Monday, January 23, 2017

A Block and a Half ... and a New Quilt Pattern

Alternate Block and a Half ...This block and a half doesn't seem like much of an achievement in terms of fabric and thread and blocks, but  ... it is what's I've been making and what's on my design wall at the moment.

I made them as part of putting together The Three Bears - A fill-in-the-blocks quilt pattern.

This is one of the alternate blocks and a pieced setting triangle from the quilt design. YOU fill-in-the-blocks with a set of your own 8 inch (finished size) blocks to make it your own.

You can purchase/down-load the pattern here or by clicking the image below.

The quilt pattern is called The Three Bears, because fabric yardage and directions are included for three sizes:  

Baby Bear - add 12 blocks to make a quilt that is 54 by 68 inches
Mama Bear -add 24 blocks to make a quilt that is 68 by 96 inches (shown here)
Papa Bear - add 36 blocks for a quilt that is 96 inches square.

The pattern includes fabric yardage needed for each size, directions for making the alternate block and the pieced setting triangles and directions for putting it all together.

There are also coloring sheets for each size quilt and my tips for making half-square triangle units–the math and methods for making them 7 ways.

How would you fill-in-the-blocks and use this pattern? I can imagine that you might use:
  • 8 1/2 inch squares of a large scale fabric that you wanted to feature (and not cut up)
  • Plain squares in which you could feature quilting or embroidery
  • A set of 8 inch (finished size) blocks all the same pattern (maybe some lotto blocks you have won)
  • A set of sampler blocks–you might guess that's my plan ... and you'd be right!
  • Orphan blocks that are 8 inches (finished size) or smaller–add background strips to the smaller blocks to make them all 8 1/2 inches before you sew them into the quilt.
This is how Mama Bear might look made from coordinated batiks, adding the split heart variation in this month's Block Lotto pattern. 

Members of the Block Lotto who make and post lotto blocks will receive a coupon to get this pattern for free–details are included in this post.









Sunday, January 22, 2017

Preparing to Stitch with Victoria ...

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions last week.  My plan for tonight's slow Sunday evening stitching will be stitching with Victoria.

No, not this one–this image from PBS who also shared the fun fact that Queen Victoria established the tradition of brides wearing white after she did so in 1847.

BOTH wearing white and NOT wearing her crown were considered quite scandalous in 1847 ...

I will be stitching along with Victoria on Masterpiece and hope it can catch my interest enough to become a habit.

My handwork project continues to be hand appliqué to stitch down the handles on my small basket blocks.

I considered whether to share an updated photo of the now 38 basket blocks on the design wall, then turned and noticed that I had an all fall down situation going on at my design wall.

DSCN1241

DSCN1242Nine blocks made this week are waiting to be completed and thread picked to use to complete the appliqué.

Other "slow" work going on at Sophie Junction today is related to the quilt design idea shared yesterday–I've been writing and counting, recounting and cross-checking the numbers.  Come back tomorrow for the quilt pattern.



Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday Night (Virtual) Sew In

I have this quilt pattern idea–a "fill in the blocks" setting that would allow you to add your choice of 8-inch blocks.

The 24 blocks you add in the open spaces could be orphans, lotto blocks won or even ... a sampler quilt made by adding 2 each of a dozen blocks.

This quilt, constructed from 8-inch blocks with two borders would measure 68 by 96 inches.  I have been thinking about it as The Three Bears, because it comes in three sizes, Papa Bear (add 36 blocks), Mama Bear (this one) and Baby Bear (add 12 blocks).

What do you think?  Is it an idea worth pursuing?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Finding that rhythm ...

As I was uploading this photo, I realized it was not only the first design wall photo of the year, it is the first since I moved last October.

The first 29 Basket Blocks

I have now made 29 of the small 4 1/2-inch basket blocks and finished hand-stitching the handles in place last night, while bingeing on old episodes of Twin Peaks. Twenty-some years later, it's still strange and wonderful. 

I have an idea for design walls in this small space ... but they are not in place yet.  I may venture out into the snow to pick up the rest of the materials and hardware I need to make that happen ... but probably will not.

