Sew Frou Frou Quilter

Spreading warm wishes one quilt at a time…


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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?


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Kona White, white clothes and white shoes

Can you see it?

Can you see it?

I avoid having and using all 3 of these things.  I don’t like buying anything white.  It will get dirty.  Whenever I do buy something white, it inevitably gets something on it by the end of the day and it’s not that I’m more careless or messier than the next person, but I can’t keep white things nice.  It doesn’t help that I live in the rust belt/limestone belt of the nation either.  Anyways, as any good phobic person, I try to stay away from bright white (except for my brief delusion that white kitchen cabinets would be divine with 3 kids).   I will buy  cream, Kona Snow, and off-white items though.   So imagine my dismay when the first block asked for by our Stash Bee hive mama, Heather,  called for a bright white background (ugh).  I can do this, I thought.  It’s just one block-I’ll do it real quick, ship it off and  everything will be fine….

The block is a paper pieced Kite/Mill and Stars block.  It’s really nice.  I unfortunately used a glue stick to keep the fabric on my paper and then scorched the glue when I was giving it a final press.  I’ve dabbed it with water but I can still see the scorched glue so I will be making a second block and not using glue this time–wish me luck or I’m going to have to go buy more white Kona.


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I think I need a craftervention

(Revised.) While I have loved doing the Skillbuilder BOM, it’s always been looming over my head and I’ve felt like that’s all I’ve done all year (mystery quilt and baby quilt aside).  Plus,  I’ve been watching all these fabulous bee blocks everyone has been doing and I really want to do one so I signed up for next year’s Stash Bee.  Also, last week, my traditional guild decided that next year we will do a charm swap every month and make a block.

Cue the 3 BOM e-mails I’ve received in the past week.  I don’t know if I can resist.   First is the Sugar Cube Block 2014 by Amy Gibson .  I have to say that I  have loved seeing all the sugar cube blocks spread all over the internet this year.  Amy’s BOM for 2014 is going to be a mystery though I’m sure it will be super-cute.  I don’t think I’ve seen her do anything that wasn’t cute since I started following her.  Even her children are adorable.  Then there’s Kristy at Quiet Play.  Have you seen the paper- pieced quilt that she designed?  How cute is that?  It doesn’t even have to be a quilt – wouldn’t these be awesome potholders to hang on your kitchen wall!  Gah, the cuteness…. (Actually, I know that I’m going to definitely do Kristy’s –I have to – just look at how cute that Sew Kitschy button looks on my sidebar).  Finally, Alyssa over at Pile O’Fabric has another fab BOM planned for next year It’s a sewing theme – I don’t know about you but I have been coveting sewing themed blocks ever since the Sew Out Loud QAL 2 years ago   sew out loud quilt along.  Seriously, I know I can’t handle 5 blocks a month on top of the to-do list of quilts that I want to do but these all sound so great. Maybe I should just do Kristy’s and hope for a couple adorable potholders.

By the way, did I mention that I started a honey cowl; yep after 3 hours of knitting, I have exactly one row to show for it.  It has been relegated to the after Christmas (maybe) pile.  I’m also seriously tempted to use my blue and orange DS Quilts fabrics to participate in the APQ quilt-along that’s gearing up.  Uh yeah, about that craftervention.

Wow!  look at that progress….

Wow! look at that progress….

I did manage to catch up on 2 more blocks for the Skillbuilder BOM-only 2 more to go and I can do all the fmq that I haven’t done since the first set of blocks…

Confession by finished, I mean it's fused.  I wussed out on the piecelique and I'm just doing raw edge appliqué.

Confession -by finished, I mean it’s fused. I wussed out on the piecelique and I’m just doing raw edge appliqué.

So do you have an elf on the shelf or a variation thereof?  Our “elf” took selfies the other night while riding on the broken airplane in our office and made a slide show.  Lil Bee was thrilled to tell her friends about it.  What does your elf typically do during December?

Flying elf


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I have been doing stuff

Between all the dentist and orthodontist appts, and play week and sick kid week;), I have managed to do a little bit more on the SkillBuilder BOM.
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Not too happy with this one – it looks like I put a pink circle on a paper bag-well, they can’t all look fabulous.
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These are the Candyland blocks – I’m happy with these.
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A stash pull for an orange and blue quilt that I am obsessing about. I think it needs more blue and maybe another yellow. What do you think?


