Saturday, March 31, 2012

April Block Tutorial

Hi All- I am very excited to host April! I found this square in January and couldn't wait to give it a try. It is is the Octagon Orb Quilt block designed by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh!Fransson by Elizabeth Hartman. She is amazing! I tore into my scraps and came up with this rainbow design which is totally out of the norm for me, but I am really happy with it! I think selecting fabrics took me longer than making the block...

The colors I would like to try and stick with are:
Center and outer triangles- solid white or a white on white fabric
Small ring- reds and oranges
Middle ring- yellows and greens
Outer ring- blues, purples and pinks
Be as scrappy or defined as you like!

If you have any questions, send me an email or comment below and I will do my best to answer! I will send my address out in an email to everyone!

Amy (USA)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Katy's Geese for Meg!

Hello friends! I wanted to report that this group and these monthly projects are such an inspiration for me. I am inspired...

To look at fabric differently.
To try new patterns.
To try new colour combinations.
To stretch!!

I really had fun with these geese. I didn't quite believe Meg when she said they are addictive, in all honesty. But last night, I did burn my rice pilaf while trying to sew "just one more"... I had a progression in creativity with these geese. My first attempts were made with little strips of leftover fabric I had in my cupboard. I know Meg also loves Anna Maria Horner, so I showcased some of her prints from a now discontinued release. But I didn't have a lot of that fabric left... So my second strip ended up looking more like chevrons than geese. Meg, I put the chevrons in the package and you can decide if you want to keep or modify or discard... The black and white dalmation print is from fabric I have been wanting to use from my mom's stash for decades now. She bought it in 1974 when studying at the London School of Economics in England...and also where she married my dad! I remember being caught cutting this fabric up when I was a young girl!! It is Liberty of London fabric...vintage and lovely and hopefully fits with the geese motif. Dogs chasing geese?!

So after those two tiny strips, I didn't quite have enough of a contribution for Meg, so I did go out and buy some new fabric for the larger geese yesterday afternoon. I love the black and white bird print that I found. And the fabric that looks red in the photo is actually a bright shade of pink, a Michael Miller design. There are always some really wonderful prints hidden in the mishmash of junk at our local fabric oddsnends store, lensmill. So, there are my geese. And I'm hooked. I tried to be more careful with my cutting and sewing and I think overall my geese are more precise because of my efforts. I keep learning, and that is all I could ask for. And I'm having super fun. Meg, I'll send them in the mail today! They should get to you before April.  ~ Katy

LOVE all of your blocks!

Hi everybody -- For some reason, I'm having a tough time commenting on entries.  When I try to, some instructions pop up in German, and I can't understand a word of it, so I back off:)

I am absolutely loving checking both the blog and the mailbox this week!  I'm amazed at how much thought you've all put into your fabric choices and what a great job everyone has done on the construction, especially the people who are out of their comfort zone with diagonal seams and triangles.

Since I sent the email, I've received blocks from Amy from Illinois -- and so funny!  She anticipated something that I wanted to try but didn't have time for -- very tiny geese.  They are so cute and perfect.  I only hope I have the patience necessary to reproduce them, because I like them so much that I know I'm going to need at least two or three more 'chunks' of them.  She also used batik fabrics, which I always admire but haven't really delved into yet.

Chris' block with the gray background is stunning!  I have a block pattern from a friend in Australia with the geese flying in a circle, and I thought to try it on my own.  I'd already chosen a white background with gray dots, so I was thrilled to see Chris' block and know that it would have a friend:)

Finally, just loving the blocks from Amy from Canada, especially the clever use of the foliage print in the background of the strip of flying geese.  I can't tell from the photo if she fussy cut it or it was a lucky accident but the way it seems a tree is growing on one side of the strip is just so unique and pretty.

I think I've already raved about Linsay and Jennifer's blocks in my email, but they're beautiful and of course, quiet special to me since I know them in person!

Sewing like a fiend this week -- Jennifer has already posted photos of our school quilts and my job is to assemble the 'birthday party' quilt.  I've got the top together -- a bit of black and white sashing went a long way toward calming it down and creating a pattern out of a lot of child-friendly, vibrant fabric.  One of Jennifer's students told her last week that she would not put her raffle money toward it and explained (in a shocked tone):  "Mrs. Harper, that quilt is full of fabric with very unhealthy food printed on it!"

I'm also finishing a quilt for my son Jake.  For about a year, he's been asking for a "quilt with red squares", and wouldn't elaborate.  Finally, just before Christmas, I found a bright red Kaffe Fassett plaid and I used it as inspiration for the rest of the fabric choices and the design.  As I was finishing the top, I really worried that it was looking too girly -- in love with a few color combinations, I'd used a couple of florals, and there is some pink and purple in small bits.  Well I gave the completed top to him on Christmas and he LOVED it!  Yes, I do know that's it's late March now:(  But I promise, it is within hours of completion.  Here is the top, 75% finished, but you get an idea:

Thanks again everyone for all of your hard work on my blocks this month!  I just can't wait to show you all the finished quilt!  xo Meg

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Flying geese heading North!

