Friday, January 29, 2010

For Margaret

Coming your way, Margaret!
Thoroughly enjoyed the process and found this a great exercise in taking direction.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Openings in other bees?

My 27 year old daughter is looking to join a virual quilting bee too. She is a new quilter also but learns a lot faster than her mom. Does anyone know of any bees that have openings or how she can find out about virtul qulting bees? Thanks.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

February blocks for Margaret

Here are my two blocks for Margaret's month. They went in the mail yesterday. I hope they work well with the quilt!

Friday, January 22, 2010

teal & brown wonky log cabin blocks for margaret

Two blocks for Margaret. It was a challenge to lay everything out according to the plan, but I feel like I accomplished what she was looking for. I hope they turned out the way she hoped, and they should be in the mail sometime next week.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Quilty Help?

Hi gals!

Just wondering if some of you could help me out? I'm planning a quilt but am having some trouble figuring out if I have the right combination of colors/prints. This isn't my bee quilt, but I have no doubts I'll be back asking your opinions on that too! ;)

I've posted a photo of the fabrics on my blog and if you get a minute and wouldn't mind, I'd love to know your opinions!!

Thanks y'all!


Another Birthday Giveaway

Go check out this blog. Her birthday is coming in a couple days and she is having a giveaway to celebrate.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Getting to Know Me, Emily (AKA Mle BB)

Hello everybody! My name is Emily and I am a 22 year old student with a serious fabric addiction. I get my paycheck and many yards will this buy? Japanese, bundle or not? Anyway, back to the normal stuff. I am a senior at a small liberal arts college in the Chicagoland area, and I am majoring in Art Education (K-12) with a concentration in printmaking. I am lucky enough to have a senior studio at my school (picture below).

My work in printmaking spans most mediums including etching, wood and linoleum blocks, xerox transfer monoprinting and even silk screening. I love to visit the galleries in the city and have a student membership at the Art Institute of Chicago.
When I am not at school, I spend a lot of time with my family, I have many cousins and they have a lot of babies that need babysitting (and quilts!)! I love playing with the kids and am now used to being called everything from "Mewmlee" to my second cousin's description of me as an "adult kid".
I learned to sew a bit from my aunt and grandmother but mostly I have used the trial and error method and taught myself with help from the online community (believe me there were errors!). I have recently gotten back into quilting and look to the online quilting community as my main guidance in everything from improvisational piecing to how to baste a quilt. I am very excited to be in this, my second, bee and August is going to be a busy month for me as that is my month for the other quilting bee (Bee Crazy) I am in too (I was lucky to be assigned to a non school month in both, thanks to the organizers of both bees). I am interested in modern quilting and tend towards wonky type blocks because of the improvisation and fun involved in the making.

When I went to NYC this summer with my father I was able to walk from our lodging to Purl and Purl Patchwork where I rediscovered knitting, which my Auntie Marlene had taught me years ago with acrylic yarns and metal needles. I was excited to see the natural fibers and wooden knitting needles at Purl and immediately started in on a scarf for myself and have continued to make one for my mother, father and aunt. Needless to say, almost all of the food money my mother gave me was used on buying fibers, both yarn and fabric, and I got really used to eating fast food once to twice a day on a steep budget.
I have loved reading each of your posts about yourselves and cannot wait to make blocks for you all!

Feb blocks arrive early!

Thanks to Balinda, who sent 3 (yes three!!) of these great blocks. The other 2 were the ones I did. She used a few of her own fabrics, which coordinated wonderfully, and made an extra one!! I love the abstractness and wonkyness of this design.
Balinda chose not to do the final 14.5" cut, which is JUST FINE!! I urge you all that if this seems daunting because you do not have a template this size, just send them as is and I will do the trimming to size.

Thank you :-)

Friday, January 8, 2010

More about me - Katie

Hi Everyone,
I just realized I never did my Getting-To-Know-You Post. You can read about me over on the other Fresh Comfort Blog, so I'll try to come up with something original here.

Yikes, it's harder than I thought to come up with something new. Here goes . . .

