Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lesley's Block (December 2012)

Wonky Cross Blocks
Wonky Cross Block

I’ve provided an 8.5” square and two 4”x13” strips. Please use either the square or the strips (Or use both if you want to make me two blocks.) as one of the fabrics in your block. For the other fabric in the block, please use your own solid or print scraps.
There’s a tutorial if you go to the link below. The pictures on the tutorial are particularly helpful.
Here are my instructions:
  1. Lay the 8.5” square (either the one I provided or one from your scraps) on your cutting mat and make a wonky vertical cut. Use your ruler because you’ll want it to be a straight cut.
  2. Separate the two pieces.
  3. If you want, cut down one of the contrasting strips to any width. I definitely do NOT want them all to be 4” widths.  (Note: So, just to clarify, if you used your own fabric for the 8.5” square, use the strips I provided. If you used the 8.5” square I provided, use your own fabric for the strips.)
  4. Place the strip between the two pieces and sew each piece to one side of the strip.
  5. Lay the block on your cutting mat and make a wonky horizontal cut using your ruler. You will cut perpendicular to the strip you just sewed.
  6. Separate the two pieces.
  7. If you want, cut down the second contrasting strip to any width.
  8. Place the strip between the two pieces and sew each piece to one side of the strip. This is a little tricky because you have to try to line up the strip that you cut across. But don’t worry about it too much…I definitely do not mind if it’s a little off since that will add even more to the wonkiness.
  9. Square up the block to 8.5” x 8.5”. (If you don’t want to square it up, that’s fine. I can square it up myself.)
If you have any questions, please email me at or call/text me at 785-424-4313.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Next Up: Marilyn!

I just secured childcare for Thursday night & I'm really looking forward to the program.  Marilyn is getting everything ready for her turn in the bee.  Can't wait to see what she's cooking up! :)

Jaime's Christmas Quilt!

KCMQG August, originally uploaded by Under the Evening Star.

Did you see? I missed the meeting, but I caught this finished quilt in Flickr. It's a product of our little bee. One of my very favorites. I've started a quilt of my own like this...

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Sneak Peek of Nikki's August Blocks...

We will be making log cabin quarters in a variety of colors.  I've made kits for everyone with some fabric.  I'm going to have to miss our August meeting, but Caitlin is going to pass these out for me.

If you aren't planning on making it to the meeting, let me know and I'll drop them in the mail.  Thanks!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Last one for Round 2

This month will be Alicia's turn.  She joined our bee halfway through the year to replace a departing member.

I'm hopeful that this week I will have time to make some calls & fill up Round 3 of the KC Scrappy Bee... More info to come on that.

Thanks for your patience!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

April Blocks for Denise!

After just beating the March block deadline, I decided to get an early start on Denise's blocks.

I love how these turned out - thanks for a fun block, Denise!

I definitely see a Summer in the Park quilt in my future!

March Blocks for Beth!

Whew!  I finished these blocks for Beth in the nick of time!  I started working on them at the retreat, but then I ran into some "technical difficulty".  Whenever that happens, I set the project aside to figure out another day.

These blocks look simple, but for me - an improvisationally-challenged type of quilter, they were not.  I like to follow a process...and repeat it over and over until I'm done.  Usually I cut, cut, cut, sew, sew, sew, press, press, press, and repeat.  Once I figured out that I had to cut, sew, press, cut, sew, press I was on my way!

Isn't it funny how such a simple change in how we approach something can make such a big difference?

I love making these scrappy blocks...these two have prints from my current favorite line, Echo.  My eggplant ovals from Art Gallery are in here, a bit of Essex Linen (Aqua and Natural) and some other choice scraps.  After seeing the lovely pile o' blocks that Beth was collecting, I cannot wait to see her finished quilt!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Time To Start Talking About Round 3 Plus QOV Bonus Block

I can hardly believe it, but we're only 3 months away from the end of round 2 of the KC Scrappy Bee.  I don't know about you guys, but I've really enjoyed being a part of such a talented group.

Thanks so much for all the inspiration, support and encouragement you've all given me.  I've made some great friendships and have learned new skills.  I'm enjoying stepping out of my comfort zone from time to time.

I'd hope that you'd all like to stay in the bee for another round, but sometimes life gets in the way or we get ready to move on to other crafty groups and pursuits.  I'm willing to stay on board and manage the group for another year.

Think on it for a bit and let me know if you're in or out for another year (via email, Facebook, in person on on this thread).  Several people have expressed interest to me, so don't worry about leaving us in a bind if you'd like to pass on another round.  Current participants have an automatic invite back for the next round, so you've got a spot if you want it.  If you'd like to join us for next year, let me know what month you'd like and I'll start working on our schedule.

