Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Planning can indeed be helpful

November was Gretchen's month. She sent a beautiful array of fabrics and asked for 2", 3.5", 6.5", and 9.5" square-in-square blocks. Her plan is to create a quilt inspired by Kaffe Fassett's "Jewel Squares" design.

Here is what I came up with:

Gretchen's blocks
I really wish that I could have made more of the larger size blocks (9.5" and 6.5"), but because I didn't go into my block-making with a plan, I just didn't have enough fabric. I cut various widths of fabric and then kind of built my blocks randomly. I didn't waste fabric, but if I had planned better at all, I could have made at least a couple more 6.5" blocks and fewer small ones. On the bright side, this seems like a design where the small blocks will definitely be useful.

Judging from the blocks others have posted in the flickr group, it definitely looks like this is going to be a spectacular quilt!

December is a break month for this group, and then my turn comes up in January. At this point, I still have no idea what to do. Hopefully, I'll have a plan soon! Because, as these blocks have reminded me, having a plan can indeed be helpful.

I can't measure

Or maybe I can't measure, do math and cut accurately. That's more like it.

Gretchen, these are on the way to you. Like everyone else in the bee has said these were addictively fun. My measuring sucks, apparently, because I tried to make a 9.5" block, but couldn't work it out. Also the bottom right one is only 6" (I didn't have strips long enough to go around to make it large enough). Maybe you can use it as a base for a 9.5" block? I also tried twice to make a 2" block. Disastrous.

Surprisingly I really liked how the fabrics worked together. Surprising because if Gretchen had just told me about the color palette I would have thought she was crazy. I think the brown, orange and teal look so cozy and inviting together. My favorite is the top left and the small brown and teal one. This will be an awesome quilt.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

For Gretchen from Kris

I love the fabric Gretchen sent and I had a ton of fun doing these blocks. I think this quilt will be spectacular! Here are the blocks I made (6.5" and 9.5"). I meant to make some smaller ones, but just couldn't help myself and kept making them bigger :)

Snip.Sew.Send blocks for Gretchen

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Well, I must say these squares were quite addictive! I decided to paper piece them so that it would become a mindless activity. It is nice not to think every now and then :) Gretchen sent so much fabric that I decided I would make a layout that would be nineteen inches by nineteen inches if sewn together. There are a total of 30 blocks. On some of them I really did use the last bit of fabric, so those will be a little shy of the unfinished size, sorry. If they are too small for you Gretchen feel free to add to them.


So sorry!

So I got behind, really far behind actually on my bee committments and I'm truly sorry. I finally dug out my fabric, sewing machine, cutting mat etc last weekend and finally found time to work on my blocks today. Thankfully my month was October (I love all the blocks I've gotten so far!) so I didn't have to worry about it but September was still looming over my head.

But not anymore!!!!

Snip Sew Send September

The task was stars and I immediately knew I wanted to make a wonky one because I love wonky stars :). From there the red, white and blue color scheme seemed best fit in a flag block.

I don't normally use batik fabrics but I really like them in this block.

Since I was on a roll I also knocked out my blocks for November. My goal, is of course, to avoid ever getting behind again!

Gretchen asked for squares in squares and I have to say these blocks were quite addictive!

Snip Sew Send November

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Can you believe it's already August?"

I almost cried when I re-read Zonnah's card and realized that it's almost November.  Yikes!  I was terrified to do these curves since I've never done them before so I wouldn't let myself finish any other bee blocks until I completed this one.  I used a pattern from Purl Bee for Curved Seam Pillows , and shrunk the pdf by half.  It worked out pretty well and the instructions on the site were a great intro to curved seams.  My picture definitely suffered from being in the bright sun - the shadows are making those puckers look worse than they actually are (although there's no denying that they exist).  Learning some new skills, such as curved seams, was why I joined some quilting bees, so thanks, Zonnah, for the challenge - and enjoy!   ~Gretchen

Shot cotton love

Have you seen those gorgeous shot cottons from Kaffe Fassett? I thought I had, but let me tell you-- a computer screen does not do the fabric justice. I had not been so up close and personal with the fabric until Nichole sent some Thunder to use in her block this month. I had heard people describe it as iridescent looking, but didn't really understand until now. It really is. WOW! LOVE I'm telling you!

