Showing posts with label Patchwork. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Patchwork. Show all posts

Thursday, 5 October 2017

And that makes me really really happy

I do not know how it is for you but once I have gifted a sewn item to someone, I usually am not privy to its future life and treatment in its new home. That is mostly because it never occurs to the new owners that I might be interested in some feedback. For them it is mostly only one more item (albeit a beautiful one quite obviously =) in their household and nothing to fawn over. Which is exactly as it should be of course. Still as a maker you always wonder whether the item you made is actually being liked and used.



Therefore, I am always happy when I come to visit and find that yes, the items are in use and loved. It gives me so much joy. I had a few happy moments like that recently. Just last week I visited friends and unexpectedly spied three items I made in various rooms of their house. 

My Polaroid Photo quilt is in constant use. I was told by the seven years old owner that it is just like an astronaut's blanket, because you can lie under it and only the head sticks out, which of course would be in a helmet and then everything is covered. OK... works for me.   =)



Here is one of the Polaroid Photo pillowcases fully household integrated and in use. Another pillowcase I had made a few years before the Polaroid ones, was in the next room over. This said room was in a state of teenage disarray however and not not fit for photographic presentation. So we left it at that.  =)

Oh also, I recently found that my Polaroid Quilt (among others) was used as inspiration picture for a Polaroid Sew-Along hosted by Tea & Brie this Summer. How nice.

Just before I went on holiday to Japan at the beginning of September, a colleague of mine reported that the baby blanket I gifted his then new born daughter two years ago, is also still going strong.




Apparently, Anna - two and half years of age, demands of her parents to be read to while she reclines on her - by now somewhat short - blanket.  =)  How fabulous is that?! Brilliant, I love it. This is why I sew, at least in part. 

OK, back to the sewing machine then. I have another baby blanket currently in the making. 




Wednesday, 1 March 2017

'Static Interference' Foundation Paper Piecing Block - Blithe Fabric Blog Tour



Puppilalla, Blog Hop, Katarina Rocella, Blithe Fabrics, Foundation Paper Piecing, Free Quilt Block, Original Design


That’s it folks, the last day of the official Katarina Roccella ‘Blithe’ Fabrics Blog Tour, although I have the sneaking suspicion that it might continue unofficially with people posting their creations on Instagram using #blithefabricsblogtour or #blithefabrics. So many beautiful things were created that I would like to encourage you to follow the links and check them out.

While I am bringing up the rear, I am very pleased to share with you a baby quilt top made with selected ‘Blithe’ prints in combination with April Rhode’s 'Wanderer' print 'Sacred Seeds in Brittle'.


Static Interference, Puppilalla, Blog Hop, Katarina Rocella, Blithe Fabrics, Foundation Paper Piecing, Free Quilt Block, Original Design



The German mail system failed me miserably concerning this blog hop project. As previously mentioned, the fabrics I had required for this project just did not arrive. I mailed Katarina to let her know, I checked with a few local post offices and then finally Katarina told me that the letter had returned, as it had not been claimed for 20 days(!). The thing is that I never received a notification to let me know that the letter had arrived in the first place. As the recipient of any non-commercial mail in Germany you are just left to your own devices and absolutely no-one is helping you when you are trying to make enquiries. You can tell that I am still a more than only a little annoyed. When I commenced my project I then worked with a fat quarter bundle I had purchased, rather than with the fabrics and amounts initially requested.


Static Interference, Puppilalla, Blog Hop, Katarina Rocella, Blithe Fabrics, Foundation Paper Piecing, Free Quilt Block, Original Design



This is why am especially pleased to present you my blog hop contribution despite the adversities suffered in the process. I love how my baby quilt top turned out. Somehow the featured prints look very feminine to me, which goes nicely with the softness of Art Gallery Fabrics in general. I still have got a few months time to finish the baby blanket until my friend Tina is due to give birth to her second child, though we do not know if it is going to be a boy or a girl yet.


