November 2011

A Mod Block for Staci

This month it is Staci’s turn to ask for a block in the Bee Unique…Bee Knotty bee. She chose an extremely easy, but graphically striking block. This is my block for Staci.

Each person in the group received a different solid color fabric, along with a stack of small rectangles that Staci cut out for us to use to make the long strips for the center (thanks, Staci!). The black, white, grey, green and teal colors she chose are wonderful together. The instructions were simple: cut the block on three angles; sew the strips; cut the strips into widths between three-quarters up to two and a half inches wide; sew the strips into the angles you cut; and voila….done.

I can’t remember the last time I sewed a block that was pure fun to put together. This will be an amazing quilt when it is finished.

Until next time,
    Joan

Update on the Farmer’s Wife

With all the Bee sewing I have been doing lately, I haven’t made much headway on my Farmer’s Wife project. I made three blocks this week.

The first one is Star Gardener. It’s block number 87. This was my favorite in this group.

The second block is called Evening Star. It is block 31.

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The third block is called Homemaker, and it’s block 47. This unassuming little block was not easy to make. It has four Y-seams and there was something about the angle of the seams that was difficult to square up.

To celebrate the fact that I am now half way through the 111 blocks needed for this quilt, I spent time today setting up a layout of the quilt in my EQ7 software and imported the photos of the finished blocks into it. I also added some sashing and a border so I can start thinking about how to set these little darlings together when I finally finish. It is fun seeing the blocks starting to look like a quilt.

I set the blocks in the positions recommended in the book, but I can already see that I will have to move some of them around because I have blocks of the same color next to each other. I also need to go in and rotate some of them so they are oriented correctly but I am out of time for today.

Until next time,
    Joan

The Block that Would Not Be Made

Have you ever sewn a block that just refused to cooperate? No matter how much time you spend, how you whisper to it, or threaten it with the seam-ripper, it just will not become a cooperative part of a quilt?

I have spent the last three days sewing one 12 1/2 inch block.

Terrie in the Bee Unique Bee Knotty Bee mailed a darling novelty print featuring snowmen, a red print, and a white on white fabric for the background. She asked that we make her a traditional block which features a snowman.  Simple enough.

Terrie is a hard-working mother of seven (how does this woman have time to quilt, let alone administrate several bees on Flickr?) and I wanted to make something nice for her. I picked out a block pattern, cut out the pieces and spent an entire afternoon sewing it together. I was using a low steam iron to press it so I could photograph it for Flickr and ….. oh, no. The red print started bleeding out into the white background. I lifted the iron as soon as I saw it, but too late. The block was ruined.

I dabbed Oxi-Clean on the bleed with Q-Tips and left it overnight, but when I rinsed it out in the morning it left a pink stain on the right side of the block. Back to the drawing board.

The snowman I picked was unpacking a box of Christmas decorations. So I thought it would be fun to put him in a house that he could decorate. (This is where my creative side leads and my brain goes along for the ride.) So I sewed up a block with the snowman inside decorating.

I went to Flickr to upload it to the group and stopped to read Terrie’s instructions again. Uh-oh. She wanted a traditional block. This isn’t going to fit in at all. Back to the drawing board.

Today I found another block and decided to keep it simple and get this block sewn. I cut out all the pieces but found that the snowman was too small for the center. I spent some time sewing extra pieces of fabric on the snowman center until it was big enough. Fabric was cut, seams were sewn and the block emerged.

Thank goodness. I like the way this block turned out. Maybe the block knew more than I gave it credit for?

Until next time,
    Joan

Quilts on a Chair for Elizabeth

In the Bee Unique Bee Knotty bee group, Elizabeth asked us to make her a 14″ block featuring a quilt, or quilts, on display. For example, they could be hanging from a clothesline, draped over a fence, or folded on a chair. She sent us an inspiration mosiac, and this photo really appealed to me:

Twin Quilts on a Chair, post by L.Meg on Flickr
?I love the rounded back on the chair, which softens all the angular lines in the rest of the photo. So this photo was the inspiration for the block I made for Elizabeth.
Elizabeth asked for a block that was very light and airy, so I added a window and left a lot of white space so it looks like it is floating in the middle of the block. It is difficult to tell from this photo, but the chair is a dark purple.
I have never done raw edge applique before so there was a bit of a learning curve here. I love the way it turned out and am now planning on doing an entire quilt of chair blocks. This was a very enjoyable project and I hope Elizabeth likes it.
Until next time,
    Joan