Stash Stack #9

This stack seemed to just sort itself out this week.

Stack9-1

Most of these fabrics came in as part of my orders and as the others friends in their envelopes were put on the shelves, I left these out to play together.

The only thing I pulled down was that aqua Riley Blake.

I doubt that this stack will become something but it was interesting to see a theme carry forward. I’m extremely interested in light mint greens and peach right now.
Stack9-2

The Prints (from Top to Bottom):

Bee Sweet in Sunset from Sweet as Honey by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics

Jewel in Coral from Catnap by Lizzy House for Andover

Furry Tales in Minty from Littlest from Art Gallery Fabrics

Cotton Shuffle in Aqua from Riley Blake Designs

Jewel in Water from Catnap by Lizzy House for Andover

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Hexed Dresden Mini

It feels like forever since I made a mini. Which is sad because they might just be one of my favorite things.

Luckily I entered the #yarnstitchswap on Instagram and now had the perfect reason to put aside some of my deadline projects and make a mini.
Hexed Dresden

 

I’m totally going to need to make one for myself.

I love the idea of stacking a hexie flower on top of the dresden plates. I thought of it on a whim when I was looking around my studio for something more interesting than a circle. I’ll certainly be making other EPP shapes for the centers of Dresdens.

This mini is packed up with a set of goodies and already flying off to its new home. Which means I should probably get back to the larger projects that are trying to take over my desk.

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Nine Patch: Variations for Starter Block

9Vari

 

Ready to tackle that Nine Patch but don’t like the Starter layout? Luckily the nine patch has a number of variations and I’ve put together four of them for y’all today to help provide some inspiration.

Variation 1:

Use four squares of background fabric, four squares of print #1 and one square of print #2:
9Vari4You could even replace that center square with another square of print #1 or a background square.

I’ve considered this layout a number of times for doing a rainbow quilt using one color per block.

Variation 2: 

You’ll need eight squares of print fabric (all in one color works best) and one square of background fabric:

9Vari2
I love how bold this layout is in black and white. It’s also an incredible way to bust a lot of leftover charm squares.

I think this block works best in a quilt paired with Variation Three.

Variation Three: 

A reverse of Two, you’ll need eight squares of background fabric and one print square.

9Vari3

Variation Four: 

I’ve done my block in solids but I think it would work well in a print/solid mix too.

You’ll need three squares of color #1, three squares of color #2 and three squares of color #3:

9Vari1

This block can create a number of interesting layouts depending on how you joined blocks and picked colors. If I were going to mix prints in, I would leave the orange section as a solid and add prints on either side.

These variations came with just an afternoon of playing around with squares.

One of the things I love about the Nine Patch block is that since it’s so straightforward it is easy to see what your blocks will look like before even sewing in seams.
Try taking a stack of prints and solids and seeing the different layouts that you can create.

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Nine Patch : Starter Block

Nine Patch

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There’s something bright and refreshing about square patchwork. Perhaps it’s that I’ve been dealing with a lot of half-square triangles lately.

For April, I’ve selected a block that I know I haven’t used as often as I should. Nine patch blocks are a classic choice that provide a lot of opportunities when it comes for a  full quilt layout.

Today we’ll be looking at a Nine Patch with two fabrics: a print and a background.

Let’s Make One: 

All seams are 1/4″.

**Note** This month’s block is 14″ to avoid cutting down to the sixteenth of an inch. 

Materials Needed:

  • Four 5″ squares of background fabric (white for me)
  • Five 5″ squares of print fabric

Nine1

 

Sewing:

  • For this traditional layout, you’ll want to lay your blocks out like alternating prints and background:

Nine2

  • I like to sew rows together first. Join the three blocks in each row, pressing seams towards the print fabric.

Nine3

  • Set the top row, right sides together on top of the center row. I like to place pins in each seam to ensure that my corners match up.

Nine4

  • Sew the two rows together and press seams on this row open. Here’s what my seams look like:

Nine5

  • Set the third row, right sides together, on the center row. Again, placing pins through the seams.

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  • Sew row and press the final seam open.

Nine7

And there’s our Starter Nine Patch!

These blocks come together so quickly and there’s a wide variety of quilts that use this as the base block.

On Friday, I’ll set up a (mostly photo) post to show some basic layout variations for the Nine Patch.

 

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Cracker Block: Twist – The Half Jack Block

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It seems that I just can’t resist cutting up those nicely finished blocks.

