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linda@surroundedbyscraps.com
Portland, OR

503-997-8958

Handmade quilts and home accessories by fiber artist Linda Nussbaum. See samples of past projects as well as pieces available for sale and inspirations for custom orders. To see what is currently available for sale, please visit my Etsy Shop.

Blogger Archive

Filtering by Category: Design Camp [think outside the block]

Baby steps

Linda Beth

It's been quite a month or two. Good stuff, not-so-good stuff, and in the midst of it all I have slacked with both the blog and in the sewing room. But that being said, soon there may be a new address for my blog. If I am not able to link this URL through to the new site, I will let you all know where to find me next!

But we're here now, so let's see what I've been able to do in the last couple of days.

When all else fails, bee blocks are always a safe bet! And I have more than my share to catch up on! So, without further ado:

Bliss do.Good Stitches for November


These are fun, easy blocks, guided by a tutorial found here.

Friends + Fabric blocks for November





I liked the option of making them a little more scrappy with the 4-patch in the center - because we all know that scrappy is my style. It looks like Nico will have a bright, fun assortment of stars to play with!

Next in line is trying to catch up on my Design Camp 2 blocks. Jacqueline really stumped me with her theme of Wisconsin for October's block. Now, my connection with WI is pretty much limited to the University of Wisconsin - Madison, where my mom attended, as did a couple of my friends from HS. But Madison is NOT where Jacqueline's world is. Finally I did find a beautiful inspiration photo, also not from the area where she is, but hopefully a closer representation than state capitol / city life. I still have a lot yet to work on, but here's a peek at the block so far:
Still playing around.

And once I get that block under my belt I'll feel ready to move on to the November block for the same bee, a Drunk Love block, much more within my comfort zone! More on that when I get there.

I hope to find my way back to more inspiring projects soon, and will be sure to share said inspirations. Until then, I hope each of you is finding your inspiration and running with it!

WIP Wed. once more

Linda Beth

After taking a much-needed hiatus from the record-keeping, I've decided to join the festivities again at Lee's blog Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Sadly, I've also decided to abandon my initial list of UFOs on this forum. It seems that projects for the present and future are taking precedent, which is just fine by me.

So, here goes:
Completed

bee blocks
solid improv blocks for Friends + Fabric bee on Flickr


New

Blooming 9-Patch
Talked about in more detail in this blog post.

In Progress

One more set of potholders, destined for Etsy
just gotta get those bindings stitched down, looped around and off they go!

Custom order holiday place mats
(this is my first sneak peek of these guys... the customer has seen the fabric choices, but not the finished product yet)

I've also been receiving blocks from the Design Camp [think outside the block] improv bee, so I'll be looking forward to playing around with those in the coming weeks!

And this quilt top waiting to be basted and quilted:

So, what's the final count?
Completed - 1
New - 1
In progress - 4

(man, I like the look of those numbers so much better than the 14 and 16 including UFOs dating back 5+ years!!!)
Thanks for bearing with and taking a look at what I've got going on! If you haven't already, go check out the other updates linking up at Lee's blog!

August's Improv Inspiration

Linda Beth

August is my month as Camp Counselor for Design Camp 2 [think outside the block] Improv Bee. I've actually been collecting images onto a Pinterest board for the last few months in anticipation of this very thing! The new twist for me in this online bee is that each of the hosts chooses his or her own fabrics and sends packets out to the other members of the bee for their month. I've only ever participated in scrap/stash busting bees up to this point, so this is a whole new challenge for me!

I'm starting with this:

then breaking it down to groupings more like this:

Because this is an improv bee, we're not working with a specific pattern, but more of a guideline. In the past there has been a request for improv robots, drunk love log cabin blocks and in one of the other camps an interpretation of shipping containers. The guidelines I'm asking folks to follow are to stick to a more linear construction (though not necessarily straight lines!) OR to do a wonky or drunk love log cabin construction. Again, my pinterest board and Flickr favorites have a variety of examples.

Here are a few photos of my process with making a single block, using the fabric cuts I showed above:




and once a grouping seems sufficient, I join it with another group, end to end:





...and just keep going until it feels "done" (or at the very least, a decent size).