Nichole requested a big block (16.5") with 1 to 3 individual flowers surrounded by the fabulous shot cotton background. She said she loves bright, bold colors, so that's what I tried to do:

Snip.Sew.Send. October block for Nichole
It was a fun block to make. I started by cutting out my flowers and then measured them to see how big they were. Then I used graph paper to help me figure out the sizes background pieces.

I have a feeling that Nichole's blocks are going to create a spectacular quilt!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thunder is one of the best color names

First, the purple shot cotton Nichole sent us for October is delicious.

I didn't think I had a lot of flowers in my stash, but I was able to find several. These three looked best in the Thunder field.

Amazingly, the block when smoothly and that scares me. I checked and double checked the instructions so I think I am good on that end. It was fun to arrange and rearrange the flower placement. I decided on this so that the flowers were further from the center, but still kind of balanced. By the way, the littlest flower on the bottom right isn't that close to the edge. Some of the side got cropped out of the picture.
I am really interested in seeing the finished quilt. The block should be in the mail tomorrow! =]

Friday, October 23, 2009


This months from Nichole was a bit of a challenge for me because I don't have a stash. I do have leftovers from all the quilts I have made but none of those had flowers in them. I did have the floral print from my month but it did not go with the purple. So I did some begging and got these flowers :) My favorite is the yellow one. This picture really does not do it justice but it looks really good with the purple. I had a lot of fun fussy cutting and doing the math to make the block.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Liberty Gardens for Nichole

I also made two blocks for Nichole. For the flowers I dug into my stash of Liberty fabric. The shot cotton was so nice to work with and the blocks were very simple to assemble. I hope she likes them! I know the pictures aren't great, but I'll post some close-ups of the flowers on my blog. One of them isn't even a flower, it's a dragonfly . . . but I still think it's pretty.

I also posted a picture of all of my September blocks together. I'm still waiting on a couple more and once they all come in I'll post a picture of all the blocks and post it here. I think they look really great together. Thanks again, Ladies!

Monday, October 12, 2009

With apologies for lateness...

Yesterday, I finally completed September's Snip.Sew.Send. block. Sufficit to say, I'm late. I have already sent some profuse apologies to the ever-gracious Lisa, and I should have her block in the mail to her on the morrow. Yay!

Lisa sent a variety of fabrics: red, blue, and green batiks, red and white prints, and some solid white. She loves scrappy quilts, and her fabrics really reflected an eclectic and fun style. Her block requirements: include each of the different fabrics in the 10.5" block, and include at least one star.

Sounds simple, right? Sigh... not for me. I felt overwhelmed by the array of fabrics and I just couldn't envision anything that seemed "right." But then one day, I ran across a post in Kathy Mack's Pink Chalk Studio blog that inspired me. She had recently made a wonky, free-form star block called "Maverick Star" AND she included some links to tutorials on how to do it. Perfect!

I used the Quiltville tutorial for "Maverick Stars!!!" and followed it pretty much to the letter, except that I used 2" squares instead of 2.5" (because I wanted smaller stars). It worked great. But then I kind of got stuck. I didn't have enough of the blue or green fabrics to make more stars, nor did I have enough of them to fill-in the surrounding areas (though that is what I had hoped to do). But I did have lots of red. So, I put red four-patches in the corners.

