Tuesday, February 07, 2017

A New Adventure ...

Can you guess why this box full of fiber goodness arrived at Sophie Junction today?

My New Adventure

I will share more when I can take (better) photos in natural light. In the meantime, I confess that coming home after a hard day at work to a beautiful box-full of Aurifil and Superior Threads and some amazing batik fabrics is just the fiber therapy that I needed.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

More Playing with (Small) Scraps

Purple and Teal ScrapsI have been making more made fabric squares ... mostly because I don't have a lot of scraps large enough to do something useful for the Rainbow Scraps Challenge.

These two squares are approximately 7 1/2 inches square: purple to finish up the January color for the Rainbow Scraps Challenge and Teal for the new month.

I used the 4-at-once no-waste method to make flying geese from each square and made a 12-inch version of this month's block for the Block Lotto, Dutchman's Puzzle.

Purple and Teal Scraps
My Dutchman's Puzzle quilt block pattern includes my tips for making flying geese units three ways, including my favorite (used here).

I also included measurements for making the block in sizes from 4 inches (finished size) to 16 inches.

There's also a coloring sheet to trying your own color combinations.

On the Block Lotto this month we are playing with combinations with Pantone's Color of the Year, Greenery.

This choice made me happy, but then again, I've never met a green I didn't like ...

You can find my pattern on Payhip–clicking the pattern cover image will take you there.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

More of the Same ...

Though I have some new ideas brewing and I did make some blocks for next month's Block Lotto (that I cannot yet share),  and though I have made some additions, my design wall looks much the same ...

51 Baskets

I now have made a total of 51 of these little blocks–halfway to my goal of 100 blocks in 100 days.

Baskets made from new FabricsThis week some new fabric arrived at my house and I couldn't resist cutting into it to make some new baskets.

These along with some others will have their handles stitched down later tonight as my continuing slow Sunday stitching.

I have begun to think of these blocks as baskets of worry, fear and frustration.  I've been having a rough time at work–it's safe to say the honeymoon is over there–and when I come home to sew a block or a few in the evenings, I imagine I am leaving my worry, fears and frustrations within them.

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.


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?
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