Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Rotary Cutter and Cutting Base Rotary Mats. Do I need one?

Rotary Cutter and Cutting Base Mat.  Do I need to one?

This blog maybe a little controversial.  It is prompted by an email received from one of my customers this week.   In brief she was having difficulty using these tools to cut fabric.   The question was long winded and I spent some time drafting a reply.   Time took over and I decided to respond the following day.   Re-reading my draft in a different light after sleeping on her words, I realised my answer should be much simpler.  In short .... Dear Mrs T,   Do you really need to use a rotary cutter and mat for cutting fabric?

I came to this conclusion after thinking about my own experience with a rotary cutter and mat.   My first encounter with these tools occurred in 1990.   I was given a set by a lady whom I had been giving classes to in London.   A very generous gift at the time and I could not wait to try this new technology.  At the time  I had 20 sewing years behind me so using new tools was going to be revealing and possibly challenging.  I tried.  I tried many many times.  In short the rotary cutter scared me.  The exposed blade, just one slip of a finger, just seconds away from a wound.

Far easier to rip a strip of fabric and trim the edges with trusty safe scissors.   Twenty four years later and the rotary cutter remains in my drawer, through fault of my own, abeit a bit rusty.  The blade is still sharp.  I am sure one day I will return to it and with the aid of you tube video clips learn to use it properly, perhaps concluding "how did I manage without it".......  

The mat has been great, how did I manage pre-1990?     I currently have several laying around my studio.  Finding it hard to throw the original one out as it still has plenty of life in it yet.  Having a mat with inch grid and diagonal lines has been incredibly useful for all sorts of projects, mostly cutting stencils or paper using a basic craft knife.  The mat and cutter shown below are my gift from 1990.  Its true to say that the sewing technology of 1989 has survived. 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Create a patchwork quilt using large hexagons. Part 9

Create a patchwork quilt using large hexagons. Part 9

Some progress during this week of happenings, despite work being laid out on the floor most the time.   Gordon, my new husband is very patient that the dining room carpet is mostly taken up by an unfinished sewing project.  Means that he can have meals on a tray watching the TV.

The images below look almost identical.  Look twice and two differences can be found.  Decisions, decisions.  I cannot make up my mind whether to use four strong red hexagons as shown in the lower part of the left hand image, or replace with two cream unobtrusive hexagons as shown in the right hand image.  Both look OK but solid red is a harsh emotional colour.  Years ago we had a bright red carpet covering a very large room.  It was an expensive Axminster wool carpet. It made me feel angry and unsettled.  I never felt peace in that room.   Strange how colours affect emotions.  Just writing this has made my mind up.  Remove the two red.  

The second error also involves red.   I am removing the strong pinky red rosette bottom left hand corner and replacing it with the one shown in the right hand image.

Decisions made.  Gordon, darling it will be dinner for two on a beautifully laid up table in the dining room tonight.   

Friday, 5 September 2014

Create a patchwork quilt using large hexagons. Part 8

Create a patchwork quilt using large hexagons. Part 8

Gosh, progress has been slow.  Just checked my last update on this quilt was 2nd May 2014.  Yes, lots  has happened, just short of five months being blissfully married.   The summer has passed in a flash, and sadly the nights are drawing in.   Closed the curtains at 8.30pm last night........its going to be a long long winter.   Thats the negative and now for the positive.  Long dark nights, time to get cracking on the quilt again.

I unwrapped the roll of part sewn work and loose hexagons fell over the bed.   Now, where was I?  The hexagons seemed larger and very very creased.   Straight to the iron.  Creased work is never pleasing to work with.   Immediate reaction is what what I thinking of placing those yellow hexagons either side of the centre.  They screamed at me.  Wrong, wrong wrong.

After the initial shock of seeing the yellow hexagons I took the work downstairs and laid it flat out on the floor to see the full effect.  Not such an eyesore, different light, laid full out the sunshine blobs not too bad.  Going to carry on and see if they eventually work, which I think they will.  Its strange though how, after a break of a few months suddenly mind thinks quite differently.

Thanks for being patient with this update.......be assured am back on track for further faster progress.  Its funny my fingers are itching right now to pick up a needle and start work immediately.  Alas time forbids.