Quilts of Valor
Quilts of Valor is an organization that is near to my heart.  My father is a Vietnam Veteran and my grandfather served in World War II.  For those of you who are interested, I have a proposition for you:  When we first started the KC Scrappy Bee, we each made a block or two for a Quilt of Valor (quilts for wounded soldiers and vets) from a focus fabric and our stashes.  I'd love to have a month between rounds where we all made a block or two for a scrappy QOV.   What do you guys think?  I'd like to propose wonky star blocks that measure 12.5.  We could use this tutorial using patriotic colors with neutral background fabric (solids/prints or a combination of each) and perhaps a splash of a mustard or gold here and there.

To make it interesting, some of you might rather use this tutorial, which uses a 4 patch as the center of the star & finish at 6 inches.  With this tutorial, it would take 4 stars to make a 12.5 inch block.  If you choose to make these blocks, please don't sew the stars to one another.  I might want to space them out some or insert some neutral fabric blank squares here and there to make the quilt bigger.

I will take care of assembling the quilt, getting it quilted, bound, labeled, washed & awarded to a veteran.  I'll keep you all in the loop on the process.

If there are no objections, let's make the month of July be our QOV month.  This will give us a little patriotic project to do over the 4th of July.

How's that sound, everyone?

So here's our Round 3 Schedule (I will fill it in as I get responses):

July, 2012-  Quilts of Valor- Wonky Stars (Round 1, 2 and 3 Bee Members can participate- or anyone else for that matter)
August, 2012-  
September, 2012-  Marilyn B. (Taking Toni's place for a year)
October, 2012-  Tammie S.
November, 2012-  Lauren B.
December, 2012-  
January, 2013-  Nikki M.
February, 2013-
April, 2013-  Denise
May, 2013- Caitlin M.
June, 2013-Valerie K.
July, 2013-
August, 2013-

For Beth... From Nikki

, originally uploaded by nkiblueeyes.
These were one of my favorite blocks so far from all the bees I've participated in. Love the simplicity of the construction & the way we could play with the neutrals and the prints. I wish I'd had more neutrals on hand, but I had to make do. I made these over two different nights of sewing. I'm leaving them for you to trim up and I'm including some scraps for you to use for additional blocks. I didn't think I had much of that icy aqua color, but I dug around & found a nice selection.

I hope you like them! I know this will be an extra special quilt. Might make one for myself sometime.... But I'll have to stock up on neutrals first!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Late blocks for Andrea

I haven't been a very good bee mama... Just now finishing up Andrea's blocks from 2 months ago. Oy!

They were fun to make, although I like one of these more than the other two. I'm sending some scraps to go with these. Hope you like them!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mary Anne's blocks for the KC Scrappy Bee

Sorry for the crummy background in the photo... my white foam board isn't big enough to fit all four blocks at once, and the only spot with decent natural light during the day is on the kitchen rug.

I will admit to struggling a lot with making these... I think my machine (or maybe it was just me) really had trouble with the paper. I tried pinning, not pinning, holding the paper and fabrics at various angles while sewing... it was kind of a challenge. Part of the problem, I think, is that I have a very basic Singer, and I use it on my kitchen table (which is the only place I can use it right now), so the sewing surface isn't flush with the table.

My other challenge was that I have only made a handful of quilts (four, I think?), so my scrap supply is limited, which meant pulling out various fabrics from my stash and cutting long strips. The upshot is that I now have many strips in my scrap bin! (Also, it's called the "KC Scrappy Bee," so I should've known, right?!)

I tried to incorporate a variety of values and make it as scrappy as possible... I hope I succeeded!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

More Blocks For Mary Anne

Since Mary Anne provided the chocolate, I decided to make her a couple extra blocks. I love these & have started setting aside bits & pieces to make my own piles of string quilts. Truly, it's one of my favorite looks.

On another note, Andrea's blocks have been hiding from me for at least 6 weeks in my sewing room. Amazingly, I finally found them last night. They were hiding on my ironing board all along. :)

Will get those finished right quick...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I got so far behind.......

My machine kept skipping stitches on this red block.  I did get it finished but then switched to a heavier thread for the blue/orange block.  It turned out fine I think.  love the colors.  Can't wait to see this quilt Steph.

I finished this improv my minds eye I saw a tree in the forest with pretty fall colored leaves and then the dark ground cover of leaves and foresty things!

I then finished these colorful and vibrant tree blocks for Jaime.  Love the grunge, love the bright colors.

So I need to get Andrea's supplies so I can finish that up and Mary Anne's blocks are on the schedule this weekend.  I have found all sorts of strips laying around in my sewing room so I think I can put four of those together. 