Static Interference, Puppilalla, Blog Hop, Katarina Rocella, Blithe Fabrics, Foundation Paper Piecing, Free Quilt Block, Original Design


One of the secret plans, I hatched very early when I commenced blogging, was that, should I manage to stick writing the blog, I would want to give something back to the sewing community. When Katarina Roccella called for makers to work with her gorgeous new fabric line it seemed like an opportunity to me. Firstly, I would get to work with Katarina’s new and indeed very pretty fabric line and secondly, a deadline approaching would provide the necessary pressure to actually get things done. Having said that, paper piecing under time pressure sure poses a challenge.


A new block from me to you



Static Interference, Puppilalla, Blog Hop, Katarina Rocella, Blithe Fabrics, Foundation Paper Piecing, Free Quilt Block, Original Design

Herewith, I am saying THANK YOU to each and every one person, who has taken the time to painstakingly write up a step-by-step description, to film a tutorial, to explain processes, to share tips and tricks or to provide encouragement. Like many a member of the online community, I have hugely benefited and continue to benefit from your knowledge, generosity and the free resources you provide. So consider this payback time.


'Static Interference' -  8x8 inches


Here it is, a free 8 x 8 inches foundation paper piecing block from me to you. It is called ‘Static Interference’. It is a fairly minimal and modern block but very versatile indeed. I had a lot of fun playing around with the colouring sheets and was in for quite a few surprises myself in discovering possible repeats other than those, I had initially envisioned. So overall I am very pleased with the outcome. I am especially grateful to all online sewing acquaintances who, with their casual questioning, if and when any of my #30daysofquiltdesign designs would be realized in fabric, gave me the confidence to actually convert an idea into a usable template. Their lack of doubt as to me being able to do that was rather catching.


Static Interference, Puppilalla, Blog Hop, Katarina Rocella, Blithe Fabrics, Foundation Paper Piecing, Free Quilt Block, Original Design


My sewing friend, the lovely Maja blogging at 'betyipiernaty - quilts and coverlets' agreed to pattern test my creation. I am certainly in love with what she came up with fabric selection wise in her rendition of the block. Her current plan is, to make three more blocks and assemble them into a pillowcase. Whilst testing the pattern, I noticed that I had included a line in the C and D templates that was – in the end – superfluous. Since, as a rule, things ought to be kept as simple as possible, I simplified the templates accordingly.



Static Interference, Puppilalla, Blog Hop, Katarina Rocella, Blithe Fabrics, Foundation Paper Piecing, Free Quilt Block, Original Design


There are further assembly options of course. =)

Please download your templates here


Well, here 

If you use the block pattern I would be delighted if you let me know and shared a picture with me, i.e. on IG using #staticinterferencequiltblock. The block is free for private use including sales items in non-commercial quantities. Please do me the courtesy to link back to me as originator if you do use the pattern.

Static Interference, Puppilalla, Blog Hop, Katarina Rocella, Blithe Fabrics, Foundation Paper Piecing, Free Quilt Block, Original Design


That’s it, all done.
=)


I link up with 'Let's Bee Social'
Sew Fresh Quilts

Friday, 14 October 2016

Bucket List of Sewing (related) Projects continued - Lone Star Quilt and Cathedral Windows

It has been a long while since I last wrote about my bucket list of sewing related projects. So I thought, why not return to it for a change.

A Cathedral Window Quilt

Have I mentioned that I am impatient? No? Be it known then that I - Puppilalla - am IMPATIENT. That is somewhat unlucky in a quilter. =)

Therefore, I fear, while I do swoon over the pictures of beautiful cathedral window quilts, I will probably never be able to make - as in complete - one myself. I like the texture that is created by the layering of fabrics and enjoy the little fussy cuts of the myriads of fabrics, yet the sheer number of cathedral windows that would need preparing to complete a bed sized quilt is just daunting.

modern cathedral window quilt, Puppilalla, Fussy cuts, Peter robs Paul,




Still if I ever made one, the baby probably would look something like this. If anybody feels inclined to make a bed sized 'Cathedral Window' quilt for me, get in touch, so I know where to send the stack of fabrics I have in mind.  =)


Project rating: Keep wishing  =)



A Lone Star Quilt


aka 'Star of the East', 'Mathematical Star', 'Star of Bethlehem', 'Rising Star' or 'Blazing Star'

For a long time, I was not even sure if I liked the ‘Lone Star’ or not. I was constantly going back and forth between ‘Nay’ and Yeah’. I have since decided that I do like it and even want to make my own version but that I would have to be very sure about my fabric choices as they absolutely make or break the project.

