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linda@surroundedbyscraps.com
Portland, OR

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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: Friends + Fabric

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!

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Linda Beth

As many of you know, I am not always on top of the blogging and often come late to the party.

Last spring some time I checked in on my blog feed and noticed a whole bunch of the blogs that I follow had posts titled "Blogger's Quilt Festival" followed by some beautiful stories written about even more beautiful quilts they had done recently.

But this time, I'm just under the wire for Amy's link up at her blog, Amy's Creative Side.
Amy's Creative Side

I didn't have to think too hard about what quilt I want to share here. It's the Jewel of Friendship, a collaborative quilt done with the members of the Friends + Fabric {a modern stash bee} through Flickr.


This bee is kind of special to me, in that it represents a group of very talented women whom I've never actually met, but feel quite close to. The organizer of the group, Jenn {SunnyInCal}, is a member of the LAMQG and first brought together an online quilting bee via flickr at the beginning of 2011, of which I was fortunate enough to become a part. As that bee was wrapping up for the year, she extended an invitation to continue in a new year with a new group of quilters (and a fair amount of overlap). Our group for 2012 is an inspired, creative, adventuresome crew, which made me want to challenge them with an inspired, creative, adventuresome block!

Last fall or winter I spotted a group of bee blocks done by Jill Stemple {fallingforpieces} that I just fell in love with, pictured here. When I was revving up for my month with the F+F bee, I asked her if she had any problem with my using her blocks as a jumping off point, and was thrilled to hear back that she had no problem at all and had not used a specific pattern, just improvised it. PERFECT.

I played around for a bit, using a specific Alexander Henry print as my inspiration piece and came up with a few sample blocks.



As I was working on these I put together a little online tutorial, which can be found here, and made it available to the other bee members through my blog. And boy did they run with it!!


Once I got the last of the blocks and worked out a pleasing layout I ended up having to scurry to finish the quilt, having committed it to be entered at the annual Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in July. I auditioned a number of different fabrics for the backing:





and ended up choosing a Kaffe Fassett shot cotton in Bluejeans, with a strip of stripe going through it. Have I mentioned how much I love using these shot cottons on the backs of quilts - they show off the quilting beautifully!


I quilted on my home machine, mimicking the wonky diamonds in the blocks, but trying not to match too closely as to seem off on any one of the blocks and bound the quilt in another great stripe fabric.


I truly would not and could not have completed this quilt without the help of the following talents (and certainly wouldn't have had such a wonderful variety of fabrics and styles and personalities to the blocks even if I had tried):
Jennifer (sunnyincal)
Maria (mpress studio)
Karen (capitolaquilter)
Lee (Mimi Lee2)
Eileen (bluebirdluxe)
Nicole R. (idreaminfabric)
Brianna (bribaby2007)
Petra (Petra Rosa)
Emily (CanyonGurl {Emily})
Nico B. (woodbines creep)
Nichole R. (n.ramirez)

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, and this quilt deserves its title Jewel of Friendship.

Photo taken just this evening, with this quilt bringing me warmth and comfort while I await a replacement furnace!!

Quilt Measurements: approx. 55" x 65"
Special Techniques used: improv log cabin
Quilted by: me, myself and I on my Viking Lily.
Best category: Group or Bee Quilt, Scrap Quilt, Throw Quilt
Entry #500

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!

Firemen, camping beauties and solid scraps

Linda Beth

So, in my previous post I gave a little hint about some birthday gifts for this week (which admittedly became just one single birthday gift, with something waiting in the wings). Of late years, my friends and I rarely exchange birthday gifts beyond maybe a bottle of wine, a dinner out, or some silly token if at all, but yesterday was a milestone birthday for one of my closest friends here in Portland - the first friend I made after moving here 11 years ago, in fact. She loves throwing parties, baking, board games and for nearly as long as I've known her she has one consistent (if somewhat facetious) request for her parties, "Feel free to invite any firemen you might know!"

