Thursday, 31 January 2013

Scrap{Bee} Blocks

In 15 years of quilting, I've amassed quite the scrap collection. It's time to do something with these little gquilty offshoots. As I mentioned in my goals this year, I'm on a Scrap Bin Mission in 2013. I'll be looking for and sharing different ways to organize scraps and fun projects that use them throughout the year.

To kick off the mission of scrappy madness goodness, I'm going to share with you the blocks I've received from my Don't Worry {Bee} Happy bee mates.

Back in November, I showed you my test block...

Basically, I sent each bee mate some scraps in one colour, some strips of neutrals, as well as these instructions.

I got this block back from Katie...

From Elyse...
 From Alisha...
 From Heather...
 From Chelsea...
From Charlotte...

Thank you bee mates -- your blocks are even better than I had anticipated!

To their blocks, I've added...

In addition to three more blocks still to come from bee mates, I will make several more blocks in other colours. Can you see where this is going? :)

If you like my Scrap Bin Mission button, then you'll be pleased to hear that I'll be doing a giveaway of the My Memories software that I used to create it on Saturday.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Works in Progress Wednesday - The Procraftination Edition

Yes, I'm procrastinating, or procraftinating as I saw recently on an e-card; doing crafty things instead of what I'm supposed to be doing. Except...can you procraftinate from finishing another craft project?

I've been holding off from quilting Su{Brrr}nova and Seeing The Forest For The Trees because I was waiting for the machine insert for my new Gidget table. Santa brought me the table for Christmas, but the insert just arrived on Monday. Woo hoo! I've been adjusting my work set up and getting used to the table. Hopefully this will mean fewer shoulder/neck issues when I'm free motion quilting. No more excuses to get at those quilts now, right?

So how have I been procraftinating?

New Projects:

Something New Sampler: I am having sooo much fun with this quiltalong! On Monday, I shared these blocks:
Something New Sampler - Fabric Folding
Fabric Folding

Something New Sampler - Scrappy Strips
Scrappy Strips
This week's blocks are Sashiko and Reverse Appliqué. I'm already done mine and loving them both. I never understood what was the big deal about Sashiko before. Now I get it. :D

Reverse Appliqué
Here's another sneak peak at my trapunto block that I'll be sharing for this Sampler on Monday. You know you want to try it... ;)

Completed Projects: 

Bee Blocks:

Don't Worry {Bee} Happy
Simply Solids - Carmine Group
Current Projects: 

Scrappy Trip Along: A couple more 'test' blocks, but I forgot to take pictures. :)

Su{Brrr}nova: White backing and yummy stripe binding are ready. Trying to psych myself up for de-threading the top and backing before basting so no coloured threads show through the white. Oh yeah, this is why I hated white. Sigh.

Seeing the Forest for the Trees Quilt: Everything's ready to be basted.

Wedding quilt
Nine patch colourwash

WIP Wednesday Recap: 
New projects: 1
Completed projects: 2
Current projects: 3
On Hold/UFO: 16

Right Click to Save ImageWIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Hoping that you are having a wonderful Wednesday and that it's warmer, dryer and sunnier where you are!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Modern Block Monday - Rainbow Brights

Usually I show you blocks that I'm making for my Modern Block Sampler, however, I'm going to show you some modern blocks that I've made for other purposes today.

Here are my first three blocks from the Something New Sampler. They measure 7.5 by 14.5" unfinished.
Something New Sampler - Fabric Folding
Fabric Folding
Something New Sampler - Scrappy Strips
Scrappy Strips
Anybody else thinking Rainbow Bright here? ;) I'm loving this project so far. It's always fun to try a new technique in a small, easily-managed block or project. Two more blocks are up this week -- Sashiko with Jess @ The Elven Garden and Reverse Appliqué with Lindsay @ Lindsay Sews.

