Monday, October 25, 2021

Snowflake Sampler :: Flower Pot

Right off, I'll admit that this month's Snowflake Sampler block was supposed to be a coffee pot, but I decided to change it up a bit and instead, made a "Flower Pot." I kept the block size the same - 21" x 21", and used the same stitches, just altering the design into a diamond.

That way, I actually was able to place five flowers in the center, rather than the originally intended three, and I liked that.

I feel just a little naughty for forgoing the proposed design, but I think this will suit my desired finished project better. Plus, it was fun to kind of make things my own.

Friday, October 22, 2021

More on Those WIPS

Is it too soon to share another WIP update?! I mean I'm feeling pretty excited about the progress I'm making - just working through them! Of the six projects I shared back in September, I've finished three and expect a fourth in the next week or so.

1. Summer Sampler 2021 :: No change. I still need to settle on sashing fabric and get that ordered. 'Bout time to get on that.

2. Bee Sewcial fine-line pieced blocks :: It's now a finished quilt!! I shared allll about it yesterday, and oh my, the relief I feel at the finish. Immense.

3. House Top blocks :: This one will be WIP finish number four! I settled on 72 blocks, and the top is now pieced, and I'm working on piecing a quilt back. Hope to be quilting on this one come the weekend.

4. QuiltCon Artisan Cotton Fabric Challenge :: Yeah, you've seen Striped Much. And it's already been entered for consideration at QuiltCon.

5. Bowtie blocks :: So I finally got a chance to get these blocks up on the design wall, and after a little rearranging, I think I've settled on this layout. Looks like a few more blocks will need to be made and of course, I need to order a bit more Kona Enchanted for a bit of 'sashing.' Still hoping to make this one a winter hand-stitching project, so time will tell.

6. Seattle MQG Salsa Medallian BOM [aka my own Pantone challenge] :: Also old news, being the first of these projects that I finished. Dare I say I'm itching to move onto another improv project? Truth.

So three WIPs down, and another well on its way. It's feeling good!

Thursday, October 21, 2021


My seventh Bee Sewcial quilt in as many years, I'm thrilled to be able to add this new one to my collection.

The fine-line piecing prompt delighted me from the moment I thought of it, and with every block my beemates (and others!) made, my delight just grew. So here's what I had to work with when all the blocks were in and it was time to begin puzzling.

The blocks spent several weeks on the design wall being shuffled around; and eventually, I came up with a layout I really liked. For better or worse, things changed somewhat once the piecing actually began, which is all part of the improvisational process, am I right?

I tried really hard while piecing the blocks together to have at least one fine line touching another in the neighboring block. That 'rule' definitely added more complication than necessary, but I like that I tried. Not always successful, but still. I also used quite a variety of blue solids [Kona Deep Blue, Nautical, Nightfull, Storm to name a few] to build things out around the blocks, using Kona Pickle for the fine linesWith all those wily seams, I decided to lightly spray and block the quilt top overnight, right-side down, before moving on to one last press, and then basting.

Not my norm, but I decided a wideback was definitely in order for a backing, and thanks to Emily Dennis' new The Wideback Shop, I found a Ruby Star Society Speckled wide back in navy that suited this quilt perfectly.

For quilting, I used Aurifil 50wt 2784 [Dark Navy]. The design was an angled grid based off this 'X' block by Ken/@thekingslacker

I marked angled lines 1.5" by 3" away from the line before it in all four directions. It ended up that left some definite wide spots at some edges, so I went back in and added some angled lines from each corner. Kinda hard to explain but it made sense at the time. ha.

The quilt measures just about 58" square, and is finished off with a faced binding. I opted for the single-fold method this time, using the tutorial by Audrey/@cottonandbourbon

An unexpected surprise in choosing the palette I did - at least two dark blues in each block along with the gold-green lines - was the 'glow' that resulted. It really adds to the quilt's overall appeal I think. Anyway, I'm so pleased with the work my beemates did. With this one, I didn't have an 'end' design in mind at all, so the blocks really drove the design, with Leanne's circular block near center, Marci's 'pointed' blocks pointing off the quilt, Ken's 'X' inspiring the quilting, and the rest in supporting roles. Many thanks, once again,  to my BeeSewcial beemates LeanneMarciFelicity, Karen

Here are links to my previous Bee Sewcial quilts - Mod MoodBaconrificLooking UpHomageModular, and Rings, if you missed them.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

The Art of Everyday

This post is nothing about me or anything I made, though my being a recipient of a handmade item is key. The story began earlier this year....

