Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring Break

I am heading up to Mt Hood for a few days for Spring Break. That's one thing I love about Portland you live an hour and a half from skiing on the mountain and an hour and a half from the beach. 

I hope you are all enjoying a break as well!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

March Bee Block

This month our block was stars for Ale from The Golden Willow. I haven't done many stars so it was another fun one for me. 
 Ale requested using her bright print fabric for the stars and the neutrals in a mixed background. 

I started with Faiths tutorial for Autumn Star. It was a great tutorial and came together really quickly. Then I moved onto wonky stars keeping blue squares for the center. 
One big. 

And one tiny, this is a 1" square in the center. 

I received my fabric for next month at the guild meeting last week and it's scrappy improv right up my alley! 


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Improv Piecing

As I mentioned last week I've been sewing with a purpose lately. Always making something that has somewhere to go. This is usually the case and I like giving my quilts to people and doing swaps but sometime it's nice to sit down without a plan. So that's what I did over the weekend. I had this cute little Moda Candy pack from Quilt Market that I'd been wanting to use so I pulled together some scraps and started sewing. 

It might not look like much right now but I'm excited to continue as I formed a little plan. You know how weekends can go I didn't get as much time in the studio as planned but starting tomorrow I'll have almost 3 full days to myself to work and sew I can't wait! 


Friday, March 15, 2013

Finished Grand Junction Quilt

Back from Nancy right before QuiltCon I didn't get a chance to share. I love how Grand Junction turned out and it was such an easy pattern to follow even though it looks pretty tricky. Here's my earlier post.

With all the auction quilts behind me I sat down last night and just started sewing. Piecing a quilt that has no intended home and sewing with fabrics from my stash that have been waiting to be used, it felt great!! I'll work on it over the weekend and share Monday but I feel so free! 
Have a great weekend! 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Bee Blocks January and February

I have been quilting for awhile now and have participated in plenty of swaps but never a Bee so I was excited to be invited to join in the Bee PDX. January's block was by the founder of the Bee Amber who you can find on Flickr and Instagram as AGypsiSoul. Amber chose Flying Geese as her block and I had never made them so I was excited to try. Coincidentally I received this Easy Star and Geese ruler in my QuiltCon swag bag so I was ready to go. The ruler was really easy to use for all the sizes I made except the small one for which I used Faith's paper template. For the tiny geese I just winged it.


Laying out the geese.

The finished block at top is 18.5" 

For February's block Jamie chose Converging Corners from Film in the Fridge's tutorial
The finished block is 18.5"

I love how this block turned out and it's an easy one to make. Mine was assigned to have a linen center square but other blocks will have a contrasting center. 

 I'm looking forward to seeing these blocks all together and what our next month will be. My month is in June and I already know what I want everyone to make! 


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

February Book Club

 Did you read Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan last month? Most of our book club started it and those that have finished really enjoyed the book. Here is a description from the author.

"A young, brilliant trumpet-player, Hieronymus, is arrested in a Paris cafe. The star musician was never heard from again. He was twenty years old. He was a German citizen. And he was black.
Fifty years later, Sidney Griffiths, the only witness that day, still refuses to speak of what he saw. When Chip Jones, his friend and fellow band member, comes to visit, recounting the discovery of a strange letter, Sid begins a slow journey towards redemption.
From the smoky bars of pre-war Berlin to the salons of Paris, Sid leads the reader through a fascinating, little-known world, and into the heart of his own guilty conscience.
Half-Blood Blues is an electric, heart-breaking story about music, race, love and loyalty, and the sacrifices we ask of ourselves, and demand of others, in the name of art."
I loved the writing it really captures you and takes you into the era giving you a feel for the music and uncertainty of pre-war Berlin. I really got involved with the characters as well, although you might not like all of the choices they make you become invested in the outcome of the story. I would say it's a definite read!! 

I also read the other book I recommended last month Soulless by Gail Carriger. It was a totally different read but lots of fun. If you are looking for a light fast read with mystery and just a bit of a lustful werewolf this is your book. 
For March we are reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed. A local author's tale of her journey on the Pacific Crest Trail. A few of our members have read this and just rave about it. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Star Gazer Finish!

I love how this quilt turned out and it raised money for my daughter's school last weekend so what could be better. 

When I last posted I had cut out all of the fabric and was ready to whip out the blocks. I had done a curves quilt, Curlicue Crush, way back in 2011 so I felt confident going into it. 

Once I started sewing the curves together though they were buckling and puckering and I couldn't figure out the problem. I emailed Melissa and she offered some advice. At first I thought the problem was my half circles were a little big but trimming them down didn't help much. After making a little progress decreasing my stitch length I was still having issues. Melissa was so helpful trying to get to the bottom of this with me and we came up with sewing through Face Time. It was so great to watch her sew her blocks and for her to see how mine were turning out. I would recommend Face Time to all your sewing friends across the country!! Unfortunately I was sewing the blocks exactly the way she was, this is where the cussing begins but of course not on facetime. Fortunately Melissa did figure out the problem and shared it on her post for the quilt along. Check it out to see photos but it turns out different brands of fabric behaved differently when sewing curves.  Melissa points out we were both using high quality fabrics, I think the Constellation fabric looks amazing with this pattern, but I was manhandling mine a little bit too much and not using pins. I was able to be very gentle and still not use pins finally getting nice flat blocks. If only I hadn't made so many buckily ones in the beginning my points would have matched up a little better. Luckily once the quilt was quilted all evidence disappeared! Nancy quilted it for me and I love how the pattern looks. 
 Quilt top before quilting.

 Ugh the points! Next time they'll be better though. I love how the Twinkle Twinkle fabric looks in Natural. 

The back

This is a quilt I really do want to make again. There's a baby boy on the horizon for a friend of mine maybe this will fit in with her theme?