Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I made my first quilt when I was 16 (I'm not telling how many years ago that was!) but every once and awhile I find myself going back to the basics. I think all quilters should have at least one good reference book on their shelf.
For example today I wanted to make continuous bias to finish off another little quilt. Now I don't know about you, but I tend to just cut a square and go to town- which is why I have a very dusty box of random lengths of bias binding hiding in the back of my closet. (I keep telling myself that someday I will have the perfect scrap quilt to use all of it on...ya, right!)
So this is my referance book. The Quilters Ultimate Visual Guide from Rodale Publishing. There aren't photos of beautiful quilts, lots of gorgeous fabrics to drool over or patterns that make me run to my stash and rev up the sewing machine. What it does have are those prickly little factoids that my brain just doesn't have space for anymore (and it is so much better organized than my brain...)
The answer to my question on how much bias binding I need is on page 46:
"To estimate the amount of binding a square will produce multiply the length of two of the sides. Divide the result by the width of the binding you want. For example using a 30 inch square; multiply 30X30 to get 900. Divide 900 by 2 to get 450, the length of binding you would get from a 30 inch square."
(I knew that....) Of course I use 2-1/4 inch binding meaning I have to go dig the calculator out of the kitchen catch-all drawer....
I have found one use for some of my random binding and some of my crumb pieces...I'm using them to make some of the airplane binders. It is a lot of fun. It also gives a home to some of the buttons I have been accumulating for years! This project drives my DH crazy...he walks into my quilting room and looks at the bookcases and boxes filled with fabric and then picks up a crumb block made up of pieces as small as 1/2 inch by 1 inch and says, "you are never going to get through all of this." Like that is the goal...silly man. (and he isn't even counting all the boxes under the bed!)
Which makes me wonder...how many other quilters have included the disposition of their quilting room stuff in their will? Our lawyer said I was only the second one she had seen....
OK, blogger is fighting my photos...the one at the top (that will not move...) is some of the blocks I made this weekend to send off to Tracy in Aus. She is putting together sampler quilts for victims of the fires there.