As far as I know I never did see any firemen at these get-togethers, but that was gonna change this time around! Maybe not as exciting as she had envisioned, but darnit I decided to bring her some firemen!
I think this surprised her new man, but he took it in stride ;-) Perhaps I should have offered him the camping centerfold version... maybe when his birthday rolls around, we'll see (or maybe I'll have to save that one for J to go with the camping babes flannel quilt his mom made him many years ago!)

And changing tack entirely...

For some reason my response time on bee blocks has slowed down tremendously over the months. I think earlier this season I actually was late on 2 different bees. I don't think I'm alone in this at this stage, but it is certainly different from how I started out on these guys. This month I got in just under the wire for Bri's block in the Friends + Fabric Bee. She asked us to make improv blocks using only solids, inspired by this quilt from Ashley of Film in the Fridge.

A gorgeous inspiration, wouldn't you say??
So, as I was working on a few other things over the weeks I was weeding out all of the scraps of solids I came across. Finally yesterday I took the afternoon and sat down to attack that pile, small cutting mat and rotary blade to my left, Cut 'n' Press and iron to my right.



I actually enjoyed this process much more than I thought I would (though it did, obviously, take me a few weeks to work up to it), and in fact was struck with the idea to make a baby quilt kind of like this. How fun and cool would that be?? I'm on the fence about using only solids - we know I do like my busy prints! I might play around with mostly solids, throwing in just a few tone-on-tones here and there to add another dimension, but let me tell you I'm excited by the prospect, so thank you Bri!

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!

WIP Wednesday - Getting back in line

Linda Beth

This has definitely been a "continuing on" sort of week which is just fine by me! As anyone who's seen my UFO / WIP list can guess, I certainly don't need to start any new projects! But there are plenty of other folks who do have new projects they're sharing, linked up to Lee's blog Freshly Pieced, for WIP Wednesday!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Making Progress
Lock 'n' Bolt
In the process of getting the binding on my Lock 'n' Bolt quilt.

Jewel of Friendship
Quilt top is complete, just need to get to the next step!
(talked about in much more detail in this post.

placemats
FINALLY stitched up this second set of placemats left over from a project I did last summer. Now it's just a matter of binding.
(please excuse poor quality photo, taken by the light of the TV and maybe a second glass of wine was involved, too).

Completed
another pot holder pair
I'm slowly restocking these guys

Friends + Fabric bee blocks
Spiderweb blocks for Lee, using Heather's tutorial at {House} of A La Mode.
(though admittedly, I still have to package and mail these off! On my list for Thursday, I promise!)

No Progress
Quilting the Nubees quilt
Batik W/C QAL
Medallion quilt
Could be a Quilt...
Purple/Green Asian sampler
Seams Perfect Sampler
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

So, the final tally estimate (I always write these posts when I am actually at work and have no access to my sewing projects!)
New - 0
In Progress - 17
Completed - 2
Tops awaiting quilting - approx. 16 give or take

Making the same decision twice... or thrice?

Linda Beth

Sometimes it's MUCH easier to piece together a quilt backing from random scraps, bits and pieces left behind, rather than try and find that PERFECT backing. For example, I have a quilt that I pieced, oh I don't know, about 5 or 6 years ago:
From a pattern in a Judy Hopkins book, Big 'n' Easy: Super Sized Quilts for Queen Beds

and it took me another 3-4 years and at least 2 false-start purchases to find what I believe to be just the right backing:
tents, by Brandon Mably (available at The Quilter's Studio)

Now that THAT'S off my chest (but still on the shelf!!), I'm going through something a little different. Thank goodness for deadlines! I finally got all of my Friends + Fabric blocks pieced into a stunning quilt top. Just under the wire for the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show submission.

However I now need to figure out what to use as the backing... within the next day and a half!
HELP!!!

My first gut feeling:
an Anna Maria Horner print... lovely color match and complimentary motif, but generally a bit more purple than I prefer...

My first fabric purchase:
a PERFECT compliment with all the right colors and energy, by Terrie Mangat for Free Spirit, but I'm wondering if it's just a bit too busy?