I have stared a ‘Lone Star’ board on Pinterest for inspiration in terms of positioning, size, fabric choices etc. and am happy to sit on it for a while longer until some sort of plan forms. Not to mention that I will have to further develop my sewing skills to be able to realize this quilt design. So viewing tutorials and classes in parallel also goes on the To-do list.

I have however taken steps to realize the quilt at some point by purchasing an actual pattern during the 'May is for Makers' initiative. 


Project rating: long term and cautiously realistic




Bucket List, Sewing wish list, quilting project list, Puppilalla


I guess I should take 'join a Quilting Bee' off the list and add 'learn FMQ'. Also 'quilt-as-you-go' techniques would be definitely useful. Aww, there are so many things that I would like to try. Well one quilt at a time - right?




Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Meadow Mystery Quilt Along #1 - Fabric Choices





Do you know that moment of awareness dawning on you, when you notice that you might have bitten off a little more than you can chew? Uhm – I feel I might just have done that. I decided to join the Meadow Mystery Quilt Along. I just cannot resist the temptation of surprise and the quilts form Cheryl’s previous mystery QAL looked so pretty that I very much wanted in.

SO  checking my to-do list now I am looking at sewing bee blocks for two bees, working on my two bee quilt tops resulting from those bees, various UFO’s, a new quilt block design challenge for a another blog hop I have not told you about yet, a little mystery project of my own (yeah!) AND the Meadow Mystery QAL. Deep breaths, we will get there.

My rational is that the QAL extends into the first half of the next year, so technically one could consider this a medium term commitment, which only gets REALLY work intensive once the bees have finished anyway for this year… See, with a bit of effort you can rationalise everything. =)

About the QAL 

The QAL runs from July 2016 until April 2017 and so far we have only received the information on the fabric requirements, so it is ample time for you to join as well.

We will be working with 5 fabrics (or more if you decide to go scrappy in one colour family or another) and are looking to work with half square triangles, square in a square units and flying geese.

A set of directions revealed the first Thursday of every month. The mystery quilt will finish at approximately 60" x 60".

I am quite excited about the QAL and I seriously have to resist the temptation to ask or hostess Cheryl for a sneak peek at the design. She offered one in case you were undecided or not into surprises.

Puppilalla Original Design 2016 All rights reserved

Fabric Requirements

Fabric A - Medium Value Fabric - 1/2 yd
Fabric B - Dark Value Fabirc -  3/4 yd
Fabric C - Dark Value Fabirc -  1 yd
Fabric D - Light to Medium Value Fabric -  1 yd
Fabric E - Light Value Fabric  - 2  1/4 yds
The following fabrics will be next to each other and we are to test our fabric selections to make sure that there is a good amount of contrast between the fabrics.

A is next to B, C, and E
B is next to A, D, and E
C is next to A, D, and E
D is next to B and C
E is next to A, B, and C E can be considered the main background of the quilt and D can be considered a secondary background of the quilt.

So that the eye has a place to rest within the quilt, it is suggested that a solid or a tone-on-tone print that reads as a solid be used for Fabric E.

 

Fabric Sets 

I went digging in my stash and found a few fabrics that might work in this context. I am as of yet undecided with which set to run. I find all of them tempting but need to check if there is enough of contrast.

Meadow Mystery QAL, Quilt Along, Puppilalla, Fabric Set, Meadow Mist Designs
Set 1 all soft focus and mild manners



Meadow Mystery QAL, Quilt Along, Puppilalla, Fabric Set, Meadow Mist Designs
Set 2 with a pop colour for a bit of an edge



Meadow Mystery QAL, Quilt Along, Puppilalla, Fabric Set, Meadow Mist Designs
Set 3 with two pop colours basically screaming autumn  =)



See, this is why I itch to ask Cheryl for a sneak peek. This way it would be far easier to judge which colours would work in the context of the quilt. Sheesh. And what about inverting the colours. If I were to decide that the dark green is to be the background fabric, what would that mean for all the other colours?

Which are your fabrics of choice then? 
I might just quickly pop over to the Meadow Mystery Facebook page and ask my partners in crime ... fellow Meadow Mystery Quilters which set they think might work best.