I grew up in a small coastal Maine town and ended up falling in love with one of my classmates during my senior year in high school. After finishing high school and also going to college in Maine, we got married and are still married over 20 years after our first date. We even went to the prom together. After we got married, we moved around a bit. We lived in Colorado Springs for a few years then in Myrtle Beach for a few years. We loved those places, but I tell you, Maine gets in your blood, so we ended up moving back about 10 years ago. We live in Portland now which is the biggest city in Maine, but it still feels like a fairly small town. My husband always says, "Country living with city conveniences" which is true except for the country living part. It definitely doesn't feel like living in the county. Our closest neighbors live only a few feet from us. We're very happy living here, but come February and March, we miss Colorado and especially South Carolina an awful lot.

The summer definitely makes it worth it, but it's a little hard to hang on to those few months all year round. My father lives on a sailboat, so every summer my husband and I take turns going on a sail with him and my brother and some of our friends. This year my mother and sister babysat my three youngest kids, so my husband and I both got to go along with my oldest son. We sailed from Boston to Provincetown and spent a couple days there then sailed back. Every year we say we want to do a longer sail. One of these days we will. Of course, we'll have to find another destination. Provincetown didn't have any fabric stores that I could find.

Speaking of fabric stores, have you Maine bee members discovered Marden's for fabric? If you haven't heard of Marden's (it's just a Maine store, I think), I'm not even sure how to describe it. It's a discount store, but not like Target or Wal-mart - kind of like TJ-Maxx and Marshall's only the stuff is a lot more worn - not used - but a little (a lot) dusty. But you can find some really good, weird things. I found some fancy European baby shoes (Baby Botte) for my daughter once. When we were together at Thanksgiving a family friend from Boston asked me if I'd heard of Marden's and if I knew about their great fabric section. I figured she must have the name wrong. We have a Marden's in Portland, and they don't have any fabric, and I certainly couldn't imagine any Marden's having any fabric I would want. But this friend has really good taste, so I figured it was worth checking it out. Was it ever?! Seriously, if you live fairly close, you have to go. They have hundreds of bolts of fabrics. (Don't make the mistake I made the first time I went of thinking you won't need a cart.) And not just JoAnn type fabric either. They have a lot of designer fabric. I've found a lot of Free Spirit fabric there - some Joel Dewberry and Kaffe Fasset. And get this - it's about $2.99 a yard! If you go or if you've been, let me know what you think. Oh - not all Marden's have fabric. I've been to the one in Sanford twice now and come away with yards and yards of fabric for less than $50. If you go online, I think it will tell you which ones have fabric. I'm not sure if the selection is all as good as the one in Sanford, but if you live within a few hours, it's definitely worth the drive.

Happy Friday. I hope you have a full weekend of crafting planned. Don't you just love Friday night when you have the whole weekend ahead of you and so many possibilities?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

February Wonky Log Blocks

Since my month is quicky approaching, I have been scrambling to come up with a block that I thought everyone could make successfully. Though I really wanted curves (sigh...), I figured that might scare many people, and would be harder. I have an eclectic collection of brown and aqua/turquoise prints to use on this quilt, so this is what I have come up with. The making of this block is way easier than the making of these instructions!! Here are the instructions - I should have the fabric into the mail within a week or so.

Although this may not be the final layout which I select, it gives you an idea of what this modified wonky log cabin block might look like made up as a quilt with 24 blocks. To make it easier, I have written a tutorial for this block so you don't have to make the same mistake I made first time around. Also, if you follow the tutorial, it will better ensure that all the blocks are similar. I assume that all seams are 0.25".

Below is a sketch of this block. Use this sketch more for color and piece numbers than for exact log shapes. It yields a finished block that is 14-1/2" square. It is made from 9 different blues (ranging from aqua to turquoise), 7 different brown prints, and "bits" of brown and orange. I have tried to send enough different prints. If you have browns or aquas that look good, please feel free to use them. I want this quilt to have a definite scrappy look.

This is a wonky log block which has "bits" (1-2" pieces) placed into the outer 2 rows (rows 6 to 13) in the brown and blue logs, intended to give a confetti look. The sketch below shows them in the 11B, 6A, 9C and 12B locations, but they could be in the other 4 possible positions in logs 10, 12, 8, or 7 instead. I prefer to keep the number of bits to just 2 of each color (4 total per block, at your choice of position). Orange bits go in the brown logs, and brown bits go in the aqua logs.

Here is the block tutorial...

