Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New'Bee Blocks put together

I am a player in the  New'Bee quilt bee . The focus is using 'made fabric' (aka scraps) as much as possible.  January was my month to share my design ideas.  I asked the ladies to make a 100% 'made fabric' block like this:

I have received all the blocks and I've made a few to complete the design.  Today I sewed them all together.  I'm thrilled with the results.  The fabrics are amazingly varied, while the blocks are quite similar.

I love playing with blocks that make secondary patterns. .. little pinwheels, big pinwheels, hour-glass, big square, small squares, and 3-D.  When I first planned it, I was thinking only pinwheels.  The more I look at it, the more I see.  How about you?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Triangle fun - two more blocks

Victoria's Triangles Galore pattern should come with a warning attached:  Caution: Addicting!
 My two newest blocks:

(the background color for the dark points is a dark grape)

So far I have made 4 blocks, I have another cut out, I have pulled fabric for at least 8 more blocks,  and I have a whole stack of fabric waiting for review.

Last night I decided that NOTHING in my stash was sacred.  I will use whatever catches my fancy, regardless of whether I had other ideas for a particular fabric.  The chances are that a) I'll have plenty of fabric left over, b) I can find a substitute from within my stash, or I can raid my friends' stashes, c) I won't get the "original" pattern made anyway.   I've put together some strange  interesting combinations - think lettuces, onions, garlic! These blocks won't be ready until next week.  I cleared off my big table in preparation for the international neighbors quilting class that meets here once a month.  Once that is over, I'll be back in the triangle mode.  LOL.  Gotta get my fix of cool fabric / color combinations!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

More play - triangles galore

It's the weekend, right?  Time to play.  All work and no play could make quilting a dull hobby.  Consequently I play a lot. It doesn't have to be a weekend either.

Victoria of Bumblebeans, Inc. and posted a tutorial called Triangles Galore.  This block is beautiful.  It offers a lot possibilities for different fabrics and different colors, and for experimenting with seldom used palettes.   I decided to try it.

My first effort was full of 'troubles'.  The center ballooned.  Triangles will do that to you with the bias edges and all.  I did a lot of unsewing and resewing.  That is a no-no.  More stretching of the fabric.  In the end I TRIMMED the large wedges to size and sewed them up.  Trimming worked to make the block (sort of) but, it isn't the right way, and triangle points didn't meet where they should.

My second effort turned out much better.  I figured out that I shouldn't match the points of the triangles, but off set them slightly by matching and pinning at the intersections of the seams.  Now, this is a BASIC piecing step that I know, but always forget especially when machine piecing. Maybe I have learned it now.  Anyway, no ballooning this time.  No need to trim anything down, and the triangle points met as they were supposed to.

Now that I have the technique down, I am going to be making more of this block.
Time to go play with  more colors and fabrics.  See ya later!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Taking time to play

I know I need to buckle down and get going on a wedding quilt.  I have components of it made, but I haven't pulled it all together.  Instead I have been playing and trying out new stuff.

I started to make fabric with my scraps and got sidetracked from the usual modus operandi for that project almost immediately.  I had come upon a basket of tiny squares (1.5 inches) that have been waiting for "action" for a loooong time.

Hmmm....  I could make a checkerboard as I had plenty of gray marble squares that could separate all the different colored scraps or  I could make the postage stamp pattern using all the colored scraps randomly.  I started making the checkerboard.  I didn't want a zillion gray squares left over and have to cut more 1.5 inch scraps to go with them.

Gray and color,  gray and color, gray and color..... repetitive... boring. What if.....
I sew these blocks in the order they happen to lie after chain piecing and being dumped on the ironing board?  

And then mix up the four patches when they go together?

I love the randomness of this with its sparks of half square triangles.

16 x 16 with border
I still have plenty of little squares left and will probably add them as a few more rounds as I grow this piece of play.