Puppilalla Original Design 2016 All rights reserved





Ohhhh - this is exciting!


=)



Friday, 24 June 2016

Quilts for Pulse Charity Drive - Rainbow Heart Blocks Wanted


http://theorlandomodernquiltguild.blogspot.de/2016/06/details-for-quilts-for-pulse-donations.html

Actually, not only 'Rainbow Heart' blocks but, entire quilt tops, binding, batting and backing are very much wanted in support of the 'Quilts for Pulse' Charity Drive.

In the aftermath of the horrible shooting at the Pulse Club in Orlando on June 12 that cost the lifes of 50 people and injured many more, the global quilting community is being asked to show solidarity by helping out, either individually or as guilds and bees and other sewing groups.

Blocks and material for a minimum of 102 quilts are needed — one for each survivor, and one for the families of each victim who perished. Any quilts that surpass that number will be given to first responders, and then distributed to the LGBT community in Orlando via organizations like The Center and Zebra Coalition.

Block requirements:


  • Size 10 x 10 inches
  • Somehow incorporate rainbow colours
  • Should contain at least one heart 


Please include a full sized piece of paper with your name, guild if a member, what you've sent, and location from whence you hail.

Further information, as well as the address any blocks / material / quilts are to be sent to can be found here if you feel you have the capacity to help out.



Rainbow Heart Block Take 1


A while back I read in a blog somewhere that the author found it sort of sad that everyone just blogged about their sewing successes and how everything was 'peachy keen' and how that delivered a somewhat warped image as failures or difficulties were zoned out.

An interesting thought indeed. I guess everybody likes to feel competent and in charge and our culture practically invites us to celebrate success. Therefore, it is no wonder that we read mostly success stories. Apart from that, it is justified to feel proud that one has finished a project and cheering for each other in social media and blogging space helps to maintain the motivation to keep sewing, don't you think?

Well in the spirit of sharing, I invite you to partake in an absolute and complete sewing fiasco. Have a look at this THING. It is hard to imagine that it started out as a nice 10 x 10 square of cheerful blue fabric with a yellow heart applied to it. My design idea had been to embroider the heart in rainbow colours in line with the requested theme.



It went rather wrong as you can see. Round and round I went and the block got more and more crooked and bowl shaped. I tried to iron it flat again without avail. I think not owning an embroidery foot and not having sunk the fabric transport might have been contributing factors here.

Well then I thought, what if I cut out the blue fabric from the backside - you know the part that was now covered with the yellow fabric of the heart - maybe this would ease some tension and help me flatten this object back into two dimensionality - nope apparently not.


Well I could see that the block did no longer have the requested 10 x 10 inches and that I would have to do something with it anyway, so I though, well maybe I will just cut out the inner heart and trim the blue away and turn the rest in a sort of appliqué shape to be ironed onto a new background square with heat bond and ... by this time it was late evening on Saturday.


When I came back Sunday morning I just admitted defeat. This thing was beyond saving. I dare say, it has been a long time that I did not manage to salvage a project in some way or another. I learned something about what did not work even though the 'why' still remains to be somewhat determined - any experienced sewists are invited to comment.

Here you have it, an insider view of my very own recent sewing fiasco.

  =)

Rainbow Heart Block Take 2


Pulse Charity Drive, Heart Block, Puppilalla


OK, here the second attempt at the 'Rainbow Heart' block. Still in shock about the candy coloured inadvertently ruffled monstrosity I had produced, I commenced a second block also in yellow and blue but somewhat more sombre looking. A bit too sombre for my liking, I might have gone down a bit too far down the other side of the scale there - well but at least it stayed flat (!)


Quilts for Pulse, Charity Block, Pulse Charity Drive, Herat Patchwork Block, Puppilalla





I will send the block today.  If you find that you still have capacities time wise, consider supporting the charity drive.



Thursday, 25 February 2016

Polaroid Quilt Blocks for Cancer Relief Quilt #3 - Good Things Come to Those Who Wait


February draws to a close and I thought I quickly drop you a line concerning the polaroid block quilt project. Throughout the last few weeks I could not do much but sit tight and let others work their magic.

