Thursday, April 20, 2017

Charity Blocks: A Quick Project

Last week on IG and on her blog Leanne from Devoted Quilter asked for 10.5" blocks to make quilts for a senior center near her home.  You see, it burned down and she wants to make a quilt for each of the residents.
Her request has been fulfilled already - yay.  This was my contribution.  It was fun to do a quick smash and grab and match out of the stash.  I didn't know how many I had pulled and cut until I sewed them all together.  I had made 29!  I of course had to add one more for a nice even number.

They are on their way to Newfoundland!

Also, I want to make a hundred more of these blocks!  Instructions are on her blog.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Gridster Bee: Paper Pieced Honey Bee Block Instructions

May is my month to be "Queen Bee" for the Gridster Bee and I'm going literal with this one.  I am asking for Honey Bee blocks.

The first step in this adventure will be to visit this link for the pattern by Piece by Number.  Download the pattern to your computer.  I am asking for a 10" finished block.  To do this the pattern will need to be printed at 166%.  Or you can print regular size and have it enlarged at a copy center.  There are some helpful tips on the pattern page itself in regards to printing the size needed.

*EDITED* Bee members, you will get the pattern emailed directly to you

Bee bodies should be brown and yellow.  Any shade of brown and yellow will do, small prints are OK.  Just keep in mind to have the bee contrast with the background fabric you choose.

Wings: White, white on white, cream on white, grey on white, even silver on white.

Background:  Any range of the purples, blues, indigos, violets would be lovely.  The background doesn't have to be a floral. (the bee on top has feathers)  Try to avoid backgrounds with large sections of white, so that the bee wings will stand out from the background.

Let's make a bee!

I am still fairly new to the paper piecing world - so these are just the things that I do to help me along.
1. I print out two copies of the pattern.

2. I like to color my pieces so I have a good idea what goes where.

3. Then I cut out all the pieces.
4. I pin them, word side up to the wrong side of the fabric.

5. Cut generously around each piece and then lay them out in numerical order.  Generous is most important here on the pieces that end up on the outside of the block.  Skip to step 9 for an explanation.

6. Begin stitching the pieces in order on the second pattern that was printed.

(true confession: I didn't know you were supposed to fold back and trim 1/4 inch after sewing the seams until Nancy's amazing instructions.  Changed my life.  I actually like paper piecing now)

7. After the head and the body have been pieced, trim 1/4 inch along the lines where the head and body attach.  DO NOT TRIM THE SIDES OF THE BLOCK YET

 8. Attach head and body.
 9. BEFORE YOU TRIM: DO NOT MEASURE 1/4 INCH FROM EACH LINE AND THEN CUT.  It will not come out to a 10.5" block.  It won't.  Trust me and my four practice blocks.  Just use a ruler to center the block and trim it to 10.5".  Don't worry about perfection here, they are bees, they don't need to line up perfectly.

10. Embroider the antennae.  You can do this with a machine satin stitch or by hand.  Which ever you feel happier doing.  I did machine satin stitch because it was faster.  If you choose to do it by machine, leave the paper on.  Use black thread and set your machine to a reasonable sized satin stitch.
 This is what it looked like on my Viking.  I'm not going to be picky if yours is a little wider or a little narrower.
 Do be sure you are stitching from the top, this photo is just to show you how the paper was left on to stabilize the stitching.  Now you can remove the papers.
If you embroider by hand - remove paper first and use either perle cotton or embroidery thread to stitch antennae.  A back stitch, stem stitch, or satin stitch would be fine.  Again - I'm not too picky.


And that's it.  Hopefully not too hard.  I can't wait to see the variety of bees that come flying my way.

*EDITED* Please include a signature block - thank you.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

 This is the bee that I made for my sampler quilt.  (sans antennae in the picture.  she has them now)

Monday, April 10, 2017

A Few Small Finishes

 Saturday, April 1 was a sewing day at the church where our my quilt guild meets.  You can sew from 9-9, whatever you want.  I was able to take advantage of that and brought along a bunch of small things to finish up.  I've been trying to clean out.

