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.