General background info: You may remember that I have been trying *so* hard to work on my UFO/WIP list so that I don't have a Massive Attack of the Guilts when I look at a fabric store. It's been limited success because although I have been working on the list, it seems that other projects intrude and temporarily take precedence.
The store that I had been teaching at was asked to be one of the destinations of an all-day Mystery Shop Hop recently. To give added value to the guild members participating in the trip, the owner asked me if I would put on a demo with some of her inventoried items. I had 4 weeks to create something interesting and hopefully generate some sales. Eventually, I put together a set of 7 projects, some of which used 3 items she had in stock:
* the Curvemaster presser foot, which makes sewing curved seams incredibly easy. Although I have not had a difficult time in the past sewing curved seams without the Curvemaster, I must admit the presser foot makes this technique darn near foolproof.
* "Winding Ways Quilts, a practically pinless approach", by Nancy Elliott MacDonald. I used 2 patterns from this book. The first one was taken directly from the book and is the easiest Winding Ways pattern .. big, quick and easy. My second quilt was inspired by a quilt in the book but not copied from it. This book has a simply wonderful way to lay out templates so there is a minimum of waste of fabric. The author also has a *very* nifty way of sewing the outer pieces together which eliminates one seam, making construction easier.
* a set of metal Winding Ways templates by ARDCO. First, let me state that I am NOT a template person. I really prefer strip quilting because it's so easy. However, that being known, I would like to put a plug in for the ARDCO Winding Ways templates. They are FANTASTIC. They are made from metal with a sandy/gritty backing so they absolutely do NOT slip or move around on the fabric. Using a small, 28mm rotary cutter, I was able to zip, zip, zip around the templates very quickly. The templates are not solid ... they have a window/open area inside the 1/4" "frame". This enables you to fussy cut if you want to OR if you are a hand-piecer, you can lightly draw the seam line on the back of the fabric very easily. I can't wax enthusiastic enough over this specific brand of templates.
I also used a Winding Ways book I already had in my reference library, "Wheel of Mystery" by Sharlene Jorgenson, of "Quilting from the Heartland" TV show fame. This book includes a set of transparent acrylic solid templates, which I also used. Using a tip I heard on an Alex Anderson show, I coated the back of each acrylic template with rubber cement. When dry, this coating provides just enuogh "tackiness" so the templates won't slip around on the fabric. It dries clear so you can still see through the templates. This book has some very intriguing colorations and I used one project directly from it.
In addition to the Winding Ways projects, I researched other curved seam blocks so that I had a variety of quilts & tops to show.