Thursday, February 20, 2014

Bee Block Catch Up

Here's a quick post to show some of the lovely bee blocks I've been working on the past couple months. First off is a rainbow ring of flying geese for January's do. Good Stitches Empower circle.

Caryn has such an impressive vision for this quilt, with geese spiraling across the quilt. I can't wait to see the final result!

Next up is February's do. Good Stitches block for Michonne. She picked an amazing, vibrant color palette and a great block. It actually came together much more quickly than I imagined, and it's 16 inches, so you need fewer of them!

Finally, the February block for Stash Bee. This is my first year in the Stash Bee, and I'm liking getting to know this great group of women. For February, Cheryl chose a Dutch Rose (aka Swoon) block in greys and purples. 

Speaking as someone who made a Swoon quilt (well, four blocks of one...) this version came together much more quickly, and is only 16 inches, which could be a more reasonable size, depending on what you are making.

Phew, all caught up (until next month)!

Monday, February 17, 2014

January Stash Bee Blocks

I was the queen bee for Hive 12 of Stash Bee in January. This is my first time in Stash Bee, but I'd seen other great work come from this bee so I was excited to participate.

When I was trying to decide what block I wanted my bee mates to make, I decided to try to stick to a New Year's resolution (it was still January, after all) and try to finish a work in progress. One that came to mind were the Sugar Blocks I'd started last year. Even though I'd only finished half of the blocks I knew I wanted some additional blocks to fill the quilt out.

I'd just purchased Vintage Quilt Revival and saw the sampler quilt that Faith did with her blocks from the book. She had this good idea of adding small alternate blocks with a lot of sashing to add additional negative space. Since my blocks were pretty bold, I thought this sounded like a great alternative to additional traditional blocks. Also, it would be an easy transition into the year with some fairly simple paper piecing.

Here is the block I asked my bee mates to make. I made the paper piecing template in EQ7.

All of my blocks were sent in a timely manner (a big plus in my book!) and some people even sent a couple! Also, I used the opportunity to push myself to finish the other six Sugar Blocks. I still need to sash the Sugar Blocks to make them 15 inches, but here's a sense of what the quilt top will look like with the Sugar Blocks and alternate blocks.

This is a very out of type quilt for me in terms of color and all solids, but I do love the impact!

Thanks again ladies of Hive 12!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Work in Progress Wednesday

My current focus is a project I'm making for the Sew Sew Modern 4 swap.

Over the weekend I cut out a pile of pretty petals...

And over the past couple evenings I've stitched them into these patchwork panels.

I'll keep you guessing as to what they will turn into!

Linking up with Freshly Pieced.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Saltwater Quilt

I've been quilting for about 3 years and at this point just about everyone in my family has received a quilt for a gift. This Christmas I finally gave one to my sister's family.

I bought a fat quarter bundle of Saltwater by Tula Pink a while ago with the intention of making her a quilt. It's really perfect since it matches the decor in her house and she lives near the ocean.

I decided on a chevron design because I wanted something simple to showcase the prints themselves, and I've never made a chevron quilt before. I didn't use a specific pattern or tutorial, but made the design loosely based on this method of chevron quilt by Kelly and this half rectangle triangle tutorial.

I quilted every other row in a looping figure eight design.

I eked this out just before Christmas and didn't have time to take pictures at home so I made my sister stand out in the snow and hold it for me! Luckily she's a good sport!

Linking up for the first time in a long time!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Giveaway #4 Winners and City Sampler Blocks 91-95!

The odds were pretty good for this giveaway, with only 11 entries!

The winner of the Craft Hope Book was

Craft Hope Book Winner Stephanie!

And the winner of The Practical Guide to Patchwork is

Practical Guide to Patchwork Winner Nina!

Congrats to both of you - I've sent you an email asking for your mailing address so I can send these on their way.

I leave you with a few City Sampler blocks.

Sew Sweetness

Friday, November 8, 2013

Remy's Quilt

We are trying to start a new tradition in our guild where new babies get quilts made by our guild members. One of our newer members, Carissa, just had a baby boy on Halloween, so I can finally share the quilt I helped organize for her. 

