Monday, October 31, 2011

Modern Blocks Book - Part Two

Are you ready for some more blocks from the Modern Block book? I hope so! Because I still have a bunch to show you. Oh and Happy Halloween! I hope to have some good pictures of my little gal in her halloween costume after today. Nope I didn't make it. I happily bought it. ;) But more on that later.

For today, a glimpse at some more of the blocks that I designed for the Modern Blocks Book that is coming out/available by C & T Publishing for Stash Books.

Last Call:

This block is a variation on the traditional drunkard's path block. This is another one that I first made for a bee when we were supposed to make a circle block. (See! those bees do come in handy!)

Modern Blocks Book - Last Call

I learned a lot from my trial run on this block which I'll show you soon. (the one in the other colorway). Less is more. This is a pretty busy block and my first attempt I had every piece of fabric in the block unique. But really that makes it too busy...unless you do this with all solids. So it's helpful to repeat each fabric a few times in the block.

Oh and this is quite possibly my favorite name EVER for a block!

Modern Blocks Book - Last Call

Cross Walk:

I know that you all will ask, so I'll tell you right now that the fabric I used in this block is a spoonflower exclusive fabric. I'm trying to get in touch with the designer to see if it is still available. (It's been a year since I got this!)    Thanks Jen for the update on this fabric.  You can find it at A Little Sweetness in her Etsy Shop!

Modern Blocks Book - Cross Walk

This is a variation on a nine patch block. A complicated one, but still a nine patch in essence. You have to be sure to piece this with scant 1/4" seams so that you don't loose any width when you sew it, but it's really not too hard of a block.

Modern Blocks Book - Cross Walk

Once again, this is a block that is perfect for fussy cutting and showcasing a special fabric.

Modern Blocks Book - Cross Walk

and the last one for today...

Slot Machine:

Modern Blocks Book - Slot Machine

This block is mainly paper pieced to help you get those super crisp points on the diamonds. I'll admit that in this colorway, this block was tricky. I'm not sure that there is anything much harder than trying to piece solid black and white perfectly. lol. But I've also done this block with prints as I'll show you and it's MUCH more forgiving. So once again...give it a whirl!

Modern Blocks Book - Slot Machine

Told you I was in a diamond mood...and I still have another diamond block left to show you later this week.

I hope you are all playing along here and enjoying a sneak peak at the book. Which one do you like?!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Modern Blocks part one - alternate colorways

I mentioned that I had made each of my blocks in another colorway to coordinate with each other. The color scheme was actually based off of the colors I used for the stargazing block, so I didn't remake that one. But you'll be able to see the versatility of the blocks with different fabrics.

All or Nothing:

All or nothing - alternate colorway

I was still fiddling with the construction method when I made this, but I love the colorways. I wanted to see a non rainbow option. I may love this one more than the first, but it's a tough call.

All or Nothing - Alternate Colorway

Best Friend:

Best Friend - Alternate colorway

I used another focus fabric here, the tufted tweets. It's such a strong pattern, I wanted to keep the rest of the block simple. So no fussy cut center block and simple green fabrics for the inner strips.

Best Friend - Alternate colorway

It was still important to me to keep the pattern of focus fabrics running in one I specially cut the tweets again for that. And look here at how this block would be on point! So much movement!

Best Friend - Alternate colorway


Doublemint - alternate colorway

Still a mix of solids and prints, but I love the large grey polka dot in the background. And the running stripe from Nicey Jane looks so Matrixy in the background.

Doublemint - alternate colorway

A closeup on a diamond.

Doublemint - alternate colorway

I hope you all enjoy these other versions of the blocks I designed. I hope to make a quilt with all of the coordinating versions of the blocks and make a bunch of the other blocks from the very own souvenir from this project!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Modern Blocks Book - Part One

So I think I may have mentioned that I am part of the Modern Blocks book that is just coming out by C&T Publishing.

