Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Color Challenge Block

             I love a good challenge and when it involves fabric and color, you can count me in the game. 

Jen, from Patterns by Jen, has hosted monthly color challenges for quite a few years now and I've participated in three of them. I took a break last year but am participating in a limited way this year. I couldn't resist joining again in 2023 because the colors are awesome, and how she introduces each color is so darn fun. This year she is using classic cars! 


************

2023 Monthly Colors

February - Aqua
March - Red
April - Olive Green
May - Baby Blue
June - Grey
July - Purple
August - Brown
September - Mustard Yellow
October - Blue
November - Green
December - Orange

************
I chose to participate in February for a couple of reasons. I love pretty much any color that is related to blue, so aqua is perfect. I also fell in love with the block when I saw it. And finally, to be totally honest, I wanted to have a month early in the year so I didn't get bogged down with work and end up being rushed to make my block. 

************
Sew...lets get to some specifics and the questions I know you are all asking. Jen has all the information on her blog, but here's the quick version

How much fabric do I need?

The general rule is that each month, a fat quarter of light and a fat quarter of dark of will be enough. This year we will be making just one size block. The finished size of each month's block will be 12" (12 1/2" unfinished).  

There is also the option to have all of the same background, instead of using the color for that month. If you are using the same background throughout the year you can download the cutting instructions for the background on Jen's blog.

You do not have to use stash fabric for this challenge, unless you want to do so. Jen has some great information and wonderful links to help you choose just the right fabrics for this challenge.  

Block Patterns

Blocks are available for free during the month on Jen's blog. After the month has passed blocks are available for $1. 

To make it even more wonderful, Jen will share a video each month to help you with the block construction. They are amazing! 

************
February Block

I fell in love with this block as soon as I saw it! 
I think it is so darn fun!


But first, let's discuss the color AQUA.

According to Wikipedia: 

In Latin, the word aqua means water. Aqua is a variation of the color cyan, which is located between green and blue on the color wheel. Because the colors are regarded so closely, cyan and aqua are often used interchangeably in areas like web design. 

Aqua is one of the three secondary colors of the RGB color model used on computer and television displays. In the HSV color wheel aqua is precisely halfway between blue and green.

So, what exactly does that mean to me? Honestly, it means that I often confuse the colors aqua, blue, teal, and turquoise. 😅 

Here is an awesome site that will help you learn all about the various shades of aqua. It is worth taking a look just to see all the beautiful pictures. 

So what are the meanings and symbolisms associate with Aqua

Aqua evokes feelings of reinvigoration, youth, and dreaminess.
Because of it's water roots, aqua has an energy and striking tone that makes it a wonderful accent for many other colors. 

When aqua is in your aura (An aura is a quality or feeling that seems to surround a person.), you are mostly calm and know how to chill. Because of that, your understanding and compassion is a gift to the people you meet.  Basically, you live your life with a focus on joy and innocence. Gee, I want to be like that!

************
Let's take a closer look at the February/Aqua Block


This block is fun and easy to make and Jen's instructions are perfect. Don't you just love how the light fabric seems to peak out from the corners of the dark center? I think the somewhat wonky flying geese units are perfect and fit right in with the aqua aura explanation, don't you? Because there are no outside 1/4" points to worry about, it made me relax and be carefree when constructing the block, which is exactly what I wanted. 

Speaking of being carefree and relaxed, I don't always find it easy to choose fabrics for my projects. I believe choosing fabric is like a journey. Sometimes you know the way by heart and everything is simple. Other times you hit road blocks and there is nothing easy or fun and the whole thing becomes a task. Here was my journey for this block/project. 
(I looked for an aqua car, but this was as close as I could get.)


I really wanted to use that stripe, but it just wouldn't work. As you can tell, I included fabric that was more teal than aqua; but it looks good and as I said early, I often confuse aqua, blue, teal, and turquoise so I'm right on course.

In keeping with the carefree spirit, I played around and turned the block to see what it would look like if placed on point. Oh my goodness! How fun is this?!?


This looks like some kind of animal and I think it is really cute. I am feeling the desire to make more blocks and create a quilt from this layout. 

Speaking of quilts, I made four of these blocks and put them into a darling little wall hanging. I love it!


I love looking at the back of a quilt, and this one was no different.


Do you want to make your own block? Take a few minutes and jump over to Jen's blog. I know you will love what she's doing!
Thanks Jen for this wonderful block and awesome challenge! 

