Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Secret Sewing

 Yikes! I totally missed March...

Well, I didn't really miss it; I was just busy and didn't have time to post anything. 

I've been crazy busy with secret sewing projects so I wouldn't have been able to share many pictures any way. 

I just finished trimming 195 half square triangles. 

Yes, you read that correctly - 195 half square triangles.

These are actually bonus HST from trimming 224 flying geese units. This secret sewing project includes two quilts - one "biggish" one and a small wall hanging. The flying geese were used in the quilt and the HST were used in the wall hanging. I'll be able to show these projects sometime this summer.

I have been working on various Quilts of Valor as leader and ender projects, but I haven't taken any pictures yet. I'll try to do that soon and share them here.

I have three quilts that are wedding gifts that I'll be able to share after those weddings, all which take place within the next 45 days. 

I told you I have been busy.  :-)

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.  :-)