I'm also going to give you a sneak peek of the trapunto block that I designed for the sampler. I'll be providing a tutorial on trapunto for this block on next Monday, February 4th. Yes, trapunto isn't just for traditional heirloom quilts. It can give great punch to a modern design too.

And last but not least, is this fun block that I made for Katie, the Queen Bee genius behind our Don't Worry {Bee} Happy gang. She sent us the fabric (LOVE the fabric, especially the print!) and told us to design as we pleased along this style. So this is what I did. I want to do this block for my modern block sampler too.

Hope you are having a great Monday! It's snowing here, but at least it's no longer - 25 C!

Friday, 25 January 2013

TGIFF! - Wee Spy - Canadian Style

Now that this little puppy has made it safely to its new home, I can share my second commissioned Wee Spy quilt with you.

It's made for a new little girl born in sunny Burbank, California. It's loaded with a good dose of Canadiana for its new Canadian-American owner. A girl's got to know her roots, eh? :)

I've made many of these Wee Spy quilts over the last seven years, but each is unique just like the baby for whom it's intended. 48 different novelty fabrics in 6" squares arranged randomly, surrounded by a 3" border that coordinates with the backing.

I make the Wee Spy quilts gender neutral so they can be passed down or around, but sometimes I'll include a few fabrics geared towards the family (ie. boats for a family that enjoys sailing, music notes/instruments when I know the dad is a musician, etc.). This quilt has some Canada fireworks, hockey equipment, Christmas moose, and plenty of maple leafs...and an American flag. :)

They measure ~ 40" by 50" and come with their own matching travel bag, which doubles as a mini I Spy. 

I'm told that the proud parents of the new arrival are very pleased with this gift. Woo hoo! :D

Linking up with Nat @ Made in Home for this week's TGIFF! party.

Happy Friday, all!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Seeing The Forest For The Trees - A Work in Progress

Seeing The Forest For The Trees top and back are together and I couldn't be more pleased! Before we get to that though, I wanted to share a quick tip about getting different sized blocks to a consistent, but unusual size.

With this piecing style, you can imagine that the finished blocks were all different sizes. I got them all roughly to 9"-9.5" by 13.9"ish for playing with the layout. However, before I pieced the top, I needed to make sure they were all a consistent size. I could have trimmed them to 8.5" by 13.5" but I wanted to maximize the size of the tree blocks, even if it's only by .25" or even .3" -- it adds up over a number of blocks!

I tried putting tape guides on my 12.5" by 12.5" ruler, but the height of my block is larger than that.

I found the smallest block, which was 8.85" by 13.8". I put masking tape on my cutting board to the size of 8.75" by 13.75", and used the cutting lines of the mat to trim the blocks. I'd line the block against the tape and cut along the mat lines.

Block lined up against the tape guide
Trim using the mat grid
This also worked perfectly for getting the sashing the right length for the blocks.

Sashing strip lined up against the tape guide
Trim using the mat grid
As these blocks didn't require centering, this technique worked beautifully and I was done much quicker than if I'd had to measure each block and sash piece using my ruler.

So, wanna see the top and back? Without further ado, this is the top I completed with Helen Howes' Twelve Trees pattern. Without flash...
Seeing the Forest For The Trees - Front - No Flash
With flash...
Front - With Flash

Detail of the Back
As you can imagine, the true colours are somewhere in between. The natural light has been terrible around here lately and I find shot cottons are tricky to photograph.

And here's the back. I took scraps leftover from the front in 2.5" and 1.5" widths and random lengths and sewed them together in one long chain and then cut them to 45" lengths (the width of the backing). Very improv, very quick, very fun! And I used up almost all of my scraps from the front. Bonus!

I played around with the layout of the rows a bit to try to balance the placement of the yellows. I then added some burgundy shot cotton to either side. I'm loving how the back turned out too!

Seeing The Forest For The Trees - Back - No Flash
Back - With Flash
The truest photo of the colour
was when my little monkey posed in front of it.
I'll spare you the sillier photos!
Now to figure out the quilting. Thoughts and ideas are always welcome!