Puppilalla, Polaroid blocks, photo blocks, patchwork
from top left to bottom right, blocks by June, myself, June again, Maja, Liz and Karin






Then letters with beautiful blocks started to drop in from all corners of the world and I have received many encouraging and kind words which I will pass on to Hanno and his family.

I am going to wait about two more weeks for the last blocks, I have been notified about, to come in and then it will be my turn to pull things together.

donated polaroid photo blocks for cancer relief quilt
Laura's block


Once again words cannot really express how deeply grateful I am to all the volunteers without whom this project would not have gotten off the ground. Thank you.







Saturday, 23 January 2016

Polaroid Quilt Blocks for Cancer Relief Quilt #1 - Call for Helpers


Up-date: THANK YOU for your kind words, blocks and polaroids. I have had immediate responses and offers for help. If everyone lives up to their word - and I am sure they will - I should have enough block elements to put this quilt top together. So thank you for stopping by and your consideration and willingness to help out. 

Also anyone who is currenly already sewing but has not gotten the mailing address yet, please leave a comment beneath this post and I will get back to you.

Hello there,
This blog post is a call for volunteers. It is a bit of an unusal forum to discuss my request for assistance but I would be grateful if you could see yourself helping me out. 

The Background: 

Good friends of mine, who have three lovely children aged 8, 5 and 3, found out just before New Years Eve that their middle child Hanno has a brain tumour. It is a rare form of a malicious cancer that only occurs about 35 - 45 times in a million annually in Germany. It mostly befalls children between the age of 3 and 10, while grown-ups are seldomly afflicted.
Hanno had neurosurgery twice already in the last two weeks and is looking ahead to at least eight months of chemo and radio therapy. Luckly, the cancer has not yet spread beyond the initial tumour. As Hanno will have to spend a lot of time in hospitals waiting around for and in-between treatments, I would like to make him a type of 'I spy with my little eye' - quilt, namely a 'Polaroid Photo' quilt.


The Request:

I am however not the fastest sewer and do work full time, which leaves little time for sewing. Additionally, I do not have the necessary amount of novelty print fabrics to accomodate that many polaroid fussy cuts without repeating them over and over. Therefore, I would appreciate assistance in making the blocks. I had initially asked my quilting bee to allow me to swap months to bring my turn forward from June but was not allowed. I could wait until it is my turn in June but that feels frivolous in the given situation.

This is where you might come in. If you feel you have the time and capacity to construct and donate a block towards this project, I would be, well ... I would be rather grateful.
Please get in contact with me by leaving a comment beneath this post for the postal address.

In case you have not seen them before, 'Polaroid' quilts mimic the look of polaroid photographs. Pretty fussy cuts are being framed in a white solid and then assembled to blocks with a solid in the chosen background colour. Here a few examples of this type of quilt:

polaroid quilt, polaroid block, polaroid photo quilt block
1. Oona run amok @ flickr - 2. Polaroid Swap @ occasionalpiece - 3. Love in Polaroids @ Stitched in Color




Materials:


- various novelty prints for 3.5 x 3.5 fussy cuts 

- white solid for the ‘polaroid frame’ 

- yellow solid for the quilt background
(for ease of reference, I use the Kona Cotton Solid in Grellow)

Up-date: Feel free to work from your stash. There is no need to go out and buy extra fabric. That includes the yellow solid. I only mentioned Kona Cotton Solid in Grellow as point of reference. 

Block Construction: Work with a ¼ inch seam throughout. The final block size including seam allowance is 15.5 x 15.5 inches. The block may display as few as 6 and up to 9 polaroids. 


The Polaroids:


The polaroids (fussy cut and frame) once assembled in the final block will have an individual size of 3.5 x 4 each. This includes a fussy cut of 3 x 3 inches and a white frame of ¼ of an inch at the sides and the top of the picture and ¾ of an inch at the bottom of the picture.


As the fussy cuts are meant to have a final size of 3 x 3 inches, I prepared a 3.5 x 3.5 template (cut from an old postcard) to help me finding suitable motifs. You could equally just use builders tape on your quilting ruler as visible in one of the tutorial pictures below. Find, mark and cut your motifs at a size of 3.5 x 3.5. Press with a hot iron, should they be crinkly. The motifs may be of any colour or theme: typewriters, fruit, vegetables, cars, houses, ships, spacecrafts, landscapes, dinosaurs, critters, chairs etc. as long as you can find a pretty detail in the print. 



