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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The End Of A Bee

It is a little sad/happy day when you finish the last blocks for a year long Bee.  I have met some talented sweet ladies in the Aqua & Orange Bee.  The final month of April is for the creative and talented Shanna, go visit her blog, but not right now, finish here first, THEN go visit Shanna at Fiber of All Sorts.  Shanna asked for half square triangles for the Festival of HST and added a touch of gray to her colors.  I only have a photo of this block finished, because making it gave me a mental melt down.  Quilters Math.  

I had one more block to finish up, and I'm up today at 1:30 a.m., O'dark 30 my Dad used to call this.  I had finally decided on a block yesterday.  There were 3.5" HST.  Good thing I took this photo, in the viewer I saw that bottom gray triangle wasn't placed correct.

Correct version.  You are familiar with quilters math, are you not?  Well, I loathe it.  I can never get it right!  So it was at every cut and placement I'm trying to make sure this block is going to come out 12.5" unfinished.  

Ok, so sometimes I get the math right.

And here it is, my final block for the Aqua and Orange Bee.  This photo isn't gorgeous as the block is, because it was 2:00 a.m.  

Here are most of the blocks I made for this Bee, I think there is at least one month I didn't get a photo, I didn't see it in the group pool.  If your photo isn't here, it isn't because I didn't love your block, it's because I was too lazy to photo it!  Great variety in these blocks, everyone has different ideas and tastes, and that is what these bees are about.  Being exposed to other quilters from around the world and trying something new.  Mine is the bottom right, I am making myself not join any new bees for a few months so I can get some of my bee creations together.  I am still in 6 Bees right now, (I know, my plan isn't perfect!),  I know I'll be seeing some of these ladies around the Flickr/Blogger wonderful world.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A little Tut for NuBees

Ohh, I love this block! I love it so much I have made it several times for many others in Swaps and Bees and NOT once for myself!  

Sew strips together until you have 2 blocks which are 10.5", the strips can be various sizes or the same width, your choice.  I go with different widths.  

This block is for NuBees Swap, I have participated in this group before and I have made the same block before, but it is all new quilt peeps in this group, so they don't care!  I like this block swap, you can pick which months you want to participate and you chose your colors.  I was a fill in for someone, so I'm a little late getting to the blocks, but they will still be on time.  I digress....THIS STEP is lay the 10.5" blocks right sides together with strips um, opposite, opposing?  not really sure what you would call it, but look at the photo, lay them like that.  And pin.  

Next, sew a 1/4" seam ALL the way around the block.

Cut the sewn together blocks in half on the diagonal, and try to keep the pieces together, then cut again on the other diagonal.

You'll have 4 pieces like this.  Press them open.

Lay them out like this and sew quarters together.  

Viola!  Competed block.  

And another.  These were all for ladies in my NuBees hive, I have just one more to complete for this month.

And another.  I first made this block in a bee for someone else, and I have loved it since.  One day I'll chose it for my block in a bee and I'll finally get some for me.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Four Patch Frenzy

In a slump?  We can always fall back on that trusty little four patch for simplicity and back to basic mind frame.  

I've had a commission for a couple of months, although I did tell them it wouldn't be started until March, I'm now feeling some pressure to get this off my list of brazillion things to accomplish this month.

You just have to love the four patch, so quick, so simple, many done in moments.  Yet, versatile and can add pop of color.  See that bit of lime?  POP!

There is nothing wrong with the four patch, although I see less and less of them these days.  How else did you begin your quilting adventure if not with the four patch?  It is a fundamental component of many basic blocks.  When you are lacking in creativity, let's head back to our roots.  

Get them up on the board and play around.  Really, the light is not this creepy in my room, I think the shadow is me taking the photo.

Start filling in holes and move around your babies.

