Stash Report – Week 28, 2014

Nothing in and not enough out to count. I made the block for the Olfa Anniversary quilt but one block doesn’t use much yardage so . . I’m saying nothing used.

Used this Week: 0 yards
Used year to Date: 54 yards
Added this Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 0 yards

Happy Anniversary Olfa!

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary!

Did you know that the Olfa cutter was developed in 1979 . . 35 years ago . . and Olfa is celebrating by creating and displaying a commemorative quilt at the International Quilt Market in  Houston in October. Olfa asked some quilting bloggers (stop laughing . . I will quilt again some day) to submit a block for the quilt and I was happy to do so. Keep reading and you’ll see my block.

If I had to name one item that changed quilting the most for me, it would be the Olfa cutter, and, of course, the mats and rulers that make them so effective. I learned to quilt in about 1980 and I was taught to use the plastic templates, trace around them, add a quarter inch to all sides, cut along the outer line with scissors .  . one piece at a time.  I can still remember walking into that quilt shop one day and the ladies showing me the Olfa cutter and the ruler and how many layers I could cut through. Of course, I had to have one. You know me . . I never have done anything on a small scale. I cut hundreds of strips. That was all I really knew how to cut . . strips! I took them back to the quilt shop and said “What do I do with all these strips?” They suggested I make a rail fence quilt and I had enough strips to make three quilt tops, all of which were finished and given away. What a sight those must have been . . in my early days of quilting!

I cannot even imagine what quilting would be like without the Olfa cutter, the rulers and the mats.

Olfa Cutters

Olfa Cutters

I think it’s safe to say that I’m an Olfa fan. These are the cutters that were in the drawer and there are probably at least this many more . . in boxes I take with me when traveling or buried under all the stuff on the cutting tables. The one on the right, the 45 mm Deluxe Ergonomic Rotary Cutter, is the one I use most often these days.

The folks at Olfa shared a little kit with those of us who made blocks for their commemorative quilt:

Rotating Mat

Rotating Mat

I absolutely love the rotating mat. It’s so nice when trimming a bunch of smaller pieces and I can place several on the mat, trim on one side, rotate the mat, trim them all on another side and keep rotating the mat without having to pick up and re-align all the pieces.

Frosted Ruler

Frosted Ruler

They also sent a 6-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ Frosted Advantage™ ruler. I had never used one of these but it’s great for dark and light fabrics . . the lines show through no matter what color the fabric you’re using. I had never paid attention to how difficult it was to see the black lines with dark fabric til I used this ruler and saw how easy it is. I guess it’s just something I always dealt with and never knew I had a better option.

Also included were the 28 mm rotary cutter and this cute little pin!

Olfa pin

Olfa pin

As I was thinking about the block I would submit for the commemorative quilt, I had to smile thinking about all those strips I cut with my very first Olfa cutter, and those “not so pretty” calico rail fence quilts I made. I knew my block had to be something related to a simple rail fence type block.

Spinning Rail Fence

Spinning Rail Fence

There it is!  A rail fence with a spinning star, of sorts, in the center.

Thank you, Olfa, for all you’ve done for the quilting industry and for us quilters, and thank you for allowing me to be a part of your 35th anniversary celebration. As a quilter who remembers quilting before the Olfa cutters were popular, I really appreciate your products!

Design Wall – July 7, 2014

You’re all going to memorize the picture of my design wall . . since nothing seems to change around here.

Design Wall

Design Wall