Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Quilting Broccoli


While digging for fabrics for a project recently, I ended up stumbling onto a whole stack of leftover linen triangles from a pillow that I had made for my husband. Then the idea hit me that I could use them with the leftover scraps from my Modern Improv paper piecing pillow to make another coordinating pillow for my parents... but I wanted this one to just happen.


Am I the only who does this?: As I sat down to finish my husband's pillow I was quite perplexed because I didn't have enough triangles to finish all the blocks... so, what did I do? Cut some more... of course. You cannot imagine how annoyed I was with myself to find out later that I actually had cut them (like I thought), but they had fallen behind my sewing machine where I didn't see them.

I suppose if they come to good use in the end, then it doesn't matter how they get there, right?
 

I first started out with a random color layout, but found it to be a little chaotic. When I grouped the colors and organized them a bit, it seemed to have a better flow. There have actually been several projects where it felt like I had just hit a roadblock, until I reworked the color organization.


I also let the shapes within the pillow dictate how I did the quilting by first following them, and then simply echoing the quilting in various widths.


As I've said with just about every improv project that I've ever done, it's an uncomfortable stretch for me, and I'm still left asking myself if I will ever warm up to it. I guess it's a little like eating broccoli... it's ok to try it every once in a while to see if you still don't like it.


What's your "quilting broccoli" that you have to keep coming back to, just to see if you still don't like it?

Linking up this week to Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

#30daysoffabricstacks challenge


Stitched in Color, is hosting a really fun challenge on Instagram, sharing fabric stacks from your stash based on certain themes for 30 days. (details on her blog) The whole idea behind it is to push and stretch yourself beyond your go-to color palettes. Perhaps you already know this about me, but pulling fabrics for a project is my favorite part of making a quilt (if only I felt that ways about actually quilting quilts, then I'd have it made). There are several color palettes that have been a challenge for me, and several that I would have never explored otherwise...

Day 1 #trueblue. This one is a bit of a challenge since blue is my second to last fabric that I grab for my projects... not to say that I don't use it at all, but it's not a natural for me when there are colors like green around.


Day 2 #ethereal. Despite the fact that I usually tend towards high popping contrasts when it comes to a color palette, there is a real appeal to me to have alluring and subtle contrasts. These soft corals, lilacs, pale aquas, and chartreuse accents give a quiet, yet impactful punch.


Day3 #orange. There was once a time that I literally had at least a touch of orange in every room in my house. I grew up with orange, and if I had it my way, there would still be orange carpet in my parents living room today. (uh oh, I'm dating myself as a 70's child) In any case, I recall that an orange and fuchsia color palette appealed to me even at a young age.


Day 4 #newfabric. As silly as it may sound, most of my fabric shopping consists of stash building rather than buying fabrics for specific projects. I have my go-to colors, and I am confident in my preferences. Even though I am simply adding fabrics to my stash, sometimes it ends up looking like a planned project instead.


Day 5 #baby. I know that it's possible to create gender neutral quilts for babies, but I much prefer more gender specific projects instead. Since I ended up with three boys in the house, (the one I married and the other two that look like me) I never really had a chance to play around with fabrics that I might have chosen had one of them been a girl.


Day 6 #folksyfall. I was actually really excited to "re-visit" this color palette... doesn't it remind you of this project? I'm quite drawn to bold and stark contrasts on a deep chocolate background. It gives another kind of pop than if it were on a light background.



In case you are wondering, there's still time to join the contest... it runs until August 6th, and in any case, it's good practice and fun to re-discover old favorites that might be hidden in your stash.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

FREE Summer Smoothie Block Tutorial


Even though it's still a few weeks away until it's my turn to be queen bee, I needed to get things prepared ahead of time for my fellow bee members since I have a couple pressing deadlines for the last part of June. Since I will be sharing the block construction with them anyway, I decided to share it with you too!


Start by printing the free drunkard's path template to actual size. Here's what else you'll need for the Summer Smoothie block:

Cut 4 - outer curve pieces (using A template)
Cut 4 - inner curve pieces (using B template)
Cut 4 - 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles
Cut 1 - 2.5" square


Just so we start things off on the right foot, let me just reassure you that if you've never sewn curves before, they really are not as scary as their reputation. The main thing to remember is to TAKE. YOUR. TIME... these aren't half square triangles, you know. There are so many methods, but I prefer the no pin/or ease method for sewing curves. (check out a few YouTube videos here) One major help, in my opinion, is sewing with a template that is slightly larger than the finished block size, so that one has room for error and can trim to the correct size.

With that being said, once you have your four drunkard's path blocks together, you will want align your ruler so it is1" from the curve, as shown below, and trim.



Rotate the block and trim to 4.5". Repeat with additional blocks.



NOTE: If you are using a directional print for the inner curve, you will want to make sure that you cut the print in the same direction on each set. Below you can see how the print is running horizontal on one block, and diagonal on the other.



Essentially this is a nine patch block, and the assembly comes together in a snap... just stitch the rows together, and then assemble the connected rows for your finished Summer Smoothie Block.


These blocks are super fun and look great horizontal or on point.


Have fun mixing up your Summer Smoothie just how you like it!

Linking up this week to Let's Bee Social.
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