Sunday, December 9, 2012

Some like it hot

I was working along with quilt cam Saturday night, and making good progress on the final flying geese of step 2, when tragedy struck. My iron stopped heating. The "ready" light was on, but the iron was cold. It wasn't really a surprise, since I don't even know how old that iron was. It's been a good iron for many, many years. So, after a moment of silence for my old iron, I went back to stitching my geese. I finger pressed the right wing before I stitched the left wing, and then I left them to be pressed with my new iron.

Flying Geese waiting to be pressed

My mission for Sunday went from "finish Easy Street part 3" to "acquire a new iron." I checked my favorite online quilting groups and Googled some reviews before deciding to get another Black & Decker. I really wanted to start part 3, but I knew I needed to get an iron. Dilemma! I found an iron on the Bed, Bath & Beyond website with a pick-up-in-store option! I placed the order for the closest store, then I gave my DH the 20% off coupon and sent him to pick it up. I <3 the interwebz!

On to step 3: There was an intriguing alternate method for making the shaded four patches posted on the Yahoo message group by one of the mystery participants. I wanted to try it, but I remembered that I already had background pieces cut per Bonnie's instructions leftover from the flying geese. So I used Bonnie's method for part 3. All my pieces are cut:

purple squares, turquoise triangles

A question posted on the Yahoo group brought up the topic of how to get a good scrappy look. One of the answers prompted me to rethink my strategy. Basically, she said that she uses a 10% rule to keep the fabrics scrappy. For example, if 50 pieces of a color are required, no more than five of them should be from the same fabric. I hadn't really thought that much about it. My method was to cut a strip, subcut as many pieces as I could from it, and move on to the next fabric. I stopped cutting when I had all the pieces I needed. For the flying geese in part 2, I ended up with 56% of the triangles from only two fabrics and 44% from the other five fabrics. I'm not going to redo what I've finished, but I am going to pay more attention for part 3. I only have seven fabrics, so I can't really follow the 10% guideline, but I can make sure I have a more even distribution of the fabrics I have. I'm looking forward to see how it all turns out.

shaded four patches

My previous Easy Street reports:
Part 1
Part 2

I'm linking up with Quiltville and Patchwork Times.


P.S. In case you were wondering, my new iron is the Black & Decker Digital Advantage, $39.99. I really like it. It has a nice weight and nice digital screen that clearly shows what setting it is on and when it is ready.


  1. I wonder how many irons I've been through in 42 years of quilting? Beautiful teals!
    Sharyn in Kalama

    1. I've been quilting about 10 years, and the new iron is #3. The second one lasted a long time! The teals are my favorite of the ones I picked for Easy Street. =)

  2. I've never heard of the "10% rule" when making a scrappy quilt, but it's a good idea. I'll have to keep it in mind when I'm working on the rest of the Easy Street steps.

    1. I thought it was a good idea too. It keeps one fabric from dominating the quilt. I wish I saved the message; I don't remember who posted it.

  3. Interesting design you've created with your Step 3. Black and Decker always makes a good iron...with 20% off of those NONEXPIRING BBandB coupons you can't go wrong. I use everything scraps, but never more than strips of 22". I change my combination of strips after cutting 10 usually. One background with purple A then same background with purple B until the background runs out. Repeat. Also gives a real good scrappy feel. Sandi

  4. Your patches look fantastic. Clue 4 is nearly here – woo hoo!