1. Start with the center block (1). It is cut a 4-1/2" square. Feel free to use something you have or cameo cut a print that you have it you feel it is better than what I send. It is a brown print. 2. "Wonk" the block very slightly. I caution you not to over-wonky the blocks or this tutorial will yield a finished block that is not the desired size. Taking off 0.25" to 0.5" on only one or two sides of the square (as shown below) is sufficient.

3. Next we sew on the first row of logs. They are cut 2.5" to 2.75" wide. Note that the logs in this row should not have any of the "bits" added into the row. I have indicated what size I chose to cut these strips for the block I made, but as long as they are between 2.25 and 3" you should be fine. If you use a smaller width strip here, use a wider strip on another row.
4. Shown below with the next 2 logs added. The block is pressed and ends rotary trimmed after each log is added.
5. Add log #5 of 1st row, press and trim ends. Note that this block is wonky shaped right now.
6. Now, I trim the block to approximately a 8" square. This forces the edges to become slightly wonky. You will need to be careful trimming this to maintain a square block, even if it is slightly different from 8".
7. Next I lay out the next row of logs and bits that go in these logs. My bits are cut 2" and will result in a 1.5" finished bit width. There's nothing scientific about the width - choose anywhere between 1" to 2" for a finished width bit. Also note that the width of the logs for this 2nd row of logs should be not wider than 2-1/2", or else the next row will get trimmed too much.
8. First I sew the bits into the log rows to create a single strip to add onto the block.

9. Then the logs are sewn on one at a time. Log 6 is added first, pressed and ends rotary trimmed. Log 7 is sewn next, pressed and then trimmed. Then the same for logs 7 and 8. The following picture shows the 2nd row of logs added, but the block is not trimmed yet.
10. Now I "wonky" trim the block slightly. I took off 0.375" to 0.5" diagonal cuts off of only 2 sides, as shown below. I found better results to "wonky" cut off of different sides than I had cut from initially. This may have just been my dumb-blind luck too!
11. Lay out the last (3rd) row of logs and the bits. As shown, please take care in placing the aqua pieces in the upper left corner so that the stair-stepping is shown. My logs in this row are 2.5" to 3" wide.
12. Sew bits into the logs and then add the logs to the block. They are sewn on #10 first, then #11, then #12, and #13, pressing and trimming ends after each seam.

13. Below is the finished block with all logs rows sewn on. It has not yet been trimmed to the desired 14-1/2" square. It is about 16" right now.
14. Trim the block to 14-1/2" square carefully. Since it is not the size of a standard template, it takes a bit more care. You may find a paper template/guide helpful, but I did it on my rotary cutting mat just by being careful. This is the step where a little bit of "wonky" trimming is done. It should look kind of like the next picture. My block and logs are not excessively wonky, as I prefer the subtle wonky look. Note...If you prefer to send me the block before it is trimmed to 14.5", that is fine. I have templates of all sizes and can easily cut this to 14.5".
15. Here's a peek at the backside. I don't care if you choose to press seams open or to one side, so long as the block is flat and smooth on the backside. Good pressing makes the machine quilting look so much better.
16. Have Fun!!...lots of it :-)
17. If you are making two of these, as most people agreed to, they are to be the same geometry(as opposed to mirror images, etc.)
18. scraps...shouldn't be much, toss them.
After you receive your fabrics, please confirm that you have (at a minimum) fabrics of the following lengths/sizes. I have also sent a few additional pieces for you to select from. Remember that you will need to verify you have each of these for BOTH blocks you are making, and hopefully there is enough variety so that each block does have fabric repeats. Feel free to use from your own stash too if you want. I'd love to have a little bit of each of you in my quilt!
Log Lengths (approximate minimum which I should have provided) and colors:
#2 - 5.5" aqua
#3 - 7.25" aqua
#4 - 7.25" brown
#5 - 9" brown
#6 - 9.5" aqua
#7 - 11" aqua
#8A - 9.5" brown
#8B - 2.25" aqua
#9A - 3.5" aqua
#9BD - 9.5" brown
#10 - 13" aqua
#11 - 14.5" aqua
#12AC - 10.5" brown
#12D - 5.5" aqua
#13A - 7.25" aqua
#13B - 11" brown
If you have any questions, please email me.