I think the result is kind of festive-looking in a crazy, scrappy kind of way. And I like the vibrancy of the red four-patches. I also like that I was able to push myself out of my comfort zone to make this. It is maybe not aesthetically perfect (at least, not to my mind), but I think it has a certain charm to it. Hopefully, Lisa will think so too.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Flowers for Nichole's Garden

I had a lot of fun with the gorgeous fabric Nichole sent. When I read the instructions, I really didn't think I had many flowers in my stash, but when I looked, I found a whole bunch. I picked a few that I thought coordinated best and I hope it works for your vision, Nichole! I made two blocks and used just about all of the fabric you sent. :)

September block for Nichole

September block for Nichole

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Midnight in the Garden

Alright ladies I'm sorry I'm behind! As previously mentioned my husband and I are in the middle of moving and I just haven't been able to get my fabrics organized and sent out sooner.

A field of flowers quilt, originally uploaded by filminthefridge.

The idea is relatively simple, although I am asking you to dip into your own personal stashes a bit to help me out. One of the things I've wanted to do for a long time is to redecorate our bedroom in deep purples and grassy greens and I thought a "garden quilt" would be a great complement to that scheme. Unfortunately I don't have enough different floral prints to make an interesting quilt so I'm hoping you will share some of yours. I'm going to be sending everyone about half a yard of "Thunder" Shot Cotton and ask that you each make a 16.5 in by 16.5 in block that contains 1-3 different flowers. The flowers can be any size but I ask that like the inspiration quilt above you cut close around the flowers to eliminate as much of the background pattern as possible. You can use whatever color or type of flower that you like as long as it coordinate with the purple. I also ask that you not center the flowers in the middle of the block as the idea is to create the impression of a random field of flowers.

Hope that makes sense! I'll include a diagram with your fabric which I plan on sending out today!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Scrappy Star for Lisa

After brainstorming different blocks, I settled on a version of the Galaxy block in the book(let) Miss Jump's Favorites by Linda Brannock. None of the pieces were intended to meet up exactly or be perfectly symmetrical which really plays to my strengths.

The outer squares and quarter circles were stitched together by machine. The star and inner two circles were stitched by reverse applique. Then the two sections were stitched to each other with reverse applique again.

The block is a little wonky, a little scrappy and a lot hand-stitched. I hope it looks quirky and fun rather than sloppy. I really liked using all the different fabrics and found this to be a really creative and fun challenge. Thanks, Lisa! =]
P.S. Lisa, please, please do me a favor. Don't put my block next to Zonnah's. Even though we used similar techniques my stitching doesn't even compare to hers! Thanks, you're a doll! ;]

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Stars for Lisa

Here's my block for Lisa at Blue Dress. I love scrappy quilts and wonky stars so I went with something with lots of pieces. I hope you like it!

September block for Lisa

Friday, September 18, 2009

Stars In My Eyes

This month Lisa from Chemistry Couture sent out some fabric with the requests of scrappy, stars, and 10.5 by 10.5 blocks. I have never done scrappy and when I completed my block I am not sure if it classifies as scrappy. I am actually quite nervous that it might not blend into the rest of the quilt. Lisa, if it does not let me know and I will gladly make another. Besides the scrappy part, I am in love with this block and how it turned out. All of the stars are reverse applique and was pretty easy to assemble. Hope you like it? Oh and is this a Fourth of July quilt? :)



Sunday, August 30, 2009

Zonnah's got curves

{Plan A, which didn't come to be}

Zonnah asked for 7.5" square blocks with curves and circle featuring the floral print and the red as an accent. I sketched out several blocks, but decided on this half flower. It was inspired by a magazine ad for a spa in Savannah. I used the freezer paper method to piece it and colored the paper with colored pencils to see how the finished block might look.