The polaroid, once assembled, will have a ¼ inch frame width at the top, to the left and to the right. The bottom part of the frame will measure ¾ of an inch. I used a chain piecing technique to frame the fussy cuts in white. Have a look at the pictures below. They should give you a fairly accurate impression of how to go about it. If not, here is another tutorial, that illustrates the process.

Take your solid white fabric and cut a long continuous strip. As I find it difficult to work accurately with fabric strips that are too narrow and like a bit of wiggle room anyway, I cut my fabric strips the width of 1 ¼ inches for ease of sewing. If you are good at precision piecing and sewing feel free to work with narrower fabric strips for the sides and top of the polaroid. For the bottom part you will need 1 ¼ inches of width (including seam allowance) anyway. 

I pressed the fabric strip and placed it under the needle. I then aligned the fussy cuts right sides together on the edge of the fabric strip and chain pieced all the fussy cuts. I cut the pieces apart, pressed the seams open and repeated that process on all sides.

tutorial pictures by Kat @ Cheeseandcrackerjacks

Once the fussy cuts were framed they looked like this. I trimmed them down to a size of 4 x 4.5 inches for final assembly.



Block Assembly:


I am aiming for a loose grit. The polaroids are not required to line up perfectly. Therefore, you are mostly free to assemble the block with the yellow background fabric as you like as long as you observe the below parameters. 

Imagine a 9 patch grit and try to place the polaroids in this grit. Place 1 polaroid per patch so to speak (or leave ‘blank’ spaces should you work with less than 9 polaroids) They do not have to be exactly evenly spaced. Some may or snuggle up to each other. One block may lean towards another block a bit or there may be gaps between some. The finished block may display up to 9 but no less than 6 polaroids. 





However, please refrain from doing anything of the below:


The finished block should have a size of 15.5 x 15.5 inches. 

I am looking to receive assistance throughout February in order to have the quilt finished by the middle of March. 

OK, this was a seriously long blog post. I hope I managed to convey how to go about making the block. Feel free to ask questions if something remains unclear or to point out obvious mistakes I might have made writing this up
and...

Many thanks for your help!


Here is my first block yet un-trimmed. I am currently assembling the second.


The above displayed spacing and measurements I used are not mandatory. I only included them because some people specifically asked for some directions. Feel free to deviate.






Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The Bee Hive 2016 - January Block - the crazier the better!





Our swarm leader and January Queen Bee Jenn who can be found at instagram as @JennTrumbo and on Facebookas @Jennifer Wright Trumbo, has received my bee block in the mail last week. Thus, I can now reveal the block here too without spoiling the surprise for her. Jenn asked us to make the 'In the Middle' block and allowed us a lot of somewhat panic inducing freedom.

The requirements were to use dark grey or dark navy as either a solid or very bold patterns for the darker parts and bright jewel tones for the lighter parts. Any patterns, motifs (except birds) and colours allowed and as a general guideline - the crazier the better! 

'In the Middle' sample blocks by Jenn Trumbo


So here now my addition to her quilt top to be. 

The Bee Hive 2016, January Block, In the Middle, Blossom Heart Quilts, Puppilalla


I felt, I managed to deliver on the dark navy background and the jewel tones but otherwise my block is not exactly the epitome of craziness. Somehow I had hoped that the colour gradient fabric would deliver even more of an ...Oomph. 

It will work wonderfully with the blocks Jenn already made but it looks so well-behaved in comparison. With hindsight I should not have chosen a directional print for the dark parts but something else to create more movement. (meh)

Jenn has confirmed that she likes the block so that's a relief. I even got to see already how it looks next to her sample blocks. I am curious to find out what blocks my fellow bees made and how Jenn is going to assemble them to a unified whole. 

