I will give a bit of a tool review, but first a catch up with some pictures of what I’ve been working on (other than hand quilting the Wedding Quilt).
I made a binding for the Wedding Quilt. (Spoiler alert: that is the tool in the background.)
I did something I rarely do. I pieced a back for the Falling Charms quilt. I don’t usually piece backs because 1) If I’m hand quilting I don’t want the extra seams to quilt through and 2) By the time I get to the back, I’m anxious to get done. But I wanted to use up the rest of the Falling Charms blocks I had made and also the rest of the Cold Spring Dreams layer cake.
I disassembled the top at this point and corrected the problem. Now the Falling Charms quilt is at the longarmer’s awaiting quilting.
This is the Clearly Perfect Angles template by New Leaf. I am not sure I even remember where I saw something about this that made me want to try it, but it was convincing enough that I jumped online and ordered it from Amazon.com.
Here’s what it looks like on my machine:
The initial installation went very smoothly. The directions and design of the tool and the availability of videos were a big help. Here’s one of the videos:
I wanted to try this mostly for the use during binding making. I hate having to draw a line and stitch along it. I’m lazy. I admit it. And I know it doesn’t go along with the whole liking to make intricate blocks thing. This really speeds up the process of making binding! Just think what it would do to speed up making a Jelly Roll Race! (And, yes, I plan to make one and see how much more quickly that goes.) Here is how well the binding seams turn out:
This tool can also be used for making half square triangles without drawing any lines and adding the corners to snowball blocks without drawing lines. Here is the key from the tool to tell you how to do that:
Now for the disadvantages. First, the obvious one is that this has to come off my machine every time I change a bobbin. Not fun. It is easy to put back on, however, so that isn’t a big deal to me. The other problem is that once you line it up when you’re first putting it on, you have to cut a small rectangle so that your feed dogs can grab your fabrics and do their job. Once I had done that, one corner of the plastic kept grabbing my fabric and causing it to bunch up. I haven’t yet found a way to remedy that. I do try to remember to push that little piece down or guide the fabric past the catch.
Until sewing machine companies start engraving these lines on quilting machines (and why don’t they?), I will use this tool quite happily. I have loved the way I can speed through bindings and all those other angly things without drawing lines. Worth the price I paid!