Right Click to Save ImageWIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Hoping that you are having a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Answer Is...

I trust no one lost sleep last night over my question yesterday? ;) For the Facebook How Many Squares? puzzle, the answer is 40 squares of different sizes. However, with the way I laid out my version of Tabatha's block that I shared yesterday, I realized that there were more squares in my block. Whoops! I found 56 yesterday, but today I could only find 54. Here is my chicken scratch solution:

If you find any more, let me know!

A question that came up from a number of you is what the heck is ringette? Ringette is an team sport for girls played on ice. It was invented in 1963 by Sam Jacks in North Bay, Ontario. I've been playing it since I was four and I love it. It's not rough like hockey, lacrosse or football, but it doesn't pretend that girls are delicate little flowers either.

Ringette is well established in Ottawa and has a big adult league for all skill levels. I even play in the summer here (it's awesome coming out of a cold arena into the hot air and vice versa!). Rick Mercer, one of our comedians, did a segment on ringette for his show, The Rick Mercer Report. If you'd like to see the game in action, check out this video:

The game is also played in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the U.S., the Czech Republic and Russia. It's so much fun and I've learned a lot of life lessons from the sport over the years. 

Alright, back to quilting now! This is my February Simply Solids Bee block for Jaclyn, which was made using this tutorial. Hope she likes it!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Modern Block Monday - How Many Squares?

First, I want to say a big thank you to the wonderful members of the Richmond Area Quilt Guild for giving me such a warm welcome Wednesday night. I had a blast with you!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I was away at a ringette tournament in Montreal this past weekend -- without the family, which felt very weird. Four games in two days has left me very stiff and sore today. We did well in the round robin games, but got walloped, both figuratively and literally, in the semi-finals. It's been a long time since I've played a game that was that rough and out-of-control so I'm very thankful that I'm just sore and not injured. It felt a little more like roller derby than ringette. LOL!

Welcome back to Modern Block Monday! It may not always be on a Monday from now on, but it is for today. When Tabatha at Bending Pins showed me her How Many Squares? Puzzle Block, I knew I had to give it a go. It's based on the viral How Many Squares Puzzle that's been circulating on Facebook. Tabatha's tutorial is excellent! I made mine scrappier than hers for no good reason other than I wanted to use a lot of different purples, but I think I'll give it another go the way she did it.

So how many squares do you see in this block? Hint: There are more than 24.

Other blocks in this series are:

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Works in Progress Wednesday - The Early Edition

First WIP post of 2013! I'm posting this early because any non-child time tomorrow will be spent prepping for my lecture at the Richmond Area Quilt Guild tomorrow night. Very excited, but nervous too.

So what have I been up to since my last report? A lot!

New Projects:

Scrappy Trip Along: I took a sip of the Scrappy Trip Along Kool-Aid last week and I'm hooked. Did another 'test block' to see if this is what I'll ask my bee mates to make for the Simply Solids Carmine group (so my colour!). I suspect that I may 'test' this block some more. ;)

Original test block

New test block
Completed Projects:

Commissioned Wee Spy: Started and completed. Will share photos once the quilt arrives in sunny Burbank, California.

Current Projects: 

Su{Brrr}nova: Top complete and I love, love, love it! More details here.

Seeing the Forest for the Trees QuiltIt's back on the design wall this week and I can't thank you all enough for your feedback yesterday. I tried out Debbie's idea of flipping the trees so the 2nd and 4th rows are reflections of the 1st and 3rd. I also played around some more with the layouts and tried having the trees all upright. I think I've settled on the layout now, but I'll leave that as a surprise for Friday. :)

Wedding quilt
Nine patch colourwash

WIP Wednesday Recap: 
New projects: 1
Completed projects: 1
Current projects: 2
On Hold/UFO: 16

Right Click to Save ImageWIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Hoping that you are having a wonderful Wednesday!
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