And yes, I do believe Everyone Deserves a Quilt!

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

More Sample Sewing

The last few months I've been busy with sample making and pattern testing. I shared some pictures of quilts I recently made for Myra Barnes (Busy Hands Quilts) and today I'll share the last two quilts I made for Tammy Silvers (Tamarinis)

I'll tell you right off that these pictures are not good and they do not do these quilts justice.  Sorry Tammy! I actually had them packed and ready to send to her when I realized that I had not taken any pictures. I unpacked the box, threw them up on the design wall, took these two pictures, and got them packed up again just in time for the mail carrier. Whew! It was close, but I made it.

This is Fizz and it is much easier than it looks. Tammy used the Studio 180 Tucker Trimmer, but I did not. Either way, this is a pretty quick quilt to make and I love the modern vibe it gives. This quilt measures 51" x 68".


While trimming the triangle units, you will have what are normally "waste" units. But, in her infinite ability to "waste not, want not," Tammy created a bonus quilt that is just as fun as the "real" quilt. This measures 42" x 48". 


Not bad, huh? One pattern, one set of fabric, and two quilts. 

I'll be back tomorrow with my block for the Monthly Color Challenge hosted by Jen of Patterns by Jen

I'll share a secret... I followed Tammy's example and did a little more than the basics. Be sure to come check it out tomorrow. :-)

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Quilt Pictures

In my last post I told you that I had been busy sewing for other people. Here are a few of the quilt tops I sewed for Myra Barnes of Busy Hands Quilts last couple of months. I always enjoy sewing with Myra's patterns. They are easy to follow and usually have at least four different size options and two fabric examples. 

I made two Cottage Love quilts. This is a perfect example of how the same pattern can look so different just by choosing different fabrics. 



This is Sweetness and the name sure is fitting for this girly fabric. 


This Around the World was fast and easy to construct. I could not get a good picture of it, so you'll just have to trust me when I say it was beautiful. 


I'll share more again soon.  :-) 

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Whew! It's been a long minute...

It has been quite some time since I posted anything, but that doesn't mean that I haven't been busy. 

Besides "life" happening all too often, I've been doing some sewing for myself, but mostly I've been sewing for others - class and shop samples, pattern testing, etc. While I enjoy doing that, I do miss sewing just because I like a pattern and want to make the quilt. 

I don't make resolutions, but I have promised myself that I will make time to sew for fun and not so much for work purposes. I have a lot of UFOs that need completed and I certainly have plenty of patterns waiting to be made. We all know that I also have enough fabric in my stash to sew for quite some time before I would need to buy anything. 

In accordance with that promise to myself, I will also make time to post more frequently, even if it's just to share a picture. I am participating the Jen Shaffer's Monthly Color Challenge again this year, but I am not making blocks every month. Instead, I have picked a limited number and will be making those. I will be making and sharing the February block in a couple of weeks, so be sure to come back and look for that.

In the meantime, I'm going to sit back and enjoy the process.  I'll hope you'll join me.  :-)



Thursday, August 18, 2022

Delivered Quilts

In my last post (YIKES - that was over a month ago!), I shared pictures of a quilt I was making and my struggle with determining the borders. The quilt is done and delivered and I figured that I should share pictures. You can read more about this quilt and the smaller version I made HERE. In that post, I described the story behind my fabric choices and why I chose this pattern.

This is the quilt that will be auctioned this weekend, with the proceeds going to Lexi who is struggling with Stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma.


The quilt measures 70" x 84" and will fit nicely on a twin bed. The pattern is called In a Flash and it's from the Quick as a Wink - 3 yard Quilt booklet. I quilted random loops throughout this quilt and I like how it looks on both the front and back.

I made a lap size version of this quilt because I want Lexi to have a quilt to take with her to treatments and snuggle with while she is at home. If you have not done so already, please take a couple of minutes and read about the making of this quilt HERE and I think you will have a good understanding of why I felt the need to make this quilt. I want Lexi to know and feel how much she is loved by her family and friends. 


Lexi's quilt measures 50" x 68" and I think that is a perfect lap size. 

Please keep Lexi and her family in your thoughts. She can use all the good vibes you can send.

I have been working on other projects and spending time with family. I'll share more on that soon. 

Friday, July 15, 2022

Border Options

Does anyone else start thinking about their borders well before the quilt interior is fully sewn together? The blocks are made, but they are not together and my mind is racing with border ideas. This quilt has moved to the front of the line (over the Granny Square Quilt - whose borders have still not been decided!) because of an urgent need.


