Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The basics...


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.

16 comments:

scrappy quilter said...

I agree, we need a good book that takes us back to the basics. One that I use is The Art of Classic Quiltmaking by Harriet Hargrave & Sharyn Craig.

Love the blocks.

Gina said...

Lovely blocks and a very good idea to send it off to Australia. Gosh, I can dream of all the different blocks and such an amazing effect.
I have so far only two Quiltmaking books, and I am keeping note of all this info.

Magpie Sue said...

I hadn't considered actually including the studio disposition in the official will but I have thought about leaving a note behind or instructions with the daughter as to how they should proceed. Hmmm... might want to rething that!

janet said...

I have that book too, it's a really good reference. I've run out of room to store fabric, but I keep buying it! A friend took bags of my old stuff, sold it off to a quilt group and is donating proceeds for the bushfire survivors, I'm happy with that.

Sharon said...

Love your blocks for Australia!

I'm loving those Airplane Art Binders you've done. I like them scrappy too. Thanks for the info on where to find the pattern. Those would probably be good for the granddaughters too.

So, what did you decide for the border for your DD??

Oh yeah, and why do husbands think the idea is to actually use up all that fabric? (I need to have a word with my daughter, I think!)

paula, the quilter said...

I absolutely could not live without my copy of "Taking the Math Out of Making Patchwork Quilts" by Bonnie Lehman. I know that it was republished in Quilter's Newletter Magazine a year or so ago with all new updated information. I kept a copy of the new version too.

Karen said...

The Quilters Ultimate Visual Guide and Quiltmaking Tips & Techniques (a Rodale book) by the Editors of Quilter's Newsletter Magazine are my two favourite reference books.

Mary said...

That is my first quilting book ever and I just pulled it out the other day to look up something.

I realized a few years ago when I really got into string quilts that if I couldn't even use up my strings, there was no hope of using up all the fabric on my shelves yet I still get into binds when I can't find a piece of yardage to work with a particular quilt like right now.

Lynn E said...

I would have to put it in the will.
there is alot of computer quilty machines and embroidary machines acre of fabric easily. Think I will have to take that up with the lawyer.
Good Luck tomorrow
Lynn

Nile e Richard said...

Oi amiga,bom dia.
Muito lindo os seus trabalhos.
ab├žos.Richard.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

That is a great book...I remember buying my copy in the basement of a Montreal book store! It is one book that I would instantly replace if I ever had to :o)

Glad you are finding use for all your boxed up goodies...As for DH understanding it...well I don't think that is possible... ;o)

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

great blocks at the top. I admit I don't have a reference book for quilting. i fake my way through or else look on the internet. Well, if I HAD a will the fabric and quilts would be in there. I think my husband knows better than to throw it all away...

Clare said...

Love the blocks you've done for Tracey.

I do sometimes wonder what would happen to the stash, the WiPs and the flimsys if I was to drop dead tomorrow. I'm not sure if DH would have enough sense to give them to someone who would appreciate them, than chuck yards of fabric awawy!

Donnamo said...

I've been reading your blog for a while and enjoy it.

I've kinda just started quilting and think I am in the early stages of obsession.

I ordered the book you reccommended. Any other recommendations?

check out my blog at www.donnamo.blogspot.com not much on quilting yet but I'm working on it.

julieQ said...

I love your sampler! I too will have to do something with all this material...I say "call my friends at the quilt guild! They will know what to do!" I have that book, too.

*karendianne. said...

Isn't that neat? When you were 16!

I also use this book. Totally great.