Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Canadian Amy's square for Micaela

Happy (almost) New Year!! I hope you've all had a wonderful holiday season. Here is my square for Micaela. I enjoyed doing it, but it is much trickier than it looks. I hope it fits in with your color scheme, Micaela. I ended up using a lot of the same fabrics that I used for my brother's quilt. He is a Buddhist monk living in India. I wanted to make him something that would remind him of his family and friends and came up with this:

Lastly, my grandmother gave us this quilt and a matching pillow. I love it! I love the starry background and the traditional pattern. What a special present!

I'm looking forward to another year of quilting with you ladies!!
xx Amy

Friday, December 27, 2013

Another block for Micaela

I have enjoyed reading about our new members and looking at the new photographs of existing friends.  Welcome to Claire, Pam and Jamie.  I am sure that you will have fun with our group. 

I have made Micaela's December block. I tried to find all the muted blues, greens and browns in my stash.  The end result may be a bit brighter than you were imagining Micaela but I hope it fits in with the other blocks.  The photo makes it look brighter than it is because I took the picture on my windowsill in the golden late-afternoon light.

I have pieced together the blocks from my month and I am in the process of creating a border for it.  As soon as the border is done I'll post a photo.

Have Happy New Year Everyone!,

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Katy Catch Up...

Girls...today is my birthday! So I got a bit of time yesterday and today to sew...in between making a turkey dinner and opening presents and cleaning up and skating and playing with the kids' new toys...

So, I finally squeezed the charity block in just before the deadline! I've always wanted to try a bear paw design...super fun and quite friendly too...

and then I was on a roll and I polished off Micaela's crazy piecing block... I found it a lot more challenging than I thought it would be, but I love the final product! The oranges in the 'real life' version are much more calm and light and yet in the photo they have a much brighter hue...Hope the colours fit your vision Micaela. This will be a beautiful quilt when it comes together...can't wait to see it.

 I would probably have worked on Jennifer's block too but...I own no solids in those hues! Time for a trip to the fabric store!!

Much love, holiday blessings, and happy new year wishes. Looking forward to sewing with and for you all in the new year...


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Crazy Block for Micaela

Happy Christmas Micaela.  I finished your block last night and confess that it was a lot of fun.  I rather like the "shard" look to it, but I am nervously hoping that the colours are what you're after.  I am concerned that some of my light browns are looking a tad to close to peach for your liking. Hopefully there are enough suitable greens and blues to distract you.

I was well and truly out of my comfort zone at first - lots of little insane patches all over the ironing board, all over the floor, all over the cutting mat, multiplying everywhere.  But it did start to make sense after a while.  I found that once the sub-crazies got to a certain size, I could start to imagine how they were going to connect with each other, which enabled me to figure out what extra's I needed to attach.

Obviously my scraps were way smaller than Jennifer's delightful version, but I hope the variation will suit you Micaela.  At times I really did wonder why I used such small pieces of fabric, especially when some of them disappeared to only the white background (spot the learner) or got trimmed off.

Thank you to Amy and Jennifer for kindly passing some of your scraps to me.  Best wishes for the year ahead.

Anthea xx

Sunday, December 22, 2013

January: Giant Modern Nine Patch

Let's Get Started!

(For those of you who are new to the group, you can click on photos to make them larger and see the work in better detail.)

This giant block will measure approximately 23 inches square when finished. It is made up of nine 8 inch blocks using solid colors. It is cut without the use of rulers, yes, freehand cutting with just your rotary cutter! This will allow for slight variations throughout the quilt that I find interesting.  Here is a look at what my final piece looks like sewn together. Yours will have a different arrangement that you create when you sew your 9 blocks together.

Here are the steps:

The solid colors that I am requesting are: various shades of red, browns and tans, whites and creams, black and grays, and subtle greens. Please use solid colors, not marbled fabrics:

Yes to solids such as Kona Cottons by Robert Kaufman:

No to marbled fabrics:
Here is the scrap assortment that I started with, I have a big selcetion of solid fabrics, you won't need this many. The more selection you do have allows for more play as you make your nine blocks and more variation in your final piece.
I used the black and white setting on my camera to check that I had an assortment of values or light, medium, and dark fabrics:

Cut your pieces into 3 inch width strips, if you are using scraps the lengths will vary but the pieces need to be at least 3" long and  up to 8.5 inches long. Remember just eyeball a 3 inch width and cut from top to bottom! (You can use the lines on your cutting mat as a guide.)

