Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Stash Bee Block Accumulation

What do you think of this scrappy accumulation?  I am just putting these blocks on the design wall as they come in and looking forward to playing around with a layout later.  It doesn't look that bad with just this random layout!

HST Scrappy Quilt

I realize this kind of anything-goes scrappy look isn't for everybody, but I am loving all the yummy color!  It just reminds me of how someone might have made a quilt back when quilts were a necessity for a warm bed and made of just about anything.  I love the old-fashioned vibe it has.

And now to show you something that you might think me a little bit crazy.  My apologies to my non-quilting friends who probably won't get this next bit.  I'm talking about what I am using for a leader/ender project.  If you are interested in the story behind this phrase, you can read about it here from the creator herself!

I didn't understand what a leader/ender project was but now that I get it, THIS is what I'm using for my leader/enders.  A box of 1 1/2" squares. Years ago this was mailed to me for joining the Keepsake Quilting club.  Swatches of all the fabrics that were available from them that particular year.  I couldn't just throw them out!

First I will sew them all into pairs and when I get that done, I'll start sewing the pairs into cute little four patches.  These finish at 2 inches square.    After that, not sure!  16 patches?  Or just leave them small and cute to be incorporated into a quilt.  We shall see!

After taking a poll about a fabric choice I needed to make (if you missed that post, you can read it here), there was no CLEAR winner.  The top three choices were the red mottled center, the gold with red dot, and the green plaid.  I am going with the gold with red dot. 

I love hearing from you guys so thank you!!  You made the decision process fun!
Linking to:
Free Motion by the River

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Sewing for Others is Rewarding but Sometimes Stressful!

Do you find that to be true?  I get the biggest rush out of knowing someone truly loves something I have made for them but if you aren't fully acquainted with them and even though they have told you what they like, there are always those niggling doubts.  Is this too bright? too light? too busy? too plain?

This month, Kathleen wants an old fashioned Christmas sampler and here is the fabric pull she provided for us and she said we could make the block of our choice:

Here are the colors I came up with from my stash as close as I could get.

I have chosen to make the Double Star block using part or all of these fabrics.

Now that I have the block mostly sewn together, I have one more decision to make.  What to put in the middle!  I couldn't make up my mind so I would love to take a poll.  Which center do you like the best?  Kathleen for whom this block is being made requested old fashioned forest greens, cranberry reds, old golds and creams instead of whites. 

Which middle do you think looks best?  I love LOTS of input!  Please vote!

1.  Shiny gold floral print

2.  Swirly gold shiny print

3.  Gold with red dot

4. Green plaid

5.  Leafy green

6.  Red and green

7.  Dotted red

8.  Mottled red

9.  Red plaid

I'd love to hear from you!
Linking to:
Crazy Mom Quilts
Busy Hands Quilts
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Happy Mail and Next Finish Goal

FINALLY!  I got on the ball and ordered the backing for Ashley's dorm quilt which is my next goal to finish.  I haven't had a finish for a looooong time so I'm motivated to do this.  Here is Ashley's quilt top which hasn't been trimmed yet.

She wanted something soft and cuddly for the back so she  chose a light gray minky which was part of today's happy mail!

Oh!  I forgot that we were going to add some 6 inch borders using the navy, coral and periwinkle floral.   That fabric is her favorite.  Not sure about that decision.  Maybe we just need to use it for the binding and call it good.  Ashley you out there?  Borders or just binding?  What do y'all think?   I don't normally say y'all but my Louisiana friend Sheila is influencing my grammar.  😃

I made two more blocks for my growing collection . . .

And more happy mail from Paulette in Canada.  I love these Paula!  They are the four blocks on the very top row.  Also, I received two identical blocks (aqua with aqua/purple/white print) from Irene Grimes of North Carolina.   Loving all this color!

OK, all you lovers of modern and simplified can skip the next pictures cuz these aren't that.  Hee!  Hee!    When I ordered Ashley's backing, I only needed a little more to get free shipping so I ordered two fabrics . . . this one I like . . .

and this one I love!  LOVE!  LOVE!!  
I used to doodle just like this in high school!

Well, I really should head to bed because in a few short hours I have to get up to drive myself to the airport to see one of my college roommates!  Can't wait, Lorraine!

Linking to:

Saturday, October 7, 2017

What is Wrong With This Picture?

