Saturday, September 29, 2012

Genevieve's Block for October - Beehive

Well, it's not quite October, but I've been posting a lot today, so I thought I'd post the instructions for my block while I was at it.
This month, we are going to do things a little differently...
First of all, you won't need your machines for this months "block".  Yup, that's right, this block is put together by hand.
Secondly, we are going to be doing some paper piecing.
Third, I'm asking everyone to use flannel fabric, instead of plain cotton.
I hope that's not too many changes from previous months!

My "block" is going to be made up of hexagons, and ends up looking a bit like a beehive.  Here is an example of some of the pieces put together:

I'm asking everyone to make 12 individual hexagons
I would like you to please use flannel fabric (I love flannel for winter quilts)
My colour inspiration came from this fabric:

I would love it if you could choose at least 3 colours (but you can use as many as you like) for your blocks.  They can be green, aqua, pink orange etc. (from the elephant above).  I don't mind if you use solids, print, patterns etc.

Here is an example of the selection of fabric I used:

Once you have your fabric you'll need to print off 3 copies of the hexagon pattern.  It can be found here:

 If that documents doesn't work for you, just let me know and I'll send you a copy.  The hexagons should measure 4" across, once you print them:

Once you have cut out the paper, place one hexagon on your fabric.
Pin it in place.
Cut around the paper, leaving approximately 1/4" seam allowance (I left a bit more than that, but I just eyeballed it, no need to be super precise with this).

Leave the pins in.
Fold the edges of the fabric over the paper.  Try to make the corners as sharp as possible.
Baste in place (I generally put one stitch thru the corner and one in the middle of the side).
The basting stitch should go thru the fabric AND the paper.

Once it's basted, you can remove the pins.
Follow the steps above for all 12 pieces.
Once you have all your pieces basted onto the paper arrange your hexagons.
You can arrange them in any shape, symmetrical or not.  For example:

Please use 8-10 of your hexagons for this.  The remaining 2-4 hexagons can just be sent to me basted onto the paper.  I'll intersperse these with all the other hexagons to spread out all the different fabrics.
Once you have your desired arrangement, you'll need to slip stitch the hexagons together. (Sorry, these pics are a bit washed out...)  To start, place two of the hexagons with fabric sides together. Stitch along the edge where they should join. These stitches should go thru the FABRIC ONLY.  It's ok if you catch the edge of the paper, but it will need to be removed to finish the quilt.

Continue to slip stitch all the hexagons together.  If there are any interior hexagons (ie: a hexagon that is completely surrounded by other hexagons), you can remove the basting stitches and paper.  If they are not completely surrounded, please leave the basting and paper in, so that the hexagon is sturdy for me to add to.

I hope that this is not too intimidating for people. I think it sounds more complicated then it is.  I actually found that the pieces went together rather quickly.  You can even sew everything while relaxing in front of the tv! :)
Please let me know if you have any questions at all regarding our October "block".

Genevieve's Block for Linsay

Hi!  I sent off my block the day after our Waterloo get together, but just realized I never posted a picture.  So, here it is:

I hope that you like it :)


Our 100th Post!

Hello Girls! Today we can celebrate our 100th post for the International Stashes Blog. Tonight I will raise a glass of wine to toast all of you! Thank you for all you have contributed so far.

I thought this would be a perfect occasion to tell you that I hope we can continue on for another year! I think back to Katy's 25 patch block and how Meg had to give me a tutorial on how to cut perfect squares and then forward to Amy's Octogon and Hayley's Carpenter's Star and what a challenge it was for me to piece those gorgeous blocks together. I know I have grown a little bit smarter with each block I have made...and I have had fun making every single one. I also want to continue for selfish reasons...I want another gorgeous quilt of my own! I use my January quilt every night now to curl up in on the couch after dinner. And of course for friendship. As we are all so incredibly busy with work and family, this group is something that I can belong to and thoroughly enjoy from the comfort of my own home and with lots of flexibility!

So I invite you all back for another year. If you can let me know by December 1st if you are able to stay with us in 2013 that would make it easy for me to update us and make a smooth transition into January.

I am still planning on a charity quilt for December. At this website: you can scroll down to "Blocks by Size." Click on 12" and choose a block to make (it will be 12.5" unfinished). Or if there is another 12.5" block that you like, you can make that too. Please use the colors in this fabric:

cream, white, black & white, red, orange, aqua, olive green, yellow
You don't need to have all 8 colors in one block! ;-)

fabrics can be a combination of solids and prints

You can also ignore all of this information. I will post it again in December, but just to give you a heads up since December can be so busy. Feel free to make one or two blocks, whatever works for you.
After the blocks are made, I will sew them together. Then my mom's quilt group in New Mexico will quilt it for us (those ladies are AMAZING quilters!) and it will be given to a domestic abuse shelter or to a local cancer outreach.

