Tag Archives: quilting bee

A new project and March do. Good Stitches

I decided to cut into my stash of Anna Maria Horner fabrics.  I’ve been hoarding collecting them for some time now and finally found a worthy project to make, and someone for whom to make it.

It was my birthday last week and one of my gifts was Elizabeth Hartman’s book, The Practical Guide to Patchwork.  Elizabeth is the most amazing quilter – everything she makes is perfect and I have gone to her website for block ideas, free-motion quilting help, and just overall inspiration many, many times.  She is also, incidentally, a member of do. Good Stitches, though she’s not in my circle.

I wanted to make a quilt for a good friend in Cincinnati who I’m going to visit in April (I know, I’m biting off a lot with little time to chew).  My friend Gwyn and I are going together.  We planned this trip back in November when Jo El was visiting during a rough patch for my family.  Jo El is the kind of friend who will hop on a plane in a moment’s notice and will show up with laughter and love, and her friendship is truly a gift.  She is also a world-renowned heart researcher.  I am not kidding.  She is impressive in many ways.

Gwyn and I made this trip 2 years ago for Jo El’s 40th birthday party and spent a fun weekend just hanging out together.  We’re really looking forward to this trip again and I want to bring a little something as a thank you to J.

AMH stash

These are mostly AMH Innocent Crush with a few Good Folks in the mix.  Missing from the picture is my all-time favorite, Filigree in Meadow.  I’m not quite sure about the print 5 from the left, Good Folks Festival in Dusk.  It doesn’t really go with the solid border so I might have to substitute for that one – I’ll make that decision later.

Selvages saved, organizer cards ready

One tip I really appreciate from the book is how Elizabeth suggests cutting the fabrics and grouping them right away onto organizer cards.  It’s really a brilliant idea – it keeps everything together and there’s a real sense of accomplishment as each card is cleared and the block is completed.  You can use anything for the organizer cards; I used old file folders that I tore in half.

A 12-card project is very doable; my mind doesn’t bend around a 64-card project.  The pattern I’ve chosen is Kitchen Window.  This is a 12-card project.

12 organizer cards, organized.

I finished cutting last weekend but didn’t have time to sew anything together until last night.

The solids are Kona Berry and Quilter’s Only Solids in Tea Dye.  I hope I don’t regret the Quilter’s Only fabric (upper left).  I’ve never used it and it’s a bit see-through, but just a bit.  I don’t think that will be a problem.  I hope not.  Keeping my fingers crossed about that.  Trying to convince myself that it will be OK.  I just didn’t like the Kona neutral color choices available to me in the store and I really wanted a linen-look.  I think got it with the Quilter’s Only Tea Dye.

I finished 3.  Six Nine more to go [I don’t know what’s wrong with my math!].  These are really big blocks.  You can see one almost completely covers my cutting mat:

Moving on

March’s do. Good Stitches block for the Faith Circle (organized by Alecia) was the Stashbuster Block from Material Obsession Two.  To be honest, this was probably the most challenging bee block I’ve made.  I won’t say it was a hard block, but it required a lot more of my attention than usual.  Most of the time I can envision an entire quilt out of the bee blocks I make, but in this case, I am not so sure.  My points weren’t terrible, but they certainly weren’t as beautiful as Rita’s inspiration quilt over at Red Pepper Quilts.  To combat the points-not-lining-up problem the author suggests putting a doodad (yo yo, whatever) in the center of each block after the whole thing is quilted.

I scoured Red Pepper Quilts’ website for pointers (no pun intended) and realized that Rita didn’t use the pattern’s paper templates on her quilt; rather, she used a special acrylic template that she had on hand.  I think that might have made all the difference in how beautifully hers came together.  I think when cutting fabric using a  paper template you eventually end up with uneven measurements.  And we all know in quilting a little difference in seam allowances means a lot.  That said, I’m sure Alecia’s quilt will come together very nicely because there are a lot of talented sewists in the group.  And we’ve got good juju on our side.

Anyway, back to the basics.  We were asked to make two of these babies.  The finished size should have been 9.5″ according to Alecia.  I made mine and they were relative monsters at 10.5″ unfinished.  So I wrote to one of the authors of the book, Kathy Doughty,  and she replied (how nice!)  She said that her finished block was 10″ so I seemed to be on the right track.  In the end I didn’t even trim the sides because Kathy said the blocks could really be any size (finished) as long as they were all the same size when sewn together.  I’ll leave the final trimming to Alecia.

This is the block as first assembled.  I sent this picture to Alecia in desperation because my measurements were so off compared to hers.  After re-measuring her block and doing the math, Alecia decided that her blocks were the ones that were off.  So she remade hers (of course, I wouldn’t be a Catholic if I didn’t feel guilty about that. Grrr.).

I tried but no amount of ripping and re-sewing could make those points come together nicely in the middle.

My blocks were finished last Sunday.  I hope to get them in the mail today if I can get this post finished!

Stashbuster blocks without the doodad in the middle

Stashbuster blocks with the doodad in the middle

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Filed under Anna Maria Horner, do. Good Stitches bee, Gifts, Stash

Busy week

The Freedom Block Swap deadline has come and gone and I mailed out all of my blocks on time.  That bee was different from most in that each member sent enough fabric for one block (at least one fat quarter) to each member of the group, but the design of the block was totally up to the maker.  I really struggled with some of these because the block I originally chose to make (top row left) just wasn’t coming out at the right finished size.  I finally purchased a 1/4″ foot for my machine but the blocks were still taking way too long to finish.  The second block I chose (top row, right side) needed longer pieces of fabric than I received from most of the bee members.  Consequently, I ended up piecing some of the blocks, which I didn’t want to do.  I finally ended up making other blocks that better fit with the amount of fabric I received (top row middle and bottom row).  Here  are all of the finished block (you’ll have to click the image to see the whole thing; there are 10 blocks):

I’m rather underwhelmed by the pictures (because my camera sucks or maybe it’s operator error – whatever) but I can tell you that in person they do look nice.

I also completed blocks for Fresh Comfort 2 but then found out that one set isn’t cut right so I have to fix them.  Here are spider web  blocks for Anita:

The spider web blocks were kind of hard because there was no seam allowance in the instructions and they therefore didn’t come together neatly.  It’s too bad too because the fabric is really nice. They do end up at 8 1/2″ square, so I hope she can still use them.

These are string blocks and I have to remake them:

I liked making these string blocks.  They were really very easy so I’m not sure what happened.  I guess I just didn’t trim them down correctly.  I’ll have to finish them off another day.  I’m just too tired to create anything now.  It’s almost 3am and I can barely keep my eyes open.

This was a very lucky week for me.  I hope to post my winnings tomorrow.

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Filed under Freedom Block Swap, Quilting bee

Need a fix

Need a lighting fix.

I know I can find instructions on the web for making a light box in which I can photograph my blocks and other small things.  I need one.  My lighting setup is just terrible, even in the morning sun.  These pictures were taken this morning when it was bright and sunny but you can hardly tell:

These are more blocks for the QAYG Quilt Along.   That’s 4 blocks down and, like, a bajillion to go.  The important thing though is that these are for ME.  I’m not making them for anyone else’s quilt but mine.

I also finally uploaded some blocks for a quilt that are not for me.  They’re for the Do. Good Stitches charity quilt I’m helping create.  Alesa asked for blocks in green/teal and orange/yellow.

When put side by side, they also create blocks like this:

And you can see both blocks together here:

And on the off-chance that Laura reads this before she gets her mail, here is a sneak peek for something I’m working on for her:

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Filed under do. Good Stitches bee, Family, QAYG Quilt Along, Quilting, Quilting bee