Thursday, September 23, 2010

Playing with Blocks

My new best block.  I am trying it out for all sorts of fabric groups--5 inch strips, fat quarters, 10" squares.  These two are Community Service tops from the PT closet stash.  I wanted an alternative to the Just Can't Cut It block that alternates with a theme.  I think I have found it--love how these came out.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Turkey Trot with Dot

Our wildlife preserve provides amusement every day.  Here you see our cat Dot grazing with the turkeys at T time.  They don't seem to mind--she is much smaller than they are. 
This is all happening right outside the open back door of my quilting room--with the dog at my feet.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Community Kits

Today was Community Service workday for the Pine Tree Guild.  I had cut several quilts, mostly the four patch Freedom.  I thought it was time to package them up with a pattern and hand them off to others in the guild to sew. I ended up with 15 kits, 12 of which have already been given out, thanks to one very enthusiastic member.  That 8 inch Four Patch works so well for using up stash fabrics--it can be cut from fat quarters or regular quarters.  We have so much of that size piece in our stashes and donated fabrics like this.  The little quilt only takes 6 pieces, or 12 for the throw size--which can include some duplicates.  When I pick for these from a donation stash, I usually go for color, sometimes with a theme or two.    Once, cut, they sew up in just an hour or so--very rewarding for everyone involved.  Can't wait to see them all back.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

5 Inch Playtime

I am playing more with the 5" strips.  Windham Fabrics offer 5" strip bundles, as do other companies and shops.  I know I will be adding them to my offerings, cut from my new fabrics.  I love bigger cuts like this--fast, fun and it shows off fabric.

Last night it was the Zoo Babies from Windham.  I have a bundle with 24  5" strips.  It would make too big a quilt if all are used together, so I divided them into boy and girl.  With 2 simple blocks, I set to sewing.  I loved playing with these blocks, but I would do the color layouts differently next time.

Both blocks use the 5" strips very efficiently, which is what I am about.  STASH BUSTING begins with not adding more to the stash--so little or no waste or scraps here!
The rail block is 5" squares (made from a quick set of 2 strips) and 5" x 9 1/2" rectangles (our Pam Cake slice!).  I kept the same fabrics grouped together for the blocks, and tried to make a rail fence look.  Nice idea, but the fabrics did not separate out well in color or contrast, so it klunked.  Not sure if I will leave it or rip it and rearrange (the more I look at it, I think I will rip).  I am disinclined to rip--much faster to make a new one.  I can already see other fabric groups that would make this work better.  Or just simply go scrappy and random--I have all of my scraps cut into 5x 9 1/2 and 5 inch squares, anyway.

The frame block is 5" squares and 5"x14".  How easy is that?  A 5" strip nets 2 14" and 2  5" pieces--perfect--all that is needed is a center 5" square.  That center could be a common fabric, or in my case 2 that I liked, or scrappy.  I love the look of the block, and how fast and fun it sewed up.  Layout-wise, again I would do this over.  I think the yellow needs to be in the center, so I will rip.  I guess it is time to find room for a design wall.

My brain in reeling with the possibilities for this frame block.  I am figuring ways to use 5" strips or fat quarters efficiently for quilts with this block.  I also realized I can use 4  5"x 9 1/2" Pam Cake slices for this as well.  It can circle around the center using the partial seam technique.  With this variation, the 4 pieces can be all the same, 4 different, or 2 and 2 (light and dark maybe?).  This will also cut more efficently from fat quarters.  Gotta get my chores done, so I can try this out soon.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Round Two---Brilliant

Quite literally the colors in this second shipment of Kaffe Collective are brilliant.  The first out of the box were reds, and boy do they do reds!  I am getting closer to being able to design and kit these new fabrics.

I had to make something from the Meadowsweet 2 Geranium colors, so I did make a quickie from favorite pattern Cheaper by the Half Dozen.  I think I was less than 24 hours complete on this one--pieced one evening, quilted and bound the next morning.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

They're Back

The Kaffe Collective fabrics are coming in.  Shipments are due weekly--and they started this week.  This is just part of the first installment.  They should be listed in a couple of days.  It will be another few weeks before we can packet and design.  We need more of a colorway.  It is exciting, nonetheless.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Designer on Duty

Grandma Pam is now moved closer to me, up in the woods in Nevada City.  I put her to work today helping me with another version of the quilt I made from Hoffman's Jasmine batik bundle.  This time it is Feedsack VI prints from Windham Fabrics--30's repro's are one of her specialties.  Windham gave me a bundle of the whole line so that I might design 5" strip patterns with them.

I think this pattern is perfect for them, and how completely different from the Batiks!  I still have some kinks to work out with the pattern, so here we go with Version 2.

The whole stack is 55 pieces--wow!  Great colors.  I asked her to pick 20 for this project--"no problem", and off she went to work (in her easy chair).  The bottom 2 rows are the chosen 20.

Once home, I got right to work cutting, sewing strip sets, and making blocks.  Over half of the blocks are done, just 2 hours later.  What a team!!