Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Block That Almost Killed Me

Putting the Pesky Penguins together.  Squared up all the blocks to 10" height, the width didn't matter as much, just the total length,of each row, and I have to trim the right sides, the left I put together straight.  Something should be straight, or there will be anarchy and the whole thing will just go in the finished tops pile and I'll get back to it never.

As I was pressing a row, I noticed that ladder was gone!  I mentioned the ladder HERE.  I asked my husband did he caulk the window, cause that is why the ladder has sat there for 7 months?  Well, he says, no, I needed the ladder out back.  He had more explanation, but my head was in the oven with the gas on, so I didn't hear the rest.  Not really, I don't have gas, but if I did, that is where my head would have been.  I just banged it against the wall a few times.  
 I have all the Penguins together and I love how it all looks, but I think the whole top should be wider.  I'm leaving it up to look at until I figure out how to add a border to one side.  I can add more solids, as a border, but I only want it on one side. I can hang the fabrics up to audition.  I'm not sure.  Thinking.  I can add one more block on each row, which would be a lot of work, but would look the best.  I hate when the best solution is the one with the most work.

This block was for my Christmas Fabrics Bee.  She wanted an improv block highlighting the snowmen, she provided all the pretty fabrics.  This is very Christmasy, and I want to see all her blocks together, very patchwork.

For my Honey Bees Bee August (I am actually ahead as it is still July!) she wanted stars in the this very soft feminine fabric line.  I can't wait to see her blocks together too, this is going to be so soft!  I made the tri-rec star.  This star is a favorite go to block when I'm making traditional blocks.  I haven't made one for awhile, and it felt like an old friend.

For the second block I made the same tri-rec stars, but smaller and added nine patches for the opposing squares.  Both blocks are 12.5" Kona Snow is the background, and I'm finding I like the Snow vs White.

Here's the block that almost killed me.  This is from the Christmas Fabrics Bee, JUNE.  I was so intimidated by the directions.  She was like, Oh, make me a whimsical tree!  But no applique, and no wonk, please.  Thank you.  And then I was all OMG!  No wonky!  No applique?  WTH?  I think she is trying to kill me, and she is being so polite about the whole thing!  You can see how hard these directions are, right?  This group is so awesomely talented, I was worried I wouldn't measure up without wonky to back me up.  Oh, you don't like it, well it is wonky, up for interpretation!  Finally yesterday, a whole month late, I tackled the tree block.  I felt so guilty looking at the fabric package every day and doing nothing, but in my defense, it was glaring back and there was a rotary cutter close by.  AND IT WASN'T THAT HARD.  Which is usually the case when I think a block is going to be soooo difficult, but I'm going to pretend it was REALLY hard, as it was trying to kill me the whole time.  Anyway, I didn't die, I didn't use applique or paper piece, the block is in the mail and Julie was very gracious and patient for her block.  Thank you Julie!  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Party Pooping Penguins

I'll think of a better title for this quilt.  Still thinking of "P" words that go with Penguin.  Not very many that are clean for a girl's quilt, you know, that she can repeat without a smack.  

So, cut up some strips and sew them together, pretend to your niece that you know what you are doing.  Be very confident with your strip piecing and cutting of different sizes.  Don't worry!  I know EXACTLY what I am doing.  Almost.  No?

Hmmm, Penguin fabric is directional.  That throws more thinking into this.  I don't really like to think, I like to wing it.  Get it?  Penguins?  tiny wings?  Not really?  Anyway, there isn't much Penguin fabric to work with, less than a yard.

Throw some of these stripped pieces on the wall.  Looks ok, but I think I can do better.  I hope so, cause this is looking messy.  I don't want to say I don't like it, I like all the fabrics.  

Yes, trim and turn some of the blocks.  Looking snazzy, like a Penguin in a tux.  No?  That's their every day clothes?  They don't wear clothes?  Well, how unconventional, a nudist colony of Penguins.  These are the conversations I was having with my assistant, we like to improvise our blocks as well as our talks.

Looking Good!  But need more blocks.
This is what I'm working with.  My assistant, my niece who picked the Pesky Penguins, has left us for her home, and I do miss her.  She would cut threads, press, put up on the design wall, fetch fabrics and drinks.  Yes, I miss her, she would have organized these piles for me.  And only expected ice cream in payment.  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Brazillion Bee Blocks Bash

 I belong to a butt load of flickr block exchanges and a local block exchange and I love everyone of them even though I sometimes feel like I'm the worst bee'er ever sending my blocks at the last minute!  I got myself behind on the Christmas Fabric Bee Exchange.  The girls in that bee are so talented and I'm intimidated and don't want to disappoint! 
This was my very first spider web block for Honey Bees.  There is a muslin base which was very helpful, this block was easier than it looks when completed, thank goodness - cause I was all 'ahhhhhrrggghhhh' I'll never make this look good.  But I think it does look good.  Yay me!  I'm doing a second spider web for a different bee and there are different directions and now I'm confused - which is easily accomplished.

Also did my first and second Garden Fence blocks.  Funny how certain blocks are popular and as soon as I make one in a Bee, I'm thinking I want to make those too.  This one was supposed to be aqua & orange, but the aqua on the orange center.  Luckily for me and my best friend seam ripper I didn't go too far down the wrong road.  Made a U right away.
 Aqua & Orange Garden Fence the way the Queen Bee wanted!
 Second Garden Fence - I think this one was for Sew Modern - a Bee'er in O'Canada.  Love her color choices, scrumptious.

I've been holding on to this little snowman couple for too long.  I had them finished for awhile, I was procrastinating the eyes and arms.  And the snow lady's little apron strings.  He is saying 'when's dinner' and she is saying "screw you, I have 400 little snowflakes to feed, make me reservations".  
 This quarter log cabin was for my local lovely group.  Yay for simple!  And batiks, she wanted batiks!  Luckily, I have, you know, a closet full from my batik phase.  
 Up on my design wall.  I keep putting these up and then taking them down without adding anything or making any decisions.  The work is old, like years ago, and I want the sunflower on the wall.  I'll get to it.  Machine appliqued & fused, in case you were wondering.  Except for the snow couple, those would be in the category of 'what doesn't belong in this photo'.