Sunday, March 31, 2013

April Quilt 2013...

April is a time of renewal here in Canada as we greet Spring...the ground warms, the buds turn green, the days feel longer...  I feel fresh and renewed, and looking forward to shedding winter and greeting the sun!

I'm so happy to host April's quilt.

April's Quilt Block is like the 'gimme' question on an exam...the one that everyone in the class will get. And it will hopefully be a fun, easy, and creative few minutes picking fabric, cutting, lining up your HSTs, sewing, cutting and sending off in the mail! Voila, you should be done in less than an hour.

This month we are going to play with value. I'm a beginner quilter, and still learning the ABCs of colour and fabric choice. According to many I've read, a quilt either 'makes it' or 'breaks it' because of the value of the fabrics used, not the I'm going to make a value quilt to practice this skill...I also love how scrappy they look, and think it will be super creative for me (perhaps less creative for you guys...).

The tutorial that I used to get my idea for this month's quilt is found here.

I'd love if you would send me the equivalent of two 12" blocks of fabric, which translates to 8 HSTs in total.

Fabric choice:

Please make 6" blocks of your favourite fabrics (those that speak you), but try to pick a mix of dark/medium/light, and then pile them into piles according to their value. This is what my piles looked like...

 Katie at 'Sew Katie Did' notes that most of us tend to gravitate towards medium fabrics. I think that some in our guilting group probably gravitate more to light and some more to dark, and that is what is so creative about quilting...our personality really does shine through our sewing.

After you've made some piles (in total, you will need 8 blocks of fabric that are 6" square), pair two blocks together, good sides facing, like so:

dark/light, medium/light, or dark/medium

Use the easy sandwich method to turn each pair into 2 HSTs  And that's it. Please don't sew the HSTs together into larger blocks, because I am going to move them around based on the configuration of the 'light/dark' combos before I sew the final quilt top together. In total, I'm hoping you will be able to send me the equivalent of two 12" blocks, so 8 HSTs in total.

Here is what my first attempt at the layout looks like (not sewn, just playing with the fabric combinations still), but I'm excited to see how your fabrics help flush out the entire colour spectrum.

April's quilting commitment should be easy to squeeze in somewhere in the busyness of our lives... I'm so excited to see what you send me...

Lots of love,
Katy from Canada

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Anthea's ocean waves for Meg

Despite my concern over the level of precision required, I did manage to keep every triangle pointy. Phew. It was a fun challenge Meg and I look forward to seeing your end result. I appear to have used a few more blue & white fabrics than the others so far and I hope the blocks are ok for you Meg.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Meg's block from Linsay

I have finished Meg's block but it is Good Friday and the post office is closed until Tuesday.  This evening I am going to Scotland to visit Calum's parents and then my brother so I'll take the block to Scotland with me and post it from there.  It is bound to be a bit cheaper than the Swiss postal system which is a slight benefit.  I have manged to take a slightly out-of-focus picture but I'm sure that you get the idea of how it looks.

I enjoyed choosing a selection of blues for this block and I found a nice white for the background which has a leaf design on it.  The hopeless photograph has also highlighted the pattern on the white fabric which is very subtle in reality.  I love traditional piecing so making this block was very enjoyable, thanks Meg.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hi Everybody!  Just wanted to drop a quick post to let you know how much I LOVE the look of the 'Ocean Waves' blocks that have been posted so far!  I just can't wait to see them in person and get them all put together -- I'm already working on the units for the border:)

A couple of clarifying points:

Several eagle-eyed people have sent emails noticing that the layout of the inspiration quilt and the layout within the actual instructions are different.  Don't worry about sewing your sub-blocks together; I'll sort that out and sew them together when I decide on a layout.  And, please, if you're running short on time or losing your mind with all of the HSTs, just send two sub-blocks instead of the full four required for a block.  I love the pattern but admit to a few pangs of guilt over the size of the block!!