{The block that is}

Somehow the block ended up 7.5" tall but only 6.5" wide, thus the orange strips flanking the flower. This was my first flat work with curves. I've sewn curves in garments, but this was a lot different. Zonnah, you really stretched my skill on this block and I was very happy for it. I hope you like it!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

September. It's my month for the quilting bee. I've changed my mind a million times over the past few months . . . what to do what to do. I picked out the fabrics a while back and a lot of them are batiks, which I've never really used before. I like the mix of red and blue and turquoise and green, I just didn't know what to request from these Uber-talented ladies. I've finally decided on something, though! I am asking my fellow Quilters to make me any kind of block they want, there are only two rules. Number one, try to use each kind of fabric I send (I'm sending each person, like, eight different large swatches . . . hey, I LOVE scrappy patchwork and this quilt qill be no exception). This might be tricky, because while I love jumbled up randomness, I know some people like things to be more simple and ordered, and too much fabric might go against their artistic sensibilities. I'm sure everything will work out, though. Number two, please put at least one star somewhere on the 10.5X10.5" block. The stars can be pieced, appliqued, embroidered, five-pointed, six-pointed, 25-pointed. Whatever you come up with! I think it will be awesome. I can't wait to see how it all comes together. Let me know if you have any questions, and have a wonderful month! ~Lisa

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Geese on the brain

After the last couple of months of doing everything at the last minute with no small amount of stress (I swear, I'd blink and then the month was gone!), I decided I needed to try something different and finish my block before the end of the month. Crazy!

August is Zonnah's month and she requested a 7.5" block that included circles and/or curves. I've had flying geese in my brain lately (in more ways than one, maybe!) and I decided to try and get them out of my system.

original block drawing
Inspired by this and this and Gail Garber's book, Stellar Journeys: Flying Geese and Star Quilts, I drew this block.

Then I used freezer paper foundation piecing to create the geese (a la this fabulous tutorial from Twiddletails).

samples of my freezer paper foundation pieced geese
This was my first time trying this technique, and I was super happy with how well it worked. I can see why many prefer it to traditional paper foundation piecing-- no dulling of the needle and no having to tear paper away!

I decided to go ahead and applique the geese onto the background. This may not have been the best decision because I had a very difficult time trying to position them (I did them needleturn, using freezer paper on top) and there was a lot of bulk in the seams. I had to do a couple of the points twice before I was happy with them. I suspect it probably would have been easier to just do some curved piecing. Live and learn!

completed block for Zonnah
The points are still not perfect, but I'm feeling okay about them at this point and I am happy with the overall look of the block. Hopefully, Zonnah will be happy too!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I heart circles!

I really liked that Zonnah challenged us all to circles. I pieced a circle and used fusible interfacing to applique the circle. I figured that would be easier with all the seams around the edge. I hope she likes it!

August Snip.Sew.Send block for Zonnah
August Snip.Sew.Send block for Zonnah

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A block for Chen

July is Chen's month and her instructions were to just go for it. How could I not be inspired?

I received 6 strips of fabric, ranging in size between 3 and 5 inches wide and then 18 to 22 inches long. Eeep! That's not a lot of fabric to play with. (There goes that idea for an applique block! Not enough to to really piece a background and have any left to applique... close, but not quite.) Fortunately, she sent along a couple of links to check out for inspiration, and in one of those I found a link to Andover Fabrics' free quilt designs. It was there that I finally found my muse:

SSS - Chen's block
I drew from the Sugar Snap Quilt design and scaled down the blocks to create a 12" block. It was only after I stitched it all together that I realized I had created a sort of nine-patchy look in the way I placed my fabrics. Funny how that worked out!

It's a simple block, but I was happy to find something that I could use all the fabrics in and that could easily accommodate the fabric pieces I was given. Hopefully, Chen will be happy too!

Friday, July 24, 2009

I broke the rules. I used white on the outside of Chen's block . . . but I couldn't help it. As soon as I read the words "please don't use white on the outside of the block" I got the image an incomplete block in my head. Just the corners of a block with a big strip of white in the middle that would blend in with the sashing when the quilt is finished. So thats what I did. A big ole' diagonal strippy block with white in the middle. I used some solids from my own stash to compliment the pretty fabrics and I think the final product is simple but nice. And of course if the white on the outside bothers Chen she can add a strip of something to the outside of the block to frame it in :)

I've really loved looking at everyone's designs for this quilt. You guys are so creative!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mail Delivery

It is August and my turn :) The finished quilt will be for my sister. I have already informed her how it was going to be made by 11 other random people that I have never met. She just looked at me like I was a crazy person. Lol. I would like the theme to be circles and or curves. Get creative and make whatever you want. I would like the size to be 7 ½ by 7 ½. The floral is the dominate fabric and the red is just for an accent. Please just use the fabric provided, if you need more or made a mistake just let me know and I will send you some :) You should be getting your fabric soon since I sent it off today!