This is a little 8" block.  The top was done, I had to applique down the antlers and do some quilting and binding.

This twister top is something my aunt had made that ended up at my house.  Some quick quilting and a binding - and its done.
I finished up March while I was there.  Here are the first three months of the temperature quilt.  Can you believe the first quarter of the year is over?

I also worked on some pincushions.  The one above needed more filling.  It was rather limp.
The tulip was a paper pieced block that my mom made probably 20 years ago, its been floating around my stuff, so I decided a pin cushion would be a good solution.  The green one was pieced from extra half square triangles.
And a larger one, that was a stitch out FMQ practice.  They are all filled with crushed walnut shells.  The big one would also make a good pattern weight.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Kaleidescopeep: A Mini Quilt Challenge

Seems like all I've been doing is mini quilts lately.....
Anyway, I waited to share this finish in the hopes I would have fabulous gifts and prizes to tell you about.  Alas, I do not, but I still love this little quilt.

Some background first: One of our local museums: The Racine Art Museum has been holding an annual Peep art contest for 8 years now.  Last year they started included quilt blocks (I had no idea), but this year I heard about it and decided to participate.
 We could either use the fabric we were given, or have a Peep represented in the quilt.
 I decided to do a Mariner's compass block with the fabric and quickly realized I would need more.  An Etsy shop helped me out with that.
 I did English paper piecing.

 Occasionally making mistakes!

 So here we are all put together: Do you see the problem? Not a circle.  Sigh.  I appliqued the center pink circle, and that went really well.
 But, the edges of the circle didn't work out well.  Below, it is appliqued to the pink background.
 If I did something like this again, I think I would leave the edges of the circle unbasted and applique the pink onto the circle for a better edge.  Live and learn.
 I outlined all the shapes with white embroidery floss.  Just through the batting layer.
 Then, to help cover up the uneven edge, I couched whit yarn with a zig-zag stitch.
 Grr.  It helped, but still one bumpy spot!  Finish is 12.5" square.
 The back. Pocket corners and one white one as a label.
 The show originally started that you had to make items out of the Peeps marshmallow candies.  The Peepcock above and Pink Pig below were a couple of my favorites.
 Now you just have to at least represent the Peep.  Here's a link to the Museum's Peeps Exhibit. (my name's even listed as an artist!)
 A couple of shots of the wall of quilt blocks.  That blue bunny looking over the fence was the winner. "Peeping Tom"
You can see many more pictures at this Facebook link of our local Lighthouse Quilters Guild. (You could even like it, if you wanted to...)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Green Weaver a Yellow Green Crayon Challenge

I told myself that this year I wasn't going to do the crayon challenge at our guild.  And then, I took a crayon anyway. I pulled Yellow Green.   I remembered that color from when I was a kid!  It was one of those deceptive crayons that didn't actually color the same color as the way it looked.  Cornflower is another one of those tricky crayons.

Anyway, for the first time ever, I started right away.  I pulled out some ombre fabric from Dwaibo.  Perfect.  I wanted to do some sort of weaving of colors that incorporated the whole range of yellow green.

Some progress photos:

 I pinned the strips to a piece of white to hold things together.
 I also added other fabrics, some ribbon and some yarn.  Going with the "more is more" idea.
 Pulled out the yellow green threads.  Ended up using the Aurifil.
 The first thing I did was zigzag over all the yarn strings.  Then I quilting straight lines on each side of the raw strips.  After the quilting, I knew that I would never be able to trim all the strings, so I sprayed the whole thing with water and used a toothbrush to make more strings!

 The backing fabric came out of my mom's stash.  I think she made some kind of wreath with the fabric.  I turned the quilt in last Monday!  On to the next project.

Oh, and, with the left over strips I made a hot pad. :) Bad binding, but that's ok.  It will be spaghetti sauced soon.