Contrary to my post last Wednesday when I was anticipating a binge of quilting to occur - the last week of sewing has been ALL about piecing.
I have finished 60 of the 80 blocks needed for Picnic in Serenade on the left side of my design wall and 5 of the 20 blocks needed for Sunny Lanes. They are proving to be a nice complement to each other and instead of using Sunny Lanes as a true leader/ender project I have found it easier to alternate back and forth as I create the parts needed for each.
I am using a handy new ruler which is making my Picnic block construction much less painful and keeping Mr. Ripper out of use. The Folded Corner Clipper by Prairie Sky Quilting is designed to eliminate drawing the lines by trimming the corner before you sew. I was having issues getting pinked edges of jelly rolls to "behave" while piecing these sub units but this ruler allows me to clearly see that both fabrics are aligned properly before cutting. Having that trimmed edge to follow while sewing makes a huge difference in accuracy for me.
You can use the same technique with an Easy Angle ruler but I found all the markings to be distracting when I tried mine. And I am very careful to lay out my fabrics in the same way so I don't cut them incorrectly!
The parts for Sunny Lanes were all jumbled together in my bin so I've spent a fair amount of time sorting them out and calculating how many 4 patches and HSTs I still need to make. To complicate matters I had less than a yard left of the Moda Marbles background fabric so I was rather nervous as to whether I had enough. Turns out I had made too many 4 patches and not nearly enough HSTs but I'm quite sure I have enough fabric at this point. Whew!
I'm a big fan of the Eleanor Burns Quilt in a Day Triangle Square ruler for making quick work of trimming HSTs to the proper size. I love HSTs and have found over the years that trimming saves me a lot of headaches in block construction later. This technique allows you to trim before pressing so you only trim 2 sides instead of 4. Periodically I use my 4.5" square ruler to check my finished blocks to make sure I'm on track. Assembling Path & Styles in Thimbleberries earlier this month was an excellent reminder to keep my sub units the correct size.
I've decided I might as well finish piecing the last 20 blocks for Picnic in Serenade and the rest of the HSTs and 4 patches for Sunny Lanes while I'm in the groove... even though that means pushing my quilting projects out at least another day. As long as I'm working on UFOs in one way or another in the end it will all even out right?