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Chewy Strawberry Nougat Centers

{Chocolate Lollipops with a chewy strawberry nougat center}

At first I thought I would slightly alter a pattern I found in a quilting book, but once I received the fabrics I had to rethink things. I agree with much of my hive in that the patterns and colors really called for bigger swatches of fabric. With my first choice I would have cut fairly small pieces and I think it would have taken too much away from the fabric themselves. However, I will use that idea in the future mainly because I thought of two or three hilariously ridiculous names for the pattern. Forget about that now.

In the end I chose to steal a design I saw in another quilting bee. It is based off a classic quilt block, Kansas Dugouts. Going with the theme, I think they look like donuts or high class chocolates with chewy strawberry nougat centers.

{Measure twice, cut once is totally lost on me}

OK, I am a very "fly by the seat of my pants" girl and didn't really plan and check everything out the way my Girl Scout Leaders probably taught me a million years ago, but this lets the brain work and clean up the cobwebs that have collected in the nooks and crannies.

I had the other three print fabrics traced and cut when I tried the template on this last print. It didn't fit. I thought about cutting the strip in half, in using it as the little triangles, of searching for more of this fabric, but in the end I just made up the difference with what was available and I am glad to say that every last thread of this print was used to make this portion of the block. Hopefully the pieces blend in with the print.

Is it bad etiquette to point out blunders? But is this really even a blunder? Honey, I hope you don't think so because I think its frugal and resourceful. =]

Sunday, July 5, 2009

For Chen from Kris

While driving back and forth to Philly this weekend, I got Chen's block done.

My weekend drive

I loved the fabric! I'd been thinking of doing this design for a while and her fabric seemed like it would work well. I ended up doing the majority of the circles using freezer paper since I was going to actually applique them in the car, but one is done with fusible interfacing. Both methods seemed to work pretty well and I'll probably use them both in the future.

Snip.Sew.Send. block for Chen (Mushyhead)

Yup, that's a shot from the car. :) Jon (my boyfriend) thinks this block looks like "mass scattering from the center of the universe"... I thought that summed it up pretty well.

p.s. How great are Chen's return address labels!?
Mushyhead's Return Address Labels

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Candy, Candy, Candy

This months block was a fun one. Having open range with such beautiful fabric was a dream come true. The block size was new to me. I am used to five inch square blocks, lol. This felt like I was making a mini quilt. For this block I had something in my head that was a cross between a dresden plate and one of the Dear Jane blocks I recently did. I took out my graph paper and pencil then went to work. Most of the block was pieced together in the method Robin just posted about for her June block. The curved white pieces were not in the original design but when I got to that part there was too much going on and I needed to break it up and so in came some white. The hardest part for this months block was fitting a pattern to the amount of fabric I had. Not total fabric but the individual pieces. For instance the big corner pieces I could not have cut out of the smaller prints if I had wanted to. While talking about the fabric, it was such a good idea to send everyone different fabric. I first saw Nichole's block before I received my fabric and was planning a block based on those fabrics, only to open my envelope and see different prints. I am not complaining for I LOVE the fabric I got. Anyhoo, this was fun and I am excited about next month, my month. Here is a sneak peek of the fabric for August.


How many ways can you make a block?

My name is Robin, and I am a procrastinator. But-- I got Adrienne's block done and sent off on time, so I don't feel too bad about it!

I've been enjoying reading how some others went about making their Hop, Skip, Jump-inspired blocks for Adrienne, and thought it would be fun to share yet another way one can go about it. This is how I did it:

First, I drew a 6.5" by 12" rectangle on freezer paper, subdivided it into wonky sections and numbered them.