Once I finished that first block I still had enough fabric left to throw together a log cabin block. Don't think I need to go through my process with that one, but here's a photo of the finished product:

Sooo, the fabric packets will be going out by next weekend and I'm hoping that my fellow Design Campers will just have fun with this! Feel free to be creative!

A short list of upcoming goals

Linda Beth

As I was saying to Heather of joy of all crafts just a little while ago at the quilt shop (Cool Cottons), I've been too long out of my routine and feel like today was my day to push the "RESET" button and get back on track.

This leaves me with a big ol' ZERO on accomplishments this past week, but a list of things I've put aside recently and am eager to get back to.

1. BABY QUILTS!!
I have 2 friends who are each expecting their second child in the next month or so, and a couple of friends who are expecting their first later this fall! Inspiration has been slim, but I am sure that will change when these little guys (or rather, girls) start arriving!

2. BEE BLOCKS
Thankfully Chris deemed July as a "catch-up" month for the Bliss Circle of do.Good Stitches, which means I'm off the hook on that one.

F+F=AMSB
Nicole asked us to have fun with some polaroid blocks. I've begun gathering some possible focus fabrics for the centers, but definitely have a few more to go, then getting the borders and settings down.

Design Camp [totb]
Leanne sent out some brilliant pinks and greens for July's block, using the Mod Mosaic tutorial from Elizabeth Hartman at Oh, Fransson. Of course, being on the off-schedule I've been on, that packet hasn't even made its way to my studio yet :-(

And it also occurred to me that next month is MY month to host Camp 2 of this improv bee. I've been gathering inspiration photos for the style of "blocks" I am aiming for in a Pinterest board, and just this week started pulling fabrics to play with.
August will be my first time hosting a bee where the host sends out fabric to the others, so this will be interesting!

There are definitely some other things I will be working on in the next couple of months, but don't know how much I'll be moving ahead until these items are ticked off the list.

Wish me luck!

A Robot Invasion, pt. 1

Linda Beth

This month for the Design Camp [Think Outside the Block] 2 bee Tiffany chose a nice little challenge - improv robots and gears. She posted a mock-up of her idea here and her sample block here. I thought her sample guy is just the cutest thing ever, and a good inspiration for playing around with her idea.

So on Sunday I ventured into the baggie of fabrics she sent out and started cutting in.


I then chose the basic shapes to start with: body, head and neck.


Next come the features...






I'm afraid that my guy might be turning out to be something of a robot-Frankenstein amalgam, a reject from the factory floor, but he'll have personality! I'll be playing more in a couple of days and will share how he turns out.

Another task on my agenda is gathering supplies for a workshop with Jane Sassaman on the opposite side of the country. This is definitely more of a challenge than I could have imagined. How will I know what fabrics I will want, especially since this isn't necessarily a literal interpretation of my inspiration photos?




I guess I'm sticking pretty close to true colors, but it's still stacking up!

Yikes! Does anyone have any tips for the traveling quilter??

Playing freestyle-like

Linda Beth

Friday's theme turned out to be "improv." I ticked 2 small projects off the list, though it took several hours to do so, much of that time just pressing and cutting up little bits of fabric.

1.) The May block for Design Camp 2 [Think outside the block] swap.

The packet of fabrics I received from Mims contained beautiful warm cinnamon tones with a hint of yellow.

2.) The improv challenge block for PMQG.

When we received the cotton couture samples from Kathy Miller of Michael Miller Fabrics we were given 2 separate challenge options - making a block of an original design which will potentially be included in a quilt at the Michael Miller booth at quilt market this spring (being this month!); and/or making an improv block to go into a quilt that the guild will be constructing. This is my improv block (which I have to admit I had sketched out as an idea last month, but I did in fact construct it improvisationally!)

I think I needed a day of working intuitively. I might need one or two more days like that, but even more importantly, I think I need to get back to making lists, since today I spent a few hours just catching up on pressing fabric and didn't touch a sewing machine or cutting table at all. Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.

Finding my way back

Linda Beth

The trip was excellent, and I'll be posting more photos in the coming days, but now it's time to get back to the sewing room.

I spent my first day back in the studio catching up on all of my April bee blocks — and redoing the one I had actually put together before the road trip.