Have I mentioned that quilting bees are fun? Bring on the next challenge!
=)




The Bee Hive



Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Top 5 Blocks for Quilting Bees - Suitable Bee Blocks

Once you have successfully joined a quilting bee it is time for the BIG question. What block shall I ask my bee mates to make? The answer depends somewhat on the ground rules of your bee group, swarm or hive. 
Usually, there are a few restrictions that need to be observed. Mostly, it should be possible to construct your block of choice without having to purchase patterns or additional, fancy equipment beyond what can be reasonably expected in a sewing basket. Also bees do mostly work with fabrics from their own stash, which naturally leads to a variety of different fabrics appearing in the final project. That needs to be factored in when choosing a block.

Still, even discounting the commercial patterns, the possibilities are sheer endless. Working with scraps or going mono chromatic seems to work fine. Tuning you swarm mates to a very specific colour scheme is equally possible but a little more challenging. Will you allow your bee mates to improvise or should you go for that extra tedious design that you would appreciate not to have to make 18 blocks of on your own? Decisions, decisions. 



Puppilalla Original Design Copyright 2015, Queen Bee, Quilting Bee


Let me share with you a few blocks that I really like and consider absolutely quilting bee suitable. 

1. 'Pickle Dish Variation' at red pepper quilts 


I fell for this design when I saw Rachel's interpretation at 'Stitched in Color'. The warm bright colours and low volume fabrics creating a strong contrast absolutely work for me. Rachel used Rita Hodge's easy to follow tutorial and Rita's version uses a somewhat cooler colour scheme. The secondary pattern emerging is drop dead gorgeous. Bees could use all sort of scraps to make this block, though I find a rendition in solids would also work quite well.

Pickle Dish by Rachel Hauser @ 'Stitched in Color'

2. 'Simply Woven Quilt' at Moda Bake Shop


This is such a simple yet effective design. Again many different fabrics could be used without clashing or causing offence. I imagine this design would save a queen bee a lot of grief when he or she receives a block in colours that are ever so slightly off the preferred colour scheme. One could easily hide the 'offender' in the pattern not that I think any block would manage to offend in this design. The pattern is by Jessica Kelly of 'SewCraftyJess' and can be found at 'Moda Bake Shop'.


Jessica Kelly of  'SewCraftyJess' for 'Moda Bake Shop'


3. 'Disappearing 9-Patch' at Sewn Up

That is a clever little design looking a bit like a fancy 'Irish Chain'. It manages to look a bit different and hides the single blocks nicely in the repeat. This design also lends itself to fussy cutting. The tutorial is by 'TeresaDownUnder' and can be found at her blog 'Sewn Up'.


Disappearing 9-Patch by TeresaDownUnder @ 'Sewn Up'

4. 'Boy's Nonsense' at Where The Orchids Grow

Well the actual block stems from the free block pattern library at 'Quilter's design Board' but Leila at  'Where The Orchids Grow' turned it into the below beauty of a quilt and wrote a tutorial to go along  with the block pattern. I am positively smitten with her fabric choice and colour scheme.


Boy's Nonsense by Leila @ 'Where The Orchids Grow'

5. 'Garden Fence' at Hyacinth Quilt Designs

I consider this a beautiful design by Cindy Lammon at 'Hyacinth Quilt Designs' and as far as quilting bees are concerned. a kind of play-it-safe option. Since the fabrics are framed in a solid, as here in white, the colours do not mix and mingle as much as in all the other designs above. Therefore, any block received by your fellow bees could be treated as self-contained entity. For some this might be a good way of controlling the overall impression of their quilt top to be. Not to mention that the central squares pretty much beg for fussy cuts. 


Garden Fence by Cindy Lammon @ 'Hyacinth Quilt Designs'



Further Online Resources: 


A fabulous free online resource is the 'Moda Bake Shop' blog, where quilters worldwide share their quilt designs and step-by-step tutorials, many of which can easily be adapted as bee blocks.  

For completeness sake, I would also like to point you in the direction of the Bee Hive quilt block tutorial series by 'Blossom Heart Quilts', of which I have not included any designs above since these blocks will feature prominently on my blog this year anyway, with me being a bee member of one of the 2016 swarms and all. The blocks are all newly designed rather than traditional.

'Sewing for Beginners' collected 10 free quilting patterns each for Fat Quarters, Charm Packs and Jelly Rolls.

Still not inspired? 'Generations Quilt Patterns' provide a free library of quilt block patterns and are well worth checking for further inspiration. 

