Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bee Horror : part II

For this horror, you find yourself waving your hand in the air - me! me! I want to join - and then realize you have no idea how to do what you volunteered for.
I never made a block with a curved seam.  

But I LOVE to learn new stuff, and how hard could it be?!

I was given a block design.  I had to make the correctly sized pattern pieces.  This involved lots of sharp tools.  

I did not stab myself with the compass.  

I did nearly bleed on my block as I took a huge rotary slice into my thumb while cutting out all the pieces.  Good thing I have lots of butterfly bandages because there is NO TIME for an ER visit.

This story ends happily with a seam-matching, square, correctly sized block - on my first try!  It looks a tad rumply from pressing in some guides for pinning, but it's flat and pucker-free.  I made a second and it worked as well.


I am beyond excited that I did it.  I took pictures as I went along and will share them one I get them cropped.   One more reason why bees and swaps are great.  They can really push you to expand your skills.

I've done some of this, too.   Finally, a happy swap block,  for the potholder pass swap. 

I really enjoy just cutting fabric up, then sewing it together as I go along.  No seam-matching, curved edge pressure here!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Bee Horror Story

{or Quilty Math gone wrong}
Halloween nears and, just in time, I have a horror story for you.

This fear lurks in the minds of all quilters participating in Bees.

A lovely, large stack of Modern Meadow fat eighths arrived from Liz for One Block Over.  She wants a quilt for her bed with non-wonky square in square blocks.  We were free to do the squares as we wished - final size 12.5"

I sat with the stacks and came up with a couple fun block plans then spent an enjoyable afternoon of preschool time creating.  One done - onto the next.

For the second block I choose to go with a big, thick square of the happy orange and aqua field.  It was best framed with a golden fabric.  I pre-cut (the music just turned to a minor key) the golden strips just a tad large.  I like to construct blocks 1/4" or so large and then trim square to the perfect size whenever possible.  

I make the large orange portion, then at the last minute decided that it needed to be trimmed down just a tad - the scale seemed kind of off relative to the solid center.   Just a half inch all around.  (are you screaming, no no DON'T go into the basement alone!)

I join the first two sides of the golden outer ring, iron, and then check the length the final two strips before adding them.  I  measure the near-complete block, expecting something around 13" for the last strips - and to my horror it's only 12"!  
I measured a couple more times as I just didn't believe the number.  Then I look over at the last two strips, that I ALREADY CUT, as well as the very small uncut piece, and realize...

I cut up somebody's fabric and I did it wrong!  
That tiny, last minute trim took off my missing 1".  I don't have enough left to fix the problem and I don't have any in my stash. 
Can you hear the horror music and screams?  Because I sure did!

I considered the pieces I had not yet used that Liz sent, but I was married to the block.  I stared at the wrong sized block and thought over options for quite a while.  But it just wasn't going to look right with anything else added in.  Since it is my second block for her, I decided to sew the final two pieces on, and square it up at 12".  The ideal would have been to unpick the first two, recut four new edges just a bit larger.  I'll let Liz decide how she prefers to fix the block size.

I may be a tad shaky when I next need to trim fabric sent to me.  And will certainly NOT chop it all up ahead of construction.   

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

You know you're a blogger....

When you see weeds in your yard - half frozen, half dew covered in the morning  - and run to grab the camera.

And you take pictures of happy mail.

(Which seriously cut into my quilting time this past week as I actually READ a couple books.  It's been a long time.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm movin' out

I just know that there's a room waiting for me in this home.  Amanda will adopt me, right?

(If for some reason you don't follow Amanda - go visit their amazing new farmhouse that she's been sharing the last few weeks.)

Oh to be a child - and create in this most wonderful library

Friday, October 08, 2010

Gen X Quilter

Head on over to AnneMarie's blog.
I'm featured today!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Advent Tea 2010

Last year I made a ton of minis and one large quilt for the Women's Advent Tea my church does each year.  I had already decided I don't have the time to do a table myself, the way I would like to do it, for this year.

But one of the women in charge of the Tea called last weekend - she said that so many had talked about my quilty table, they hoped I could donate a quilt for the raffle this year.

Perfect!  I certainly have the time to make one lap quilt. 

Figgy Pudding is still my favorite holiday fabric, so I'm going that direction with color.

I pulled out the graph paper, some markers, and sketched away.  
(I could not find a maroon marker, so the purple had to stand in)

A little bit modern, a little bit traditional - hoping to grab the attention of both the younger and older crowd.   Due mid November.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


 Did you see this?  
It's my name at the bottom of Pat Sloan's post today!


 Seriously, I screamed.  And Mark came running to ask if there was a mouse or something bad.  
Nope.  Just the winner of a fantastic prize!

I get one of each - I'm especially excited about the 16.5" square.  I hate squaring up using just my mat grid.  I don't think it's as accurate.

And they sharpen your rotary blade as you cut.  How cool is that.

AND it's not fabric - a prize that doesn't count against my stash.  
(especially since I was forced to place a FabricShack order this week - more on that when it arrives)


I can't wait for them to arrive.   I think I could have used them and their grippy backs on this lovely diamond block.  

Both of those fabrics are beautiful voile.  My first time working with it, and it's a bit slippery!  Plus it's a swap block and the fabric was limited and not mine.  So super nervous about missing a cut.

I do love that sophisticated Anna Maria Horner, though!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Inspiration at Target

You're a quilter when you excitedly squeak at the Target paper party display.

Then you buy the napkin pack to hang on your inspiration board.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Use my stash year : catch up edition

I've been doing quite well with using my stash.  I have had an online cart filled at least three of four times.  But I wait a bit and then look over at my cabinet, and decide I don't NEED the new fabrics.  Even though I really WANT them!

I've moved from using up some purple to the colors I like best.  My greens and blues.  I cut a bunch for a scrappy boarder on a baby quilt I'm doing.

Since week 30, when I last reported, I added only 4.75 yards - solids I was really needing.  Really.  

I've used nearly 11 yards.

Busted (wk 31-40): 10.822
Purchased: 4.75
Net YTD: (13.025)  I'm getting closer to zero!

This helps, too - I have defective shingles on my roof and am having to do a full replacement today.  UGH.  That crane (run by the dude on the left with a remote control- cool!)  was unfortunately delivering shingles early Saturday morning.  Not fabric.