Sew Frou Frou Quilter

Spreading warm wishes one quilt at a time…


3 Comments

Bee Blocks and fabric indulgences

So much has been going on this month with the kids and trying to keep up with my self-imposed quilty deadlines that my blog has suffered a little.  So let’s catch up.  First, the Albatross is not quilted (yet) but it is basted.

It's a good thing this quilt isn't any bigger or I would have had to baste it in the basement (shudder).

It’s a good thing this quilt isn’t any bigger or I would have had to baste it in the basement (shudder).

I actually ran out of safety pins and had to re-distribute them–I may baste a little too close together but I’ve never FMQ’d anything this big.  This quilt really brings home the phrase “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”.  My goal was to have this done by Valentine’s day but I still had to do my 2 bee blocks for the month.  Since I only have one machine, I switched over my foot and needle to work on those.  So, as soon as my sew kitschy block for February is done, I am on this.

BEE BLOCKS

On to the bee blocks.  First is my block for the Modern InstaBee.  Our queen bee Sarah chose the Stacked Windmills block in The Modern Bee book and asked for scrappy with a low volume background.  I was really nervous about this block since it asked for a scant 1/4 inch seam–usually that means my block ends up an inch bigger than it is supposed to be.  This block went together perfectly though.  I really love how it turned out and Sarah seems to like it too.  I love it so much that I decided to make a duplicate of all the blocks I do in this fabric combo.  The print fabrics are from Josephine Kimberling’s Field Day for Blend Fabrics; the gray/white dot was the last I had so I’m not sure what line it is.   The low volume backgrounds includes some white mirror ball dots by Michael Miller, the French text fabric that came in a blogger bundle from Pink Castle Fabrics, and a very light gray/white design by Dear Stella.

Stacked Windmill blockNext up is the February block for the Stash Bee.  Queen Bee Cheryl asked for a Dutch Rose block (which you will recognize as a smaller version of the Swoon block) using this tutorial.  Cheryl asked for shades of purple and gray on a snow background.  I was excited about this block because I have a Swoon pattern waiting in the wings for me to do out of a bunch of hoarded Bonnie and Camille fabric and I have just been waiting to feel confident enough in my skills to tackle it (yeah, I know I’m ready to do it but Lil Bee keeps reminding me that she is next in line and then of course the teenager starts moaning about being the last one in the family to get a quilt–major mom guilt).  Back to Cheryl’s block, I was worried that my selection of purples are slim but I managed to find some fabric in my stash that worked.

Dutch Rose block

FABRIC INDULGENCES, ETC.

Okay, I hinted at some fabric indulgences.  First, I won some assorted True Colors fat quarters back in January from Scott Hansen at The Blue Nickel Studios

My prize

Speaking of Blue Nickel Studios, Scott asked for birthday blocks bearing the colors of the woods.  My first attempt was a 6 inch bear paw which looked a little sad after I mis-pieced blocks twice (you may have seen it on Instagram) so I opted for just a quarter of that block at 6 inches:

Birthday block for Scott Hansen at Blue Nickel Studios

Birthday block for Scott Hansen at Blue Nickel Studio

Since I am participating in 2 bees, I decided I needed to beef up my stash a little so I bought a few blogger bundles at Pink Castle Fabrics.  I always think I should buy the rainbow bundles but every time, I chicken out.  These fabrics are really gorgeous though and there are a few text/low volume fabrics which I need:

 I also got some golden tickets with this purchase.

I also got some golden tickets with this purchase.

And finally, since I don’t have a lot of low volume fabrics I picked up a few botanics and Echino fabrics from my local quilt store, Crimson Tate:

The hexie bees and bicycles  were just too cute to pass up!

The hexie bees and bicycles were just too cute to pass up!

Have you seen the new tone on tone pearl bracelets by Lizzy House?  I think that may have to be my next purchase.  Am I right?

Advertisements


3 Comments

Stash swap

So this year the local guild that belong to decided to do a monthly blind swap of 12 -3.5 inch squares.  Every month, we get a random bag of 12 squares from someone else and by the end of the year, we will have a finished quilt.  These are the charms I received in December:

IMG_0519

IMG_0518Did I mention that this exchange was with my traditional guild?  No pearl bracelets here:).  (Of course, I didn’t give out any mirror ball dots or AMH squares either.  I chose a traditional looking charm pack  from my stash and cut 12 blocks down to 3.5 inches).  I’m hoping this exercise helps me grow.  Some of the quilts that I find most beautiful have some odd fabric pairings.  I decided to pair the red and blue squares with a scrappy selection of tan/cream and white fabrics and make HSTs for now:

IMG_0517That lower right fabric is Osnaburg (a linen looking cotton).  I have seen some beautiful quilts made by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen using Osnaburg so I have been stalking JoAnn’s  for months and finally found some.  Have you ever tried it in your quilts?


4 Comments

I Feel Good

I knew that I would now.  Just pretend that’s Jackson Brown singing in the background (and not me).  I finished my the top for my Jinxed quilt.  This quilt and I have been through so much in the last 10 months that I literally feel like it’s one of my kids.  Not one of the good kids but the kid that constantly defies you at every turn and makes you dissolve into tears.  I still love it though.  As promised, here are a couple pics that I took.  Lil Bee was very excited to be in photograph assistant.  Hopefully once I get it quilted and bound, I’ll have better lighting for the finished shots.