I'm using sunflower fabrics for the theme of this quilt, the intended recipient is a traditional type person and I felt the four patch for the foundation of her quilt was appropriate.  I'm filling in holes and working on a border.  Plus a little something personal that requires a bit of extra attention.  Suddenly I feel creativity moving back in....
This is a Kaffe Fassett pattern from one of his books that I will find and add a link in a later post.  I try to always give credit where it is due.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sick.Of.Folding

After getting started on sorting, folding and organizing my fabrics, I ran out of the folding boards, and did not want to wait on one of the boys to re-stock, they do not understand the immediacy of organizing your fabric.  Well, it's a good thing I ventured into the comic store myself - these boards come in TWO SIZES!  Totally unaware.

The smaller size is perfect for those smaller pieces of fabric, less than 1/2 yard more than fat quarter type deals.  My finger aches from sticking myself so many time with pins getting them onto the folded fabric, I don't like floppy.  You think after the fist 20 sticks I could get it right, or maybe wear a thimble?  Wow, I just thought of that as I was typing.  I might have a thimble laying around here somewhere.  

I did have many fat quarters that just would not fit on a board.  I did some re-folding of those and neat stacking.  Not to worry if your stacks aren't this neat, come back in a month, it will look nothing like this.

Some of the Kona Solids.  After this photo, I ventured to the right and folded that stack on boards. The fabrics are looking so pretty and are itching to be used.  Well, some of them are; some, I'm thinking 'what, exactly, was I thinking when I shelled out for this?' And it may never see a folding board, I just don't want to look at it.

After 3 days of folding and not stitching an inch, I am thoroughly sick of and burned out on folding.  Time to start stitching.  And I was able to pull some of these boards out, finding fabric right away.  Amazing.  Boards are now scattered around the room in little stacks.  Which means the organizing just never ends.  

Pretty little vintage sheet blocks for Susan in the Block Party Bee.  All the blocks in this bee are coming from the book Black Party Bee.  A great resource for modern blocks.

And a simple little block for Annaliese  in the  Gone Quiltin Bee, this bee just started up last month.  Annaliese is making a quilt for her sister who is graduating college and these are the university colors.  See, I got something done.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fassett Fabric Folding

Before Kona Cotton Solids and before Oakshott Cottons there was, of course, Kaffe Fassett Shot Cottons.  I had an obsession with these for a long time and I still have quite a stack (only a portion below).  

Spring cleaning has moved into the sewing room.  This is all before, just in case you were wondering.  I'm a little disgusted by all the quilts that will never be made, because there is no way in hell I can use all this in my lifetime.  

I stole this idea off the internet, as any good peruser would, although, now I can't find where I stole it from.  It was a quilter, and there was a photo on flickr - but I didn't favorite it  or I would give credit.  Anyway, these are storage boards for comic books, they happen to be stiff enough to wrap our fabric around, and the right size 8 1/2" X 11".  I had my son go get them for me from the comic book store, I thought he might fit in a little better than I would, he left the first time empty handed, "Mom, they only come in packages of 100, so I didn't get them."  Apparently he hasn't looked in my fabric closet like, ever.  

I started with the Kaffe shelf, I have blown through the first 100 boards and not even done with the Kaffe's yet.  This was a lot of folding!  I used pins to hold the end of the fabric, I don't like it to flap around, so I also had to buy a lot more pins, and I only used the boards if I had at least 1/2 yard.  I like how you can see a good chunk of the fabric for reference, I can really see the fabrics better than stacking up and down.  These are taking up less space than the stacks and I saw quite a few fabrics that I hadn't looked at for quite awhile.  I pointed out to my husband that these were space savers and I have more room on the shelf now, his eyes rolled back into his head and pointedly told me to stay away from the fabric shops.  Silly man, I shop so much better on the internet.  But actually, I can just bring in the fabric from the other closet.  

A last bee block for Threadheads Bee.  Janice wanted trees for a whimsical forest and she sent little animals to add to your block.  I thought 2 penguins swinging in the tree were quite whimsical.  My tree top is made from wedges of Kaffe Fassett.  I always think everyone must love KF as much as I do!  I had to apologize, this was actually due for February, but I had the packet mixed in with March blocks, so it was really late, where I was thinking it was only a little late.

