Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Little Twisted

By now, you've probably seen the Lil' Twister tool and possibly a book or two, right? Have you made one of these quilts yet though? I purchased the regular sized Twister tool a year or two ago along with a book and then I also bought the mini Twister, but I still hadn't made anything.


Then, on vacation, we started seeing different projects using the tool at some of the quilt shops we visited and I started thinking it would be fun to whip up a quick Halloween quilt. So I bought another Twister and a charm pack of Happy H"owl"-o-ween fabric (by Deb Strain).

I never did get around to it while we were away, but once I got home last weekend, that's what I did.

If you've never see how these are made, here's the basics: For the regular size tool, sew charm squares together. I used six squares across and six rows down. Keep the colors distinct; don't put any blocks with the same colors next to one another or the pinwheels won't really show up. Add a contrasting 3" border. (You can repeat the same fabric or color that you use in the border, but keep it inside so it doesn't touch the border.)


The tool has cross lines on it--you'll need to line those up with the seams where four blocks come together. (Or two blocks and then extending into the border as I've shown here.) Make sure to keep the tool tilted in the same direction each time.


With your rotary cutter, carefully cut around the Twister tool and move the squares onto a design wall, keeping them in the same order as they were originally sewn together.


Sew the new squares together, and a pinwheel pattern is formed. The books will tell you how to end up with different designs depending on color placement, sashing, borders, etc. Pretty fun!


To mine, I added a small center border and then a larger outside border. I think this will add some great "background" color as a Halloween tabletopper.

I can't imagine the brain that came up with this idea--it hurts mine to even try to think about how it works, although I can SEE that it does. Magic, I think!

So now I have two regular sized Twister tools. Since I only need one, I thought one of you might want to take one off my hands. Just leave me a comment telling me what's your favorite quilt-making tool and why and I'll enter you in the drawing. I'll pick a winner Monday night to be announced on Tuesday's blog post. Good luck!

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Halloween top is so cute, Kim!

I have all 4 twister rulers right from the 10" one down to the I think it uses 2 1/2" squares ( I haven't made a twister with it yet) By the way, if you can find a print made up with all squares, in the right size, half your work is done already, lol.

Helen ( please don't enter me in the draw)

jirons42 said...

My favorite tool is the Easy Angler ruler for making easy 1/2 square triangles. Layer your two strips together, cut, and sew. Love that you are a Halloween enthusiast. My grandkids would love you!!

SoozeM said...

I love your Halloween quilt, so cute!! My favorite tool is my rotary cutter, I am so glad the days of cardboard templates and scissors is long gone :)

Carol said...

I think I would have given up quilting long ago if I didn't have a rotary cutter. That said, I really use my revolving cutting mat. I have 2 sizes and they are really convenient if you have lots of squaring up to do. I have seen the twisters but have never used one. Looks very intriguing. And I know what you mean wondering how someone came up with that. Hurts my brain as well!

Melissa said...

I have been interested in playing with one of these and your great Halloween quilt makes it tempting to try it soon:) I have to agree that my rotary cutter is my favorite tool. I use it soooo often and don't think I could live without it:) thanks for inspiring me today:)

Josie McRazie said...

Well where would we be without our rotary cutters? Ii have to say I saw the cutest Christmas tree just the other day with the twister! I need one! LOL

Quilt Hollow said...

I'd have to say my rotary cutter. I learned cutting cereal boxes for templates with scissors. Thankful to whoever came up with the cutter idea! Your Twister is sweet in Halloween but no surprises there! Hugs!

Mollylivebearer said...

I think those Twister quilts are adorable and I didn't know how they were made. I would love the ruler. I think besides rotary cutter and basic rulers I like the EZ angle but also Eleanor Burns' flying geese ruler. I love how accurate you can be with those.

Molly

Diane said...

My sewing room -- with the help of my husband -- my room is becoming my little corner of the world

Laurie said...

Wow..I've looked at those quilts and always thought it was over my head! My favorite tool..seam ripper! I have a few of them.

Joyce said...