I spent a good week playing around with pieces and trying to think of other Twists but I just couldn’t pull myself away from this one. I’m a little bit in love with it.
Half Jack - A Cracker Block Twist

 

I’ve named this block ‘Half Jack’ because no matter how hard I try I keep calling the Cracker Block a ‘Cracker Jack.’ Since they’re cut in half, the name just happened.

It’s surprisingly simple to put together and the more I look at it the more curious I become about how a print would look as a background. There might be more of these popping up…

Let’s Make One: 

Block finishes at 13.5″ square. All seams are 1/4″.

Materials Needed:

CBTwist1

  • Two of the individual Cracker Starter Blocks (tutorial here) – I like the way two different colors look in this block
  • Two 7.5″ squares of matching background fabric
  • Marking Pencil/Chalk

Sewing:

    • With right sides together, place your background square on top of your Cracker block.

CBTwist2

  • Mark a diagonal line across the square. ***Note*** Make sure that your line is traveling from one of the print corners of your Cracker block to the other print corner. If you folded the background square back along the marked line, it’ll look like this:

CBTwist5

  •  Sew 1/4″ from either side of the marked line. (I’ve darkened the following photo a lot so you can see the chalk and the stitches)

CBTwist3

 

  • Cut along your marked line.
  • Repeat above steps for your second Cracker block and background square.
  • Trim all four blocks to 7″.
  • Use the following photo as your layout guide. Sew the top two blocks together and then the bottom two. Then sew the two rows together to finish your block!

CBTwist6

 

And that’s our Twist block for March!

I’ve enjoyed exploring the Cracker block with y’all. I’ll be back later this week with April’s block.

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Stash Stack #8

I’ve been thinking in lime and aqua this week.

It isn’t a fully-formed idea. More hope at this point. I’m thinking along the lines of a Converging Corners quilt. Something bright and fresh and light. I wouldn’t want to use white or grey for a background which leaves me wondering what I could use.

My stash isn’t hardy enough for a full quilt. But now I have a guideline for buying.
Stack8-2

 

Bright and light and fun! I’ve been saving those sheep for far too long. I want a quilt with them

Stack8-1.jpg.

 

The Prints (from Top to Bottom):

Sketch in Aqua from Timeless Treasures

DS Quilts Collections by Denyse Schmidt (I’m not sure which collection this print is from)

Petit Point in Turquoise by Swirly Girl Designs for Michael Miller

Modern Whimsy Sheep by Laurie Wisbrun for Robert Kaufman

Rain Bubbles in Green from Winterkist by Monica Solorio-Snow for Lecien

 

What do y’all think? Is there another color I should add in? What should I use for background. I like the idea of the Converging Corners quilt. I think I might have a charm pack of Modern Whimsy around my Studio that I could use for the centers even.

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Cracker Block: Featured Project

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SBPincushion

Cracker blocks have a long tradition of being used as signature blocks and they’re well suited for it. I currently don’t have plans for a full signature block quilt which left me spending a lot of time pondering what to make this month.

I’ve got a bit of a problem in my studio. Well, it’s extended out into the main house as well. I have tiny pincushions and little packs of needles *everywhere*. And considering how much I like to vary my handwork, I can never seem to find the right needle at the right time. There’s wool needles and embroidery needles. Applique sharps and cross-stitch sets.

Problem…meet pincushion.

For instructions on how to construct a cracker block, please see this month’s starter block post.

The construction of the block is the same but I scaled down the size.

Feel free to adjust the number of blocks you use for your pincushion. I made mine with three so that it would be longer and therefore easier to keep track of.

Materials needed (materials listed are for each single cracker unit):

  • Two 1.5″x3.5″ strips of print fabric
  • One 1.5″x 3.5″ strip of background fabric
  • One 3.5″ square of print (cut in half on the diagonal)
  • One 3.5′ square of background (cut in half on the diagonal)
  • Backing fabric (I used canvas). For a pincushion just like mine you’ll need a 5″x14″ piece.
  • Stuffing material (Poly-fil or crushed walnut shells work well)

Note: To use my pincushion as a needle sorter, I’ve stamped each center with letter stamps and a permanent ink pad. You could also embroider or use a Sharpie.

Stampin' fabric again..

pincushion2
Put it Together:

  • Construct your Cracker blocks (tutorial here) and mark your centers if desired.
  • Trim each block to 5″ square.
  • Using a 1/4″ seam, join blocks together into a straight row.
  • Place your backing fabric right sides together with your row. Again using a 1/4″ seam,sew around all four sides leaving a 2-3″ opening to turn.


pincushion3

  • Clip corners and turn right side out. Use a stuffing tool to push out all your corners and then fill your pincushion.

pincushion4

  • Handstitch your opening closed (I like to use a Ladder Stitch).
  • Poke it full of pins and needles.