I hope you are all well this weekend and I look forward to all of our next projects.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Hi everyone,

I've been keeping a pretty low profile here on the blog, but my month is coming up fast - I can hardly believe I'm thinking about November already.   As a test of my blogging prowess, here are a couple of pictures of previous months blocks. The sewing machine I'm using was giving me trouble for much of the end of the summer, but I'm back on track now!

I did a carpenter star of my own, but made this one for Shauna as a birthday present. It was incredibly late, but it is in the mail to you now Hayley!

This one took me longer than I thought but it was fun.  Hope the slanty strips are ok!

Looking forward to next month's block!


Top is done...

So, I finished the top of my LOVE quilt. The more I work with it, the more I fall in love with it. I had planned on bringing it with me to visit my grandma, but it was not finished in time, and in retrospect, is a much more complicated project than I appreciated. So... I have a couple of questions, and would love your input. Firstly, what kind of batting do you all use? I can choose from the fuzzy polyester stuff (one layer or two?), a bamboo, or an organic cotton. Secondly, I was thinking of using a solid back as the front is so crazy. Thoughts? My grandma uses sheets for the backs. I was thinking of a bright blue or green. Or, I could buy more cotton and use that... Lastly... I am a terribly quilter. The quilt I am emulating (don't want to say copying!) has hand stitching on it highlighting the letters. I was thinking of stitching in the ditch around the big squares (each square you guys made for me), and then using embroidery thread to loosely stitch on the letters. HELP!!!!

Marrakech Love

I'm excited to share my block for Linsay.... I have to say I struggled initially trying to gather the right fabrics but luckily was able to raid my sister's stash and add some fabric that Jennifer sent me last month. I love the brightness and the effect of the white background. This design reinforces my love of white in quilts. I'm happy with how it turned out and hope that you like it too Linsay :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Back in the Saddle!

Hi Everybody!

Well, it has been a VERY long time since I've posted anything, although I have checked in every week to admire all the beautiful work.

As some of you may know by now, we moved to Toronto in late June.  We're settling in really well -- I absolutely love our new house -- but it has been a crazy kind of summer.  An irony is that when I was trying to get my sister to join this group, she finally decided against it, thinking that she wasn't sure she would be able to get the blocks finished on time each month.  Since I didn't know we were moving, I felt cheerful and optimistic that MY blocks would always be out the door EARLY.  In fact, I've had a heck of a time keeping up with things, mostly because my machine was in transit for a long time, then didn't work for almost two months after it arrived. (Jennifer has been so gracious and helpful -- she put together my May, June and July blocks then mailed them for me!)

But, I picked my Bernina up last night from the shop, finally humming along on North American voltage.  I also had it tuned up, cleaned, etc...and I must say, it feels like whole new machine.  I didn't realize how anxious I felt about it until I turned it on this morning and in no time flat, stitched up Chris' and Linsay's blocks:

I have to laugh; no matter how hard I try to be "wonky", I'm just a straight line kinda gal!  I felt so free, whacking away at that aqua and red fabric.  And look at those perfect lines!  I guess it is just a little bit crazy that the small squares don't exactly line up;)  The monkey fabric is very precious to me since it was in the baby quilt I made for my older son.  I thought of it right away when I saw Chris' color scheme.  

Linsay's block, of course, put me right back in precision heaven.  I struggled a bit choosing fabrics because I really wanted to respect her desire not to have any two of the same in the whole quilt.  Hopefully these weren't chosen by others too!  The block isn't nearly as dark as it seems in the picture --  I only have one bare lightbulb hanging in my sewing space right now and it was casting some funny shadows.

So....I'm off to the post office this afternoon.  Thanks to all of you who have been patient, waiting for my blocks over the summer, and of course, an enormous thanks to Jennifer!  Looking forward to seeing the October block!  xo Meg

Monday, September 24, 2012

Waterloo International Stashes Meetup

Four members (Genevieve, Shauna, Michaela and Amy) met up tonight to work on Linsay's square. We shared fabric and scissors, had a night chat about our summers and shared a glass of wine. We missed Katy and Meg had planned on making the trek to meet and join us, but the pesky 401 highway traffic kept her away! We hope she can make it to next month's meeting. Genevieve told us what to expect and we are looking forward to having her do a tutorial for us! (The notebook is Shauna's. Hope you don't mind I shared it! I love the fabric swatches!)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Katy's Snowball Block for Linsay

Snowballs and snow....
I woke early this morning with my youngest, and when I looked out the window of our family room, for a minute I thought I saw snow on the ground... But it was just the way the light was shining on the dew. It is now setting in to fall-like weather here, and this is my favourite time of year. That, and the first few snow falls.