It is so exciting for me! It is not the first projects of mine that have been published, but it is the first that were accepted for publication. I was bouncing out of my seat when I got the approval for my blocks. I was a total overachiever (surprise!) and submitted a whole bunch of blocks. And they accepted 11! of them. (Out of 99 blocks in the book) So if you pick up a copy of this book, you'll see my name a few times. lol I want to share them all with you, but I think 11 is too overwhelming for one post. So I'm going to start with a few of them and then continue to show you more throughout the next week....and there just may be a giveaway at the end of all these posts. ;) So stay tuned...and maybe participate along the way. ;)

So let's kick this off with the block that was easily the most difficult for me. I was almost sad when they accepted it because I knew how much work it was going to be. lol But don't me dissuade you from trying it! It's so worth it!

All or Nothing
(By the way, my working title for this was Carousal...their title is a little more intimidating I think!)

Modern Blocks - All or Nothing

This block involves curved piecing in almost every step...and that center seam gave me fits. If you follow along with me, you might remember that I did a lot of blocks last year that were simpler variations on this. I was trying to get the technique down. So don't worry. I've worked out all those kinks for you! Plus I have the pieced circle tutorial here on the blog to help you with this one. You'll need a bundle of different shades of solids for the rainbow effect here, but I'd love to see other variations of it!

Modern Blocks - All or Nothing

(I love their name for this one!)

Modern Blocks - Double Mint

First off, huge shout of to Penny (sewtakeahike) who sent me the blue seeds for this block. It's my favorite part! This block is partially paper pieced and partially template sewn. But it comes together really well. I love the log cabinesque style triangles and yet the diamonds that are made. I was definitely in a diamond mood when I was designing...two of my other blocks make heavy use of diamonds as well!

Ahh...I miss my stump for photo taking!

Modern Blocks - Double Mint

(or as I affectionately call this, twinkle twinkle triple star)

Modern Blocks - Stargazing

This block has so many elements in it to me that are vital about quilting. There is tradition with the star concept, whimsy with the wonkiness, color and fun fabrics of modern quilting, the white background, etc. It will look fabulous with blocks of wonky stars of larger sizes as well. I have a whole quilt designed using this block in combination with other stars for a fun star quilt. Possibly perfect for a little boy if done in navy, white and red in particular!

Modern Blocks - Stargazing

I do think that the use of solids with prints helps this block from becoming too busy. It's a great block for using all those tiny scraps!

Modern Blocks - Stargazing

Can we handle one more?

yes? okay then...

Best Friend

Modern Blocks - Best Friend

Oh was super excited last year when I had the opportunity to work with Sherbet Pips right as it came out for market! Almost exactly a year ago! I knew right away that I wanted to use it and was lucky enough to get a hold of some from the manufacturer. It's just perfect for fussy cutting!

Modern Blocks - Best Friend

I think the direction of the fabrics is important in this block to create movement but also a place for the eye to rest. So the dogs all run in the same direction, but the scarves are winding their way around the block. I still find it so charming! The puppy dogs just kill me...they are so cute!

Modern Blocks - Best Friend

I also have all of these blocks made in a coordinating colorway that match the colors of the star block above...I'll have to share those too. But this is enough for today. ;) How many was that? Four? Seven more to go! I'd love to hear your thoughts on these.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Floss Giveaway Winner!

Thank you everyone for all of your lovely suggestions about what to do with the reindeer embroidery I've been working on. You certainly have my brain churning. I have to admit that at this point I'm pretty reluctant to turn them into anything that people touch. lol

I've been working more and more...I've finished Cupid!

Cupid - complete

I love those floating hearts above his? head! They are so fun.

And I've also started, really almost finished now, with another reindeer... Comet! Comet required me to really figure out how to make a french knot. I fiddled with winging it for a while with pretty disastrous results. lol. I should have taken a picture of my muddled knots that I later cut out. I finally found some online videos on youtube which showed me how to make a french knot. And I was pretty successful. Not full proof yet, but getting there. ;)

Comet - partial

Still a number of reindeer to go after these...boy do they take some time. And my little girlie is fascinated with them. Which is sweet but not particularly helpful.

comet and cupid

But I know that you all are interested in that giveaway winner. Mr random generator picked an early one this time!

Lucky Esther was the winner of the embroidery floss and AMH fabric compliments of Pink Castle Fabrics! Enjoy! I'm super jealous!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

First Refashioning!