So here are the blocks I have made so far including the first two blocks to arrive in the mail from Mary Ann.  Thanks Mary Ann!!  You sewed all yours together correctly, whereas me?  Not so much.  Can you see the goof in this picture? I had it laid all out perfectly but managed to turn one square the wrong way.

I am loving this scrappy look!  I don't know if they will stay in this particular order.  Probably not.  As I get more blocks come in from my Stash Bees, I'll probably arrange and rearrange many times.  I am trying to use only fabrics from my stash so there are going to be some oldie moldies in there.   Here is the next block cut out and ready to sew together.

I'll show you a few that I've been auditioning.  The one with a black background I bought at a yard sale of a lady who was destashing.  Some of the fabrics I bought from her are over 20 years old!  I think this is one of them.  But I love it.  I'm going to put this marigold, orange and pink with it.  Some of you who like modern and clean might be going "Ewwww,  that's too busy!  Print on print?  Yuck!"  But there's something about it I really like.  I think this will be my next addition!

Here are a few more potential candidates . . .

Which ones do you like the best?

As I was taking pictures of these fabrics, I somehow turned the camera around and shot myself instead.  Sheesh!

Here's a better, not so grumpy looking me.

I am having a love affair with this particular color on my shirt.  Here's another place I spied this color.   LOVE it!  I didn't know what kind of flower this was and found out from Paige at Quilted Blooms it is called Celosia (or as Karen at Quilts, Etc. reminded me) also is called Cockscomb.

Hope you're having a creative day!

Linking to:

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Guess What I'm Going to Do With This?

As you know, I just recently moved into a my forever home (yes, I will have future posts with pictures, hang in there!).  As I was unpacking,  I found 10 orphan blocks that I had started sewing together years ago and never did anything with them.  My intention was to make a scrappy round the world quilt.  I've kind of moved on to other things and I don't think that is going to happen; however, I am not going to let these blocks go to waste!

So I found a fun little project that I am going to use these. for that's just slightly different than what you're probably used to seeing on quilting blogs.  Can anybody guess?

OK, I won't make you guess.  I am going to take this nasty old card table . . .

do this to the legs . . .

Sew my blocks together to cover the top . . .

And last but not least, sew some sides to cover up the ugly old hinges.  So dear quilt friends out in blogland, here is where you come in.  My plan is to cut about six inch strips to hang down on each side of the table so it will be kind of like a box valance.   I would love to hear suggestions on what color fabric you would use and how you would finish it.  This little project is going to give an ugly card table new life,  brighten up my quilt room, and give me a little more table top space for either setting my laptop or maybe this will be where I keep my rulers.  We shall see!

P.S.  I'm going to paint that ugly old filing cabinet in the background a pretty color too one of these days.  I want LOTS of color in this sewing room!

Linking to:

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

My Quilt in Progress

I'm having so much fun this month!  I recently shared a tutorial for a block that I will be using to create a quilt for my own bed.   I am having fun auditioning fabric and creating a block here and there. 

A few days ago, I made this one:

Yes, this block is going into a quilt for my own bed.  It's not going to be dignified, elegant, or sophisticated.  Plenty of time to make one of those later.   What it IS going to be is fun!  This is is what's up on the design wall so far . . .

Lots of blue and orange so far.  Time to add some new colors.   Hmm, how about some yellow or green or purple?    Or all three?  Ha!  Ha!  All laid out and ready to sew . . .

Here are some pairs I'm probably going to add next . . .

After these, I'm thinking something with green.

In the meantime, I have these goodies coming in the mail.  These super cute floral blocks are coming from Debbie Huber.  Thanks, Debbie!

And these are coming from Mary Ann.  Mary Ann, I love all the bright colors you chose for these!

I will have fun sewing more blocks, getting blocks in the mail, and showing you my collection as it grows!

Linking to:
Let's Bee Social
WIP's on Wednesday
Midweek Makers
Needle & Thread Thursday

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Great Scrap Buster Block Tutorial

It's my turn to be queen!    Yay!  And I am queen in two different bees for the month of October (yes, I am a little early) so there is going to be some major happy mail coming my way.   Fellow hive mates, you will be helping me make my first ever quilt for my own bed!  I am so excited!!   Getting blocks in the mail will be like getting housewarming gifts!