Here are my flying geese for Meg. I had a lot of fun learning about this pattern and you can see in the photo that I was able to join two strips of geese together. However by the time I was ready to add the third row (the one on the left side) I realised it didn't match up exactly....oops, obviously my seams were a little out. What an achievement to complete an entire quilt made of flying geese! Just for fun, I had a go at making a larger version using the black and white fabric. I'm very curious to see how you go about putting your quilt together Meg :) What fun!

Two Finished Projects

Happy Weekend Everyone!

I have finished a couple of quilts over the past few weekends, they are wrapped and in the mail...finally!

This is the finished birthday quilt which I posted about a few weeks ago:

I made a wavy grid on the panels...

...and a spiral design on the sashing.

Kitty was part of the action when I was doing the layering:

During my week off at the end of February I also decided to make another birthday quilt for a friend in Colorado. I needed something quick and simple:

I did a meandering stitch in the blocks...
 ...and what my husband just called "a DNA design" on the green strips. (I'm sure there must be another name for this but DNA works for me right now!)

The next projects will be to put together the blocks for the school quilt and the bee quilt.

Hope you all are enjoying the spring weather. 
I wish I could take my machine out and sew on the balcony!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Amy (Canada)

I love the color scheme! Baby is in my arms, so this'll be short! I really am enjoying learning new patterns.Yeah for the bee!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Meg's Geese are flying her way!

As soon as I snapped this picture, the aptly named Flying Geese took off blowing across my yard! I was able to gather them all and get them sent to you Meg! I did three different sizes and chose to leave the largest four "loose" so that you could use them as fillers wherever!
Hope they land safely at your house soon!
Amy (USA)
Linsay 20 March 2012

Last weekend I made my flying geese for Meg.  My flying geese ruler is my favourite so I was very happy to start cutting and playing with the fabrics and colours.  I have some leftover Aboriginal style fabrics from a previous project which I wanted to use for Meg.  Meg and I met each other when we lived in Sydney and I thought she would appreciate the fabric. You can see it in the middle row of geese.  Spring has arrived in Switzerland and many of my neighbours have snowdrops all over their gardens.  I have one snowdrop so I included it in my photo.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Jennifer's Block for Meg

It is after 12 midnight in Switzerland and I have been playing around with Flying Geese all evening! Meg said these were addictive to make and I agree! I used Meg's handy Flying Geese ruler and I think for me, having never made Flying Geese before, the ruler helped make this an enjoyable experience. I'm definitely going to get one for myself. Here is the link for the exact one that Meg loaned me:

First, to practice,  I just sewed Flying Geese units together and made a border, 9 units long:

Then I Googled "Flying Geese Blocks" and found this design:

Which I turned into this:

My mom has this book on more Flying Geese patterns and says it has endless ideas:

Looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with! I think Katy's block was a great start for me to be thinking of measuring pieces exactly and lining up seams. Meg's project was a perfect follow up with the challenge of working with points. Thanks Meg!

Free Shipping Sale!

Hancock's of Paducah is having a free shipping sale through Monday:

  • Type XP87ML42 in the promotional code box during checkout.
  • Offer expires March 12, 2012.
  • United States minimum: $30.00
  • International minimum:  $100.00
  • Limit 2 battings per order; all oversized items excluded from this offer
  • Orders places before the receipt of this email are not valid for this offer.
Please call 1-800-845-8723 or Email Us if you need assistance.

I just refreshed a few things in my stash like batting and some solid colors. I also found this neat ruler to help make pin wheel blocks which I have never tried before:

The 8" x 8" Twister Pinwheel Ruler will help you to make these blocks:

My quilting "to do" list is getting longer by the day!

Happy shopping! 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Local Quilting Night...

Some of us local girls got together the other night to have a group-think about the March block pattern! It was really a lovely way to share techniques, connect as friends old and new, and get re-inspired. 

This is Amy's trial flying geese! With a windmill print we all agreed we love! We learned how to cut on a 45, and the trick to getting the geese to line up.

A sneak peek at Genevieve's prints for her geese!

Shauna working on the binding for a vintage beach quilt she made from some beautiful fabric pre-cuts from a local thrift store... Shauna is a beauty and a thriftstore treasure hunting guru!

A peek at the work table! We worked well into the night...

Having fun with fabric!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Katy's February Quilt So Far...

Hey Everyone!!
I wanted to tell you what a total pleasure it has been checking the mailbox every day this month...and the pure excitement I have had opening up all of your lovely packages.

The latest one I received had an extra few blocks in it...Jennifer, thank you soooooooooo much!

I'm still waiting for I think two more, and am in the process of making a yellow block, so in total I think I will have 5 columns of 3, and then fill the spaces with white sashing. I think I will bind it with a striped binding, probably blue and white, and the backing will also likely be a blue... I will post pictures of my progress!

And tonight is our first local quilters night...a small subset of the International Stashes group that are local to Waterloo are going to come over to my house to chat, brainstorm, and learn some techniques through group-think and group-cut and maybe even group-sew. I'm really looking forward to it! I feel like such a beginner and this is just the way to get better and try new things. I'm very excited to try the flying geese pattern (I had ideas about using a flying geese pattern for the February quilt, so I'm thrilled to test the method out this month! Thanks Meg!!!)