

"What would you like for your birthday?" I was asked.
"Nothing," I replied. "I live in a tiny house and have everything I need."
"But it's your FIFTIETH!" they argued. "We have to give you something!"
"Send money!" I responded pragmatically.
"Scandalous!" they exclaimed. "It's so tacky to send money as a gift."
"Ok," I compromised. "I'll send you an email with a list of quilting tools I'd like. That's what I'd use the money on anyway. I've been 'making do' for so long now, it would be grand to have some proper quilting tools to work with."

They reviewed the email and sent me money. 😃

I splurged on some top of the line tools that are essential items, no odd fads. Tools like real quilting rulers (rotary blades chew up plain plastic rulers) and cutting mats and ergonomic rotary cutters and, oh joy, quilt clips! I'm in heaven, I tell you!


For those who are wondering, quilting tools are horrendously expensive. The 36" ruler I bought, for example, was $46. Just the ruler! So I've been destroying plain old plastic rulers, my pattern drafting rulers, or my rotary blades on metal rulers, for the past five years. It's so much fun to have a measuring tool that I can cut with and blades that aren't dull after the first two rounds!

Now, allow me to show off with great pride and delight, my first* quilted item using my birthday money tools. I cannot express how much easier it was to create it with the proper tools - and was astounded myself with how much I was struggling before and didn't realize!

It's a table topper for my sister-in-law's birthday.


It was, as most days, a breezy day today. This was the best photo I could get out of TWO DOZEN! The wind was in a playful mood, and I was not. It was not a good recipe!  So you get only that ^ one, and one close up of the back, from the outdoors set.


It was quilted on a longarm with a pansies pattern, which is very pretty on the back. The front pattern is called a Disappearing Hourglass block.

You start with two 10" squares and sew them together. Then you cut them into four, rearrange, and sew those together into an hourglass block. See the hourglass?


Then you cut that into nine pieces, rearrange them, and sew them together.


Originally I was going to sew them in a straight line and make a table runner. Like this:


Then I discovered that my sister-in-law has an exceptionally long table and was concerned a too-short table runner would look... odd. Hmmm..... rearrange the squares....


I quite liked the way the floral fabric made a sort of flower shape in this format, but it's not for me, so I asked for input from my mother-in-law. She said this arrangement would hide "all the pretty colors" if a vase or bowl was placed in the center.

Ergo...


Just under 30" square (ish), with two borders, bound, and ready for its new home. We're going to drive down tomorrow to present it. I'm really very proud of my first attempt!


*To be honest, it isn't my first. What I started on first is a stag wall hanging for my mother, but it has turned out way more complicated and much more time consuming. When my sister-in-law's birthday loomed, I quietly put it aside and whipped up this table topper. Now that's it's done, I shall return to learning Klingon, so that I can swear quietly without anyone knowing that I'm cussing, as I continue with Project Enthusiasm-is-Higher-than-Skills.

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