Saturday, February 27, 2010

Blocks Galore!

I've made a lot of blocks this month (for me, anyway, lol).  Not only did I have the Birthday Block Swap blocks to make for the month of February, I volunteered to complete six angel blocks for participants who were shorted in 2009.
First up, the lavender 5.5" blocks for suziecurls  Apparently, I am pastel-challenged.  Seriously.

I had to pick blocks based on the number of lavenders in my stash, which was a grand total of four, before an order from arrived, and even that brought my total to five.

Ah, well, I digress (and make a note for when I go fabric shopping again).

The top block on the left is called Birthday Candles.  I though it appropriate.  It's also almost wholly comprised of HSTs, which is so right up my alley at the moment.

I forget what the bottom one is called.  It's paper-pieced, and I'm a little scared that it came out as well as it did.  The pattern came from Jinny Beyer's new book, which doesn't give you piecing/cutting instructions on any of the blocks.

This being the case, I looked at the block, and immediately felt that I could successfully paper-piece it.

So, I hunkered down and hand-drew the paper-piecing templates.  The Great Hard Drive Crash of 2010 is still affecting me, as I lost my installation of Adobe CS3, so nothing gets the digital treatment for now.  Admittedly, I forgot to mirror image the block, but that proved fairly inconsequential as I'm really pleased with how it turned out anyway.

And now for the angel blocks.  I'll only post one photo of the Depression Blocks requested by maydela.  I volunteered to make two, thinking I had far more burgundies than I really did.  Funny how that works out, right?

I did discover that I've been collecting a lot of tone-on-tone creams, which was a bonus for this block.  I'm also really liking the look of mixing all of those diverse creams.

Yet another HST block.  Again, so digging those right now.  And, I'm totally in love with the secondary pattern that emerges when Depression Blocks are made in a planned color way and put next to each other.  I might have to do this for myself sometime soon.

Next up, Wagon Tracks blocks for sewingjo.  She requested blocks comprised of browns, blues, and greens.  Brown should used in place of the instruction's Fabric C.

This is another where block where I'm digging the secondary pattern that comes out when you put a bunch of them together.

Now, I just have one more set of angel blocks to do, and then I'm good for the month of February.  With any luck, I can hammer out the paper-piecing patterns for the star blocks I want to do tomorrow morning, and get those puppies moving.

The blocks I want to do are a little more complicated, so I'm a little leery of hand-drawing the sections out. With any luck, I'll be able to install Adobe CS3 back on my computer tomorrow, an I'll be able to draw it out digitally, and ensure better accuracy.

You know, as I go through the year, making these blocks, I'm actually surprised at the success I've had putting these blocks together.  Somewhere along the way, I had convinced myself that I am a very inaccurate piecer.  Doing all these disparate blocks, and with so few problems, I'm realizing that is not the case at all.  Maybe it's that I did all sorts of home repairs with my father growing up, and he lived by the carpenter's axiom of "Measure twice, cut once."  And that 1/4" foot definitely helps things, especially the new one I have. It's helping me judge scant 1/4" seams a lot better than I was.

Well, whatever.  I'm glad to see that my piecing skills are getting there.  Now, if only I could be so confident when I'm machine quilting!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

More Birthday Blocks! (Originally Posted 2-11-2010 on Wordpress)

 Both of the blocks that were completed were for carilea.  I started with the one at right.  Of course, once I'd finished it, I realized that I hadn't paid enough attention to the directionality of the dark blue fabric :P
I'm a little behind on the birthday blocks, thanks to having caught the mother of all 24-hour flu bugs - no doubt picked up from my son's playgroup.  But really, I only need to do ONE person's blocks for the month and then I'm caught up with 2010.  Then I'll get started on the angel blocks from 2009.

If I were less lazy, I might tear it apart and alternate the way those large HSTs were going.  But really, I am that lazy, and decided to call it a day.  I figured if it really, really bothered me, I'd change it.  Instead, what happened was that I received an absolutely scrumptious blue in the mail from (easily my favorite website for purchasing fabric from).

