Thursday, March 4, 2010

On the road to Shangri la . . . .

It was hard taking Faceted Jewels down from the design wall. I'm usually tired of looking at a quilt by the time I finish piecing it, but I wasn't tired of Faceted Jewels. Maybe because I had cut and pieced some of it last year. But it's down and the design wall is ready for some Shangri la by Three Sister for Moda.

So I packed up the batik scraps, dusted my sewing table, oiled my machine, changed the needle, and then started on State of Grace.

I bought this kit from Lisa/Stashmaster last year. I thought the purse was so cute with that jellyroll in it that I bought another jellyroll to actually use for State of Grace, I just couldn't bear to think of that purse setting on my shelf empty.

The kit came with this fabric as the background fabric.

It reminded me of the background I used for Toulouse so I decided to use something else for a different look. I checked my stash for a nice tone on tone beige or cream and found this....

The cream tone on tone from Shangri la! What a surprise! I frequently buy reds and creams from a family of fabric because I like to collect those colors. So there it was, just waiting for this quilt!!

The original size of this pattern is 80" x 96" and is made up of 80 eight inch blocks. I wanted a smaller quilt and thought perhaps the eight inch block was a little too big for my liking.

Here's my first attempt at trying to get the pattern downsized and accurate. I wanted a six inch finished block and that meant I needed 2 inch strips.

If you follow the line I've drawn you'll see my first guesstimate was off by a quarter of an inch.

See how the top point in row two should align with the bottom point of row three?

I got it on the second try!

One of the aspects of this pattern that did not appeal to me was drawing 400 lines to piece the angled strips. I researched buzz saw blocks and found a couple of different ways to make them, but the methods required yardage, not strips. The last time I whined about drawing the lines a few of you commented about using the Angler 2.

I saw this demonstrated at a quilt show, thought it looked like a time saver, bought it, threw it in my template/ruler drawer, then forgot all about it. I had no trouble getting it on my machine, but I couldn't figure out how it worked.

I even drew a line down fabric where I was supposed to sew....still nothing. Those edges don't line up with anything and how do I sew a straight line without one drawn on the fabric?

I resigned myself to the fact that I would have to draw the lines. After it was all said and done, it only took me a couple of hours to draw all the lines, and I talked on the phone for most of that time.

Do you trim your pieces from the back before cutting off the extra fabric?

See that little smidgen of beige fabric peeking out.

I trim it off.
It gives each strip such a nice straight line. My fabric usually hangs over because I move my needle to the right one position when I sew down the line. Yours may not. I'm not sure what I would do if the fabric was too short on the front.

So here's all the strips, ready to be sewed together......
but how......
that's tomorrow's dilemma.


  1. It's going to be adorable with the smaller blocks, Thelma. You've actually made a ton of progress - you'll be finished before you know it. Dreaming of a new project?

  2. I didn't get a chance to comment on Faceted Jewels, but I did see the picture of the finished top and it is drop-dead gorgeous! I can't wait to see it when you get if back from the quilter! As for the Angler, you line up the line that you drew with one of the lines on the very front of the Angler (there are three lines right that run from the front of the "key" area down to the front edge). I'm pretty sure it is the middle line, from your photo. If your fabric pieces were reversed, with the green on top, you wouldn't have to draw the lines - just line up the bottom point where the fabrics come together with that line, and make sure that point stays on that line as you sew. Argh. It's impossible to give good directions without pictures!

  3. I agree with Lesly...either put the green on top, or from your picture using the angler could maybe just rotate the pieces 180 degrees where the part that you started sewing first became the part that you sewed last. That way, you could keep that little cream corner on the middle line the whole way up. That might work too. Good luck, and already those little pieces look fabulous!

  4. I was going to suggest rotating your strips too. Put the needle still at the same spot but rotate the bottom so where the fabrics cross each other follows the line on the angler.

    I love your back ground fabric choice and can't wait to see more of this project!

  5. Faceted Jewels is has motion of circles so I hope your quilter does something to keep that going.
    I too am complexed by the Angler and draw my lines on..I don't mind. I love that you made that block smaller and look forward to your finish.

  6. I'm really liking those blocks smaller. You got tons done!

  7. I wish I could show you how to use the Angler because it makes even me an almost accurate piecer when I get it out. Can't wait to see your blocks!

  8. I too have not been able to figure out how to use the Angler. I tried once, and went back to the pencil.

  9. I can't seem to figure out the Angler either . . . I saw it demonstrated and loved it . . . got it home and can't seem to do it . . .

    I have since bought all the Kaye England Cut for the Cure Nifty Notions rulers . . . they are wonderful !! . . . and the directions are so so good . . .

    when I made my Xmas Tree quilt I had the same problem . . . didn't want to draw the lines . . . I used my half square and quarter square rulers from Nifty Notions and was able to cut everything . . . and did NOT have to draw a single line . . .

    the rulers use only strips for cutting . . . and saves tons of fabric too . . .

  10. Actually,I like a product called Clearly Perfect Angles- no drawing- very simple to use.

  11. I LOVE my Angler 2. Get someone to show you again if you can't figure it out.

    I press my angles to where they go, matching corners before I trim anything, and it keeps everything very square. It works especially well with flying geese.

  12. i got nuttin, honey ... i always leave the Angler 2 in the store cuz it makes me dizzy to look at all those lines ... and i COMPLETELY understand about not wanting to take the jelly roll out of that sweet purse

  13. Thelma,
    I love Faceted Jewels ... just beautiful! The new quilt is going to be beautiful as well. I love the beige floral fabric!
    I have never tried the Angler either.

  14. I would have a hard time taking Faceted Jewels off the design wall as well. Hopefully your quilter will move it to the top of her list and get it back to you quickly. I have never used the Angler 2 and am disappointed to hear that it is complex. I have a project I am about to start with a bunch of half square triangles. I think you recommended a method in an earlier post about that. Do you mind emailing me the link to refresh my memory? Thanks.

  15. I have used many incarnations of the Angler 2. I have the original, I have the Clearly Perfect Angles version and I also have used just plain masking tape to work the same technique in a pinch. Those lines that are angled... don't know what they are for. The only thing that you need to look at is the line that extends from the center (where the needle comes down) towards you. You make sure that as you sew from one corner to the other the tip of the corner stays on the line as it moves up under the needle. This keeps the seam straight. I sew just a snigeon to the side to make up for when I fold the angle back over. I am done drawing lines. It's so time consuming and I love my triangles so I need to use something to save my sanity. I posted recently about my make shift Angler and you can see (I hope) what I mean.


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