I loved working on this block, Linsay, and thinking about snow and all the fun things to come this winter. It is a classic pattern that I see often in vintage quilts, and I too want to replicate this one for my own. If only I had more time to sew. I loved thinking about hot and cold colours when I picked the fabrics. I think I know more about the colour spectrum now. In the photo the orange looks like a solid, but it's a print...and the it is funny how some of the colours change and sand out. In person, they look a bit different. I'll drop it in the mail today!

I hope you love the finished quilt - I can't wait to see it!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Catching up on blocks

Hi All-
I finally got my new sewing room unpacked and ready to go (well at least enough to sew). I appreciate Chris' patience in my getting the August blocks done! Thanks so much! And Linsay's block was a lot of fun to put together-especially digging through my scraps to find fabrics. Both months' blocks will be in the mail tomorrow!

After painting and getting new floors put in, I am finally able to sew!  I made a design wall out of foam insulation board and quilt batting...only problem is that I have already filled it and need another! I got the idea from Ellison Lane Quilts and Oh!Fransson. Very easy to put together! I am still trying to figure out where to put things on the wall and what to do with my fabric stash-shelving of some sort...just so excited to have this wonderful space to work in! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

January Bee Quilt...FINISHED!!

I am so excited to show you "our" first quilt. I absolutely love the way it turned out and I know I will have it forever! Plus our first cold fall weather is expected this week...just in time to wrap up in it in the evenings.

Here it is ladies....

The front:

And the backing fabric:

The binding:

 I must have taken a hundred photos as I worked on it. I just think the colors and fabrics look so cool!!

And during a lunch break yesterday my kitty thought it was a nice place to take a nap:

Thank you again everyone for contributing your time, creativity, and fabric to our International Stashes Bee!

It was a Swiss holiday in my canton so I had the day off and a few extra hours to quilt. I also finished Lindsay's block:

Lindsay, I will get it in the mail tomorrow. You are also going to have a beautiful quilt to show off! The blue fabric in the bottom right corner came from my grandmother's stash. I think it is from the 1960s. Does anyone know how to research fabrics? There was no marking on it.

Have a good week!


Friday, September 14, 2012

And the quilt continues!

I had some strips left over from Chris's quilt and decided to do something fun with it. I saw bibs like this on pinterest and decided to give it a try. I love how they turned out! I'm planning on incorporating quilting more in my sewing!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hayley's Block for Linsay

This month I didn't have to go hunting for fabric so I got a start on my block right away. 

This block was a lot of fun to put together and only had me using my seam ripper a couple of times. ( I sewed the same block upside down....twice...LOL)

I am sorry about the poor colour quality in this picture. I really went all out trying to get the lighting just right. I think the yellow backing makes everything seem a bit dull and the patterns on three look more like solids.

I hope you like this as much as I do


Monday, September 3, 2012

Katy's Blocks for Chris...

Chris, my apologies for the late send. The month of August was just a blur for me, and my sewing was ignored. I did spend some time early in the month choosing my fabrics for your blocks, and they are a combination I never would have been drawn to on my own, but after working with them, it is all I want to do - I will definitely repeat this mix of colours to build a quilt that is fresh and clean and aesthetically calming. I loved loved loved this month's design... After holidays and work and kids and the last days of summer that occupied most of August, I finally got to sit down today and piece the two blocks together. I hope they fit with your vision. I would have wanted to hang them on the line and take a photo...but it's dark out, so the glare of the flash interferes a bit with the real colours but this is them. And they should arrive soon. I will post them tomorrow. Maybe some of the warmth (33degC here today) will come visit your winter down under :)         love, Katy

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hayley's Block for Chris

Hello Everyone!

I just realized that I forgot to post a picture of my blocks!! 
These blocks should be called the hunt for aqua in Saskatchewan! I had one charm square left in aqua and had ordered more online as soon as Chris posted about the block. However, according to the tracking info they gave me my order went to Manitoba, then Nova Scotia and then back to Manitoba. From there it went to Quebec back to Nova Scotia and back to Manitoba. 

While my fabric was hopping around Canada I searched at 5 different quilting stores in the province and not one had aqua. So I waited and waited and almost a full month later it arrived in Saskatchewan on the 27 After all of that guess what I didn't find in my order......AQUA...LOL They sent one of the 4 different aqua fabrics I had ordered

So long story short here are my blocks. It was late Wednesday night when I got them done so its not the greatest picture. I don't even think I had ironed the final seams when I took the

Can't wait to see then all together!


Fabrics for Linsay's block

Happy Weekend Everyone! I have decided on the fabrics for Linsay's block. Since she is trying to get a charm quilt with no fabric repeated, I thought I would post what I am using.  I will get the white pieces cut and all the pieces sewn together next weekend. Picking fabrics is my favorite part! Hope you are all well.