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A weekend of progress

I don’t know if it was the fact that I was following all the sewing summit posts on Instagram or if it’s because I have 2 quilt guild meetings this week but I feel like I did more this week than I have in a while.  I probably still won’t have anything to show at the guild meeting since I seemed to jump around on projects but at least I am progressing forward.

So I am still working diligently on the my 3rd(4th?) attempt at the Diamond Carat.  Seriously, this block is kicking my butt.  I am just hand piecing it now and that seems to be working better than the attempts at EPP and paper piecing it (the directions called for EPP).  Hand sewing is a nice thing to have for the evening since I can do it in front of the tv with the rest of the family; I don’t feel as guilty doing that as I do running off to my sewing machine in the evening.  I have decided this pass at the block is going to have to be gold because I am not doing it again.  I think Alyssa was prepared for that instance since one of the blocks (that I haven’t made yet–did I mention that I’m a bit behind) actually ends up making an extra that Alyssa sweetly suggests we could turn into a pillow.

I, or rather TweezerGirl and I, finished my Broken Arrow Block.  Can I get a WOOT, WOOT?

I'm a little in love with this block.

I’m a little in love with this block.

Isn’t TweezerGirl cute?

Tweezergirl has it all together!

Tweezergirl has it all together!

After all the picking of freezer paper, she still looks happy and composed.  So with TweezerGirl’s help I am now ready to move onto Blocks Lesson 7.   Uh yeah, the group started Block 9 last week.  I haven’t even logged onto Flickr to see just how many people are actually keeping up.  I still have to quilt mine before I can actually say that I am caught up.

I worked a little on the “Jinxed” quilt.  I am so close to the end with this quilt, I really just need to finish.  True to form with this quilt, I realized that I cut a whole bunch of triangles down that should not have been cut down:-\   Fortunately I bought my black Kona with a coupon at Joann’s and told them just to give me the whole bolt (so I don’t have to worry about matching dye lots or anything).   I’ve started sewing blocks into rows and then got tired of pressing so worked on sewing the piano key border together.  Cross your fingers for me, I may just have a finished top by Thursday’s guild meeting.

My ten year old son has decided that he no longer wants his “baby” furniture in his room (actually he decided that about 2 years ago but we’ve been stalling because it was hard enough to paint over the mural of Thomas the Train back then).  We finally decided we would paint over it because It needed some serious cleaning if we wanted to sell it.  So today, I sanded and put the first coat of black paint over this…

It just broke my heart to cover this cute design up.

It just broke my heart to cover this cute design up.

This little dresser served as a changing table for all 3 of my children and I just have to face it, I don’t have any babies anymore.

Watched Mr. H. play his last football game of the season on Saturday.

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They lost.  Poor guys, they were doing so well in the first half and then it just all fell apart.  I’m going to miss seeing this little guy in his jersey and orange pants every weekend.

And lastly, I blogged.  I hope you all had a productive weekend too.


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Trying to catch up on my BOM blocks

I finally took a break from the Mystery Quilt or as I affectionately call it “Jinxed”.  I decided I was rushing and making too many mistakes.  As much as I would like to finish something, I want to be happy with it too so I’ve decided to catch up on my Skillbuilder blocks. –I’m a tad behind.

So here is the Shattered Chevron–it took me way longer than it should have.  That happens when you have to re-do just about every seam you sew.  The only part of this block that worked for me was making the HST’s 8 at a time–the only way to make HSTs IMHO.  I love the look of HSTs but trying to get my machine to sew over all those seams, that’s another story.  Surprise!  I made a mistake on this one too and I’m not fixing it.  I know that sounds like a poor attitude but I kind of like the triangle effect in the bottom row so I’m keeping it.

The "modified" Shattered Chevron from Pile O'Fabric's Skillbuilder BOM.

The “modified” Shattered Chevron from Pile O’Fabric’s Skillbuilder BOM.

So, you know how you look at the back of some people’s quilts and they have those perfectly pressed seams?  Mine never look like that–I pin, I press every seam and starch the heck out of it but still it’s not pretty.  What am I doing wrong?

Next up is the Broken Arrow block.  It’s an improv block so I’m sure that I will enjoy it a lot more.    Hopefully, it won’t take me as long to catch up on these next blocks.  I hope your sewing time has been more productive.