Some Kaffe Fassett shot cotton possibilities (because the quilt top is so darn busy already, and I do love how those guys quilt up):
within comfort zone for Linda:


and then...
not so much one of my go-to colors, but ruled the WOW factor next to the quilt top, don't you think?

Will I regret going with the Wow, but using a basically solid fabric in a color that doesn't exist anywhere in my world?? I welcome any input, but the prewashing must begin by this Thursday...

F+F Bee Blocks

Linda Beth

All of you who check in here from time to time have no doubt seen mention of one of the Flickr bees I have the honor of being a part of - the Friends + Fabric [A Modern Stash Bee] . It is made up of 11 thoroughly talented and inspiring quilters, plus myself, gathered together by our hive mama, Jenn (a.k.a. Sunny in Cal).

This month Lee requested spiderweb blocks using red, pink, aqua and B/W prints. We all know I do like the spider web design, since that was MY choice for the Seams Perfect Bee, the previous bee I did organized by Jenn last year!

Lee's colors are quite different than mine, however, and what a different effect it has! I went from a pile of this:

to this:

and this:

which go together to look like this:
Hopefully these will work with the other blocks popping up on the group page. I'm a little uncertain about that Kaffe Fassett I used in the center of the darker block, but we'll see.

I also got a chance to play around on the design wall with the blocks from MY month for the Friends + Fabric bee, now that I have them all in my little hands. I think I might have actually made a change or two after I took this shot, but essentially this is the layout I think I'll be going with.
And I'd better decide soon, since I committed this quilt to go to the Sister's Outdoor Quilt Show in just over a month or so!

WIP Wed - abridged

Linda Beth

My blogging has suffered in the last few weeks. Perhaps my sewing has as well, since I've noticed my skin is starting to tan - a good indication that I am taking as much advantage of the gorgeous weather as I am able!

However, I HAVE been working on a few things, just nothing very update-worthy. But, in the spirit of the WIP Wednesday, here is a look at a couple of things on my list:

New pot holders
(available in my Etsy shop, hint, hint... ;-)


I've also been trying to get my Lock 'n' Bolt quilt quilted. Making progress, but had to bring the operation home since I've not been able to spend much time at the studio since last week...


I've begun playing with Lee's spiderweb blocks for the Friends + Fabric Bee, but haven't gotten enough done on them to take photos. I'll hopefully have more to share on that front next week! This weekend is going to be all about the catch-up!

Sorry for the lackluster (and long overdue) post, but hopefully someone will find something fun.
I'm linking up over at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Enjoy!

An overdue WIP Wednesday

Linda Beth

It has been quite a while since I've contributed to Lee's link-up for WIP Wednesday, but I finally feel that I am back on track with work and other endeavors.

So, not to dilly-dally:

New Projects:

more lattice baby quilts


after getting the first of them quilted and bound last week (of course I haven't taken a photo of this FINISHED yet)

Lock 'n' Bolt
Came to fruition from a sketch in my sketchbook, with a kick in the pants from PMQG (indirectly). This was in response to the call for submissions for our guild's special exhibition at Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show this summer, and I am pleased to share that this was also among the quilts selected to be a part of that! Thank you to the lovely judges (Michelle, Gail, Ale and I believe Heather too)!!

Continuing Progress
Nubees Sampler Quilt
I did finally start quilting this guy this week, and am optimistic that it will go relatively quickly.
of course I especially need to make a dent in this since I used up almost all of my basting pins and will need them to quilt Lock 'n' Bolt next!

Friends + Fabric blocks
I made 3 more blocks in preparation for just one more row on this quilt top:




And not in the last week, but since my last update:
Batik Warm/Cool QAL
I have the top 1/3 of the quilt pieced.

Flannel Throw
Nothing spectacular, just a fun little project that is making me happy:-)

No Progress
Medallion quilt
Could be a Quilt...
Purple/Green Asian sampler
Seams Perfect Sampler
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


My brain can't work out the subtotal, but I'm happy with the last week or so, and that's what's important, right? Thanks so much for visiting, and be sure to check out the other updates at
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

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!

Liebster What??

