So I've started both the Craftsy BOM 2013 taught by Laura Nownes, as well as the Craftsy BOM 2012 taught by Amy Gibson. While I like Amy's block choices better and could see myself using more of them in my quilting, I have to admit that the teaching by Laura is much more in depth and helpful, especially for anyone new to quilting and its lingo (and judging by the commentary feeds, she was probably encouraged to go into so much detail because of all the questions and confusion during the 2012 class). Check out my completed 2013 January blocks!
One great tip in the January tutorial is about using a guide to get your scant quarter right when you piece, since sewing machines can vary greatly in the accuracy of their markings. By nature, I'm more of an eyeballer when it comes to cooking and sewing (ironic for someone who's a perfectionist in other arenas, but at least when it comes to cooking dinner, I'm usually in too much of a rush to bother with measuring cups while the troops are mutinying). I am realizing that I really need to take a little more time for accuracy as I start planning more detailed blocks; to accomplish a more uniform look when I'm sewing pieces for my business, and to save time squaring up on the back end of the project.
I went ahead and ordered the Perfect Piecing Seam Guide like Laura suggests. (The best price I could find including shipping was from Sewing with Treadles on Etsy - it came faster than my Amazon prime order!) It turns out that the line on my machine's quarter inch foot is accurate, but I liked the idea of setting up a guide "bumper" and the seam guide makes that really easy, so it's a very helpful tool (plus, it doubles as a four inch ruler). Laura uses a little stack of Post-It Note tabs in the tutorial, but I ordered the Q-Tools Sewing Edge to stick down and so far, I love it! It's removable and repositionable like the sticky notes, but also transparent, so I was able to leave it in place when I had to quickly switch gears and stitch something with a wider seam in the middle of my piecing project. Below I've outlined these two new tools of mine in case you want to give them a try yourself!
Ooh - but really quick side note first - guess who's "sew summer" version of the Miette skirt was featured on the pattern maker's blog today? Yep - mine! I'm so delighted and flattered that Tilly and the Buttons liked my fabric choice, and it's cool to see all the beautiful designs that others created, as well! Thanks for the great pattern, Tilly!
Ok, now back to quilting... : )