Remy's Quilt

I always have to put some thought into group quilts - the designs need to accommodate different skill levels (and I'm usually the lowest common denominator anyway) and different people's stashes. I also find it helpful to choose a block where if seam allowances vary it won't through the entire quilt off. 

For Carissa's baby Remy's quilt, I choose a "magic" flying geese block as one that would come together quickly for people me, and decided on a random placement, similar to our guild member Carla's quilt. I gave people a basic color scheme of oranges and blues, and I added a few greens in there myself (I'll explain why below).

Remy's Quilt

The quilt came together quickly, and despite not really planning that well, I only had to do one inset seam to complete the top. Score!

Remy's Quilt

After I'd already come up with the color scheme for the quilt, I realized that I had some green minky fabric that I'd originally purchased for another baby quilt that just didn't work out (one of the few times I've had the problem of purchasing fabric online that was a totally different color than on the computer screen). So I added a few green geese to the mix and used the backing on this quilt!

Remy's Quilt 

I've never sewn minky before, so I did a lot of research before quilting with it. In the end, I just spray basted as normal and everything was fine (although it's very linty - definitely clean out under your needle plate after using it). I used a walking foot to straight line quilt and it went fine. Perhaps it would have been trickier with free motion quilting.

Remy's Quilt

In my minky research, I found this quilt tutorial with instructions on how to bind using the backing. I love that the edges have the same plush feel as the back, and I'm sure this never would have worked with traditional binding methods given the bulk of the minky. 

Remy's Quilt

So this quilt is with sweet little Remy now and I have it on good authority that he is using it well. Thanks to my guild members who helped with this one!

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts. Also, if you've made it this far, check out my giveaway of a couple sewing/quilting books.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A special finish and a giveaway!

Have you heard of Craft Hope? It's the brainchild of Jane Sims, who organizes quilters and other crafters to make handmade items for children and families in need. One of my former coworkers was working on a project for Craft Hope a couple years ago when I was over for dinner. It was a discussion with her about sewing and crafting for charity that sparked the desire in me to start quilting consistently. Before that, I thought, "I already have a blanket for my bed, what reason would I have to make a quilt?" (I laugh at that now!)

Craft Hope's current project is pillow case dresses for little girls in developing countries. If you've never made a pillow case dress, it's so simple - you don't even need to start with a pillow case! I used this tutorial to make mine.

Pillowcase dresses

I used some yardage of Dream On I picked up on clearance a couple years ago, as well as some voile I had left over after making baby quilts last year.

Pillowcase dresses 2

The voile ones were so buttery soft, I almost wanted to make myself a pillow case dress out of them! I was afraid of the voile fraying from frequent washing and hard wear, so I used French seams in their construction.

French seams

If you'd like to contribute to this project, you probably still have time if you are in the US or Canada. The deadline is November 8th, but one dress from start to finish is an hour project (and I am slow). Here's my little stack, ready to be mailed off!

dresses folded

And, since I missed my last "Giveaway Monday" for the month of October, I'm making up for it now. I am giving away a copy of Craft Hope: Handmade Crafts for a Cause. This book has a variety of craft and sewing projects, from pillow case dresses, to scarves, to sock monkeys, and each craft has a suggested charity that would love your donations.

Also, I'm giving away a copy of Elizabeth Hartman's The Practical Guide to Patchwork. This is pretty much an essential book for a new quilter, and covers all the steps to making your quilt - cutting, piecing, basting, quilting, and binding. It also comes with a number of gorgeous patterns for simple to intermediate modern quilts.

These are my copies of the books, so they are "used" but are in like-new condition. They are great books, but I am downsizing in preparation for a move, and want to pass them on to someone who might use them more. Also, I'm keeping this giveaway to US addresses only, since books are a little heavy and can be expensive to ship.

Just leave a comment to be entered. If you'd like, let me know about a craft or sewing project you've completed for charity. I'll draw winners on Friday.

Fresh Poppy Design