I am in the For the Love of Solids Swap 2 and about half done with that project.   I also joined the Doll Quilt Swap 12.  Then I am done with all but the KC Scrappy Bee which I will continue to do!

I've got Christmas quilts to make for next Christmas and I need to get busy.  I'm sure there will be a few other projects thrown in too!  I am glad to be almost caught up!

Friday, February 10, 2012

String blocks for Mary Anne!

All done! Great block choice, fun and easy!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Valentine (String) Blocks for February!

Hello KC Scrappy Bee-ers!

I am so excited to be your Queen Bee for February! When deciding on the block for my month, I had so many ideas flying through my head that it was hard to decide.  Finally it came down to this...I want to make a quilt that will be a keepsake, using a block construction that is fun and simple and one that eats up scraps.  I have always loved quilts made with String Blocks so...that's what we're making!

Elizabeth Hartman has this block in her Practical Guide to Patchwork book - the quilt is called Valentine. Film in The Fridge has an excellent String Quilt Block Paper Pieced method tutorial here.  I'll share some basic information in this blog post, but FITF's tutorial is a great reference!

In your kit, you'll receive four 11 inch squares of paper, four 1 1/2 x 16" strips of Kona Snow, one 2 1/2 x ? rectangle of Kona Snow a few scraps (some trimmed, some not).  There are diagonal lines drawn on the paper to help line up the center strip of Kona Snow.  I used a few dabs from a washable glue stick to hold the strip in place - please don't go overboard with the glue or I won't be able to peel the paper off!

Gather your scraps and trim them into strings with widths varying from 1 to 2 1/2 inches and length from 3 to 16 inches.  Place the string on top of the Center Strip, right sides together and matching raw edges.  Stitch through both layers of fabric and the paper foundation.  VERY IMPORTANT TO REDUCE YOUR STITCH LENGTH!!!  This is important when it comes time to peel paper off the back of the block.  I set my stitch length to 1.2 and it worked great.

Press the strip open, and repeat adding strips until the entire square of paper is covered.
Working outward from center (both sides, then press)

Some time-saving tips that worked for me:
- prep a big pile of strips with varying colors and intensities of shades
 - once the first two strips were sewn to either side of the center, sew both the right and left strips before pressing.
- set up a pressing station near your sewing machine to save you time
- use assembly line sewing if making multiple blocks.
Pressing Station
Soon, you'll have your entire block covered!

Turn it over, and trim the fabric so that it is even with the paper foundation.

and voila!  You are done.  Please do NOT peel the paper off - I'll do that when I'm ready to assemble the blocks.
Finished block...lousy lighting!

Now...what to do with that rectangle?  I'm asking everyone to make a label.  Select a favorite fabric strip that appears in your string block - one from your own scrap stash - and sew a border around the rectangle (using a strip between 1 and 2 inches wide).  Sign your name and date with a Micron Pen - either on the vertical or the horizontal.  I'll use these labels on the backing and I'll be able to trace your block in the future!  

Some final details:

Read the tutorial


Use any fabric scraps you like...batiks, novelty fabrics, solids...the scrappier the better.  I just ask for a  balanced distribution of colors and shades.

I have provided paper and center strips for four blocks but do not - by any means - feel obligated to make four.  I found that this was such a fun block to make you might want to just keep going! ;-)  Please do return any materials that you don't use.

I know that we typically turn in our blocks the following month, but feel free to keep them until our April meeting.  I've got plenty on my plate to keep me busy in the mean time!

If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an e-mail:


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

+ and x blocks for Andrea!

I hope these are okay. I always get a little nervous about "freestyle" fabric choices when its for someone else...

All Caught Up!!!

I finished Andrea's Bee blocks last night...and what fun to see the same Blocks in today's MQG Feature Quilt.  Did you all check it out?

I intentionally kept the directional print in the center "+" on the horizontal, yet I really like the visual effect of expanding the "+" from the striations in the crossweave pieces.

The tutorial that Andrea posted explained how to cut the corner squares on point when using a stripe or directional fabric. I like that effect too.  I really thought that these blocks would be more difficult, but I was pleasantly mistaken.

After falling back in November, I am happy to be all caught up with my bee blocks.  Now...if I can just find my big pad of sketch paper, I can get the February blocks prepped for you all before the next KCMQG meeting.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Jaime's Treez blocks finished!

I hope you like them!

Tree #1

Here it is! Sorry its late...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Nikki's 2011 Bee Blocks

Nikki's 2011 Bee Blocks, originally uploaded by nkiblueeyes.

These were made in 2011 for the KC Scrappy Bee, the Lovely Linen Bee and Bee Vintage