Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Modern Irish {Scrappy} Bee: December Blocks

Yes, you are reading that correctly.  It is not a typo.  December.  That is how things are going in this house lately.

Anneliese was queen bee this past December in the Modern Irish Bee.  She asked for two HST-based blocks in scrappy style.  The first has a mini HST center on point, which is a fun twist.  Check out Anneliese's tutorial for instructions of how to make your own.  It is a super way to use up scraps and very easy to make with lots and lots of chain piecing.

The second was to have a fussy cut center that reflects us.  I've always had a deep affinity for frogs, so this Kokka print was the first thing I reached for.  Man, he's cute.

They will be in the post today, Anneliese.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Thank You Gift

You know how great the quilting community is.  We all do.  Well, some of that greatness came to my aide a few weeks ago.  A wonderful quilter, Miss Kelly of Jeli Quilts, used her super skills to design paper piecing templates for my medallion quilt.  You see, I have decided that I want my next border to be flying geese, but I could not find a downloadable template that would let me string together geese so that they finished at the exact same length and width that I needed to coordinate with my medallion quilt top.

Kelly, the paper piecing pro, wasted no time in designing and sharing templates with me, letting me create the quilt top that I have floating in my head.  What wonderful generosity!

To say thank you, I made her a notebook cover using her flying goose templates and my notebook tutorial.  I combined Essex Linen in Navy as the background with Cotton & Steel basics (from my stash, not the shop).  There's a book mark ribbon to keep her place and a little button/ribbon closure so the contents are not damaged when it's tossed in a bag on the run.

The front.
The back.
Inside you'll see the ribbon book mark on graph paper pages.  Of course it's grid paper, right?  What else would a quilt block design genius need?

Wishing now that I did my nails before this photo shoot!  Yikes!
The pockets to hold the front and back cover are also Cotton & Steel basics with a Cotton & Steel lining to coordinate with the exterior.

I hope she likes it.  I hope she thinks it's fun, colorful and happy, inspiring her to design and create because she certainly gave that gift to me.  Its by sharing, inspiring, teaching and encouraging that this quilting community is as wonderful and kind as it is.  Its' people like my fairy template godmother who make this community such a special place.  Thank you.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Long Overdue Bee Blocks

To my shame, I still have four bee blocks owed to hive members from 2014.  Time just got away from me.  I am grateful to have finished off two of them this past weekend, leaving only two to go.

These blocks were made from fabric that was given to me by the queen herself, Anneliese.  Using her tutorial, they were combined to create lots of HSTs with her LV prints used as background and a fussy cut center.

Sadly, the second fussy cut was a bit off center, so we lost a head.  I assembled the block so it would be easy to replace this piece if you so choose, queenie.

I am quite pleased to say they are in the post on the way to you, Anneliese.  Hope they arrive safely.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Finished Pinwheel Quilt Top!

Woo hoo!  I have finished the pinwheel baby quilt from my Craftsy class.  This quilt is made of nine blocks, each made with four strip pieced sub-units.  It finishes at about 36 x 36 inches, which is perfect for the little girl I have in mind.  

I found making these blocks entirely meditative as they are chain pieced units of straight lines on a slight diagonal.  Still, when pulled together they have impact.  This was great fun to make, a fab way to play around with Peggy Martin's method of piecing.  I can already see how her strip piecing can be used in my New York Beauty blocks, so I am delighted with how that Craftsy class keeps on giving.

It was a beautifully sunny day when I took these photos.  With the sun, though, comes shadows which make it hard to see the top.  I had to take the very non-artistic option and just toss it on the drive to avoid tree branches.  It is not as pretty of a background, but you can indeed see the top better.  Gotta do what you can, right?  I am surely not going to be the only person in all of Ireland complaining about this spectacular weather!

Can you see how some of the points of the yellow squares are lost in some blocks?  I am not entirely sure why that happened as I was only following the line on the template - there is no place to go wrong really.  It must have been how I trimmed the units?  Or maybe how I joined them together?  I think it will be lost in the quilting and washing so I am surely not going to bother ripping the blocks apart.

So, does it need a border or will I finish it off as it is?  If you are voting border, which fabric do you think I should use?  I was imagining the pink floral as it has bits of the yellow in the center of the flowers, but that is quite a small print and usually I go for larger prints in the border.  Any suggestions from here are totally welcome!

As usual, I had my photographic assistant next to me while taking these photos.  She has been so very happy to spend time rolling grass now that the warm sun is out.  She'd spend all day sunning her belly if I let her, the little cutie.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Quick Hello

Just popping in to say hello!  There has not been much sewing around here as life has been busy with stuff.  Nothing exciting.  Just that stuff that has to be done.

Last week was spent travelling for work, too, which took me away from my sewing machine.  I took my Super Tote as my carry on and it absolutely fit the bill.  I am delighted with how the Soft and Stable held it upright, making it easy to pack and find stuff.  It was still soft enough that it fit comfortably on my shoulder and against my side.  To my delight, it also fit under the air plane seat perfectly.  Happy happy happy.

Since I was travelling quite a distance, I brought with me my basted hexies to piece a bit of the tree skirt on the plane.  I did not make as much progress as I imagined I would, but still it was nice to have something to do with my hands.

I also brought with me a Craftsy class on knitting socks, my DPNs and 4 skeins of self striping wool.  I quickly learned that knitting socks was not for me, so I returned home with the same 4 skeins of wool and empty needles. Defeated.  Live and learn.

Off to sew, ladies.  There's a bit of time left in the day and everyone else in the house is asleep.  Can not wait to finish off my paper pieced quilt top!  

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