Saturday, February 28, 2015

What? Another New BOM? Yep - Forest Quilt Along

Facebook can be dangerous - we all know that. It's especially dangerous for someone like me who is addicted to Block of the Month quilts. 

I follow several groups on FB - one of them is "For the love of paper piecing". That's me! I love paper piecing - foundation piecing to be more descriptive and to differential this technique from English Paper Piecing (which I also love and for which there is also a FB group).  

Several weeks ago, Janeen Van Niekerk from South Africa posted to the FB group that she was starting a 12 week quilt along. Oh Boy! The quilt is sooooo cute. I couldn't resist and can hardly wait til March 4th when it starts. Come to think about it, it's not a BOM, its a BOW, so maybe it doesn't count against my BOM count (grin).

I'm thinking about using Ricky Tims' Stable Stuff Poly because it's a great medium for foundation piecing, it can go through the printer, and it doesn't have to be removed (my least favorite part of paper piecing). 

So, my plan is to purchase fabric for the sky and use my scraps for the trees, critters and flying geese. I'll let you know if I stick to my plan. Once I get into my green fabric scraps I may have to add a piece or two to get the contrast. We'll see!

Only a week to wait! Curious about foundation piecing? Check out this tutorial.  Want to join in the Forest Quilt-A-Long? See Janeen's website to sign up.

P.S. I'm writing this from Lawrence Memorial Hospital. My sweetie Saul has had some heart issues and is currently recovering from a catheterization and had a stent put it. He is doing well and will be home soon. During idle time, my thoughts go to quilting . . .

Monday, February 23, 2015

More New BOMs - Dear Jane

It's a disease - I haven't met a BOM I did not love. Well maybe 1 or 2. Not only do I love them, I feel like I just HAVE TO do them. Even though I already have 5  . .  6 . . .  no, it's 7 going.

Last year I signed up for an 18 month Dear Jane BOM through Stitchin' Heaven in TX. Thankfully they delayed the start until January 2015.   So this past January, I received my first set of fabrics and some extra tips for the first series of blocks. 

Dear Jane is a quilt made (well finished and dated) in 1863 by Jane A. Blakely Stickle of Vermont. The quilt blocks were then drafted into a pattern and published in 1996 by Brenda Manges Papadakis. There are 169 four inch blocks, 52 border triangles and 4 corner blocks (my mathematician hubby tells me that is indeed 225 different blocks). 

I had already bought the book and in fact got it autographed by Brenda, but I thought that instead of obsessing over color choices, I would just do a BOM that included fabric. There were several choices out there - traditional, reds, blues, or brights. I decided to go with traditional, although I tend to prefer the bright colors. My reasoning? How could I do a Dear Jane in anything but the original colors? Jane went to so much work to make the quilt and Brenda took years to draft the patterns, so to honor them I decided to go traditional.

The notes that came with the fabric indicated that I can do some of the blocks using a foundation paper method. Too bad the notes didn't have the foundation pattern. No problem! I could make one.  Foundation piecing is one of my favorite methods. I love it because the points turn out nice and pointy, the seams are straight and everything fits together perfectly. If you are curious about foundation paper piecing, here is a tutorial to check out.  The one thing that paper piecers and appliquers all know is that you have to reverse the design in order to get it to come out like the picture. Oops! I forgot to reverse the design. It looks great, but my pinwheel is turning backwards. Oh well, I'm not doing it over just because a pinwheel is spinning clockwise instead of counter clockwise.

So, 1 done, 224 more to go. It feels a bit overwhelming when I look at how many more I have to make. I'll add them to my BOM list and make progress slowly and steadily (I hope).

I am officially a Janiac!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tula Pink 100 Block City Sampler Sew Along

I'm about to start another BOM (shocking, right?)  - Tula Pink's 100 Modern Block City Sampler. About 30 quilters from the Kaw Valley Quilter's Guild are starting a Sew Along to work through her 100 Modern Quilt Blocks book. Oh what fun this will be!

We had our organizational meeting after January's guild meeting and made a couple of decisions. Easy Peasy -we are going to do as many or as few blocks as we want, whichever blocks we want, in whatever colors we like. We'll get together before the night time meeting, and after the daytime meeting to share our blocks, and then also gather occasionally during the month to sew together. We want to make an opportunity quilt out of some extra blocks, but we postponed deciding about the details until next month. I set up a FB group for us so we can post pictures of our blocks. So we're ready to rock and roll!

A couple members - Joy T. and Sammie M. already had some blocks made. In fact Joy wowed us with her binder and organization. I think she had 6 or so blocks already made! She inspired me to get going.

I found a fabric to use as an inspiration fabric and then realized that all the colors were in PB&J by Basic Grey for Moda. I used fabric from this line for Toes in the Sand by JayBird Quilts and I just loved it. So I found a FQ packet on Etsy and I was ready to go. 

Since we were getting ready to visit my Mom in Arizona for a bit, I only got one block done before we left. I loved how it turned out, although Cleo does not seem to be impressed.
As folks started posting their blocks on the FB group, I was getting a bit jealous because I didn't bring any Tula stuff with me to Arizona and I was really itching to make some more blocks. Here are some of the blocks that inspired me (CJ, Kathy, Shari, Maggie, Sandra and Tonya). They're great, aren't they?


Since I didn't bring my book or any of my fabrics, I asked some of my sewing friends to send pics of the blocks so I could make them here. A trip to a couple of quilt shops and I was set. I set up my Mom's 58 year old Singer and had the first AZ block done.  Over the next couple of days I made a few more and so now I feel like I am not behind! I have made my goal of 6 blocks for January!

Here's what I have learned so far:
1) Some quilts are more fun when done as a group. 
2) I could easily get fabric envy - meaning I love others' blocks so much that I want to do them again in different fabrics.
3) This could get addictive.
4) I can get a simple 6 inch block done in about 20 minutes.
5) I love the simple yet unique style that Tula captures in these blocks.

I'm looking forward to our next meeting, I can feel the excitement of my FB friends who are part of this Sew Along - every day there are new pictures of their beautiful blocks.
It's All About Tula!