WIP Wednesday and Timesavers

I have many people that ask me how I get so much sewing done. Well, my kids have all moved out! But I got a lot done even when my kids were home, it was my therapy. I had to do it! And after you have been quilting as long as I have, you pick up a lot of time saving tips and tricks.  I thought I would share some of these with you from time to time. I will categorize these posts as Timesavers to make them easy to find from the side bar.

The project I am working on today is a throw quilt made from all hour glass blocks. I will walk you through my piecing and show some things that make this a very quick project.

My first tip is to place fabrics right sides together when cutting  so that your pieces are all lined up and ready to sew at the machine. Here you see my stacks of neatly cut pieces for my hourglass blocks.

  In this next picture, I have folded back an edge so you can see that my pieces alternate between prints and background pieces, right sides together.   
 It doesn’t matter if you use a die cutter or rotary cutter, if your cut pieces are the same size and shape, you can layer them up and  cut them at the same time like this and they are ready to go. I realize this doesn’t work for every project, but it works on a lot of them and can save a lot of time and improve accuracy.

When it is time to press my pieces, I pick up the top piece and press to the dark. I lay it right side up on the table. The next piece gets pressed and it goes right side down on the last piece so, again, it is ready to feed through the machine. I may have to do some straightening up this time, but I am never looking around for the other piece.

  

I tend to work on blocks in batches, making 6 or 8 at a time. I keep all my bits for a project in one project box. So I am never hunting around for lost pieces. When I am done working on this project for the day, everything goes back into the box. I also don’t put anything IN the box that doesn’t go with this project.

 This makes it easy to grab a box and get to work! I don’t have my layout figured out just yet but here are some of my completed blocks.

Here you can see I am still working with the 1 1/2 inch squares as leaders/enders.  I was a slow convert to this. But I am learning how I can make it work for me. Creating little 4 patches is my current project but I am getting low on  squares so I may switch to something else soon. These will make up into a quick project at some point since the hard part will be done!
 I think I have 60 little 2 inch blocks done here. I don’t yet know what they will become and that is actually key for me keeping up with the leader/ender concept. It keeps me from jumping ship and working exclusively on this and leaving the other project in the dust! That is what has always happened in the past when I tried this!

You may have noticed the little half square triangles next to the hour glass pieces in my box.IMG_3157

When I die cut my pieces, I found that I had little stacks of leftover pieces. Rather than throw these in the scrap bin, I grabbed the largest HST die that would accommodate these stacks and fed them through the die cutter. I don’t know what they will become but these are the biggest pieces I could cut from my leftovers and now they are a “project” instead of scraps! In fact, this may be my next leader ender project.

I realize that many of you have done this forever. I find that I have to remind myself, but I am always thrilled when I remember to take this step. I hope you found this helpful.

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts  for Let’s Bee Sewcial and Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

About katyquilts

I am a wife, mom of four amazing kids, and a librarian. I have been making traditional quilts for ages but have ventured into art qulting in the last several years. I also love to knit socks and mittens and dye my own fabric. I am thankful to God my Father and Creator for the gift of creativity!
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8 Responses to WIP Wednesday and Timesavers

  1. Mary Ann says:

    Thank you very much. I know I will be making use of this and any future timesaving tips.

  2. I have some hourglass blocks sewn and others half-sewn for a ‘someday’ quilt top. I have always loved that pattern. Yours look wonderful! 🙂
    This timesavers series is a great idea. Quite helpful 🙂

  3. Gina says:

    Great time saver tips. I do use one box per project but always make just the one block at a time. I’ll have to try and make a few at a time and see how that works for me

  4. Kathy says:

    I am nowhere close to being so organized … and I think I’d be a lot better off if I were. I was working on a leader-ender project (2 patches that will eventually become 16 patches), but because I didn’t organize my fabrics, I have lost track of where I’m at (I’m using a limited number of reds and neutrals and want to make sure that all my fabrics are evenly distributed) … and that project has moved to the back burner. I need to drag that out and find something to organize my fabrics and get back to work on it.

  5. knitnkwilt says:

    New to me was cutting right side to right side and your pressing placement. Thanks. I’ll try it. 🙂

  6. Marly says:

    Thank you for reminding me that it pays to be properly organised.Thank you so much for your Timesaver series; great tips.

  7. Nancy says:

    Thank you for the timesavers in this post. I like your hourglass blocks.

  8. Lynn says:

    I really enjoy half square triangles and tips are always welcome. Thanks for the one about catching the leader/enders for later, not jumping ship as that’s what I tend to do too! Look forward to seeing the finished quilt too.

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