Linda Beth

No photos to share today :-(

This post is kind of a combination / culmination of an honor that was handed to me earlier this week and a really nice day spent with the Portland Modern Quilt Guild members sewing away at Fabric Depot.

A new Flickr friend, Karen, whose work I've admired over the past year or so since becoming more active on that site recently started her own blog: CapitolaQuilter. We've been members of the same online bee since the beginning of the year (Friends+Fabric=A Modern Stash Bee) and it's been such a pleasure so far! And inspiring. Very, very inspiring, which is also a word I would use to describe Karen's energy and gusto in getting her blog off the ground. Apparently I was not alone in that assessment, as another of her friends bestowed upon her something called "The Liebster Blog Award," something I had not heard of before Karen passed this on to me.


But according to what she posted in her blog, here's the scoop:
“The origins of the Liebster Blog Award are somewhat unclear but the general consensus is that it means favourite or dearest to showcase bloggers with fewer than 200 followers.”

And here are the rules:
1. Thank my Liebster Blog Award presenters.
2. Link back to my presenters' blogs.
3. Copy & paste the blog award on my blog.
4. Present the Liebster Blog Award to five blogs with 200 or fewer followers that I feel deserve to be noticed and post links to their blogs on my blog.
5. Let the recipients know they have been given the Liebster Blog Award by posting a comment on their blog.

For some reason this caused me some stress. I can't say why. I'm weird like that.
And then today I spent the better part of the day hanging out with other members of PMQG, working on our respective sewing projects, chatting about all sorts of things, and I was reminded that this is a pretty cool group of ladies and I'm fortunate to have found a place among them (though I still feel kind of like a wallflower much of the time!). And I was reminded of Karen's generous compliments. It's time to pass that on, though I might be changing course ever-so-slightly. So, here is my list of artists and creators to keep your eye open for, and maybe check out what they have to share, because I know that I get something from each of these folks!

Connie at Oui Chef: a Journal. I'm going in a different direction to begin with. Connie is not a quilter, in fact she doesn't sew at all. She's a talented chef and just as talented a photographer, as can be seen on her blog or her flickr page. Unfortunately she's slowed down on the blogging this year as I believe her professional life has been taking up the majority of her time and energy, but all it takes is reading a few sentences and you KNOW how passionate she is about the dishes she makes and the tools that she uses (illustrated so well in one of my favorite posts, found here).

Jenn at jenn of all trades. I first came across her drawing and illustration work on flickr before I even realized that she is a quilter and seamstress too. And as I came across more of her work, the more intrigued and inspired I became. She seems to have an amazing outlook on life and I so appreciate many of the general encouragements I come across while reading her blog. Just check it out and you'll see what I mean!

Gail at I Think Sew. Gail has become like a beacon of sunshine and light in grey ol' Portland. She's been a welcoming presence both at local guild meetings and events as well as in the flickrverse and blogland. She has a vision that seems to be truly and uniquely her own (which I find so refreshing!) and always kind words for other's work. Think: positive karma.

Rebecca at Sew Festive Handmade. It isn't hard to get a sense of just how interesting, well-rounded and humble this young woman is by reading her blog posts. She seems to be someone who takes things as they come, sees the beauty in all sorts of things and enjoys creating more. I admittedly am not the most frequent blog-browser, but usually when I see that Rebecca has a new post, I'm interested to see what her day has brought her.

Michelle at Design Camp. Another PMQG member, I've enjoyed not only seeing her dedication to quilting develop over the last year or so, but love her innate ability for instruction and aid. My understanding is that she's been sewing and in textiles for years, and set up the blog moniker for teaching sewing to youths, but I feel that in almost every conversation I have with her regarding sewing I learn something new, or at the very least see a perspective I might not otherwise have seen. That's awesome. I think she has a lot of great ideas and experience to share as well as a sense of adventure and curiosity to try new things that I admire greatly.

I hope you all will give these ladies a nod, and get a little something from your visits.

Friends + Fabric Bee = Something Stunning!