The quilt is called In a Flash, and it is from the Quick as a Wink 3-Yard Quilts booklet. I have enlarged the quilt to the Twin size (instructions are included in booklet), but am changing the borders. 

The quilt is needed quickly because it will be part of a fundraiser for a 23 year old friend of Jack's granddaughter who has just been diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I have been asked to use the Hodgkin's color (purple) and Lexi's favorite color (blue). Here are the original three fabrics I chose. 


I chose the pattern, not only because it can be made quickly, but because I see this as a very simplistic symbol of the path Lexi's is on right now. Let me try to explain...

The purple fabric has arcs in it and I have made sure that they are all in the proper orientation in the quilt. The arcs remind me of rainbows, and rainbows remind me of good things - kind of like the calm after a storm.  


This purple fabric is used for the big blocks and are a focal point (as is her disease right now), but they are surrounded by the light fabric. 

To me, the light fabric is her support system - her friends, family, and medical caretakers. We are there to help her and to protect her as much as possible. 


The final fabric includes a variety of shade of Lexi's favorite color - blue; but it also includes purple and a very light color similar to the lightest fabric. 


Can you see the flowers in the fabric? They make me smile! This fabric has it all - her happy color, her disease, and her support system. 

The pattern itself reminds me of a stepping stone or path. The disease is "in your face" right now, just like the big purple blocks. The blue and light fabric chain blocks represent Lexi's path to navigate through this terrible time, but they never stop or give up. They continue upwards and onwards and they include her support group to help her every step of the way. 


I am thinking of adding a fourth fabric - a fabric that will frame the blocks and "stop" the disease. 


The rest of the borders are still in the pondering stage. After the dark frame, I'm thinking of a small border of the purple (the disease), another small border of light (friends, family, etc.), and end with it being all about Lexi - the blue fabric. 

I'll share pictures of what I decide. 

This quilt will be auctioned off, which means that Lexi will not have it. But, I have enough fabric that I am planning to make a duplicate, only smaller to give to Lexi. Hopefully she can take it with her to treatments or just sit with it and know that she is surrounded by love.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

A New Project To Share

So much for posting more frequently! :-( 

Honestly, I've not just been sitting around eating bon bons and twiddling my thumbs; but since I haven't been sharing anything here, it certainly feels like that's the case.

In the past two weeks, I have completed a couple of secret sewing project for Tammy Silvers that I can't show yet, but I can show snippets. The first quilt is a Christmas quilt, and it is adorable. 

Take a look at this block The quilt is fun and easy to put together and I think I am going to use the pattern to make a wall hanging and table runner. I may even make a few placemats to go along with it. It really is that adorable!


I completed another secret project for Tammy and it involves a lot (320!) flying geese units. 


Yikes! That was a lot of trimming! I used a Studio 180 Wing Clipper to trim everything, so that made it much easier and faster. 


I've made some samples for upcoming classes, but I haven't taken pictures yet. Maybe this week...

I recently taught a Granny Squares Quilt class that was fun. I made the original sample I use for class back in 2014 and it was made using very traditional/30's reproduction fabrics. (I made a second version of this quilt in late 2014 that is very different, but it was made using a specific fabric that is no longer available. Check that out HERE.) 


While I still like the original quilt (and second version), I decided I wanted an updated and larger version so I headed to my stash and pulled out an older Alison Glass Sun Prints 2.5" strip pack. I found a fabric that I liked for the background and made up some blocks and step-out samples. 




I needed to add a couple of fabrics to end up with the required number of blocks, so I pulled two from my stash that I felt blended well. I am happy with the choice. 


I sewed and trimmed 48 blocks and decided to put them up on the design wall right away, instead of putting them away and work on something "more pressing." That's just one of the many ways I end up with a bunch of UFOs and I was determined that would not happen with this quilt.

Here are the blocks, with no sashing added yet. I wanted to get an idea of the layout and be sure no two adjacent blocks had the same fabric. Until I put this on the wall, I didn't realize how many yellow fabrics I used in making the blocks.  hahaha


I have started to sew in the vertical sashing strips and then sew rows together. After that, I'll add the horizontal sashing and decide about a border. I have a fabric I am considering, but I'm not sure about it and won't be until that top is complete. 


I have projects on which I should be sewing, but I needed a break from "required" work and this is perfect! I am looking forward to seeing this updated version of a very traditional pattern. :-)