I don't think the block I'm going to have you make has a name.  At least, not that I know of.  It's just a bunch of HST's and squares arranged in a pleasing way.  Here is a sample of them sewn together.  My favorite thing about this block are all the secondary patterns created when you put them together facing different directions.

There are diamonds

There are X's

Plus signs (this one has a diamond in the middle of it)

And stars!

All from one single block!  It is hard to only make one or two of these blocks because you want to see the secondary patterns develop as you put them together.  I timed myself and from cutting out fabric to a finished block took me less than one hour and that was even after having to rip out a row and sew it on right.    If you hate making points match up, don't worry.  I am not super picky about that.  Once all the blocks are put together, it is the overall effect that holds your attention and not whether the points are perfect.  I love the personality of a patchwork quilt, imperfections and all.

OK, let's get down to business!  (click HERE for simplified directions without all the detail)

You will need two  contrasting fabrics for each block.     They don't have to be the same color, as long as one is light and the other one dark.  If you're unsure, just choose one favorite fabric of yours and then a low volume or white on white fabric to go with it.

NOTE:  The fabrics in the shown sample are kind of old fashioned and dated but my preference is for bright and modern.

For you that like to fussy cut, even novelty fabrics are perfectly ok as long as they contrast with the partner color and are on the bright side.  Did you notice the frogs and the bees?

If you don't have any brights, just choose your favorite.  Small scale prints  that read mostly as one color work best; however, if you do use a large scale print as one of the choices, it works best if the other fabric is a solid or a tone on tone.   Let me show you how one fabric can be both the light and the dark in two different blocks.  Here we have the orange as the dark fabric in one block and as the light fabric in another block.  Again, the key is contrast.

One 5 3/4" square and four 2 1/2" squares from each of your fabric choices.  That's it!  This will make an 8 1/2" block that finishes at 8 inches.   Since it is so small, please make two blocks and no need to sew them together.

Eight 2 1/2" HST's using any method you prefer.  Following is my favorite method:

Take the large square of each color with right sides together.  Draw lines from corner to corner on the lighter color like this:

Sew 1/4" inch away from the line down one side and back up the other on both of the drawn lines.  I forgot to take a picture of this step so I am borrowing this from a tutorial I already have.  Here are the sewn lines:

Next, cut on both of the drawn lines and without moving the block cut from the middle of the left side to the middle of the right side and from middle top to middle bottom like this:

You will have 8 little half square triangles in no time!  Trim these HST's to 2 1/2" and for best results, please press open.    This is the only place I will ask for this.

The way I trim is to first make sure that the diagonal 45 degree line on the ruler is exactly on top of the seam between the two colors and the corner is as far up as you can go (making sure your diagonal line is still exactly on top of your diagonal seam and then trim off the dog ears and top and right side if necessary.

Then turn the half square triangle all the way around so the right top corner you just trimmed now becomes the lower left corner, again placing the 45 degree line exactly on top of the diagonal seam matching up the 2 1/2" marks on the ruler to the bottom and left edges of your square.  Then trim.  My HST's size before trimming turned out large because I accidentally cut my squares 6 3/4 instead of 5 3/4.  It still works!

Now for the arranging.  It works easiest if you start with the four light squares and arrange them like this:

Then add 3 HST's on each side of that row with the darker side toward the four light squares you had in a diagonal line.  You'll end up with three butterflies.

 Then take the four dark squares and add two of them to each side like this:

And then the final two HST's with the light side pointing toward the corners.

Sew together one row at a time and wait until you have all four rows sewn together before you press.  Press the seams on the first row one direction (doesn't matter which way) and the the second row the opposite direction, alternating directions for all  four rows.  I tried doing it with pressing the seams open but it really does work better to be able to nest the seams together.  Your points will come out better.

And now you should have a nice finished block.  I am looking forward to seeing every color of the rainbow appearing in my mailbox!  HAVE FUN!

P.S.  I've already had one person tell me she was a little confused by what colors I want.  I prefer bright and bold colors in either tone on tone or a small print, but really just about anything will work. The main goal is to have high contrast.  If you are having trouble figuring out what to choose, just use a low volume or white for the light color.

Here are some examples of fabric pulls I will probably be making from my own stash.  Hope this helps!  And yes, although I donn't have a purple example here, I like purple too.  Anything goes!

Linking with:
Confessions of a Fabric Addict