And also the last blocks for Honey Bess.  That's 2 bees completed this year.  Now, to just keep myself out of anymore for a few months, I have a lot of folding to get to.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Design Camp 2 - April Instructions

Welcome Design Camp Bee Mates!  I've put together a little tutorial of my block.  This is what you will get in your packet ~ Solid Kona Butter, a selection of strips of browns/oranges/yellows Kaffe Fasset prints, and strips of Kona Sienna (not pictured).  Also, I took most of these photos at night, so not too good of light ~ I swear these prints are pretty in real life.

Start by making the chevrons.  Now, I kinda searched for a tutorial on line for these, didn't come up with anything, so I just tried to figure it out on my own.   I took the square (provided) and built with strips on two sides of the square.  The strips are different widths and you can mix up the sizes and prints, no two sides need be alike.

Keep building!  Press your seams OPEN if you would, and lower your stitch length to lower than 2, I use 1.9 personally when pressing seams open.  (Ummm, I should wash my ironing board cover now that I'm looking at these photos.  It looks gross.)

Keep building until you have something like this, make it large enough that when you cut the 4" chevron (next photo) your chevron is at least 13.5" long, just to make sure you're covered in the unfinished block of 12.5".  (after I finished two of these log cabin style, I almost changed my mind about the block, these looked so delicious, but not to worry I have plenty of Kaffe Fassett fabric to make more later!)

I enlarged this photo (also taken at night) so you can sorta see how I lined up the 4" ruler at the bottom with the original square you started sewing on.  

After you cut, you should end up with 2 nice triangles and a chevron.  The chevron should be 4" wide.  

Add the Kona Butter to the sides of the chevron.  Do not square yet.

Do whatever improv you want, I have 2 examples of just a little bit and a little bit more.  Then square up your unfinished block to 12.5".  You should have plenty of strips and Kona solid to work with.

Sample 1.  I used the Kona Sienna to cut the chevron in half.

Sample 2.  I added a piece of the left over triangles to this block.  You can improv as much or as little as you want.  

Please, only use the fabrics I send and I would like the left over triangles and any useable fabric returned.  And Thank you!  I'm in love with the Kona Butter!  

Sew Bee It - April Directions Garden Lattice

For Sew Bee It April blocks I chose the Garden Lattice block on pg 80 of Modern Blocks 99 Quilt Blocks.  These are the variety of pastel fabrics which will be the Lattice pieces.  I bought this stack so long ago with the intention of using them all in one quilt.  Now I have the chance!  

Here is a sample of what you will receive in your fabric packet, the pastel strips (which will be cut for you), 4 6.5" squares of Kona black with the corners removed into triangles.  You will have enough for 2 blocks, 12.5" unfinished.

First cut the 6 1/2" 'square' in half, you can find the 1/2 mark by folding in half and pressing with your iron to make a mark.  Cut there, I cut all 4 squares for each block at once.

Sew one of the longer print strips in between the two halves.  Press seams OPEN please.  Trim the tales.  The print strips are cut longer than you need.  

Cut the 'squares' in half again to insert the second longer strip.  I mixed up the colors, you can put whichever colors together for each square and block.

Photo of 'square' with second cut.  

What I did when I was sewing the 2 halves together again, was mixed up the sides so different colors went together.  You can do this or keep the same halves together.  I was going for a variety in the colors.  Now you can lay out the final pieces.  You sew one of the shorter colored strip to one of the longer sides of the black 'square', then the triangle to that.  I laid it out first.  Also, first I sewed the strips to the short end of the black 'square' and this was wrong.  Make sure you sew to the longer black sides.  

Trim up all 4 squares.

Sew together the 4 squares matching seams as best as possible.  Mine aren't perfect and my block came out 12.5" X 12.25".  I can work with that, so don't fret if you are a little off, quilt police will not be involved.  Putting in all the extra seams you will need to be careful sticking with 1/4" seam allowance, or even just a scant.