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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: flickr

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

Another baby quilt!

Linda Beth

I sometimes feel like I am the only quilter out there who has trouble motivating myself to do projects that I'm actually excited about doing - like baby quilts for dear friends. Does anyone have a theory on why it can be so difficult to get inspired to start on something that you're happy to do??

Another couple of good friends of mine are expecting their first child - sex TBD at birth. I've been working on sketches, playing with possibilities, but nothing really lit that flame for me...

UNTIL...

Becky {MyFabricObsession} posted this block to our Bliss Circle for do.Good Stitches this past month. She found her inspiration from this photo on Rita's {red pepper quilts} flickr photostream.

I initially did my blocks for the do.Good Stitches bee and discovered that not only are they easy-peasy, but are a great way of using an assortment of fun prints without it looking too busy.


So, I decided to work with this and pull some fabrics to put together my own quilt. I don't generally like using a lot of white in quilts, especially for babies, so I switched my "background" color to a dark blue - a great contrast for the fun colors in the blocks, and can work for either a boy or a girl.

Since the basic construction is a 9-patch, I chose 9 prints each in 6 different color ways, varying the number of squares I cut of each to get the desired number of blocks. I also tried to select a decent mixture of values within each color family to get some variation in the blocks. Once the fabrics were chosen and cut out, the chain-piecing was smooth sailing. Only took me a couple of hours to sew the blocks, and then a little bit more to put them all together.

Ta-da!!


and shown with the backing beside it...


Now I just need to restock my batting supply and I'll be ready to finish this one up - hopefully JUST in time for baby's arrival!!

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!

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

"Could be a Quilt..." Project

Linda Beth

Early in my Flickr presence I started a collection, or Gallery, entitled "Could be a quilt, but isn't." As I was looking through members' photographs, I was struck by a few that instantly transferred artistic media in my mind from photo to fiber art. In fact, I came across so many over time, that I had to start a second gallery with the same theme! But then, there's a big difference between seeing in one's head and bringing to fruition.

One of my quilt goals in 2012 is to get a start on this project. And as I was browsing these galleries after not thinking about them for a very long time, I realized that I am on the verge of beginning the series without knowing it.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago about a stack of fabrics I had selected to try the curved piecing quilt, but put aside for another day and a different project...

Of late, I was thinking that they would make a lovely follow-up to this string quilt I made a couple of years ago as a wedding gift
(please excuse the poor photo!)

And then I saw this photo by Don Taylor which I had included in the original gallery. Add in a little more of that rusty red, maybe, and a few more of the grey-blue range and I think I have a jump on this goal!

Now the challenge will be holding back until I have met my early March deadlines!

Half-Square Triangle Block

Linda Beth

Over the last week I was working on blocks for a quilt block swap on Flickr, which I've already mentioned in a couple previous posts, the Nubees Block Swap. The block design that I came up with is a half-square triangle configuration (I've been doing a lot of those HSTs of late, I notice!).

When I posted the photos to Flickr, I was asked where I found the pattern, so I answered as best I could, but in all honesty, I pretty much just played around in my sketchbook with different HST configurations until one jumped out at me as being able to highlight 3 main colors (with some inspiration from a great ol' book I've had for years - Spectacular Scraps, by Judy Hooworth and Margaret Rolfe).

So, here is a little tutorial on these blocks (measurements are for a 12" finished block):

Start with a background fabric, plus 2-3 main colors (I chose to use prints that combine the 2 or 3 colors for the center section, then focus the middle and outer sections on one color each). You will need a total of (8) 4" squares of the background - mine is the grey solid, and (12) 4" squares of your prints - I went with 4 prints for each of the 3 sections.

Now, I will preface this whole thing with the warning that there IS a fair amount of waste in this, unless you choose to do multiple blocks with the same fabrics (in which case you will need more squares of the background fabric), or you don't mind having triangles in your scrap basket. Myself, I prefer to keep my scraps to squares, rectangles and strips, so this was a little tough for me (I actually still have a pile of all of the extra triangles from doing the swap blocks that I can't get myself to discard or cut down just yet). Alrighty, on with the lesson!