Friends + Fabric [AMSB]
April is Karen's month, and she wrote a stellar tutorial for making up a variation on a quilt she made previously, seen here.
My first try... at a glance looks good, but I put the rectangles together backwards. That'll teach me to follow a tutorial after only printing out the first 2 pages, preparing for sewing without access to my computer, but wanting to save paper!

So, I began my work today picking out stitches while re-watching an episode of Greek through Netflix.
Hopefully with the right orientation this time!

Block #2

Seeing the two side by side gives a great view of the value contrasts (which is something Karen was looking for in these blocks and will make a stunning, stunning finished quilt!)

Design Camp [think outside the block]
This is an improv swap with a relatively loose format, but this month Mary gave us some guidelines within which to work. She sent out packets with strips of yummy autumnal Kaffe Fassett and Philip Jacobs prints along with some Kona Butter solid and a strip of one other solid. She shared a tutorial for making up chevrons (or french braids) to be encorporated into the blocks, but left the overall layout up to each of us.



do. Good Stitches - Bliss Circle
This year seems to be starting off with the representational blocks for this group! Marian pointed a tutorial by Heather of Olive and Ollie for these sweet little house blocks.
I was going for a little mid-century masonry and an ivy covered roof on this one!

I love how the pattern on this Joel Dewberry fabric looks like we're peering through a beautiful ironwork fence!
Unfortunately, these blocks didn't end up exactly the target size, but thankfully Marian is being super flexible about it! And on these guys my problems with pressing all of these seam allowances open is much more evident than in the other bee blocks for the month. I can certainly understand the benefit of that technique in bee blocks, but it's not always the most efficient method.

All in all I think today went pretty well, and as an added bonus, I got to finish it off by meeting a friend for dinner at Ya Hala, a spectacular Lebanese restaurant in SE. And now I am {enjoying?} a pretty intense film that keeps drawing my attention away from this post, "The Bang Bang Club," about a group of photojournalists in South Africa in the mid-'90s. Holy _ _ _ _! Worth watching, to be sure!

WIP Wednesday - it's been a whirlwind!

Linda Beth

I seem to have missed last week's check-in and link up over at Lee's blog, Freshly Pieced... which means this entry might be a bit on the long side of things. That's good, right?? So, after checking out my doings, head on over there and see what everyone else is up to on this WIP Wed!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

So, let's start with:
New
Bee Blocks
do. Good Stitches - Bliss Circle
fun pinks and oranges in Drunk Love log cabin blocks were Amanda's choice.

Design Camp [think outside the block] swap
Can't help but LOVE the fabrics that Yolanda is using for her quilt! Gorgeous, rich tans and taupes, even a linen and crossweave thrown in there for depth and texture.

Flannel throw quilt
I still have some fabric substitutions to work in, but might start snuggling under this thing right around May or June, just in time for temps in the 70s!

New block designs for PMQG/Michael Miller challenge AND MQG Quiltcon block challenges
The colors AND rules for these challenges are surprisingly similar, though I have been playing with a few different designs, thanks to EQ7!
one consideration...

Completed
do. Good Stitches November Bliss quilt.
Finally!

One more quilt top off the pile of "unquilted"
Okay, so it's just a little wall hanging, and it still needs the binding on it, but it's been quilted and will be finished by tomorrow evening - that's a PROMISE!

Some Progress
Finished piecing the cream/blue/mustard/tan 60/30° quilt top (I'm REALLY going to have to come up with a better name for that! Any suggestions??)

Curved-piecing aqua/green
I decided to sash these blocks (obviously)... which I made using the same technique that I used in my Tangerine & Wine quilt. But now I think it also needs a border... so stay tuned! I have two possibilities just waiting for the next load of laundry to run!

"Black Beauty" Medallion quilt
another project from the UFO vault!

And now for the No Progress list:
Purple/Green Asian sampler
Seams Perfect Sampler
Batik Warm/Cool QAL
Lee & Glenn's quilt
red/brown/green I-Spy
girly hourglass
Judy Neimeyer double wedding ring
broken dishes
Trip Around the 9-Patch
Halloween Stack 'n Whack
leftover I-spys from Hopman quilt
tote bags
blue/green place mats


This week's tally:
New - 4 or 5 (depending on how one views the quilt block design projects)
Completed - 4 (2 are bee blocks)
In Progress - 15
Unquilted Tops - 14(?) (I'm never actually at my studio when I write this list... also, it's occurred to me that I don't include the quilts that I started HAND quilting but have set aside indefinitely. Oof)

A Month of Drunk Love?