JinxedOf course the finish wasn’t without it’s mishaps.  I marked all my blocks with a Frixion pen so that I wouldn’t sew them together wrong and thus far, the marks have stayed.  I’ve been assured on Instagram that these marks will fade once I wash it though.

Should I just quilt arrows all over just in case the Frixion pen doesn't wash out?

Should I just quilt arrows all over just in case the Frixion pen doesn’t wash out?

Can you believe that I bought most of these fat quarters of Art Gallery fabrics on sale 50% off.    My LQS has some crazy good sales sometimes:).   So any thoughts batting and quilting?  Should I buy black batting?  I’m not planning on using it for display and I’m kind of worried that it will make the lavender and cream fabrics look muddy.  If you have any experiences with black batting, I would love your input.  I’m think I’m going to hand quilt this one just because my fmq needs a lot of work and I don’t want to do straight lines with the walking foot.

One last photo–it’s my favorite one,

Lil Bee and Jinxed


4 Comments

I’m just giddy with this idea

Last week on IG (note that I’ve now become completely addicted to Instagram), I saw a teaser for making your own text fabric by Latifah of the Quilt Engineer blog.  My first thought was “cool, I don’t have to search all over for the perfect text print”.  But this weekend, I had one of those lightbulb moments that well, just made me giddy.  It’s what I love about quilting–that feeling that you have just come up with the most amazing idea. Do you feel that way too?

My idea involves Lil Bee.

Her eyes light up over paint.

Her eyes light up over paint.

She loves to make art and she does so in large doses.  Note the 6 paintings above that were done in probably 30 minutes.  I love that she wants to create things-it makes my heart warm and fuzzy.  That being said, I’m constantly finding art littered all over the house.  A few weeks ago, I finally convinced her that we couldn’t keep it all (I know, I felt like the biggest ogre but I honestly don’t want to be on a episode of hoarders a couple years from now).  So we went through and picked her favorites that we would definitely keep and hang up in the toy room like

She put this one in the school art show--it's called Crazy...

She put this one in the school art show–it’s called Crazy…

The rest we took pictures of so that we could burn them to a CD or perhaps make a book on Shutterfly.

So anyways, I so want to encourage her creativity and nurture her interest in all crafts.  She so wants to be involved in my quilting/sewing and Latifah’s idea of making your own text fabric got me to thinking.  I could have Bee draw her own pictures on fabric with fabric paint/fabric markers and we could work together to sash all her masterpieces into quilts and give them as gifts to her grandmothers for Christmas.  Heck, it doesn’t even have to be an entire quilt, we could make coasters, hot pads, or placemats with her artwork.  I’m really excited about this idea and so is Bee.  I think it will be a great way to ease her into sewing.

So what do you think?  Stay tuned to see how this works.


6 Comments

Paper piecing rockstar..er, at least working on it

Paper piecing

So this weekend, I decided to tackle that Schoenrock cross so that I could at least make one for the QAL that Leila from Where the Orchids Grow is hosting.  I listened to most of Lesson 1 on my Strip Paper Piecing class with Peggy Martin on Craftsy and instead of easing into paper piecing with the Polka Dot Twist block, I felt I was ready to tackle the Schoenrock Cross.  I always like a challenge.  It didn’t go too bad.  It took me about 6 hours but I did have to rip the seams out of 4 of the triangles (one twice).  Admittedly, it wasn’t too wise for me to use fabric that should be fussy cut because I didn’t get those little girls and foxes completely in any of the strips and my birds that I did fussy cut were an afterthought (you may notice they aren’t centered either).  That aside, I’m happy with how it turned out for my first attempt.

Sadly, I was hoping that I would be able to do 9 blocks of this and make a baby quilt but I don’t think my 1/2 yard cuts of Walk in the Woods is going to stretch that far if I have to worry about where I cut my strips.  So it looks like I will just be doing a some type of strip quilt/simple block design for the baby quilt and using some other fabric for more Schoenrock Cross blocks.  Here is my finished block:

My Schoenrock Cross

My Schoenrock Cross

Isn’t that white embroidered dot cool?  I love it in the block–my machine however did not; since I don’t have a way to lessen the pressure on my presser foot, I was lifting it up every time I sewed over one of the embroidered dots (sigh, just another reason that I need a new sewing machine).  One day…..Anyhow, you should definitely go to the Flickr group that is set up for the Schoenrock QAL -there are some amazing blocks over there–beautiful use of fabric.

So I think I have conquered my fear of paper piecing; now I just have to get over my fear of wasting fabric.  I can see where the strip piecing probably saves on fabric as opposed to traditional paper piecing but I still ended up with a lot of odd shaped triangles (that I am saving but I don’t know that they are useable for something sewn).

Incidentally, the Craftsy class on paper piecing by Peggy Martin is awesome–I bought it during the pre-Christmas sale and it has 6 different paper-pieced quilt lessons in it.