When Jen Broemel/@jen.broemel first shared her #maydaymaydaytheartofeveryday project on May 8, I was in awe. She was commiting to making and giving away a tiny art zine every week until further notice, and I followed along as she made page by page. Collage may not have been my creative method of choice, but no matter. I was intrigued mostly, by Jen's commitment and sense of generosity.

A couple of months went by, and Jen was still calling out for recipients, so I got up the nerve to send her a note that I'd love one of her improv zines. And wouldn't you know, it arrived over the weekend!

I knew which issue I'd be getting, so I was able to watch it come to life on her Instagram feed under the #maydaymaydaytheartofeveryday hashtag, and it was plumb full of circles. When I commented such, Jen told me she had found her circle punches, and she was obviously enjoying using them!

Now that the finished zine has arrived and I am able to flip through it, I'm inspired by the shapes and colors, the various papers from which it was created, a funny little face, and the texture of each page in my fingers.

And still, the daily commitment to creating, and the thought that these little creations have been flying off into the world on a weekly basis, gives it profound meaning. Definitely food for thought....

Monday, October 18, 2021

The Red Stripe Sampler Pear Pouch

After making my latest Dropcloth Sampler, into both a tiny pincushion and a needle book, I kind of wanted to sew another of my finished samplers into something. And it came to me that my Red Stripe Sampler might work made up as a Pear Pouch, a free tutorial by Sarah Kirsten with wonderfully neat French seams.

It took a little figuring and adapting, and my calculations weren't quite spot on, but definitely close enough for me to be pleased with the result.

The finished pouch measures 6" x 7.75", and I chose not to box the bottom corners, otherwise I would have lost some of that embroidery. Another tweak I needed to make to use the metal zipper I had on hand (perfect color!), was to remove some of its teeth. Luckily, I have a tutorial for that! (see #3) Worked like a charm, and of course now I'm thinking what else can I do with my stitched up samplers?

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Pincushions Sampler

So this was a pretty unique Dropcloth sampler. First, it was actually two small samplers in one.

And though they were designed to each become a pyramid-shaped pincushion, I made one into a pincushion, and the other into a simple little needle book.

Isn't the pyramid shape cute? One embroidered rectangle was about 3" x 6" before it was sewn into the pyramid, so you can imagine how petite it is.

I 'lined' the needle book with some natural Essex linen, stitching right-sides together, turning, and hand-stitching closed. 

Then I centered a rectangle of soft yellow wool felt inside, and just stitched down the center. Unfortunately, I already sewed it all up before realizing I was out of small snaps, so that'll come another day. Otherwise, I could have added some ties or another form of closure.

So making something out of my stitched samplers was a nice change of pace, and I'm mulling over how to do more of that!

Monday, October 11, 2021

Improv Churn Dash

"Inspired by Karen (pickle dish) and Debbie (wedding ring) choosing traditional blocks that we got to have fun improvising, I have chosen my favorite block for us to play with: the Churn Dash." The first hint of Felicity/felicityquiltsBee Sewcial prompt piqued my interest. Though she went on to explain that instead of making a whole block, we were to make four 8.5" QUARTER churn dash blocks. Intriguing!

Felicity's chosen palette was inspired by Emily Carr’s paintings of the West Coast - medium-dark, saturated greens and blues, plus some dark brown/rust and a small amount of light grey as a pop of contrast. She provided a Pinterest board to help us visualize.

It's always interesting - and a little challenging - to take something so familiar, such as the Churn Dash block, and play around with its components. But I enjoyed the exercise, as well as dabbling with this unique palette. This is definitely a quilt project I'm looking forward to seeing come together!

Friday, October 1, 2021

Snowflake Sampler :: Five Diamonds + Flowers with Borders

September saw two new blocks in the Snowflake Sampler block-of-the-month. First up was Five Diamonds, 11" x 21".

The "oval" weaving was especially enjoyable. And then on to the next block, Flowers with Borders, which was also 11" x 21", and boy did the variegated floss do its thing on this one. 

I think the scale of the stitches was part of it, but this just may be one of my favorite blocks yet. Also, there were four different stitches, which kept things very interesting from the beginning stitch to the last.

In case you missed my previous blocks, here they are!

X and O Star   +   Tiny Snowflakes   +   Lacy Flowers

Large Snowflake   +   Woven Star   +   Pearvocado

Classic Star   +   Simple Woven Flower

Favorite Coffee Mug   +   Small Classic Star