Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler Block #4 - Crow's Nest

The Sewcial Bee Sampler SAL is flying along. Lots of Instagram photos and so much fun to see how everyone else has done their blocks. I have to say, this is the most fun I've had doing a sew-along - maybe because Instagram is so "instant"! For this block I used a Kona solid (I think it's Tangerine!) and Bird Dot in cream by Windham.

Block #4 is Crow's Nest, a variation of one of my favorite classic blocks, the Churn Dash. The first time I made a Churn Dash was for a sampler block in my beginning quilting class at OK Quiltworks in Oklahoma City, where we lived at the time. Although my teacher was a "points policewoman", I will be forever grateful to her for teaching me the basics of quilting.

I redid my first three blocks. I wasn't loving my fabric choices, but now I am happy with the way the sampler is headed. I haven't added frames to any of my blocks, but I am considering the gray I have the block displayed on in the first photo.

It's never to late to join in the fun! Head to the blogs of Sharon Holland or Maureen Cracknell to download instruction for the blocks. Sharon and Maureen are designer for Art Gallery fabrics, and although I should have pulled from my stash for this sampler quilt, I have fallen in love with Maureen's Garden Dreamer line and will be incorporating some of those fabrics in my quilt.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler Block #3 - Flock

UPDATE: I have changed the original block, and the photo reflects the changes!

It is week #3 of the Sewcial Bee Sampler Sew-Along hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell, who happen to be designers for my favorite fabric line - Art Gallery Fabrics! Although I am not a huge fan of HSTs, this sew-along is forcing me to perfect my skills, and I have a new appreciation for how pretty they are in a block.

I still haven't decided on a frame for the blocks, but I'm hoping to find inspiration as I go.

This is the original block, and the final block is the first photo.

You can find downloads for all the blocks here and here. There are also giveaways as the sew-along progresses, so don't miss out on the fun!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler Block #2 - A Dandy

The Sewcial Bee Sampler Sew-Along is enjoying great success on Instagram and beautiful blocks with hashtag #sewcialbeesampler are posted almost daily. It is fun to see the variations! The sew-along is hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell, who happen to be designers for my favorite fabric line - Art Gallery Fabrics.

This week's block is assembled with HSTs and quick corner triangle units. Sharon has an excellent tutorial and beautiful results for these on her blog. I used Bird Dot in cream (Windham) and two Garden Dreamer fabrics (Art Gallery).

I ordered some fabrics from my friend Bernie's Etsy shop, including a fat quarter bundle of Maureen's "Garden Dreamer" fabrics. Bernie blogs at Needle and Foot. If you haven't visited Bernie's shop, you must! She recently started carrying an extensive line of fabrics along with vintage patterns and many custom goodies such as Chemex covers, key fobs, and pet place mats.

I love the Garden Dreamer line so much that I also ordered another bundle from Lady Belle Fabrics (becasue I don't expect to win it!) and plan to incorporate many of these patterns in the sampler. I posted about Block #1 last week, and already I have plans to redo part of that block. I tend to choose a few fabrics to start and then change them as I go. I simply don't have the eye for color or forethought to pull all my fabrics at the beginning of a project!

You may find downloads for the blocks here.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Baby Cloth Book

As soon as I saw that Bernie had made this cute little cloth book on Needle and Foot and she provided the link for the panel, I immediately ordered it. My granddaughter will be 10 months old this month, and this will be perfect for her. My daughter and son-in-law have two adorable dogs - a chocolate lab named Bock and a black lab named Boone. My granddaughter adores them, and they are very gentle with her grabbing their fur and ears - lol! So naturally I chose the I Ruff You panel.

Sandra Magsamen makes these panels for Studio E. The instructions are included on the panel, and the only thing I had trouble with was the placement of the ears (user error, not creator error!) The first time positioned and stitched them into place incorrectly, but after I got them right the rest of it went quickly and smoothly.

My daughter and granddaughter are coming to visit next week, so this will be ready for her to play with!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Valentine Heart Pillow

I wasn't thinking about Valentine's Day at all until I got Amy Smart's (Diary of a Quilter) newsletter and saw a tutorial for this cute little pennant heart pillow. I remembered Janine's post about "Drop Everything and Make It", so I did, and it was almost-instant gratification. In fact it took longer to pick out my fabric scraps than sewing it.

The hearts involve using a pattern for the preferred shape, backing them with fusible interfacing, stitching them into place, and connecting them with embroidery thread. It was easy and fun.

Jack always wants to make sure my projects pass the sniff-test.

This little pillow is now on its way to my daughter's house to add to her seasonal pillow collection from Mom.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

French Braid Mug Rug

I wanted to make a little something for a lovely business acquaintance who did something very nice for us, so I decided a mug rug would fit the bill. I checked with her assistant who assured me that she does drink coffee and that she likes "jewel tones and peacock colors".

I found a cute pattern and tutorial on Craftsy by Diane Knott of Butterfly Threads. I had never tried braiding before, and I loved it!

Although I really hadn't planned to use batiks, I found some brightly colored batik charm squares I had purchased years ago, and they were perfect.

For the back and binding, I pulled from my very jealously guarded hoard of Utopia by Art Gallery Fabrics.

Now I want to make a French braid quilt!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler Block #1 - Patience Corners

UPDATE: I have changed the photo on this one to show the changes I made to the original block!

The other day I happened to see a post about a new sew-along starting Feb 1 hosted by Art Gallery designers Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell. I normally don't give sew-alongs more than an interested passing glance, but this one really appealed to me so here I am on block one!

The first block is Patience Corners and is composed of HSTs (half square triangles). It has been awhile since I made HSTs, and boy did it show. I cut and sewed a total of 3 times before I got it right. There is a reason for instructions, and I obviously did not read and comprehend. I won't detail the errors, but let's just say I was amused the first time and disgusted the second time until I did it right the third time.

I spent part of the day choosing fabrics. I already had a color scheme in mind based on a a palette of Kona colors in bright tangerine, orchid, buttercup, turquoise, gray, and cream, and the "dot" part of Carrie Bloomston's Bird Dot in cream (Windham) will be the sashing. The tentative backing is Flight Patterns by Tamara Kate (Michael Miller). It is pretty busy, but it has the colors and might be a nice contrast to the solids on the front.

This is the original block - I have updated the block as you can see in the first picture

You will find the downloads for the blocks here.