Linda Beth

I think that most of us in the current Modern quilting world hear the phrase "drunk love" and rather than picturing a torrid bar scene or even a romantic dinner at a fancy white table cloth restaurant will automatically conjure images of bright, improv-style wonky log cabin blocks, inspired by modern quilting icon Denyse Schmidt.

And sure enough, that is what I'm talking about. This month not one, but TWO of the bees in which I'm participating have selected the DS drunk love block. No complaints here!

For Design Camp [think outside the block] Swap, Yolanda sent us a beautiful selection of tan and taupe neutrals with a snippet of a red and cream fabric to use. She did invite us to add bits from our own stashes, if they blended, and I couldn't resist taking her up on that. I hope she's not off-put by the bits of Rouenneries by French General.

(Oh, and that little bit of Lush woodgrain I found hiding in my scraps!)


This really is such a classy, beautiful palette, don't you think?? And she included some gorgeous fabrics, including a linen and a crossweave - I do love that crossweave!

And then for our circle of do. Good Stitches Amanda requested the same block design, but a completely different palette, and therefore look. Pinks and oranges. A color combination my stash is not currently lacking! And I loved the opportunity to pull almost entirely from the scrap baskets!!



So, though I don't see any more of these blocks in my immediate future, it's always fun to play in an intuitive way and see such effective results so quickly.

WIP Wednesday - is it already??

Linda Beth

Well, kind of like Lee stated in her post, I don't have a whole lot to report, mainly because I have spent the last week concentrating on one particular project - and I'm not ready to show it just yet (though I do have a sneak peek!)

The focus of the last week for me has been this curved piecing project about which I've posted a couple of times, here and here. I'm hoping to have this completed in time to submit both for the Tangerine Tango Challenge that Ali and Erin are hosting on Flickr, as well as the MQG show at the 2012 International Quilt Festival in Houston. I now have (24) 15 1/2" blocks completed, though I only plan to use 20. I'm in the process of playing with arrangements on my design wall, and might actually work on a couple of other things over the next day or two while I contemplate overall layout. But here's a peek at a couple of the blocks together:

I also managed to sneak in a bee block this week for Design Camp [Think Outside the Block] Swap. February is Leona's month in our group, and she chose a fabulous concept based on a piece she made for the first round of the For the Love of Solids swap! For a photo of her amazing original piece, click here. Here's my block, using the fabrics she provided, plus just a couple strips from my own stash:

I also started cutting fabrics for another bee block - the February round of Friends + Fabric for Maria... gotta love that aqua and orange!

My one last WIP that I actually worked on this week is of the knitty variety. Working on that hood by Lee Meredith, fellow Portlander. I first posted about it here.
(You can see a hint of my pink circular needles just above my shoulder there...)

And that pretty much sums it up. Anything else that was on my to-do list is STILL on my to-do list. Oh, and just to give you an idea, here's a shot of the piles of finished tops that need quilting:

New - 2 (bee blocks only)
Completed - 1 (bee block only)
In progress - 8
unquilted tops - 16

I'm linking up to Lee at Freshly Pieced, so hop on over and get the skinny on everyone else's creative pursuits!

Two birds, One stone

Linda Beth


For Design Camp [think outside the block] 2, Michelle, the wonderful organizer and a fellow PMQG member, started our group off with a dry run this month. For a few of us this is our first improv quilting bee, and I think it just worked out that January was still open after the schedule was put together, so Michelle gave us some scraps of fabric (left over from our guild's Jay McCarroll challenge quilts last fall/winter, seen here and here) and a suggestion for a first exercise.

At the same time I have been trying to come up with 2 more blocks to make to work into my quilt from the 1-month Nubees block swap I participated in several months ago. I realized that by taking out the warmer colors of scraps, and using a grey as the "sashing" this block would fit in perfectly with the others I received back in September or October.

Now, to play around with that last block - getting much inspiration from a couple of books I just received for the holidays... more on that another time.