Take your squares that will comprise of the center diamond and the outside corners only (4 background pieces and 8 prints) and cut them once, diagonally.


We will be using both halves of the background squares, but only one half of each of the prints. I

Stitch blocks together in pairs, one background triangle with one print triangle, stitching along the long side.



Now, for the middle section HSTs, take a slightly different approach, as we will be needing both sides of all of the 4 prints *(unless you choose to use a more scrappy approach, which I'll touch upon at the end of the tutorial). Instead of cutting the squares diagonally, just pair up a square of background with a square of print, right sides together,
and DRAW a diagonal line from corner to corner. There are many tools for this. I tend to prefer using either a blue water-soluble marker or one of the Bohn or Sewline ceramic chalk mechanical pencils.


(the marking lines are a little faint for the photos, but trust me I could see them!)

Use the pencil lines as guides for your 1/4" seam allowance. Stitch 1/4" on either side of the line.

At this point you should have: (4) 4" squares of a background and print fabric stitched together on either side of a diagonal center line and (8) triangle pairs of one background fabric and a print.

Next step, cut along the center line on the (4) squares, to get (8) more triangle pairs. Press open, with the seam allowances all going to the same side (background if you used a darker color, otherwise press toward the prints on each).



After your blocks are pressed, it's time to trim them down. They need to measure 3 1/2", and will likely need 1/16 - 1/8 inch trimmed to acheive that. The best way to trim and square up HSTs is to use a rotary cutting ruler that has a 45 degree guide line from at least one CORNER of the ruler. Line this guide up with your center seam, making sure the edges of the block extend beyond the 3 1/2" mark on every side.
Cut along two edges, then flip the block around, lining up the trimmed edges exactly to the 3 1/2" guides on the ruler. Trim the other 2 sides.

Now for the fun part! Lay out your blocks on the table, keeping your 3 sections separate - (4) HSTs making up the center diamond, (8) HSTs making the faux flying geese sections surrounding the center, and then (4) corner blocks. We will be making a block that is 4 rows of 4 blocks each. If you picture it in quarters, have all of the print fabrics pointing in toward the center. Play around with configuration until you land on a combination that feels balanced. Lay out the blocks with the final orientation on your sewing table.
You may choose to leave the blocks laid out as such, as you start piecing your rows across, but I like to make tidy piles, so that I can work on more than one block at a time (again with the chain piecing love!) I just stay consistent with how I stack my blocks, going from left to right, top to bottom.


Sew your blocks together into the horizontal rows, then press. For this swap I chose to press my seam allowances open, which allows the recipient more flexibility in putting his or her various blocks together. For myself, I would choose to press seam allowances to one side, alternating directions on each row.


Then piece your rows together, matching up block corners at the seams. Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I am not much of a gadget person - I have the basic tools and use them to the best of my ability and advantage. HOWEVER, I will say that I LOVE the Clover fork pins for matching seams and points.

Press seams (open) and VOILA!

*Coming back to that scrappier look... to do something like this guy:
...the only real difference will be in the number of print fabrics you start with - 16 total instead of just 12. And you will begin by splitting ALL of your initial 4" squares diagonally before stitching, since you won't need both sides of any of the print fabric (for just a single block).

Whew! I hope this doesn't leave anyone with more questions than they began with!! Have fun and do me a favor by leaving me a message if you try this tutorial and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping in!

A Past Project with New Intent

Linda Beth

Just when I was resolute in not joining any more swaps and not committing to another bee just yet, I came across an extension of one of the do.Good Stitches projects for this month. August is Natalie's month to design and quilt for her circle, and she asked to alter their recipient charity for this round, to instead contribute the quilts to the NICU at one of her local hospitals to go to preemies. She wrote a detailed account of her inspiration and intention on her blog, Threaded Mess. It's definitely worth checking out, even if you're not a quilter... just a way to think about doing little things for the community that can make a big impact to a few others.

Her block inspiration is from a tutorial by Anna Marie Horner, developed by her son during a block drive in 2010 to benefit the flood victims in the Tennessee valley, which she called Rainbow Around the Block. The idea being to collect an assortment of blocks using the same pattern, but each one having its own distinct color story - so together they become the rainbow.

