Tuesday, January 20, 2015

scrap bin for the win!

Have you heard about the Quiltmaker Bitty Blocks? Each month in 2015, they'll be offering a free block pattern to make little 3 or 4 inch blocks!




The block pattern for January makes tiny little bow ties. They are 3.5" unfinished. I have never really liked this traditional bow tie block, (not sure why!) But there's something so cute about them in this size!


I decided I could only start this if I made it a scrap buster project! So I dug around in my scrap drawers looking for (mostly) monochromatic pieces. I already had some pulled from my map project last week, but I found a few others and whipped these out in no time. I will continue making them this month, until I have enough for a row.



I know it's kind of boring, but I decided to stick with white for the background.  Low volume could be fun, or what about a polka dot, or another solid color? I decided though that white was my best bet in making sure all of my scraps could play well together. It's my favorite :)

ooh, these could be addicting!
They'll be giving more ideas, tips, and instructions on making these little blocks as the months progress, so be sure to follow along at their blog, Quilty Pleasures. And use the hashtag #qmbittyblocks and share your blocks on instagram, facebook,etc!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

happy new year!

So have you gotten a good start on your resolutions for 2015? I decided not to make any fitness or diet ones this year. I never keep them anyways! I do usually choose something I'd like to learn, in the past it's been pie crust and applique. So I'll attempt free motion quilting again this year. Practice makes perfect, right?

I also have another goal, to make it to more guild happenings this year. I missed all of the meetings and most of the events last year, but I kicked it off right this weekend! I took a class from Shannon Brinkley of Bottle Tree Quilts, making her Around the World map quilt. (I wrote a little about her quilts in this post over at My Stars.) Here's a close up of her quilt:




I wanted to learn her fabric collage methods so I could deal with all the scraps of fabric I can't make myself throw away. And I really loved it! Making the collage fabric was fun, and I definitely will make more of the projects from her book, Scrappy Bits Applique. There are some great templates included with the book.

Once I got home from class, I raided my scrap drawers for small pieces, 2.5" wide or less, and added a little more variety to the prints I had brought to the workshop. The supply list called for more supplies than needed for the map (5 yards of heat 'n bond?!) but since I use it anyways, it's good to have it on hand.

I'm real close to having my top ready to applique, I just need to cut out a few more islands and adjust the placement to be accurate.


 
(I apologize for the blurry, dark photo)
I'm nervous about appliqueing the map to my background. She recommends FMQ but I don't want to mess up my world!!

Other than that, the only sewing I've done has been test blocks (which I can't share with you yet!) I'm finishing some loooong overdue bee blocks and other quilt debt that is hanging over my head. I have a couple of upcoming projects that will have deadlines, so it's go time around here!

I haven't even been working at Country Fabrics the past month, I took off while the kids were home from school. I'll change the front window display this week, and she's asked me to help design the shop's row for the Row by Row Experience next summer. I signed on to teach kid's sewing classes over spring break too.

I guess every vacation has to come to an end. But it was great while it lasted! Now, time to get to work ;)

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