It would have to be the rotary cutter and mat..to think I made my first quilt by measuring with a ruler and cutting by hand. No wonder nothing matched up! I keep it hanging in my sewing room as inspiration as to how far I have come!

Kim said...

I agree with many of the others. My favorite tool would be the rotary cutter. That being said, I have fallen in love with Thangles.! I have admired th Lil Twister quilts, and I would love to make one. How nice of you to share.

Anonymous said...

WOW... it's a toss up between my stileto or my 6 1/2 x 12 ruler. I use both every day for something. Hope you have a great sewing day.Sandi, Michigan

Anonymous said...

Without a doubt, quilting would be so difficult without the rotary cutter. I remember tracing squares and cutting with a scissor - I can't imagine doing that again! Otherwise, it would just be all my different rulers. Sue

Marla said...

Wow. That is a hard decision to make. I guess mine would also be my rotatory cutter along with my very large mat. If I did not have those, I doubt I would have quilting as much the past several years!

Synthia said...

I think my favorite tool is the 6 1/2" square ruler because it seems to be the one I use the most. I've wanted to try the twister, so put me in your drawing. Thanks!

Susan C said...

I made a quilt much like these several years ago using the book Square Dance. The author said she thought this up in her dreams! We had to make our own template, this tool makes it so much easier. I love how the rotary cutter has made quilt making so much easier. I'm also enjoying Clover's Wonder Clips. I just got them a few months ago and love them.

Nancy said...

My favorite tool is the rotary cutter, too. I absolutely refuse to make a quilt that uses templates! If I can't cut it with the rotary cutter, it won't be done!

Pat said...

I like the twister ruler and would love to experiment with some of the patterns I've seen floating aroung bogland. The one I have is the charm square size. Although there are a lot of "pro's" to the twister coincert, the two "cons" that I have found are: (1) it's hard to make exact cuts with your rotary cutter at the corners of the template; and (2) you are sewing twice -- once to get your grid sewn, then again after you've cut, and then you ebnd up with a finished poiece that's half the size of the one you peiced originaly. That being said, it's still fun, an heaven knows you wouldn't be able to create that nifty pattern otherwise without some fancy-schmancy piecing.

Richelle said...

Cute quilt! I have seen quilts made from them, but didn't realize it was from a specific ruler. Thanks for the education! My current favorite tool would be the tri-recs rulers. Lots of different variations you can do with them.

9patchnurse said...

That is one hard question! I couldn't possibly give up my rotary cutter but after that, I would have to say my 6 by 12 ruler. I can get a lot done with those two gadgets. I have wanted to make a Twister quilt for a long time. Thanks for the chance to win!

Nancy H. said...

The most useful tools are my rotary cutter, ruler and mat but my favorite is my grandmother's silver stiletto. I use it alot and feel a connection every time I pick it up.
I have seen these quilts but never knew how they were done. Thanks for the explanation. I have a whole pile of Halloween fabrics just waiting to be made into a twister quilt. Thanks for the chance to win one.

Anonymous said...

Ronda said...The Flying Geese X 4 No Math Ruler is my favorite so far, but I would love to win Twister tool so I could give it a try! (phonygal@msn.com)

Jo said...

I use my 6.5 " square ruler more than any other tool. I love that little thing! Love your quilt...thank you..
Boppiesgirl at gmail dot com

Rabid Quilter from CA said...

I'm not interested in winning your extra Twister as I have them all and have used them a LOT! There's nothing easier, quicker or more satisfying than buying a Layer Cake and using the largest Twister ruler. No sorting or ironing fabric, just *whoosh* start sewing! The fabric "wasted" from that project ends up to be about a Charm Pack and you can start all over again with a smaller Twister ruler !! Thanks for the tuturial!

jillquilts said...

Love your little quilt! It's so hard to narrow down one favorite tool... I do have a favorite 4.5" square ruler that I use a lot. :)

Lynne in Hawaii said...

I have seen the twister quilts for a while and always found them visurally interesting. Yeah...couldn't figure out how it was done though! Favorite tools are rotary cutter and a ruler. They go hand in hand.

JudyBL said...

