Bee Block #4

One more block down. I cut the fabric out last night and sewed the block up today during my little one's nap. He woke up just as I was tearing off the paper backing. Excellent timing. :)

Only 3 more to go, maybe 4 if I decide to redo Block#2.

Quilting Bee Blocks #2 & #3

I've finished up two more blocks for the paper-pieceing Quilt Bee I am a part of over on Flickr.
Quilt Block #2

Quilt Block #3
As I'm sewing the third quilt block I was hit with a 'eureka!' moment. Up until this point I've been questioning whether or not I really should have joined the Bee.  Seeing each of the blocks that the individuals in the Bee were selecting, I was wondering how in the world would the 6 blocks I received even go together despite having a similar color scheme.  I'm so infernally picky about the things I make it's almost silly the amount of time I spend getting it 'just right'.  Will I even be able to use these blocks together?

Sewing my test block and block #2 were not making me feel any better. My test block failed to show the great star design because the fabrics I'd chosen were too similar. Quilt block #2 was definitely better but the center seam is off and I'm not sure using the patterned fabric as the 'background' really does the star any justice either. I may actually re-do that one.  Then block #3 came along and I finally got it! I am absolutely in LOVE with block #3. There are SO many things I learned while doing this block.

What did I learn?

Placement of each fabric in relation to the others. Having a solid colored fabric connect to one with a white background made each of the fabrics noticeable and made the star design really shine (wink wink).

Each block consists of four 6 1/2" blocks,  I learned that cutting the two inner sides at 6 1/4" and the other two outer sides at 6 1/2" gave me perfect alignment for sewing the four blocks together while still giving me enough fabric on the outside to square the final larger block into 12 1/2".

Tearing off the paper is the very last step. I tore the paper off block #2 before putting the four smaller blocks together and the points & center suffered because of it.

Being in the Bee was DEFINITELY a good choice. Being challenged to come up with the same block in different color schemes is a fantastic way to learn how to work with color, push yourself outside of your comfort zone and try something new. Additionally it really forces you to practice practice practice, something I'm never patient enough to do with my own projects.

This is such a valuable experience and I'm really looking forward to seeing how each lady completes her block and see what inspirations I can get from them even if I don't end up using all 6 blocks together in the same final product.

Another Quilt begins

Probably more than one. I seriously need to stop buying fabric. I've got fabric for at least 5 or 6 quilts.  I do know what each pile of fabric is eventually going to be, so at least that's good. I think.
Working for a living really cramps my sewing time I gotta tell you. Anyway, on to the most recent pile.

So a couple months back I bought a charm pack because it was on sale. A little later I realize that I'm just not going to be able to make a lap quilt with only a charm pack & a solid color. Then I saw this picture of a quilt in progress on one of the blogs I follow:
Goddess in Progress

I couldn't wait to see when it was finished so I could see the overall design.

Meanwhile there's a sale on the yardage on some of the fabrics in the charm pack I bought, so I buy some and a little while later the lovely lady finishes the quilt top and while it is excellent, its not the look I was imagining in my head. Darn it. Back to the drawing board...

Luckily I came across this quilt:
Little Miss Shabby

Along with an excellent tutorial. Exactly the inspiration I needed. Unfortunately the size appeared to be more of a crib size than a lap quilt. So I decided to buy a layer cake to go with my charm pack and just up the size of the blocks.
Then I realized in order to make it I'd need another charm pack. Son of a ...sheesh.

So now I'm going to kind of wing it I think. Each time I make one big block I get two smaller blocks. So I'm going to make my way through the layer cake, charm pack & extra yardage and see where this quilt takes me. Hopefully somewhere lovely.  This one is eventually going to be going to the wonderful lady who watches my son 3 days a week. For now I'll call it the Curio quilt since that's the fabric line, from Basic Grey for Moda.

My first paper pieced block

After many (many) trial runs I finally finished a paper pieced block. I used Carol Doak's Barbara's Block from her book 40 Bright & Bold Paper-Pieced Blocks: 12-Inch Designs.

I'm thinking that I need to make different fabric choices in order to really show off the nifty piece work. 
More contrast and either smaller prints or solid colors. I have 6 more to make for the ladies in my Quilt bee hive. I'm really looking forward to seeing how each one turns out. 

A little of this, a little of that

I've been putzing around my sewing machine. Finishing odds & ends. My sister-in-law's b'day is this week and I was told she was wanting to get a sewing machine so I made this for her:

Not the sewing machine, but the nifty little caddy that hold's stuff. I found the tutorial via Pinterest. God bless that site. I put the above photo & a little something to go towards the sewing machine in one of the pockets. I wasn't sure she'd know what it was without some sort of reference. It went together really quick and made me think I should make one for myself. All in good time. ;)

I did sew up my February block for InColorOrder's Half Square Quilt-a-long.

This one was a pit of a pain for me to get lined up as well. I'm thinking I may start pressing my seams open. It also turned out about an inch smaller all the way around than my January block. Reviewing the January instructions I realized that I didn't square each block to 3.5" before sewing each block together, which I did do for the February block. So, which block should I redo? Who knows. I'm leaving them for now. 

My curves class starts this week and I'm trying not to start any new projects so I can focus on the class. It'll be a whirlwind of curvy sewing.  Plus I've been working on the block for the Quilt Bee I signed up for and so far I don't have anything photo worthy.

One Shirt Down (sort of)

I finished up the first shirt for Ian's Wardrobe and was fairly pleased with I was taking a photo of it though I thought the neckline looked a little small. Since he was sleeping I had to wait to try it on him. 
As soon as he woke up I tried to pull it on over his head. No matter how I tugged on it, it would not come down over his head. BLAST! So I took the collar off and pulled it on over his head no trouble. I even took the neckline piece and pulled that over his head, both fit just fine. Guess I needed to stretch the  neckline more when I was topstitching it. {sigh}. I need to fix the length of the sleeves as well, they're about an inch and a half too long. Adding that brown stripe across the chest really helped make it the perfect length. 

In other news, I've signed up for the Curves class being taught by Rachel Hauser at Stitched in Color. The first projects, bunting, bibs & a clamshell pillow, have been posted and I'm really looking forward to trying them out and improving my sewing skills.

I've also signed up on Flickr to be a part of the 6x3 quilting bee. There are 7 to each group/hive and my hive will be creating a paper-pieced 12 1/2" block. We'll each sew the design we've chosen in each of the color schemes that we've each selected. I've got my block design in mind and my color mosaic is lots of jewel tones.


Now I get to go buy some lovely fabric and start trying out my paper-peiced block. It'll be the first time I've ever sewn a paper-pieced quilt block. Hopefully my hive won't be disapointed.