Then, Jennifer mentioned that she'd had some confusion over the "light, medium, dark" blues.  This will likely make some of you who are good with colour cringe, but I actually just cut up a bunch of blues of varying values and paid not one bit of attention to where they landed within the block.  I'm getting a nice scrappy look and I feel perfectly happy with it.  So, particularly if the HSTs are already driving you bonkers, please don't stress too much over fabric placement!

Thank you all so much!!  It's going to be just excited:)  xo Meg

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Jennifer's block(s) for Meg

Hello Everyone,

I think I definitely grew a few new brain cells with this one! Just a couple of simple tips included in the directions on rotary cutting really helped my strips and then squares to be more accurately measured. I have always used the mat to measure (even though I have been warned that mats can warp and not be accurate). So this time I used the markings only on the ruler worked!

Meg, I hope the blue fabrics I chose are what you were hoping for. I probably struggled more with fabric choices this time than with anything else.

And finally...I spent a lot of time reading and rereading instructions. I kept getting confused with the references to light, medium, and dark  fabrics. If you are a visual person like I am, here is a photo of all of my fabrics (complete with kitty fur ball!) before I started sewing them together:

Thanks Meg for another interesting, engaging, and skill building project for our quilting group! This is going to be one more beautiful quilt to add to the collection made by "us!"


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Meg's March Block

I really enjoyed putting this block together! I like HST's....I know-crazy ;)  I loved sorting through my blue stash to find fabrics and couldn't resist using the sailboat fabric in the block. A helpful hint I learned for HST's- cut your squares a little larger than required and then you will be able to square up the HST's to the desired size and (possibly) have perfect points! So for these HST's the directions say to cut 20 blue squares and 20 white squares at 3 3/8" x 3 3/8". I cut mine at 3.5" x 3.5", followed the directions and then at the last step trimmed them down to 3" x 3".  It has really helped me with my HST's.  Can't wait to see this quilt together Meg!

Meg- Just noticed the pattern block is laid out differently than the picture of your inspiration quilt. I placed my sub-blocks in the same direction as the pattern-which ends up with the HST's creating 'flying geese' where the sub-blocks meet. The inspiration quilt sub-blocks are laid out with two of them with triangle points facing in and two with triangle points facing out which will creat a pinwheel effect when you put all the blocks together. It changes the center "shape" of the whole block.  Which layout do you prefer?
Amy (USA)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Linsay's Moroccan inspired quilt.

I am very happy with how this quilt has turned out.  I was going to do all the sashing in blue but the colour was too cold so I decided on yellow which reminds me of the Moroccan sunshine.  I used the blue for the little squares at the corners of each block.  I used three different yellow fabrics and two blues to keep the overall look scrappy.  My original idea for the border was to do one coloured square alternating with a white square but the pattern didn't work so the white squares have gone down the sides and the coloured ones at the top and bottom.

This quit is for Flora and she is impatient for it to be quilted.  I am waiting for the batting to come through the post and I am itching to get going with some hand quilting.  I have a collection of white shirt buttons from Calum's old shirts and I am thinking of putting them in the white areas of the original blocks. 


Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Night Quilting

Hi Everyone! I  wanted to share a baby quilt top that I made this evening. It is using the pattern to one of our projects from last year...that's is Shauna's quilt!

I don't have to layer and quilt it, this is a project I am doing with my aunt who lives in Minneapolis. I just have to send her the top and she will finish everything for me. It will go to a charity event at her church. It was so fun to make this pattern again and experiment with new colors and fabrics.

Happy Weekend!


With fresh eyes on Saturday morning I decided to make all the borders from the same fabric (I ran out of the fabric that I used for the top and bottom in the photo above, so I had to improvise on the sides). I like all the borders the same much better. What do you think?