Linda Beth


This is what has arrived so far from the very talented ladies in the Friends + Fabric (A Modern Stash Bee). In late February I posted a tutorial for these wonky diamond blocks, and not only have my bee-mates taken a running leap with it, but their selections of fabrics blow me away! ISN'T THIS LOOKING FABULOUS??

There are a few more blocks that have popped up on the group pool in Flickr which are yet to arrive, but I think that once they are all accounted for, I will be super eager to jump right in and start putting them together!! If all goes well, and the various creators have no objection, I might even try and get this in our guild's portion of the Sister's Outdoor Quilt Show this summer... Oh the possibilities!

WIP Wed - a little catch-up

Linda Beth

As I sit here after a lovely dinner of mac 'n' cheese from a box, watching the last disc of Project Runway Season 1, I am trying to take stock of the activity of the last week or two. And then I'll be linking up with Lee at her blog Freshly Pieced.

I managed to get my tutorial up for the March round of the Friends + Fabric Stash Bee, a wonky diamond log cabin block

Also, along with finishing the quilting on the wall hanging I'm making for the For the Love of Solids swap on Flickr, I whipped up a small set of coasters from some of the scraps

And it has occurred to me that I have somewhat neglected my Etsy shop in the last few weeks. At the small craft bazaar that Saskia (the lovely and creative environmental chemist behind Base Natural) and I attended in December, I was asked if I had a wider selection of pot holders, and since then I've sold a couple of sets, so it's about time I replenish.


And as for continuing projects...
I finally basted and have started quilting the November quilt for the Bliss circle of do. Good Stitches

I've also added another quilt top to my growing pile of quilt tops awaiting quilting (though I suppose we can call it even with the previous project coming off of that pile!) - the Encapsulated quilt that I had started several years ago in a class with Portland quilt artist and teacher Lee Fowler.


And now there's the big sigh of relief. Coming in JUST under the wire is the already too often mentioned Tangerine and Wine quilt! Complete! However, not quite finished... I have it posted to the Flickr group for the Tangerine Tango Challenge but have been struggling with the photos for the MQG call for entries for the 2012 Fall Quilt Festival in Houston. Their photo requirements are strict! And I'm sure I'm overthinking it, but that's my nature. So, I have Wednesday and Thursday to get a couple of good photos of this quilt, with the perfect lighting and not needing any color correction (I've already taken dozens of photos, both full shots and details) in order to make that deadline.


So the final tally (and this actually spans a bit more than a week, since I missed last week...)
New - 3
Completed - 3
In Progress - 4 or 5
Unquilted tops - 14

Thanks again for showing interest! And if you haven't already, it's time to check out the other bloggers linking up for WIP Wednesday!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tutorial - wonky diamond log cabins

Linda Beth


A few months ago I came across this photo on Flickr, by Jill (falling for pieces). Ever since I spotted those blocks it's something that's been on my to-do list. And, as March is my month for the Friends + Fabric stash bee, I figured this is a great block to play around with, and hope that my bee mates think so too!

So, a few days ago I wrote Jill and asked her if she had worked from or made up a tutorial for her blocks, and if not, whether she would mind my posting them for this bee. She graciously responded that she had not done so - just worked improv style, and gave me the go ahead to share.

Following is a step-by-step tutorial for how I made these guys, but in all honesty it's a basic log-cabin construction just at an odd angle. I found that the trickiest part is at the end, adding those corner pieces in order to get the right sized square (which I have to admit I did not, but more on that later!) So, please follow along if you like, or just play around on your own!
Beware! This is a LONG tutorial, and gets a little convoluted at the end. I apologize in advance if you have trouble following - but if that is the case PLEASE let me know and I'll try to make clarifications!

Starting out
Begin with your center diamond - perfect for pulling from your scrap basket and just trimming a couple of corners off willy-nilly! The size of these is completely up to you, though I wouldn't start with anything so small it's hard to sew onto, nor so big that you finish up your 12 1/2" block in 2 rounds (that will make more sense as you read further).

