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I'm not sure if I'm ready to take the plunge...am I really not a beginner anymore??

I'm not sure if I'm ready to take the plunge...am I really not a beginner anymore??

Old 10-22-2013, 10:08 AM
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Default I'm not sure if I'm ready to take the plunge...am I really not a beginner anymore??

So I have been stalking quiltville for a very long time. Analyzing the organizational process she has for scraps, downloading every mystery, looking at every pattern, book jacket, calendar posting and yada yada. I think her quilts are beautiful, but I don't know if I have the expertise to actually do one.

I started trimming scraps down to squares and bricks so I can start this leader and ender stuff she has on her site. I'll probably be putting some small HST together too.

My questions are these: I know she really, really likes the angle ruler and the companion ruler. I do want Tri-Recs cause I love those 54-40 or Fight blocks. She doesn't make any of her Geese or HST blocks the easy way. I use rectangles and draw lines and they are a smidgeon bigger than needed, but my points are just more accurate when I stitch squares and then flip. It's easier to not stretch the bias edge when it's not already cut.

Have you guys used these rulers? Is it really worth it to make all those thousands of triangles and then sew them together instead of sewing the squares together to get those multiple HST blocks? I like to make them 8 at a time or so. I have an easier time with Flying Geese using the sew and flip method.

Have any of you made any of her gorgeous patterns without using the rulers? I'm starting to put my Christmas/Anniversary wish lists together and would like to get these tools if they are necessary, but I'm honestly scared about what my points are going to look like. I've always thought of her quilts as expert piecing, but the more I look at them, the more they look like traditional pieces, squares, rectangles, HSTs, geese and I do know how to make all those pieces.

I've been quilting ten years and have about 15 projects completed. I know it's not a lot, but I quilt most of mine by hand so that eats up time as I tend to work on one project at a time. The pieces themselves look easy enough to make, there's just a TON of them and she makes them using a different method than I do, and her method scares me more than her patterns.

Suggestions? Should I just stick with my samplers and traditional beginner work? Am I biting off more than I can chew or can I really do this? I just don't know.


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Old 10-22-2013, 10:22 AM
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You can make your geese and HST's using any method you like. If you can make them accurately, you can do just about anything. Go for it!
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:34 AM
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If you are doing standard shapes like FG or HST, I'd say do it your way.

But I just bought and returned a $30 quilt pattern, which looked like it had regular old storm-at-sea kind of diamonds around a nice medallion, because I realized it called for Tri-recs PLUS Easy Angle AND Companion Angle. I resented having to buy the rulers so I wrote to the designer who very very very strongly recommends that the quilt be done using her method and those rulers in order to get the right end product.

Why don't you write to Quiltville and ask why you need all the rulers? she will know better than any of us.

Good luck!

PS I am a big fan of Debbie Tucker for Geese Wing Clipper. No waste, 4 at a time, no way to get wonky.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:10 AM
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I've always done patterns that include the measurements for the sew and flip method. I think I'm going to have to research it and make up a golden rule or something that tells me what size squares and rectangles and such to use. Maybe if I have it written down on something I can use it for reference and make the pieces according to sew and flip but assemble the quilt according to her methods.

I have steered away from a lot of pretty Fons and Porter patterns as well because of their specialty rulers. We are on a fixed income and have 3 growing boys, one is disabled. I cash my change jug in once a year and buy all the batting I can and by small boxes of scraps and 1/4 yard pieces or FQs or remnants when there's a significant discount. I can't really invest in a ruler if it's just going to make the process harder. I'd rather spend my money on fabric and thread, but that's just me.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:17 AM
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I usually shy away from patterns that make you use their rulers and their methods. The tri recs tool is used in many patterns, so I would probably buy that one (with a coupon). The exception is that I did buy the Day and Night quilt book which comes with the ruler. It was worth it in that case, since the pattern gets 3 blocks of different sizes from the cuts. I make HST's and geese my way. As long as the end result is the same size, it works.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:17 AM
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Bonnie Hunter at www.quiltville.com doesn't insist you use these rulers, and you don't need them for the patterns. What I have heard her say is that she likes the companion angle and easy angle because she can use strips from her scrapuser's system, ie 2 1/2 inch to make the HST. She has also said that she feels it is faster to make the pieces her way rather than make bigger and trim down. She occasionally has a quiltcam where she sews and visits with anyone who wants to watch and that is where I heard the comments. Anyone who follows her blog knows she is a prolific quilter and a sweet lady.

Bottom line do it your way. You might have to start with bigger squares or strips then what she lists.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:20 AM
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It really doesn't matter how you make any block, it is just most of the times especailly with complicated blocks that they ALL come out the same. Don't let ANYONE tell you how to make a flying geese or half square triangle.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:22 AM
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I've made several other of her patterns and just used my regular rulers for flying geese and half and quarter square triangles. If you are going to make a quilt with the triangle-in-a square patch, I would get the ruler. There are lots of patterns that have this patch: 54-40, tennessee waltz, storm at sea to name a few.

The tri recs ruler and companion ruler (sold in a set) are pretty inexpensive. They are sold at JoAnn's and you can use your coupon. To make the triangle-in-a-square patch they are a necessity (imho). The angle for the triangle is 53.5 degrees, not 60. The only way to achieve this is to use this ruler or paper piece it.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:26 AM
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Skill level has absolutely nothing to do with what you can accomplish using someone else's methods. It has everything to do with what you can accomplish using your OWN methods.

Your sampler quilts are gorgeous, Melissa, and the story behind each square you put into them makes them very special indeed. You are fearless when it comes to tackling a new block and, in my opinion, you stopped being a beginner long ago.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:28 AM
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I was thinking about the tri-recs anyway because I've seen a few patterns I could make using them. I can't really wrap my head around the math to make them without the specialty ruler. I'm going to be spending more time on quiltville. I might just make my scrap user's system run a bit wider so I can make the HST and geese sew and flip and then just trim them down.
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