So, having fallen for this delicious fabric, I had to cut into right away.  And what better reason to cut into a new fabric than for a birthday swap?

I promise, that lighter fabric is actually a sage green!  But I digress...  Isn't that the loveliest fabric in the center of that block??

It's Aubrielle Damask Blue by Marianne Elizabeth for the Classically Home Collection from RJR Fabrics.  I debated some of the coordinating prints, but not a one of them screamed my name the way this one did.  I really, really need to find a pattern in which to showcase this print even better.

Hmm.. Perhaps I'll get a couple more yards of it, and a couple yard of cream and sage, because I am really digging how this block looks.  *sighs*  As if I didn't have enough projects floating in my head.

At least is having a Valentine's Day Clearance Sale!  AND they've got coupons for President's Day.  *grins* I might make out like a bandit - not that my stash needs much more in the way of additions.

I also put together this Blockade block.  This is actually the block I selected for myself.  I'd been wanting to put one together, just to see how it would turn out, and circumstances worked out that I ended up needing to put one together.

So far, I'm really pleased.  The aquas in my stash tend to lean toward more blue than green, but I'm not terribly picky about what I get.  I just think it'll be really fun to see the diversity I end up!

In other news, I've been consumed with re-organizing my stash.  I've added about $500 in fabric (full retail value) to my stash - for about half that price (Thank goodness!).  This has necessitated taking a cold, hard look at some of the stuff that's been loitering in my stash without purpose.

My tastes in fabric have altered dramatically since I first began purchasing material thirteen years ago.  Back then, I essentially stuck to very tiny prints that remind me of Civil War Era prints.  Whether that was an unconscious design choice on my part, or simply what was available at the time, I don't remember.  Anyway, with these new fabrics coming into my home, I realize that those really, really ugly fabrics needed to make an exit.  I'm never going to use them.  My eye passes right over them when I'm considering fabrics for a quilt top.

Currently, they're sitting in a box on the floor of my sewing room, waiting for me to contact a woman who posted on Freecycle that she was looking for crafting materials.  They're not the best materials, or the prettiest, but they should help her get started anyway.  And at least, if they end up in a landfill somewhere, I won't have put them there myself.  I'll have at least tried to give them a new home.

Anyway, in a few days, when I'm out from under Birthday Block Swap deadlines, and the massive amount of ironing, re-ironing, folding, and re-folding ahead of me, I'll be posting pictures of my prettified stash, and the newest additions to it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Fabric Bomb Has Gone Off...

...and I'm too lazy to iron.

Ok, so it's not so bad as all that.  I've just not dented the stack seen here, and considering that I posted that on January 4, 2010, that's a crying shame.  Even more disturbing is that I have more fabric coming - thanks to giving me a 30% off coupon, and having delicious prices on delicious fabrics.  My shelving units are about to explode.

I think, when tax refunds arrive, I will have to 'treat' myself to two black bookcases on which to store fabric, a new iron, a table-top ironing board like this - and OH MY GOD.  It's on sale for $15!!!


I think, when tax refunds arrive, I will have to 'treat' myself to two black bookcases on which to store fabric, a new iron, a table-top ironing board like this, a new chair to work from as I sew/blog/roam the internet/scrapbook, good fabric scissors, as well as a few other office/organizing essentials.  Perhaps an Ott-Lite.  We'll see about the last one.  I'm right by the window, so I get great lighting during the right hours.

I've actually gotten a fair bit of work into my sewing area tonight.  Mostly picking up the havoc that the kiddo wreaks when he wants mommy-time, and figuring out where everything will go.  It's just a lot of fabric, really, once the tools are actually put away. It's also determining what I actually want in arm's reach.  What tools do I really use on a regular basis?  Just a lot of little evaluations that need to be made.

It's getting there though.. It's looking more and more like a workspace.