Monday, March 4, 2013

World wide web block

Here are my blocks which I sent to Amy on about the 22nd February.  The last time I tried to post photographs on the blog I couldn't do it so I have been putting off having another go.  This time has been successful but the flash only went off in one photo - oh well, sometimes you can't have everything.  I had a very nice time making these blocks.  I rediscovered the joy of my stash of small scraps.  Having seen everyone else's contribution to the quit I think the end result is going to be terrific.
I have ordered some additional blue fabrics for Meg's blocks and I'm itching to get started on that.  Great choice Meg.  This is a quilt pattern that benefits from having 11 extra pairs of hands to help out with.  I think if you made all those half square triangles yourself then you would end up seeing triangles in your sleep.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Meg's Spider Webs

Also had a wonderful time this month making the spider webs!  What a colorful and fun quilt this is going to be!

I've made spiderweb blocks before, but always using a special ruler.  I liked the freedom that came with using the strip piecing.  One disappointment I had was that I carefully chose my last fabric, at the tip of the triangle to "pop" then found that a lot of it was often eaten up in the seam allowance.  Live and learn:)

Thanks for the chance to learn a new technique!  xo Meg

'the Ocean Blue' - Meg's block for March

Gosh all, I was 'March' last year and I just cannot believe that I'm already posting another project!  Of course, I've got a new house, new country, new school, new community....maybe all of that has got something to do with how fast the year has gone by.  Anyway, is anyone else as ready for spring as I am?!

Ta Da!!  Just not quite under the wire, here's our project for this month.  I apologize for the slightly late post.  I have a lot of confidence in the site from which I chose the directions, but I'd never actually made this block following those instructions.  I thought I'd better take the time to actually do it, potentially saving some frustration if there was a mistake in the directions.  But they're clear and accurate.

'Ocean Waves'

When I was a kid, my grandfather used to spout off a poem designed to help students remember facts about American history:  "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue; he sailed so fast, he fell on his a@%, in 1492."  My grandma always used to say:  "FRED!!!  That's enough!"  But I've never had any trouble remember the year in which Columbus 'discovered' America.  Maybe now you won't either!

So in honor of my grandpa, we're all going to sail the 'Ocean Blue' this month!  Here's a photo of my inspiration:

Here's the link to directions for the block:

Similar to the spider webs link last month, there are just a couple of places where I've personalized the directions.

1.  Where they say "light" or "medium light" fabric, please use a clear, crisp white on white.  I'm hoping for a clean look overall.

2.  Where they say "dark" fabric, please use a clear, clean blue with any (light, medium, dark) value.  I'm hoping to get a scrapier look than the photo above.  Here's a pic of the fabrics that I'll be using to fill in the extra blocks I'll need:

As you can see, I've worked hard to exclude:  grey blues/aqua blues/blue prints with a lot of other colours.  I did allow in a slight purple tint, because at some point, it's almost like you need to choose which colour of blue you want and the ones I liked seemed to be leaning that way.  

3.  Please only proceed through step 8; then send me the sub-blocks without sewing them together.*  There are a couple of design options for putting together 'Ocean Waves' and having the sub-blocks will let me figure that out on a design wall once I have all of your wonderful work!

4.  Here's a pic of one of my sub-blocks.  It went together easily and I had fun with it!

*  The finished block is very big -- four of these sub-blocks for a total finished size of 20" x 20".   I found it took me 3 hours from start to finish for the whole block.  Please know that if you have limited time, I'm grateful and happy to receive just 2 of the sub-blocks and I will fill in as needed.  

Thanks everyone!  I can't wait to see what you make!  xxoo Meg

Friday, March 1, 2013

Spiders by Doris

Just under the wire, I finished my February spiderwebs up at about 10 p.m. last night.  I try not to let myself go beyond the month they are due (it's a slippery slope in letting myself get behind!).  Amy (U.S.) will be mailing these along with her blocks to Amy:
Enjoying being a part of this group this year... I saw a sneak of March's block this morning--excited for that!  Hope everyone is staying dryer and warmer than we are here in Iowa (snow again today).