Inevitably, I decided to make an effort to join Natalie's block drive and this morning began pulling focus fabrics and stacks to go with each:










I figure a couple blocks a week should be approachable, right??

Sampling of Stars

Linda Beth

For my second block for August's Seams Perfect Scrap Bee I decided to play around with a star sampler within the 12" finished block.



The larger star on the lefthand side is from a pattern in an older Alex Anderson book, Simply Stars - Quilts that Sparkle. I used the 6" Variable Star pattern, found on page 48.

In addition to that I decided I wanted to try a 6 point star, a cross between a Star of David and a Seven Sisters. I started with a sketch in my sketchbook and went from there. I had no finished size worked out, just aiming for smaller than 9".

I began with a hexagon for the center of the block. I was lazy and used a template I had cut a couple of months back to make these blocks for Cruz (knitla), for the same bee. With seam allowances, the hexagon measures approximately 1.75" on each side. I estimated that the equilateral triangle star points should be about 2.25" on each edge, and so I cut (2) 60 degree triangles each from 3 different fabrics. It took me a while to figure out a way to piece this block WITHOUT any inset or Y seams, but doggonit, I figured it out! Again, there is little that is precise about these instructions, but I got to where I needed to be.

After cutting my 6 itty-bitty triangles, I cut background pieces from the Bella Solid fabric that Theresa supplied. I cut (4) each at 2.5" x 4" for the top and bottom "corners" of the block, and (2) each at 2.5" x 3.5" for the side settings.

I began the piece work making a top and a bottom row using the 4 corner background pieces and a pair of matching triangles. I began by placing one of the triangles face down on one side of the 2.5" x 4" rectangle, making sure the triangle corners overlap the edges of the rectangle at a 60 degree angle. Stitch along the triangle edge using a 1/4" seam allowance and trim off the excess on the background piece.


Flip the triangle open and press seams toward the background.


Now, take this unit and place it face down over another of the background rectangles, matching the opposite edge of the triangle across the corner of the rectangle.


Press seam toward background piece. Repeat with matching units.

Next, piece a second pair of the little triangles directly to opposite sides of the hexagon. Press seams toward the triangles and trim. At this point you should have 7 total units, the triangles centered in background pieces, the hexagon with 2 triangles attached, the 2 remaining triangles, as shown below, plus the 2.5" x 3.5" background pieces for the side settings:


With that last pair of triangles, it's time to start the tricky stuff! Place the rectangles for the background side settings just alongside the hexagon and other pieces for the star. Take one of the last pair of triangles, place it face down across the corner of the background piece, along the edge of the hexagon still unoccupied be a triangle unit. As you did with the top and bottom rows, be sure to have your corners overlap by approx. 1/4" for seam allowance, with the seam at a 60 degree angle to the bottom edge. Stitch in place, flip open and press.


Place the hexagon unit face down over this last section, lining up the edge of the last triangle with the open edge of the hexagon, and extending the triangle already attached onto the background block. The seams on the respective triangles should overlap by 1/4".


Press open. Repeat for the opposite side. You see you will have tails of excess on the background pieces. Just trim those off to be even with the upper and lower edges of the center hexagon.




Now you are ready to add those original top and bottom rows, respectively.


From here, trim your block to your desired size, just keeping in mind you need at least 1/4" of background beyond the star points.


Mine ended up measuring about 4 7/8" x 5 1/4". Given the improvisational approach to this whole block, I was not too concerned with ending up with a perfect square - I just got to make up the difference in bits and pieces of the background later on...


And after working through the two main stars in this block, I decided to use the classic Friendship Star for the smaller sparklers. Based on a standard 9-patch construction, I worked with 1" units to get two different blocks that would finish at 3" and work as filler in the larger block. All in all I had a lot of fun playing around with this one! Don't know if I'll be rushing to do more like it, but I am certainly glad I tried my hand at something new! Thanks for the impetus, Theresa!

STARting with a star

Linda Beth

This month in the Seams Perfect Scrap Bee on Flickr is Theresa's (terrikuns') month. Her theme is stars... any type of stars, wonky, whimsical, 12" or multiple smaller ones... AND, she set us up with some of her fabric choices: Sanae's Chrysalis by Moda and a Moda Bella Solid.