I thought that setting  a goal for those baskets would lead me back toward the sewing habit, but at work this week, I worked way too many hours to do anything except come home, eat and fall into bed. During the holiday today, my plan for Monday Making is to pull more scraps, match them up for basket and background and cut the pieces so they will be ready-to-go next to my sewing machine so I can continue to chip away at that 100-block goal. 

During my slow Sunday stitching at Twin Peaks, I wondered if I could re-cultivate my Sunday night TV and handwork ... and how Downton Abbey became my Sunday night habit that provided some rhythm to my week. 

Anyone else still working to re-establish the rhythms of their day/week after the holidays (or some other life change) ... or have a suggestion for must-see Sunday night TV to help me get back into that lovely habit?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

No Scrap Too Small

You've probably heard the saying,

When life gives you scraps, make quilts.

Today, I was thinking ... when the scraps are too small, make fabric ... to use to make quilts. Or in my case a quilt block.


Purple HeartAfter a couple years of making blocks for the Rainbow Scraps Challenge, I find that the fabrics in my scrap bins have become quite small.

So this weekend, I pulled out a bunch of too-small scraps and made the fabric in this 8-inch heart block.

The pinwheel block is made from the bonus triangles created by the snowball corners on in the stars. It is 2 1/4 inches (finished size)

I created the heart block pattern for the January Block Lotto.  We're making the lotto blocks from fabric made from (mostly) red scraps.  So far, 23 quilters have made 120 heart blocks. If you're interesting to take a look, follow the link for some red hot eye candy.


SaveSave
Heart Block Cover ImageWhether you call it crumb-piecing, string-piecing, improv quilting or making fabric, if you're in the mood to make some crumby, scrappy heart blocks of your own, you can find my pattern by clicking the image on the right.

That's Grace Hopper photo-bombing my attempts to photograph my blocks.

Sometimes when life give you too-small scraps (or a cat that insists those quilt blocks are hers), you just have to go with the flow.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

100 Day Challenge Goals

As part of getting back into the swing of things on this blog, I'm joining Jen's 100 Day Challenge.

The challenge is pretty straightforward: choose three quilting/crafting goals to be accomplished in the  first 100 days of 2017.   Here are mine.

Scrap Baskets
1.  Make 100 of these little 4 1/2-inch basket blocks

I love basket blocks but have yet to make a basket block quilt for myself.  For a bed-quilt, I'll need 400 of these small baskets, but 100 would be a good start and I hope motivate me to continue.  

This will also be one of my Rainbow Scraps Challenge project this year–I found five purple fabrics for five of these blocks in my scrap bin.

The outside edge of the basket handles have not yet been stitched down. That's my plan for Slow Sunday Stitching tomorrow.

2.  Create 20 blog posts

I want to get back to more regular blogging, but am having a hard time finding my way back. This goal translates to one post every 5 days (or 1 or 2 each week).  One down (this one) ... 19 to go.

3. Finish this very old Block Lotto sampler quilt.

The sampler-in-progressThis old project has since had borders added, but still remains unquilted, despite two efforts in the past.

Most of the 10-inch blocks in this quilt were lotto blocks in 2005-2006 ... yes, it's THAT old. It's a scrap quilt, made from fabrics that I thought would give this quilt a 1940's feel.  My plan has always been to quilt it with Baptist Fans. I tried first on someone's longarm that was having problems–and I had to rip it all out, then thought I'd hand quilt it ... which never happened.  Now I'm going to try it via free motion quilting.

FYI, all the block patterns in this quilt can be found on the Quilter's Cache website.

First, though, I have to FIND it ... it was packed away for my move last fall and I think it's in storage.

To push myself to get busy on this one, I'm making it my OMG (one monthly goal) for January.

Laura inspired me last year with her year of turning blocks she'd won on Blocklotto.com into quilt tops--one each month. I hope to make some forward progress with some of my block lotto projects this year ... beginning with this one.  If you want to be inspired by Laura's productive last year, she blogged about it here:

Recap of My 2016 Block Lotto Challenge

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The One That Got Away ...

I often buy raffle tickets for quilts, mostly to support the quilters and guilds that make them, but ... I rarely want to win as much as I wanted to win this one.  This is another of the quilts at the Northern New Mexico Quilters Guild's show in which I had a small part.  I helped piece the center–I blogged about it here, coincidentally just after another move ...

NNMQG Raffle Quilt 2016
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