Do you understand your printer settings?

I have a lot of ePatterns and eBooks at pieceocake.com. It is important that the patterns are printed out at the right size. To do that you have to be sure that your printer settings are correct. I can help, with pictures.

NOTE: I have a Mac so my printer box may look a little different from yours but I think that the basics are the same.

When you hit ‘print’, a window opens:

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Look at the options under Page Size & Handling. Your printer will have a default that may not be what you want. In this case, you should click ‘actual size’.

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Next, look at the image that shows the page and the margins around it. My picture shows too much margin. I can fix that!

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Look for the ‘page setup’ button and click it:

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See where it says ‘any printer’? Click that:

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The list of printers opens. Click  on your printer to choose it and then click OK. You might notice that the first window also lists my printer but for whatever reason I have to go through this step to make the margins smaller.

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Now the picture on the print page shows smaller margins. This does not shrink or enlarge the final print out. What it does do is not cut off the edges of the page when it prints. This is important when you are printing the patterns because of the way they fit together.

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I hope this helps you in all of your printing 🙂

Fabric love at first sight…

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I love Alison Glass‘s fabric. That’s a fact.

You know that the fabrics in any collection, by any designer or from any company, are designed to work together. I have found that even though I may like a collection, there are only a few fabrics that I actually use. It is a rare thing to find a collection of prints where everything works together as well as these fabrics do. Why is that?

  • In addition to being just luscious, there is a nice mix of values.
  • These particular prints add texture without being distracting. That works really well in both piecing and appliquĂ©.
  • There are both clear colors and gray colors. When used together, clear colors come forward, grayer colors recede. In a quilt, the combination of clear and gray colors adds dimension to the design.

This is what I have right now: a mix of Alison’s Chroma and Handcrafted Indigo collections as well as a text print. It’s a great start but I know I’m going to be adding more AG fabric to this mix because more is obviously better in this case :-).

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If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I’m working on a foundation paper pieced quilt. The first quilt top is sewn and I’m now making variations of the pattern in AG fabric. I don’t want to ruin future surprises but this gives you an idea of how these prints work together in a pieced block.

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One last thing: When I was in St. Louis last week I picked up some give-away scraps of vintage fabric from the guild table. Too many quilters are nervous about mixing vintage-style prints with modern prints. Don’t be! This is a happy stack of fabric that would make a great quilt.

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I don’t often go on and on about fabric on my blog, but these prints are special. You should consider adding them to your stash.

Happy fabric shopping (is there any other kind?).

 

Show and tell…

This cute quilt was made by Diane Pfeifley who sent me the photo and the story of her quilt. Isn’t is great!

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Diane said:

I saw your “Welcome to the North Pole” design book many years ago on “Simply Quilts.” When I saw the design of the buildings all I thought was Whoville. My niece loves Dr. Seuss so after many years of thinking about this project I finally was able to put it together. This project I hand appliquéd and hand quilted.

The snowflakes came on a Christmas card. I peeled them off and put them in my embellishment stash. They were perfect for Whoville. I used the design in the blue background to echo quilt. In some places it looks like a ski run. Not intentional. I used buttons for door knobs and shell belt buckles for the windows in the doors.

You might wonder why there are several wildcats tucked here and there. My niece’s husband is a graduate of Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. So the wildcats are for him as is the Whocat Alumni Center with KSU on the building.

Your designs were so unique and fun. I really enjoyed making this, even though it took me years of thinking about it before it finally “gelled”. Truly enjoyed using your designs. Now I’m thinking I need to use these patterns to make me a Santa version.

Thanks so much for your unique designs.

I love it!

Show and tell…

Nancy Arseneault sent me photos of her two quilts with the following story. Both of her quilts are beautiful, but Nancy points out how important it is to pay attention to the quilting. Thank you, Nancy, for sharing your quilts with us!

I loved your Anniversary Quilt at first sight.  ​Since I like to put my own spin on patterns, I made oversize blocks using hand dyes on a solid black background.  Construction was a fused raw edge technique with blanket stitching. I added some French knots and experimented with trapunto.  Then I put the blocks aside for several years in a UFO bin.  I pulled them out again in 2012 and decided to make a border with additional appliqué elements.  I called it Garden of Pomegranates. It was going pretty well until  a show deadline loomed.  The free motion machine quilting had to be RUSHED.  Did I mention I had decided to go with salmon colored thread on the black background? Bad call! The quilt was ready in time for the show but the rushed quilting had ruined it.

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In 2015, I decided that The Anniversary Quilt deserved a do over.  This time, in a completely different color scheme, I decided to make much smaller blocks.  An invisible machine appliquĂ© technique was used.   I changed the setting to allow for some additional background space by separating the 4 Pomegranate blocks with a deconstructed block placed on point in the center.  Once again, a border was created of appliquĂ© shapes from the blocks.  I finished in 2016.  It’s called Back to the Garden. Thought that you might like to see the quilts you inspired and hear about the journey.
Thanks, Becky, for your beautiful quilts, great books & patterns and sound advice.
Nancy Arseneault
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Taking aim at a new quilt…

A couple of weeks ago in my newsletter I mentioned that I’m working on a new quilt, based on an antique bullseye design. The good news is that a pattern should be available in about a year. The bad news is that I can’t show it to you now. But I want you to know that it’s going to be fantastic!

Kauai Road — done!

This quilt began with a photograph of a road in Hanalei, Hawaii. If you’ve been there, you know the place. I used Photoshop to generate a drawing.

I made a placement overlay with the bones of the design. I didn’t use templates — I cut fabric by eye and built the quilt on my design wall.

Here it is, unquilted…

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The quilting brings all the elements together; the quilting finishes the quilt.

I love this quilt, but Steve loves it more. It is hanging in our dining room on the wall he can see from his spot on the sofa. I suspect it’s going to stay on that wall for a long time.

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When your ironing board needs a facelift…

I’ve had this ironing board from Reliable for many years and I love it, except for one minor thing. Well, two minor things. #1: The piece that slides onto the end of the board to square it up wants to come off when I fold it up and carry it to the closet (which rarely happens). I have trained myself not to grab it by it’s end. #2: The covers that go with the board do not want to stay on and they get dirty. (The getting dirty part is my fault.)

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Yesterday I decided that I would re-cover the board in the easiest way I could think of. I left the old cover in place and cut 2 yards of a more neutral fabric and trimmed it about 8-10″ bigger than the board on all sides. (I didn’t measure, sigh.) I pressed a 3″ hem on each side and ran a length of nylon cord inside the hem, thinking that it was easier to sew it in place than it would be to insert it later. I made a cut in the casing at one narrow end for the cord ends to go through.

Once sewn, I ran the ends of the cord through a toggle, placed the fabric right side up on the ironing board, and cinched it down. I stood the board up on it’s end for easier access. As I looked at the bottom of the board, it occurred to me that I could wire the two parts of the ironing board together. Why didn’t I think of this years ago?

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It turns out that I started with way too much fabric, but it works, but it did not fit the board tightly. The old cover has elastic bands that hold it tight and I borrowed that idea. I cut more elastic and used safety pins to hold it in place. Seriously, who besides me (and you) is going to know that I did it the easy way?

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I had not realized until I made this change how distracting the blue cover was. This quieter color is much, much better.

And, in case you are wondering, I have made serious progress on the Kauai Road quilt, seen on the wall in the first photo. Here’s a snippet, quilted. I love this quilt!

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