 

pincushion5

 

I’ll be back tomorrow with the Stash Stack and on Monday I’ll have our Twist project to finish out Cracker Block Month.

For now, I think I might wander around the house and try to find all those needles I’ve been missing.

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Studio Snapshots

While the weather isn’t quite convinced that spring is here to stay, I certainly am. I can always tell because I get this manic sort of energy from the first warm, sunny days.

I start to sew All. The. Things.

It only lasts a week or so and then I blink and breathe and remember to do things like blog and check my email.

This isn’t to say that I’m not normally sewing all the time. But for a week(ish) I lose a bit of my focus. Sometimes it works out well in finishing up things from the WiP drawers and sometimes it means I add things to those drawers until they can’t *quite* close.

Here’s some snapshots of what that looks like in my studio.

I’m working on my own PDF quilting patterns. The first of which coming (hopefully) next month and quite Spring inspired:
Spring

 

The Mr. has learned to spot these whirlwinds of productivity. He’s also learned that I’m more willing to take on new projects and has thrown something into the mix. The fabric for which he pulled himself:

Cargo

Then late one night I decided I just *had* to have a underwear quilt. Penny created the template and tutorial. First pair made? Robots:

A little bit of sidetracked sewing. Just because I need an undies quilt. #sewtakeahikeundies

 

Lastly, I found that I needed a new bag to take out for teaching classes and lessons. My Dot Dot Dash could use a break. So I’ll be playing with a new set of fabrics from Blend:
AST

 

This, of course, doesn’t include the handwork I’ve been doing. Or the new designs I’ve sketched out. Or the bit of Secret Sewing I’ve got due by mid-April. Or the updates for A Year of Traditional Blocks.

And I couldn’t be happier.

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Stash Stack #7

Spring is finally here in Atlanta and it’s left me building stacks of softer colors.

I couldn’t resist pulling things down to play with a gorgeous Kokka print I got from the Sewing and Quilt Expo last weekend.

Stack7-1.jpg

 

I focused on pulling out the pale teal greens and the light purple with just one pop of yellow. Should this become a project, that yellow would be used sparingly.
Stack7-3

 

This stack feels different to me. If I imagine my other stacks, they seem hard…this set reads softly to me. It could simply be that I don’t stash much in the ‘pastel’ ranges.

And there are those sprouts and pearl bracelets popping up again. I’m starting to consider ordering the full ranges of both (I think I’ve shown you all the colors I currently have) because I always seem to pull for them first in bringing a stack of fabric together.

This stack will sit on my desk for at least another week. I’m becoming more convinced that it should be *something*. The “what” hasn’t hit me yet.

Stack7-2.jpg

The Prints (from top to bottom) – Links included if fabric is still available from some of my favorite shops:

Sprout in Petal from Madrona Road by Violet Craft for Michael Miller (Hawthorne)

Yellow Dots from Farm Stand (DS Quilts Collection)

Pezzy Print in Teal by American Jane for Moda Fabrics

Flower in Purple from Good Life by Deena Rutter for Riley Blake

Pearl Bracelet in Juniper by Lizzy House for Andover (Hawthorne)

Fairy Tale Carriages in Lilac by Kayo Horaguchi for Kokka

 

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Stash Stack #6

I’m glad for this set of posts because it’s making me look at my stacks with a more detailed eye and see where I’ve got serious holes in my stash.

I’ve already talked about my lack of peach and this week’s stack brings up another glaring color shortage that I wasn’t fully aware of.

It started because I’m in love with this print and wanted to pull a stack to match it:

Stack6-2

 

It’s from the Sweet as Honey line from Art Gallery Fabrics.

I fell for this print not just because of the design but the colors so I immediately went to my stash.

Here’s what I came up with:

Stack6-1

 

Not much at all.

The lack of grey is understandable as it is my most used color. The greys that I’ve pulled don’t make me completely happy because I wish they were deeper.

If you glanced at my stash of fabric, yellow wouldn’t seem like it was much of a problem because there’s a number of mini-bolts. Yet they’re almost all pale yellows. Nothing deep and almost orange.

Which means this weekend at Expo I’ll be keeping my eye out.

The Prints:

Rooted in Midnight by Bonnie Christine from Sweet as Honey for AGF

Bergen in Slate by Lotta Jansdotter from Mormor

Blomster in Slate by Lotta Jansdotter from Mormor

Honeycomb by Laurie Wisbrun from Bright and Buzzy

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