And you're going to want an assortment of "logs," or strips of coordinating fabric, ranging from 1" to about 3 1/2" wide. I am using 3-4 different fabrics per block, with at least one repeated at some point. These don't need to be straight cuts, in fact a little wonkiness is preferred, but they can be trimmed once you've sewn on each round.

Next...
Start sewing on your logs. Starting with one side of the diamond, trim your first strip, being sure to add extra length to accommodate the angle of the corners.
(note how you can follow the line of both that lower left edge and the upper right all the way across that strip)

Flip the strip over Right Sides Together, and stitch using a 1/4" seam allowance.
Press open with seam allowance going toward the outside (the "log").

Continue going around the diamond in the same manner. Once you have sewn the next strip, trim the tail from the previous log even with your seam allowance before pressing open.



and keep doing this for each side...


until you have a complete frame around your center diamond.
(I was working on all 4 blocks simultaneously, using my favorite method of chain-piecing, which might explain the switcheroo of blocks mid-description. I hope that doesn't confuse anyone too much)

Trim all of the tails (and now would be the time to add any wonkiness if one desires).


And now for round 2
Which is pretty much like round 1, though perhaps with slightly wider logs (though totally not necessary!)

Oh, and this round is a good time to throw in a high contrast coordinate!


Again, trim those edges before starting on round 3! Also, keep in mind your finished block size. For this bee I was aiming for a 12 1/2" block (before piecing), and a couple of my blocks after round 2 had reached the desired length from top point to bottom. I went ahead and trimmed those corners to the finished length to indicate that I didn't need to continue going around the whole corner in the next round (avoiding wasting just a little bit of fabric in the final outcome).



On a couple of my blocks for round 3 I chose to return to the same fabric that I had used for the center diamond, when I could. Again, not necessary, but it adds a little continuity in the block, and we all know that a *little* repetition in quilting is not a bad thing! One could also wait until the outside corner pieces and choose from any of the previously used fabrics.

Okay - now for finishing these blocks!
Honestly, this was a challenge for me, so I hope that my explanation is clear enough! I started out by laying out my diamond on my gridded cutting mat, centering it within the indicators for the 12 1/2" dimensions (my desired finished product).
(oh yeah, and if you have a 12 1/2" square ruler (or even a 15" square) that helps TREMENDOUSLY.)

Then I made a note of the measurements from each of the points on the diamond out to the corners of my 12 1/2" guide. More often than not the measurements on diagonally opposite corners were close enough to assume I could use the same sized rectangle split diagonally to finish those corners. For instance, in the photo above, the top left corner and the bottom right corner each show dimensions of approximately 3" wide by 6 3/4" long. From those dimensions I rounded up about 1/2" - 3/4" to get my cutting dimensions for the rectangle I would need.
Now, as it turned out, I still fell short, since the angles of that final seam weren't consistent, so my advice is round up even more than you would think. My suggestion is to add at LEAST an inch to both dimensions. And of course, if your opposing corners are close, but not exactly the same, use the greater of the two measurements as your initial guide.

Cut rectangles from the fabric based on those rounded-up measurements. Then you are going to slice them diagonally. Be sure that you take into account which corners you're cutting for, and make the diagonal cut in that same direction (in this example I'm working with my top left and bottom right corners that I was talking about above, so I want to cut from the bottom left corner to the top right of the rectangle to get those pieces.) Since your dimensions on the opposite pair of corners will likely be different, this DOES matter.


make the diagonal cut

lay out the triangles with your block, using a guide to be sure they will square up to your desired size.

Flip RST and stitch with that 1/4" seam allowance.

Trim the excess before pressing open.

Once pressed, square up to desired size!


Ooof, I commend anyone who actually managed to make it through this cumbersome explanation - thanks for sticking with me!!

*An added note for the Friends + Fabric bee members: as I alluded to, I did NOT hit my target size on all of these blocks, so they ended up measuring 12" square once trimmed. That said, please aim for 12" blocks (before piecing together) as opposed to the usual 12 1/2". The benefit of these blocks is that you totally don't have to worry about matching points, or even KEEPING all of the points... trim as needed! Thanks for your flexibility!

another WIP Wednesday arrives

Linda Beth

It's funny how keeping track of one's days like this makes it seem to go that much faster. But the time is passing regardless, no?

