Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Quilting: Quilting Bee - The Stitchin' Bee

I just finished this one up today for September in The Stitchin' Bee. "Auntem1" sent some fabric scraps and asked us to create a house for her quilt neighborhood. The block could be any size. We could piece, embroider, applique whatever we felt represented our style. So of course I appliqued.

I'm in a few bees and making a quilt neighborhood is a popular theme. There are tons of great house blocks out there. I've had the idea to make a tree house for a while. I'm glad I finally go to do it!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Quilting Bee Blocks

I just finished up two blocks today for Amy from Sew 2 Speak. She sent out black, white & gray fabrics and asked each member to add one color using modern fabrics from our own stashes. I was excited to do these blocks because Amy had an inspiration photo gallery on flickr and included several of the blocks members of The Hive created for my red bird blocks back in June. Here is what I came up with:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Upcoming Projects

Works In Progress

I haven't shown you anything I've been working on in a while. I really want to get both of these projects done asap so maybe if I post them I'll get to it!!!

First up, I really need a new lap top bag. My old one is falling apart (I carry it everyday) and it is just plain black so with my newly found appreciation for fabric that makes it suddenly boring! I finally have all the pieces I need to get going - including the perfect fabric!!! I hope it comes together well.

Someone get that dog out of the shot! No Lucky that isn't going to be a new dog bed.

I found some amazing laminated (!!!) Etsuko Furuya at The Needle Shop here in Chicago. It was a little pricey but it is a Japanese import fabric and laminated so it never had a shot at not being pricey. It will be totally worth it if this bag comes together like the picture in my head. The only problems I am foreseeing is one, pinning the pattern to this fabric... won't it leave holes in the plastic? I'll have to figure something out. Maybe I'll just tape it. The other problem is that I've never sewn a lap top bag, but I am familiar with patterns so hopefully this won't be problem.

My other new project is fixing up a house!!! I have to paint the outside, plant flower boxes, put up new wall paper, fix the floors, make some quilts, make some curtains, reupholster chairs and couches, make pillows and rugs... the list goes on!

Ok so it is just a doll house for my niece, Laurel. A friend of my mom's gave it to her, but it is need of some serious updating. Having a huge doll house taking up space in my tiny apartment should be all the motivation I need to get it done. But I have lots of ideas, that had best be appreciated by the four-year old receiving it! Maybe there will be a no touching the doll house rule.

But wait the most exciting part is that she is getting her first sewing machine!!!!

Ok I better get to work!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

3x6 Bee Blocks and Tutorial

I just wrapped up my first quarter in the 3x6 bee... where each 'bee hive' consists of 7 participants. Each participant chooses three colors they would like the other 6 members of their hive to use when making a block for them. Each member makes 6 blocks that are the exact same block pattern but in the varying color schemes. The group switches up hive members quarterly. Make sense? Good.

My colors were pink, yellow and white. So I will receive 6 blocks in those colors made by my fellow hive members. I made this block for myself as a test subject for this block design:

I started out by sewing 9.5" long strips of fabric together in varying widths from 1-2.5 inches. I used my 9.5" square ruler to square my sewn strips. I then used the 10" square grid in the middle of my 18x24 cutting mat to cut the diagonal lines. There are probably several ways you could do this, but this is the way it worked for me.

Above the 9.5" square ruler is positioned in the upper left hand corner of the 10" square on the cutting mat. This position will be important for how you make your diagonal cuts.

With your block positioned on your cutting mat in the upper left of the 10" square grid place your cutting ruler at the 7 on your left side of the grid and the 6 on the right side of the grid. This will be your cutting line for the top section. Repeat this at the 4 on the left side of the grid and the 3 on the right side this will be cut for your bottom section.

These two cuts should leave you with three shapes that look like this:
Between each diagonal cut I sewed a 1.5" strip (1" finished). I then used my 9.5" square ruler and trimmed the block back down. So keep in mind that if you have any images on your fabric toward the top or bottom of your strips when you begin they will get trimmed off and lost later. I then finished the block by adding 2" strips (1.5" finished) to the outer edges for a final block size of 12.5" (or 12" when finished in a quilt). I experimented with having the diagonal fabric being the same width as the final border, but decided I preferred the slightly slimmer line in the middle.

Here are all 6 in their varying color schemes:

[3x6] 3rd Quarter Beehive 4

They were for, left to right: (1) sewtakeahite (2) amuseboutique 3. fancytwo (4) mamaloves2read (5) chocolate_isthe_best_medicine (6) friedazzzzz

Can't wait for the next quarter it starts October 1. Sign-ups are still going on for the 4th quarter and she is currently taking names for the 1st quarter, 2011. I think I am going to stick with my same color choices. Even though I'm still not entirely certain with what I am doing with these blocks.

Friday, September 3, 2010

August Bee Blocks

I just wrapped up my August bee blocks.

For The Hive Kristin sent out Alice in Wonderland fabrics. She is making a quilt to be auctioned off to benefit the Eugene Ballet company in Oregon. The white rectangles on some of the blocks will be spaces for dancers autographs.

For Sew 2 Speak Tamiko sent orange and aqua fabrics with a specific block in mind.

For The Stitchin' Bee Anne sent out grey, black, white and yellow fabrics for her quilt titled "The Math Curse". She asked for any style of block that included a math symbol. I chose infinity.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Modern Swappers

This week I sent and received for the Modern Swappers group I joined on Flickr. I was the very first round for this group. For Modern Swappers you receive a "secret" partner, which pretty much means I send to one person but they don't send to me they are sending to someone else and no on knows who is sending to them until their package arrives in the mail. You are supposed to swap a handmade gift, a decoration or notion, and 1.5 yards of modern quilting 100% cotton fabric.

I was pretty excited that I "knew" my partner through a different bee. Plus I was already familiar with her photostream and her blog so it made my job of stalking a bit easier. Kelly, or as the flickr world knows her kelby30 and I are in The Stitchin' Bee together. Back in April I made this block for her family beach blanket:

This is the progress of the family beach blanket and all of the blocks the group contributed:

Auditioning sashing colors

So for Kelly's Modern Swappers gift I made a beach tote to carry the family beach blanket in. I was able to fit a full/queen low loft quilt folded and rolled into this bag so hopefully it will be big enough.

Here is the rest of the swap:

I received a fantastic swap in return from Melissa (flickr name melissa.leray). She did such a great job of picking out things for me. I loved all the fabrics and the sewing machine cover matches my sewing room perfectly. I didn't have a single thing she sent, not even a pin cushion!

But all of that isn't even the best part. She had the copy of Weekend Sewing she bought for me personally autographed by Heather Ross, Denyse Schmidt, Liesl Gibson and Ashley of Film in the Fridge.

I was planning on sitting out for round two because I have gotten myself involved in one to many things, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to jump right back in! Can't wait!!