I cut it all apart.

I ironed the freezer paper pieces to the right side of the fabrics and cut them out with 1/4" seam allowances. (Since she said she wouldn't mind, I also couldn't resist adding a couple of fabrics to the mix she sent).

I used a pin to help hold the pieces together at the top corner (because freezer paper is slippery), and then stitched the seam. I worked left-to-right.

Here it is all stitched together.

And here is the completed block, trimmed and ready to go!

This first month was a lot of fun-- I'm really looking forward to the months ahead! (I just got Chen's fabric for July... oooo...yummy!)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Chocolate Lollipops in July

I happened to have a clean sewing table (I think we all know how rare an occurance that is) and didn't feel like starting another large project so I decided to tackle July's block a little early.

Earlier in the day I started making a giant bento box for a baby playmat or quilt but ran out of white fabric so I had to shelve the project for another day. To make it I doubled the size of the template pieces that came with the pattern and I liked how it showcased the larger prints I was working with in that project.

But I was curious how it would look in the original scale and since July was an anything goes month I decided to make one fourth of a bento box for Chen. I stuck with the original scale of the pattern as well as the original concept of alternating light and dark prints and really like how it came out.

Snip Sew Send July

Monday, June 22, 2009

Chocolate Lollipops for July

In my opinion, chocolate is good anytime so why not July. For my month, I have chosen the Chocolate Lollipops line by Anna Maria Horner. I love this line! I have been hoarding this for quite a while and I believe it's time to finally cut into it. I would love for you lovely ladies to help me create a beautiful quilt with it!I am asking each of you to make a block of your choice. The great thing about these quilting bees for me is the creativity that everyone puts in their own blocks. I love looking at a block and seeing someone else's handiwork. I'm constantly amazed at all the talent of others. Some blocks may be simple but their arrangement of the fabric used make the block stand out. And then there are the blocks that are just jaw dropping and I can't imagine ever being talented enough to make a block to equal it. I'm involved in three other quilting bees also ( I know, I have issues with self control!). My months in two of them have passed and I now have two beautiful quilt tops. Since everyone chose and created their own blocks, I can look at a block and know exactly who made it and I love that! Here's a peek of two of the quilt tops:
I'll be sending out my packets in the next couple of days with instructions on the block size. I guess it will be like Christmas in July for me when I start receiving my blocks back :0). I can't wait!!!
***** If you want to take a closer look at the quilts/blocks from my other two bees, they can be found here and here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

For Adrienne From Kris

For this month, Adrienne sent vintage sheets she thrifted and some were hand dyed! These were new fabrics for me and it was awesome to work with something different. She requested Denise Schmidt Hop, Skip and Jump style blocks.

Following Zonnah, I figured I would share how I ended up accomplishing the task. If nothing else, it's a reference for me to go back to. This was my first time doing wonky free style blocks, so I followed the suggestion of another member of the bee on how to do it.

I cut all the pieces I was going to be working with a little longer than the height of the finished block (I cut to 7" to allow some leeway for a 6.5" block)

For each piece, I put the new piece on top of the other pieces that were already pieced. Here the orange piece is new and it's already been cut at angle from a previous step.
Snip.Sew.Send Block for Adrienne

Then I decided how wonky I wanted the seam to be and cut both pieces at that angle (making sure to leave a little extra for the seam allowance.
Snip.Sew.Send Block for Adrienne

Then I lined up the edges (right sides together) and off set them 1/4" so the pieces would still line up more-or-less straight after I sewed the seam.
Snip.Sew.Send Block for Adrienne

After I had all my pieces sewn together, I trimmed the height to the appropriate length (here 6.5"), and called it good. Here are the results:
Snip.Sew.Send Block for Adrienne

And an extra block that Adrienne said she's going to trim for another part of the quilt.
Snip.Sew.Send Block for Adrienne