Next start making your 9 blocks.
For each block you will need 3 squares which measure 3 inches by 3 inches. Sew and then iron the seams.
Add a 3" x 8.5" inch strip to each side, iron the seams again.
Trim the blocks (you can use a ruler for this) to 8 inches square:
Play around with color combinations for each of the blocks until you have nine blocks, each measuring 8" square.
Now take some time to try some different arrangements for the nine blocks. It is helpful to pin the blocks up several times, take photos, and then decide which layout you like best. These were some of the ways I tried arranging the blocks before I came up with the arrangement that I liked best:
First try:
I didn't choose this one because I felt there was too much white on the left side.
Second try:
I didn't choose this one because I didn't like the connections of the black fabrics on the bottom left.
Third try:
The layout that I liked best. Shades more evenly distributed, I liked the bright red square in the very middle.
I used painter's tape to mark each block for location and direction and started sewing the nine blocks together:
I sewed together one row at a time:
I tried to match seams as much as possible but you can see the seam allignment is not perfect:
I hope you all enjoy making this giant nine patch. I already know that it is going to make one more beautiful quilt for my collection.
Thank you! Feel free to email any questions. I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Crazy Piece for Micaela

Micaela, I loved this project. I had never crazy pieced before and it was fun to see all of the shapes take form from  adding one piece to another and then cutting bits away to add another piece. This block was done all from scraps. I think this type of work could be addicting because it is something that is easy to work on, set aside to go and do somthing else (like get dinner started) and come back to add some more. Can't wait to see what you do with these blocks.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Friday, December 20, 2013

You Made My Day, Week, Month...

Dear Quilting Friends,

I just received the most wonderful Christmas present by email! Thank you so much for all of your kind and generous words. I feel so happy and lucky that I have found ALL OF YOU as well! I also have learned from each one of you. I see that something else is on the way to my inbox from Hancocks of Paducah. Thank you in advance for that gift too. I'm sure much of it will end up in your quilts in the months to come.

My husband and I have just decided this morning to go to Florida for Christmas! We are leaving on Monday morning so I am working to get the blog up and running for the new year by this Sunday night. I have what I hope will be a fresh and fun new idea for the January block. We will be up and running by the end of this weekend if you need an excuse to escape and go to sew during your holiday! My goal is also to get Micaela's block made and posted tomorrow.

Thank you again for everything that you have given to me! I'm looking forward to a new year. Thank you again to Meg, Chris, Doris, and Shauna for their contributions to our group. Please be sure to post your finished bee work.

Here is a quick and colorful look back at 2013!

Love and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Shauna's Block for Anthea

Well here it is :) The sun decided to shine just as I took this photo. I enjoyed putting this block together. The log cabin is one of my favourite patterns. Thank you to Katy, Amy and Micaela for sharing some blue fabrics. This will be a beautiful quilt. Happy December :) Shauna

November Block and Charity Block

HI All!  I hope that everyone is doing well this Holiday Season! It is always an exciting, rushed time here in my household!
I have had my charity block done for awhile now- just need to get it in the mail! I found a tutorial for a modified pineapple block and I really enjoyed putting it together! I can definitely see making more of these in the future!
 Anthea- I think your quilt is going to be absolutely beautiful! I had fun digging through my scraps to come up with colors that you were looking for. I hope you don't mind- I couldn't resist putting the boat in the center. I used the boat fabric when I made ties for my husband and boys a few years ago. I am including a scrap of the boat fabric for you with the block! I hope the colors work well with the other blocks!

I am waiting on one more block for the Christmas star quilt and then I will get it together! The blocks are so beautiful together! It is going to be difficult to part with the quilt-but I will have no problem visiting my mom and seeing it often! :) 
No off to look for fabrics for the December block....
Happy Holidays to all!
Amy (USA)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

November Blues and the Charity Quilt

I don't have the blues; I'm talking about these November Blues for Anthea:

So looking forward to seeing these all put together, it should be a stunning quilt!

And I finally got around to making my 12.5" charity blocks. Because it could have taken me days to decide on what blocks to make, I decided I would grab one of my magazines, and the first two 12" blocks I found would be the blocks I made. The issue I pulled had this "Sparkler" block:

and I happened to have both a yellow & a blue alphabet fabric by the same designer as the focus fabric that Jennifer chose for this year's charity quilt; my finished Sparkler block:

and the same magazine had this Churn Dash pattern in 12":

and again I dug into the scrap basket to make this fun block:

These four blocks made a good dent in my ever-growing scrap pile!  Now to make up the December block and get them all off in the mail...

Merry Christmas,