I have all the Twister tools - even made one tiny one. This gives me a kick to try the larger ones! I enjoy your blog and the applique tips a few weeks ago were a big help. I use my 6.5 inch square ruler and rotary cutter a lot

Tiffaney said...

How much smaller is the finished quilt then before you started cutting with the twister ruler?

My favorite tool has to be my standard 6.5 X 24 inch ruler. I seem to need to replace it every year.

Anonymous said...

The most used tool in my sewing room ar my sharp thread snips. I use them with every seam.

I have the large twister ruler and with two layer cakes and a border fabric, I made a queen size quilt. It came together quickly.

mmctiver@yahoo.com

Amy said...

I have a mini-Twister, but haven't used it yet. Your Halloween one is really cute, so I may have to copy you (sincerest form of flattery...). My favorite tool is my 8.5 X 24 inch ruler, though I do enjoy my setting triangle ruler too.

Angie said...

I would love to win this ruler---been thinking about one for ages, and still don't have one. :) Aside from the rotary cutter, my favorite quilting tool would have to be my chopsticks that I use for everything from guiding small pieces through the machine to poking out corners ... an excellent versatile tool. :)

Wendy said...

I have the mini and would love a regular size one.

Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts said...

Adorable twister quilt! Hmm, favorite tool? My little nipper by my machine~ I use it to clip stray threads, rip out with and clip corners. Very sharp~ and handy! Thanks for the chance!

scottylover said...

I have so wanted to try this tool! Thanks for sharing your extra.

My favorite quilting tool is my 6" square up ruler. I love using it to square up my pieces before I sew them in to a block. Makes me curse a lot less when I use it. :)

Sandy A

Patty D from NC said...

Very nice mini. My fav tool is a seam ripper.

JustPam said...

I love the halloween table topper.

I have to agree with others, my favorite tool is the rotary cutter.

Did you know you have word verification on?

http://www.conniekresin.com/2012/09/Word-Verification.html

quiltmom said...

I have the twister tool( no need for a chance in your lovely giveaway) but have not used mine. I just wanted to Thank you for the quick tutorial- It made perfect sense- I especially appreciated the pictures as it helps me to make sense of any instructions. I will have to try it some time in the near future..
Thanks so much.
Regards,
Anna

quiltgrammy said...

I've been wanting to try the "Twister", thanks for showing the steps, made it look so easy.
My favorite tool is the rotary cutter and my 6 1/2 x 12 1/2 inch ruler.
Thanks for the chance to win.

Winona said...

Your little Halloween table topper is so cute. My favorite tool is a tie between my rotary cutter and ruler. I am sure I would have given up quilting long ago, if not for these great tools.

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

I love your little Halloween quilt! It would be great to make something like this for my grandchildren.
Like so many others have mentioned above, my rotary cutter and ruler are my most often used tools. We've come a long way!

Cheryl said...

My rotary cutter for sure!!!!
Love your Halloween quilt!

ytsmom said...

I have the squares of a twister flag all sewn together, ready to be recut. FYI, there is an old book called Squaredance that is basically the twister. You had to make your won template, but they showed you how. The colors were in pastels. Martingale has an updated e-version of the book.

Frances said...

Hard to choose a favorite sewing tool. Rotary cutter is at the top of the list but all these measured squares, the 6 inch, the 12 1/2 inch have made life so much easier. I think a Xmas twister runner would be very pretty also.

CathyK said...

I LOVE YOUR TABLE TOPPERS/RUNNERS!!
My favorite quilting tool, aside from the rotary cutter, is my rotating cutting mat. I love to use it when squaring up blocks or trimming pieced blocks. It is great not to have to pick up the block and turn it around.
Thank you for the chance!

Alice said...

My favorite quilting tool is my seam ripper. I put it to good use, and it helps me get things just right.
reallynicemom@yahoo.com

Marilyn said...

I have been looking at all the cute twister quilts out there and put this on my list to try. Winning would be just the incentive I need to get going!

Diane E W said...

Seen all of the "Twisters" on different blogs. Love some of the Christmas trees made with the Twister. My favorite tools has to be the rotary cutter and all the amasing rulers, couldn't live without them