Friday, June 4, 2010

Tumbling Block Quilt--Next Step

I picked up the template I had made at Tap Plastics. (It cost almost $30 to make it, but I figured with as many hexagons as I have to sew together, it would be a good investment to have a template to trim them all.)

Tap Plastics did a good job. Nice, smoothed-out edges, nothing sharp. I love that I can take any kind of odd idea to Tap Plastics and they can make just the thing I need.

So I tried out the template on a couple of my hexagons. It was then that I discovered I didn't have any of the tacky plastic stuff to put on the bottom of the template to keep it from slipping as I used it.

Double-sided tape to the rescue!!! I don't suppose I'm the first person to ever use this as a substitute, but it worked fairly well. I've trimmed about 50 hexagons now, and it is still sticky enough. It's also cheap and easy to replace the tape when I need to.

Another wish in my little mind was that I had one of those turntable-type cutting mats, since there is a lot of turning with all this trimming. I live near some great fabric stores, but they are not your average quilting store (nor a Joanns) and neither shop carried this type of cutting board.

So I improvised again by placing a small towel under the cutting board. Then I simply spin around the towel, cutting mat, and everything when I have cut all I can reach, and need to turn it to trim the other side.

Here is an untrimmed stack of tumbling blocks (photo on right). There are some points sticking out, and a lot of uneven edges.

After trimming, the stack looks like this photo, everything the same size, with edges nice and even.

I think I will need all the help I can get to make this quilt top without puckers and lumps in it!

And I am left with this nice jumble of confetti fabric scraps! I think
it's quite pretty, and even MisterStitches encouraged me to save the scraps till I get all done. But whatever will I do with them? I suppose I could use wash-away stabilizer and sew them all together to make ????


  1. I like that you made a template. I had never heard of that place. That's neat. I just bought a quilt sense hexagon template set from ebay a short time ago. I'm glad to learn of your "towel under the cutting mat" trick. That will be useful for me soon, when I start cutting out my I spy blocks using my new hex template.

  2. Hi Gail, the template has worked quite well. I'm taking a break from trimming to do some actual sewing together of blocks into rows. Glad you like the "towel under the cutting mat" trick. Hey, we girls improvise when we have to, don't we!!

  3. Here's an idea for all your little trimmings.. put them in a mesh bag (like onions come in) and hang in a tree in the spring- robins and other birds will love them for nest building... works for threads too. And your neighbourhood will have the prettiest nests in town!

  4. Thanks for the idea, Linda. That's a great thing to do with the scraps.

  5. Put them in a pet bed like I do! :)


  6. Thanks for another great idea, Teresa. I may have enough for a small kitty bed by the time I'm done. But maybe not enough for a dog bed for DaughterStitches (she has two Great Danes!).