I've been itching to "save" some garments and turn them into others. There are so many great ideas out there for refashioning clothing and I've been observing the trend. As a fabric junkie, I can't deny the lure of variety of fabrics and finishes that come with using a factory finished garment. So I finally put my toe in the water and tested this idea. You see, I had this lovely pair of "sweat" pants from Ann Taylor that looked cute and were of a lovely knit...they just didn't look good on me any more. ;) But I knew someone that they might look good on.

knit pants - used for refashion

So I cut off the bottom of the pants and used the lower pant legs to create new pieces for mini pants for the little gal. I used a pair of pajama pants that fit her currently as a pattern of sorts and just winged it. I was able to keep the hem of the pants and the side thread details for her new pants.

Knit Pants - Refashion from my pants

It only takes a couple of quick seams with the hem and side seams already there to finish the pants. The most time was probably spent making the waist band...which is just a simple elastic waist with about an inch wide elastic.

Knit Pants - Refashion from my pants

It's hard to get an active little gal to stand still so you can photograph her waistband, so believe me when I say that it's not as wonky as it looks in that picture. Diapers and activity move clothes around. I'm pretty pleased with how the pants turned out with a couple of disclaimers. Next time around I need to make the waist a little bit larger so that there is more stretch. My little girl is skinny mini, so it doesn't matter too much on her now. But it's definitely a good habit to get into, especially if I want to try anything like this for myself. Also, it is definitely the case that this method does not account for a curved rear end. ;) That's something that MY body will definitely need.

Knit Pants - Refashion from my pants

This whole thing was also an experiment for me because I was working with knit fabric. I actually made my very first garment in grade school with a knit...and I've never done it since. But it is a much more reasonable choice for garment sewing usually, so I'd love to feel really comfortable using knits. I finally realized that my machine has a "stretch" stitch or knit stitch and decided to give it a whirl. I think that part went swimmingly. I would definitely tackle knits again! I pulled on those seams a lot and there was NO issue. They stretched and popped right back.

Knit Pants - Refashion from my pants

And she was certainly pleased as punch to wear the pants. She's only 22 months and not a huge talker, so I'm not always sure what she is aware of...but my husband told me the next day that when he was putting her to bed that night while I was out, she patted her pants and said "mama!"
Yay! She'll definitely be getting more things from me. (Like she could avoid it!)

Knit Pants - Refashion from my pants

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cosmo Floss and AMH Needleworks Giveaway!

*the giveaway is now closed*

Hey all,
You know that I've been interested more and more in embroidery right? Well I've been making a little progress. I've tried to take some of your advice and then plow ahead. I found a set of quirky but hopefully not too cutesy reindeer for some kind of Christmas something and I'm working my way along...I'm on my third reindeer. I'll admit that I'm pretty much only using a backstich at this point because that's all I've figured out. (I haven't looked at the online tutorials yet). But I do think I pulled off a couple of french knots, and really, no one is here to tell me differently. ;) My filling stitches need definite work, but they're okay...until I look at a "real" embroiderer's work. lol

ETA: A number of you seem interested in where I got the patterns.  I bought this set at my local Joann's but I don't see it on their site.  This is the package and I noticed that an Etsy shop is selling one...although I'm sure you can find them in all kinds of places. ;) oh and I'm using a dmc perle cotton size 8 in three colors.

Check it out!

Reindeer Embroidery - Prancer

Reindeer Embroidery - Donner

Reindeer Embroidery - Cupid (partial)

Well again, in the interest of mixing up these giveaways a bit and offering something other than fabric, we have a lovely giveaway today sponsored by the sweet Brenda of Pink Castle Fabrics. She has selected a lovely custom bundle of 23 cosmo embroidery threads that match ALL of AMH's fabrics(which she also sells in her shop if you can't wait!) and a YARD of Anna Maria Horner's Pangaea Loulouthi Needleworks! And remember, this fabric is 60" wide!

So generous Brenda!

So, want a chance to win?

First, tell me you are a follower of my blog. I want to make sure I didn't lose anyone with my crazy blog update that is still going on. ;)

Second, give me an idea what to do with these reindeer when I am finished with them. They are all roughly in the 5" x 6" range. Pillow? Wallhanging? Bathroom scrubbie? Whatever!

We'll keep this open through the weekend! Then I should be able to finally show you my completed zig zag quilt too. Woohoo!


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