We were invited to use some or all of the fabrics she sent, as long as we used the solid at some point in each of the blocks, and were welcomed to supplement with a coordinating fabric as well. As luck would have it, I just bought some pieces from that collection a little over a week ago while visiting Pioneer Quilts in Happy Valley, OR.

So, my adventure began with an improv, wonky Ohio Star variation. Very easy to make, and rather flexible, so I thought I would share with you all:
*these measurements are for a 12" finished block*

I began by cutting a center square 2.5" x 2.5". I decided that the solid would be an inner border around the center square, so from that I cut (2) 2" x 2.5" and (2) 2" x 5.5". And from the background fabric (for which I used one of the small-scale prints from the Chrysalis collection) I cut (4) 4" x 4" squares for the corners and (4) 4" x 5.5" rectangles to be the backgrounds of the star points.


Start by attaching the solid 2" x 2.5" rectangles to opposite sides of the center square. Press seams toward the "borders." Next, add the 2" x 5.5" rectangles to the remaining sides, to make a 5.5" square.


For the next steps I took a somewhat improvisational approach to a stitch 'n' flip flying geese block, making 4 units measuring 4" x 5.5" each. By starting with the background piece at that size, I could use various scraps to make up the geese, or star points.

Place a rectangle at an angle face down on top of the background block. Be sure that when you press it open it covers as far as the bottom corner of the piece. Stitch down using a 1/4" seam allowance.


Trim the corner from the background piece, using the seam allowance as your guide.


Press open.


Trim the edges flush with the background piece, maintaining the original 4" x 5.5" dimensions.


Repeat the last 4 steps for the other corner on the same side of the rectangle. Try to alter the size of the scrap piece and the angle at which you place it, for more variety on the star points.




Repeat these steps on the other (3) 4" x 5.5" rectangles.


Now, arrange all of your block units in a 9-patch formation, as pictured below:


Piece in horizontal rows, pressing seams toward the square units.


Sew the 3 rows together, press seams open and VOILA!

Some Shot Cotton Love

Linda Beth

July's been a busy month for me, which has unfortunately taken away from some of my sewing obligations. I've done my best to stay on task with some precommits, but besides that, my sewing room has been more or less dormant. But that will be changing soon....

It never ceases to amaze me that no matter how little time we have, or how little we're getting done in that time, new projects and inspirations always pique the interest. Just over a week ago, I spotted a link to a new swap on Flickr: For the Love of Solids, introduced as a joint effort by Megan, at Canoe Ridge Creations (blog) and Elizabeth, at Don't Call me Betsy (blog). My heart quite literally went "pitter-pat" as I read the description and paged through a few of the members' inspiration mosaics. But then the logic side of my brain kicked in making it abundantly clear that in NO WAY do I have the time right now to commit to another swap. It's all I can do to get my "I *Heart* the '80s" package together and in the post by deadline (which is this coming Monday, by the way!). And next month I am going to be moving my sewing studio in to a new studio space, as well as finally coming through with the place mat commission that I've struggled with since May or maybe even April, plus concentrating on inventory for an upcoming craft fair. So, I would hate to short-change an unsuspecting swap partner... I'll have to wait until Round 2 gets under way, but that doesn't mean I can't ogle some of the current entries, while salivating over this amazing spectrum of Shot Cottons at Cool Cottons...


adding to the '80s

Linda Beth

Ever have one of those weeks (or months) when you seem to be pulled in several directions at once, but then you look back and can't figure out why, or what might have gotten accomplished? The last few weeks has been kind of like that for me. One of the things to end up on the back burner here was my project for the I *heart* the '80s Swap. But a few days ago a "check-in" discussion thread was posted, to assess who was still actively involved in the swap, and make sure people are on schedule for the August 1st mailing deadline. That was kind of a wake-up call for me.