If you like stars and paper foundation piecing Cath Hall at 'Wombat Quilts' can surely accomodate your every wish. 


Right then. This should help you getting started deciding on a bee block for your next quilting bee. I surely feel inspired.
=)



Sunday, 29 November 2015

My First Quilt - A Good Effort

We all started somewhere. And my first quilt came about in 2008 when my friend Tina became pregnant and asked me to be the child's godmother. Understandably, I wanted to present the baby with something extra special and personalized. Therefore, a baby blanket seemed a good idea even though I did not know the first thing about sewing, did not own a sewing machine and had no one in my immediate circle of aquaintances, family and friends who would have been able to advise me on the matter. 

simple squares, beginner friendly, quilt, baby blanket, patchwork, Puppilalla
This first quilt was entirely hand sewn, embroidered, pieced and quilted. I bought a book on quilting and muddled along without the faintest idea what I was actually doing or what techniques to employ in order to make the process as painless as possible and the resulting quilt as pretty as it could be. It took me 6 months to complete it and I would still call it a good first effort today.

Babydecke, beginner project, quilt, baby blanket, patchwork, Puppilalla

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Unfortunately, it became one of those items that ended up enshrined rather than used. My friend loved it too much to bear using it. Bittersweet right?



Thursday, 19 November 2015

Green Diamonds Lap Quilt - Diamonds are forever

This is a lap quilt I made for a male friend of mine in 2014. I had previously spoken with him about colour preferences and already knew he would not want loud prints, flowers, bright colours, stripes etc. but looked for something fairly neutral.

Green Diamonds, Patchwork, Lap Quilt, Man Quilt, PuppilallaNaturally, loving bright jewelled tones and candy colours, I had nothing of such a reduced nature in my stash, so I went to the fabric store of my choice to peruse their selection. At first, I was a bit at loss to decide what might work.

Finally, I settled on the beige and sage green solids and paired those with a very soft chequered cotton flannel and a stronger cotton weave with aubergine and green threads causing the fabric to scintillate  like beetle wings. Very nice.




I had decided on a diamond pattern fairly early on in the planning process and only had to decide how I wanted to place the colours. As this was the first time that I worked with diamond shapes, there were problems to overcome (darn, does this flannel have to stretch so much…) and a lot to learn in the process. Here you can see that on several occasions despite my best efforts and meticulous prior pinning the points did not always match up.


The next time round, I work with triangles or diamond shapes I would definitely baste the rows prior to sewing them together properly. 

I can hear you think, you know… “What? Do you mean to say that you did not baste beforehand? Shocking!” 

Well you have to remember that I am entirely self-taught and had no sewing family members or friends to help me out. Therefore, it only along the way, by looking at Craftsy classes, reading blogs and tutorials and actually sewing that I pick up the tricks of the trade. Don’t worry I will get there eventually.

Green, Diamonds, Patchwork, Lap Quilt, Quilt back, PuppilallaFor the backing I framed the soft flannel with the beige solid. I quilted in the ditch and followed that with parallel shadow lines, which created a pretty pattern on the back. The front however, due to part of the quilting lines disappearing in the ditch, kept looking uninspired and boring. That is the only misgiving I have about this particular quilt of mine. I still find it is looks off somehow because it lacks texture. I also still alternate between liking and disliking the quilt’s colour scheme. =)

Another item on my bucket list ought to be ‘learn to free motion quilt on your little domestic sewing machine’. Up to now I have mainly quilted my projects in straight lines and when I was quilting the layers of this quilt together, I got to a point, where I felt adding more lines would get too much and subtract from the overall impression of the quilt-to-be. With hindsight I would certainly disagree with myself but what is done is done.

Diamonds, Patchwork, Lap Quilt, finished Quilt Top, Puppilalla
The quilt was bound in the same flannel and made a birthday present last year. All in all it turned out - not spectacular - but OK. I am satisfied with the outcome and had a good learning experience. The recipient likes and uses it and that is the most important bit anyway.

I think I am nearly done showing you my past quilting projects. Apart from the odd bit here and there, like a soft toy meant for the Toy Society or the up-cycled peg bag from a former linen table runner, we should be able to look at present and future projects from now on.