Friday, August 29, 2014

Modern Irish {Scrappy} Bee Blocks: May v2

Yes. You are reading that correctly.  These blocks are for May.  I tried to make bee blocks previously for Erin using her own beautifully written tutorial.  With my continual struggle against the scant quarter inch seam, I made a mess out of the original blocks.  They were about an inch too small and no amount of unpicking and re-sewing would find that lost inch.

Instead I have been practising my scant quarter inch seams and have (are you ready for this!?!?) finally fell in love with the idea that it can actually help me!  I re-cut my scraps, cut fresh little Kona White squares and dove in again to make two 12 1/2 inch square block for Erin.

I hope these fit with the others a bit better, Erin.  Let's forget those little 11 1/2 inch shorties ever crossed your threshold.  xx

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Modern Irish {Scrappy} Bee Blocks: July

I did warn you that it is going to be a bee-block filled week, did I not?  Next up are bee blocks from July made for Fiona R.  She is a girl after my own heart asking for scrappy string blocks for her month.  I love quilts made from scrappy strings but never want to go to the effort of doing all of that cutting and piecing myself.  It makes for a perfect bee block, then, doesn't it?

Fiona asked that we use this tutorial to make eight 6 1/2 inch blocks.  As a personal twist, Fiona asked that we incorporate a selvage strip in the center diagonal.  Now, I have a pile of selvages that I save up and give away to selvage-loving friends when I see them, but I do not generally incorporate them into blocks that I make.  That was a whole new adventure for me.

I had only a few selvage strips that were long enough to go into the center, but I did find a few others I could incorporate into the edges for a bit of fun.  I found that if I sewed them in using a traditional 1/4 inch seam, I would loose the fun text or color dots that really are what Fiona wants.  So, instead I tucked the next scrappy strip under the selvage, placed the selvage on top and sewed 1/4 inch on top of the selvage strip itself.  It won't fray, clearly, as that's the one job a selvage strip does have.

Should I have done it differently?  Any hints for incorporating a selvage without loosing it's personality?

Fiona, I hope you like them!  They were good fun to make.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Modern Irish {Scrappy} Bee Blocks: August

I have been quite slow to blog lately.  There's lots of life to be living with little time to sit down and write about it.  Some I might tell you about eventually (like my visit with Susan and our trip to Festival Of Quilts) and other bits I will most likely let pass by.  Eventually we will be all caught up and back in real time.

Where to start?  Well, this past week I took a holiday from work to enjoy a week at home.  It was wonderful.  My main focus sewing-wise was catching up on bee blocks.  I am behind.  Really behind.

Let us start by showing you my Modern Irish Bee blocks for August.  Miss Fiona requested a modern, funky churn dash using warm, clashing fabrics. Although her inspirational quilt does not do much for me personally, I loved loved loved making these blocks and I think this will be one beautiful quilt when all of the blocks are pulled together.  Churn dashes always come together so nicely for me, so it is a pleasure stitching them.  The biggest challenge, to my surprise, is that Fiona requested we do not use flowery fabrics. I had not realized that most of my stash is flower-based!  An eye opener for me!

Regardless, I made two 9 1/2 inch unfinished blocks for Fi.  They even came out to 9 1/2 inches the first time around.  Now that's refreshing.  Do pop over to Fiona's post if you are looking for a churn dash tutorial. It is very nicely written.

The color balance is prettier in real life, Fi.  I promise :)
Hope you like them, Fi! I look forward to seeing how these come together from our bee buddies.
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