I've been working on a rainbow sampler, each block an icon or imagery associated with that decade, or our experience of that decade. I've now got all the blocks EXCEPT orange (though I have had in mind what I will do for that one since the beginning - just a matter of getting the right materials for it). Here's where I'm at:

imagine this without the pom-poms along the top... just the ones by the "laces"

words to follow

a little Frogger

this one needs no explanation, I hope ;-)

and though this isn't specifically an '80s icon, most of us (my secret swap partner included) were still relatively young during that decade, and what little kid didn't love seeing this face??

The Pacman and Kool-Aid blocks were my first attempts at using Wonder Under. Might be one of my last, too. I've had a little experience with Steam-a-Seam, but tend to stay away from the fusible webs in general. However, at this scale, the applique bits needed it. I should have stuck with what I know, though - the Wonder Under was nearly impossible to separate from the paper backing once I had fused it to the applique piece, even after I had tried to separate the two in advance. That's why my little ghostie is looking worse for wear (and he was not the first ghost I cut out, either). Lesson learned.

I've started playing with settings and layout, but I'll have to wait until I do ORANGE before I settle on anything. So far, this is where I'm leaning:


Now for the extras!!
I'm keeping it a secret what this will become, but I hope she likes it, and won't be too embarrassed to carry it around. I found the adorable pink and green elephant fabric at Jackman's Fabrics on my last visit back to St. Louis, and it screamed out to me for this project! And just yesterday I picked up the coordinating dots when I went in to work at Cool Cottons, with the help of Marie. Just need a couple more things to get this piece under way....

and then there are just the fun little goodies. We'll see if I come across any others before the package is ready to go out. I'm glad to say I feel a little bit more on track than I did just a week ago. I'll be cutting it close with my dad's visit coming up and some of my other obligations, but August 1st is a doable date now.

Thursday is swap day

Linda Beth

Last week I came to the realization that I need more structure. Part of that process will be assigning different general projects to different days of the week. For instance, Tuesday is now a "merchandise" day, for making (primarily) place mats and pot holders:





My new schedule allots Thursdays to working on bee and swap projects. Last week I worked on blocks for the do.Good Stitches bee on Flickr. Megan, a.k.a. Canoe Ridge Creations, posted a tutorial on her blog for a simple as pie bow tie block.


She showed us an array of clear, saturated, rainbowy fabrics as inspiration for the palette... which seems to be a trend right now. Not an unwelcome one, I must say.

In addition to the bow tie blocks, I dedicated quite a bit of time to cutting squares for the Warm Cool Quilt Along hosted by Jeni at In Color Order. I shared a little more about this process in my previous post, found here.

This week, however, I moved on to working on 2 other projects, one of which I thought the deadline had passed me by. The Portland Modern Quilt Guild is putting together a banner to represent the group at the annual Sisters' Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, OR, along with a selection of member quilts which will be on display at the show this year (the second Saturday of July, for those who are interested!!). Admittedly, I did not get the memo in time to submit (have I mentioned that I am terrible at keeping up with my blog list and online newsletters??) so I do not have a quilt in the show, but several of my Portland colleagues will, along with hundreds of other Oregon quilters! However, I did get a chance to do a block to be added to the banner for the guild, which I dropped off at this evening's meeting.



I kept going back and forth about what design I would want to use to sum up my quilting style in one 6" block, sketching ideas, but came up with this simply by revisiting my own Flickr photostream. I originally did a quilt from one of Judy Hopkins' books (whose name escapes me right now, I have to admit) several years ago as a wedding gift for some friends.


A perfect way to combine string piecing and working with an awesome modern focus fabric (and this piece of Heather Bailey's Freshcut I have Jenn, Sunnyauh to thank for!!)

But the bulk of the day was dedicated to working on Cruz's blocks for the Seams Perfect Scrap Bee on Flickr. She pointed us toward this tutorial from Freshly Pieced.


I LOVED working on these blocks, though was thrown off by how long it took to actually select each round of 3 fabrics! And I do have to say that it was a challenge to keep my hexagon blocks even as I went around, as can be seen by the wonky angle of a couple of the strips, but hopefully it won't make too much of a difference. Next month is my month to host that bee, and I still have to get my sample blocks and templates together before the end of June, as I think I will have to send out bits for paper piecing... more to come on that one later. All in all, I think this will be a good schedule to keep to, assuming I am able to keep to it!