Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Well, I finally have some blocks to share!  I will say that I sewed January's block right away, and then got freaked out by the paper piecing for February and basically froze.  Then I got a big shot of guilt mixed with reckless bravery and finally just went for it.  Whew! And that opened the flood gates. Finally got all caught up and mailed them off last Saturday, so they should be arriving at your homes soon.  Here they are in all their glory.

First up is Emily's Good Fortune block.  I really liked the unusual look of this block, without too much fiddling or the need of lots of templates or y seams. 

Then came my nemesis, the Castle Wall.  This block exposed my fear of anything new and of failure, but also gave me the confidence to try out more paper piecing patterns in the future. So thank you, Nicole! It didn't turn out as perfect as I hoped, but I am still happy with it, and I hope you are as well.

Camie's beautiful, cheerful scrappy log cabin block gave me a chance to dig through all my scraps from past projects and smile at all the memories.  I can't wait to see how the finished quilt turns out.

Kristin's block was another bit of a problem.  Not because of the curved seams, those were awesome. No, it was the request for different grey and mustard yellow fabrics.  I didn't think it would be that big a deal at first, just an excuse to go the fabric store.  But after visiting 5 stores, I still couldn't find a fourth grey fabric. In desperation, I asked my local quilting friend if she had any in her stash.  She did, but it was a big dark.  I hope it doesn't ruin your whole quilt!

Liz's blocks were super fun.  Not much thinking, just randomly dividing up the fabric and going to town.  I also loved being able to purposely sew a little squittywompus, and have it add to the block, instead of ruining it.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

light work

These is for you, Jen.  I hope you like them.
Kristin- I will get your April Snowball in the mail next week along with Jen's.  I am sorry I am late!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May: Light Work

I have a weakness for color, so it comes as no surprise that something about this patten by Denyse Schmidt caught my eye.  It just had to be my May selection. After paying $18 for the pattern & shipping, I was so disappointed that the designer would charge such a premium price for such a simple quilt square. 
I knew it would be easy, but I thought she would teach some neat tricks for sewing curves. 
(No Such Luck.)
You each should have received a digital copy of the pattern in your email. 
(Please let me know if you did not receive it, and I will resend.)

I will let you read through the pattern instructions via Ms. Schmidt.
She probably explains it better than I can.
With any luck, some of you should be getting fabric in the mail today!

I will give you a few tips that I found helpful and a few guidelines that I ask you follow.
Please try and use 1/4 in seams. I actually tape a line on my machine to help me keep my seam allowances in check. Such a simple yet handy technique.

I recommend pinning. 
Some part of me wants to believe I am too good for pinning, but I am not. 
2-3 pins can make such a beautiful difference. 

Please press your seams open.
 These squares are super simple. The key to making the lines look sharp and polished is pressing the seams open. 
a little moth landed on my square as i photographed. 
I really want gentle angles in this quilt. Please do not be afraid of them, they are so much fun. 

 A few more note:

  1. I sent each of you enough strips to make 3 squares. My squares took me 15 minutes each. If you feel overwhelmed after one, no problem. Just send me back the strips. 
  2. Ms. Schmidt suggests keeping your fabric strips between 1.5 and 3.5 inches in width. I found that I actually enjoy "skinny strips" in the square. Feel free to cut from 1 to 3.5 inches in width. 
  3. You should have all the fabric you need to make the squares. I purchased 40 different colors of Kona for this quilt. If I did things correctly, you should not have received any 2 strips of the same color.
  4. The colors are kinda crazy. I purchased colors that I would not typically catch my eye, yet I LOVE the effect it has in this quilt. Please do not be timid about mixing colors that "do not go together." Just try and mix in a or two neutral (black, gray, white or cream) to even things out.
  5. The squares should be 18 by 18 inches when they are complete. With most of my squares, I had to sew on an extra strip and trim it to get it to the perfect 18 inches wide. 
  6. If you have any strips that are over an inch wide left-over, would you mind send them back? Please & Thank you.
Ladies, thank you for spending your precious time on this quilt. After 13.4 years of marriage, we have decide to graduate to a king size bed. When it is complete, this quilt will grace our new bed. It will feel extra special knowing that your hands & love made it. 

One more thing, my sweet 7 year old is about to finish 1st grade. She has a truly wonderful teacher this year. My favorite thing Mrs. Hines taught Elle Belle this year is the phrase, "many hands make light work." It is something that Elle Belle has become passionate about. It is also the embodiment of our little bee. With all this information, instead of calling this quilt "A Different Stripe," I have lovingly dubbed it "Light Work."

Happy sewing friends!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Crazy Quilt

 I posted this quilt on my other blog, but thought I'd stick it here, too, because it is a quilt and it is a finished project... which does not happen very often around here.

I wanted to use up some of my scraps and I have a good friend who's expecting a baby soon, so this quilt seemed like a good way to kill two birds with one stone.

 I played around with some of my machine's embroidery stitches.  Some turned out better than others, but I feel like I kind of know more of what I'm doing now when it comes to quilting with those fancy stitches.

The back is a vintage sheet.  I like how it turned out and am pretty excited to get this sent off in the mail!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

baby brooksby's quilt

I made this quilt for a friend who is due in July with her 5th and final baby.  I met this friend when we both lived in PA and now we both live in the same town on the opposite side of the country, our husbands working for the same practice.  Who'd have ever guessed that would've happened?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Flowering Snowball for Kristin

Here is my snowball for Kristin...

I love gray & yellow!

Also, this is the last row I made for the row-along in my guild...

and a pin cushion for a dear friend who loves to sew and makes great pies...

oh, and I finally figured out what to put in my display coffee table - my old wooden spools!


I bought all new fabrics for this block and was nearly a total copycat.  What can I say- Becca does great work and chose great fabrics.  Curves were new to me but they were fun and easier than I expected.  I love this color combination!  I hope you like it Kristin.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

April Curve Balls

My Darling Kristin,
It's not perfect, but it was very fun and quick!  Hope the colors are close to what you were wishing for.  This is going in to the mail this week.  And, Camie, yours will be in the mail this week, too!  I have an aversion to the post office, which I am trying to overcome.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Summer Cabin

Dear Camie,
I really wanted to make sure I did a spectacular job on your block this year, since I pretty sure I messed up your last block.  In my efforts for precision, I trimmed up the edges as I went along.  But by the time I was nearly finished, it was apparent that I over trimmed and the block was coming up short.  So, I added a really wide extra layer that you can trim to your specifications.  Each edge is about 19", give or take.  I hope that will work!
Do the flowers in the photo help make up for the fact that it's not perfect?


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Cabin for Camie

This square is not perfect but I'm hoping it'll still work! I can't wait to see pictures of your family picnicking on this quilt. I think it's going to turn out lovely! You'll notice it's bigger than you requested. I got pretty anxious when I went to trim it down and took it as a sign. Hopefully you don't mind trimming it up real quick.