Friday, July 1, 2011

Making the Twister a no waste project

I love the twister ruler.  It is the absolute fastest way to make a complicated quilt.
The biggest complaint I hear about the twister is the waste created.  Well, that was like a challenge to this scrappy quilter!
I used the Lil’ Twister for my project, and, like a bad blogger, didn’t get a usable picture of everything I wanted to show you, but here goes:
First, I used a dessert roll to make this quilt whip up even faster.  A dessert roll includes 10 strips of fabric, cut selvage to selvage, 5” wide.  These are awesome to supplement your jelly rolls or charms, but unfortunately, moda doesn’t issue these with many collections.  But, I have the rolls for Happy Campers, as well 5 other fabrics from the line.  I cut 5 additional strips.  I sewed 5 sets of 3 strips to a set.  Then cut those strip sets into 5” pieces.
strip sets.bmp
This was much faster than cutting individual squares & sewing them back together.  I made sure that I didn’t make 2 of the strip sets alike so that the quilt would still look scrappy.  From there, I sewed up a simple grid-style charm quilt top, 11 rows of 10 squares per row (this will be important later)
Once your top is finished, you place the intersecting lines of the ruler, on the seam lines of your quilt & just cut around the square
You are left with a frame like this:
and a 2-2.5” square in between where each new square was cut.  Since I used my rotary cutter & just cut around the shape, I was able to cut my squares down to 2” safely (sometimes I over shot the twister when cutting out the shape.  If I had traced & cut with scissors, I would have had a 2.5” square to work with).  I used my Go Cutter (sign up for their newsletter-click here) &; 2” square die plate to square up these scraps in about 5 minutes (probably less).

Then I was faced with how to use the “frame”.  You can see that the scrap was pretty large.  I cut them each like shown below, lining up the left side of the ruler with the cut edge & the width of cut at least 2.5”. 
I kept thinking of how to use these scraps & put my top together.  easy peasy.  Just remember you are dealing with bias edges…don’t tug!
I remembered that I had cut the ABC strips out of some of the yellow Happy Campers multi print during another project.  That would finish to 1”  and don’t you know that made the top the perfect dimension to use the 2” squares as a finishing border?!
happy campers lil twister-fabrics n quilts
Now, I still have the stack of odd shapes I cut from the “frame” to deal with.  If I had followed the package directions & put a border on my original charm grid top, all of these would be the same fabric.  I suppose if that was the case, you could cut the “frame” into 4 long strips - granted, a long strip with lots of seams- and used it for a border or in a pieced backing (the scrappy long strip would work in a pieced backing too).
As I looked at the shape, I saw equilateral triangles….the exact size as my bright neon Q tools ruler

I cut out my triangles, played with placement & came up with this:
I have a nice rectangle in the center (ruler below)
from a 1/2 yard of natural muslin, I added to the pieced trianglesDSCN4549
Then added a little top & bottom border to make that 18” square.  Then using an 18” square from the same 1/2 yard, I stitched top & bottom on 2 opposing sides.
I hemmed the raw edges on the 2 open sides, then stitched 3” up from the corner on all 4 corners, added ties & turned right side out.  {insert 16” pillow form} and wa-lah…or should I say, WHOOP WHOOP!
happy campers twister and pillow
I have absolutely no waste from the charms, used up some scraps in the border & binding which are offset by the 8” of muslin I added back to the scrap bin from the pillow.
So, yay for no waste!  The only other thing to consider is that with the number of seams in this project, your finished quilt size will feel small, based on how big it was before you cut the grid-style top.  My 110 charms yeilded a 16” pillow & 37” x 34” quilt.

Share the love!
Share |


Jean said...

This looks like fun. I have purchased the larger twister ruler and plan to make one soon. Thanks for the tips on the leftovers!

Brita said...

Wow! That's a whole lot ingenuity and creativity. A great looking quilt, how big is it? AND a pillow!!!

Barb said...

I love the twister....

FiberBabble said...

Twisters are really hot at my LQS right now, but no one's come up with a better mousetrap. Wow! You've really thought it out and shared some great tips!

I do not need another project,
I do not need another project,
I do not need another project,
I do not need another project!

Sarah Craig said...

I just made a little top with the little twister template, and while it was fun, I did have a LOT of waste - so I'll give your tips a try! Thanks for the cute tutorial - whoop whoop!!

Sara said...

Twistin' good times!! he,he...

You did a wonderful quilt!

Vicki @ DottyJane said...

Very cute! It's great you found a way to eliminate the waste.

sewmeow said...

My gosh...had no idea the twister ruler/quilts were still popular. Your tips are great and thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post. I think I'm gonna need those rulers! (And then some time to play with 'em.)

Auntie Bee said...

I not get the video to work.