No More Marking for Me!

I don’t know about you, but I’d just as soon stick myself with a seam ripper than mark diagonal sewing lines on quilt pieces. Until I started making the models for the Prairie Women’s Sewing Circle Club, I’d never made a quilt using a large number of blocks with diagonal seams. Marking a few seams I can handle, but there are 120 Bow Tie Blocks in Pam Buda’s Gentleman Caller quilt, the last project in the PWSC. The thought of making 240 “connector” blocks by drawing 240 lines was not in the least appealing.

There are numerous tools made to eliminate the marking step. The Angler 2 (#24446), Clearly Perfect Angles (#36673) and Sew Easy Guide (#16197) are the three items that Erica’s has available. I have used the Sew Easy Guide with success for small projects, but thought I would like something a little more stable for this large project. Pam Buda recommends using The Angler 2 for the PWSC projects. I had used The Angler 2 in the past, but did not have very good luck.

Then the other day as I stared at the 240 small connector squares of the Gentleman’s Caller (and they stared back), I decided to give The Angler 2 another try. I reinstalled my Angler 2 according to the directions, being careful to make sure the tool was straight. My Erica’s 2 1/2” X 6 1/2” Ruler (#45153) is the perfect size for this task. With the needle position at center and my machine foot off, I lined up the “key” of the Angler 2 parallel to my throat plate, using the ruler as a guide. (Previously, I had lined the tool parallel with my machine foot.)
Having my painter’s tape ready, I carefully held the key and slid the Angler 2 into position by matching up the horizontal lines on the key and tool and then taped the tool to the machine bed. You do not have to remove the presser foot, I just find that I can see better without the foot.
The original instructions state to keep the corner of your fabrics directly on the line with no mention of the needle position. Previously, I had assumed that the needle position was in the center, which is why when using this tool in the past, I did not have good results. By keeping the needle in the center position there was no fabric allowance for thread or fabric fold, so my corners were always short.

I experimented by moving my needle 2 and 3 positions to the right while running the corners of the squares down the center line. I marked the back of my light blocks with the # of positions I moved my needle. This way, when pressing, I knew which position worked the best. I found that for my machine it was 2 “clicks” to the right, but experiment with your own machine to find your best needle position.
Now I can line up the first corner with the center opening on my presser foot and the other corner directly on the line, making sure that the “waste” corner is to the right of the needle and I get a perfect corner connector.

I can’t believe what a difference this made! Soon I was zipping right through those 240 connector blocks! Woo Hoo! As I pressed the blocks (before trimming), my corners matched up! I was so very pleased AND I never had to draw a line! My son’s cat Depot stopped by to inspect. She approved!

We will be giving away an Angler 2 from our Facebook page. If you’re an Erica’s Facebook Fan, click on over to our fan page and “like” or comment on the Angler 2 giveaway. If you’re not a fan… you should click on over and become one! We post lots of cool items and pictures on our Facebook Fan Page. Drawing will be March 14th…sometime around noon! Good luck!
Guest Blogger: Cheryl Nelson
(To find an item or event on our web page after clicking on the underlined words, hold down the “Ctrl” key and touch F. Enter the item number in the box, press enter, and you’ll be taken to that item.)
You can see what’s new at Erica’s almost every day! Any page of our website has a column on the left that tells you where to find things, and all you have to do is look for “What’s New” in purple, and click to find out.

3 thoughts on “No More Marking for Me!

  1. Well….I am so glad that you like The Angler!! You're right…. it's soooo worth the taking the time to calibrate it for accuracy! You won't have to mark lines until they are bigger than 4 inches or so, so now I won't worry about stressing you out with big connector corner projects! Hope you enjoy the rest of your sewing journey with Gentleman Caller!!

  2. Thanks Pam! I'm hoping to finish the projects for this "journey" by month's end. Your projects have been well received by the class. We have approx. 26 participants! We are meeting again tonight and I will try to post pictures of class on Erica's facebook page tomorrow. Just this mornning, Cathy asked me to teach "Journey 2" with my co-worker Judy. I can't wait to get started on your new PWSC2 projects! –Cheryl

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