I've had a few things going this week, but the bulk of my time has been concentrated on... can you guess it?? Yup, the Tangerine and Wine quilt. So, I suppose I'll start with my continuations:

Some Progress
The aforementioned Tangerine and Wine Quilt. I finished piecing the top, backing, pin-basted and started quilting.



Finished quilting my main project for For the Love of Solids 2.
I have yet to put binding and hanging sleeve or loops on. Need to get more fabric when I head in to work today.

Bee Blocks
Friends + Fabric Stash Bee

do.Good Stitches Bliss


And an added couple of blocks for this request from another do.Good Stitcher:

I've also started working on blocks (and a tutorial) for next month's Friends + Fabric round. It's a block that's been in my Flickr Favorites for several months now, and I know it's in at least one other of my bee mates' favorites!
(a teaser)

New projects
Besides bee blocks, I think I only have one thing in this category... I started my smaller project for FTLOS2 swap. I haven't gotten very far, nor have I taken any progress photos yet, but I'm starting off with scraps from the main wall hanging.

No progress
Encapsulated
Bliss quilt quilting
Warm/Cool QAL
Starburst blocks (though this one might be on permanent hiatus... was my original idea for March F+F bee.)
place mats

Tally for the week:
New - 4
Completed - 2 (bee blocks)
In Progress - 8
Unquilted tops - 15

And if you haven't already, follow me on over to Lee's blog at Freshly Pieced to see all of the other progress in quilty blogland!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Meeting Expectations

Linda Beth

So, have you ever had such high expectations for a project that no matter how you try to put it together, it just doesn't seem quite right?? Well, that is how I was feeling yesterday about that Tangerine and Wine quilt. I made 4 different sets of blocks (each set has 6 blocks), and there's one group in particular that I don't really like. What's worse is that I love the fabrics but not so much the design once they were sliced and pieced back together. So, I've been playing on the design wall, arranging and rearranging blocks to see if I can get a good flow, but nothing sits quite right with me. So far, this seems to be the best arrangement in my eye (secrecy be banished!)

But that set which includes the tangerine polka dot fabric just seems blocky and stiff compared with the movement of the others. I've been trying to justify using them anyhow, but I am afraid I need to bite the bullet and just remake them. I hate to waste the fabric, but more than that I hate to have wasted the full day of work that each of these sets of blocks require. However, I guess I can think of it as having wasted a good portion of the afternoon yesterday just moving these around on the wall to no avail, always coming back with the same dissatisfaction. And I KNOW I am not alone by far in having been down that road!

So, to soothe my frail ego, I changed course for a while yesterday and played with some bee blocks! There's nothing like having a small, limited project that someone else chose for you to distract from frustration on another project, wouldn't you say??

I started relatively simple, with these half-rectangle diamond blocks for Maria, in the Friends + Fabric Bee (which I had cut out a couple of days earlier). She pointed us toward this tutorial on the Modern Quilt Guild blog, part of the 100 days of quilts they have going on.

From there I moved on to something a bit more challenging for me. Our do.good stitches group (Bliss) has undergone some changes in the new year, including a new host for the group. Michelle did a great job throughout 2011 keeping us going and motivated, but had to take some time off, and it seems our new leader, Chris, is filling the role admirably. HOWEVER, she did start us off with a doozy (though nowhere nearly as torturous as that Lynne Bob Square Pants block!) This month is sail boats.
I chose to do pieced blocks, improv-style, but did end up with one appliqued element on one of the blocks...
Block #1
Block #2
I had fun piecing the water section of this one! AND it got me in the mood to finally start on my smaller item(s) for the FTLOS2 swap. Oh, and enough curved piecing already... I did applique the boat hull on this block!

So, the day wasn't a total wash, which always feels good. Now I just have to drag my butt back to the studio and follow through with remaking those blocks (and I was planning on taking the day off today... maybe I'll just treat myself to brunch after going to the gym, and THEN to the studio and we'll call it even!

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!