Sunday, March 28, 2010

blocks for nadia and wendy

doing single quilt blocks is about the right amount of crafty commitment for me right now. I can make one seam or two and then if I get called away, I can put it down and come back to it whenever I get the chance. And so... I'm all caught up! whew! Here are two blocks for Nadia:

I ended up using a gray solid from my own stash on the lion block because I didn't have enough of Nadia's gray in the right size. As far as I can tell, it's exactly the same shade of gray, but it's a slightly lighter weight fabric, so I made this easy block in case you want to swap out your own grays, Nadia. Also, a big thank you to my mom who fixed the top block for me. I ended up doing a ridiculous amount of math to make sure the block would turn out 12" square and wouldn't waste any of that awesome woodsy fabric, but I think my seams were slightly off because the block wasn't square when I was done. I mentioned this to my perfectionist sewist mother and she fixed it after I went to bed. woo hoo!

And this is my block for Wendy. It was lots of fun! I was a little worried about it for some reason, but I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. I added a little paint on the "shirt" because of my screen printing hobby. It should wash fine.

Thanks for these fun projects! Now let's see if I can get them into the mail!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

sneaky peek

My parents are here, visiting because of the new baby, and I wanted to show off my beautiful bookshelf blocks. I think I forgot one (it was in a different stack in my craft room), but it was the first time I'd laid them all out together since I'd received them and.... it took my breath away.
now I REALLY want to get this quilt stitched up! thanks to everyone for helping me to get these blocks made. I'm especially grateful for your stash scrap donations. I couldn't have made such a beautiful variety of prints without your help. Hmmm.... now if I could just find my free time.... I seem to have mislaid it.....


Friday, March 19, 2010

carissa's books

One more shelf for Carissa. I think of my stash as being more in the vintage/murky color range, so it was fun to discover I had a few scraps to add to Carissa's bright bookcase. This was a fun block to work on - quick, but with some challenges to arrange the book heights and colors in a way that made me happy. It's going to be a striking quilt when they're all put together!

(Arg. I thought I posted this a month ago. Must have hit "save now" instead of "publish post". Sorry.)

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

these are the quilters in my neighborhood* -

At least I wish all of you were. I've written before about how much inspiration and friendship I get from my neighborhood quilting group. If I could make it happen, I think I'd move all of the Common Threads quilters to the Chicago area so they could join me every Tuesday. As it is, I have to settle for having you in my internet neighborhood.
Recently a friend gave me a copy of Material Obsession by Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke. They have a quilt in there that makes me think of my circle of quilting friends both at home and on the computer -
The 'Burbs
This month I'd like all of you to make a block representing yourselves. I've included in the packages some directions if you want them, but these ladies are pretty varied in size and style, so please feel free to improvise. Add some extras if you'd like to embellish yourself (buttons, ribbons, doilies, lace), just be sure that it's washable. This quilt isn't going on the wall, I plan to curl up in it and use it daily.

Below are the block background fabrics and "fleshtones". Please feel free to swap out the fabric for the face and hands if you have more melanin than me. Sadly, the off white muslin is actually very close to my skin tone at this point in the year. The only thing I ask for those parts of the block is that they are made with a solid fabric and are left blank - like Amish dolls.

All the ladies in the quilt happen to be wearing dresses, but if you're a jeans and tee shirt kind of girl, go ahead and make yours that way. As you can see below, most of the dress fabrics I've included are floral and springy. I'm fine with substitutions, in fact, I'd welcome anything from your stash that's a representation of who you are as a person or quilter. I only ask that if you prefer to wear black everyday that you choose a brighter print with black as an accent to keep with the tone of the quilt. After I took this picture I added a few more prints in purples with some more geometrics on them, so I'm not stuck on just florals, but I do want the quilt to read as happy and bright. I'll also include a small piece of dark brown for the boots/legs. Again, if you like to be barefoot, use the flesh tone. If you have a favorite pair of red shoes, use a piece of red fabric. It's up to you.

The size of the blocks can vary and I'm happy with either a rectangle or a square. I'd prefer that no dimension be smaller than 6" or larger than 12" finished.
I can't wait for all of you to start showing up in my mailbox!
*click here if you want that classic Sesame Song in your head for the rest of the day
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Monday, March 15, 2010

round one, done!

Woohoo! I'm finally finished with my round one quilt! Here it is in all its glory, hanging over the sofa:
I cannot begin to thank my fellow common threaders for all of these blocks. There's simply no way I'd have been able to make a quilt with such unique blocks on my own. I think it's very true to the Gee's Bend and Nancy Crow inspirations. The whole wall seems alive with it hanging there.
You can see I went with a version of the second option I posted a bit back. Staggering those columns was a huge challenge for me. I lean very much toward symmetry and this quilt was intended to get me away from that. I borrowed a quilting idea I saw on Amber's blog several months ago. Originally, I considered quilting wonky, concentric squares in each block. Amber posted a quilt with wonky, vertical lines and I knew that would be perfect here.
The final size is about 44" X 60".
I'm working on gathering up the materials for round two and should be posting about it this week.
Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!!
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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Thank you...

I wanted to share the cross blocks I've received so far. They're so unique and fun! As some of you know, my mom has had a tough road lately, and one of our daily activities is that I sit with her and share what I'm working on. I had to let you know that she adored these blocks. She wants me to make them into a wall hanging for her pastor. I'm always surprised at the power of a quilt.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Blocks for Jacquie and Carissa -- Finally!

The real tragedy here is that I have had these blocks done for about a month, and I just barely mailed them yesterday. But they are on their ways now, ladies. Sorry you had to wait so long.
For Carissa.

I tried to do a variety of different blocks for Jacquie, but I'm not sure the wonky ones turned out that well. The one below, I didn't think it completely through before starting construction, so I'm not sure it even reads as a cross.

So I had to throw in some standard issue crosses just to be safe. I look forward to seeing the finished quilts!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

blocks for Jacquie & Nadia

blocks for Jacquie

I had a lot of fun playing with these cross blocks. I pulled out some scraps from my first Common Threads quilt (back in May 2008) to add some variety to the reds (and blacks). The bottom left one isn't calling out "cross" to me, so maybe you can use one half of it in another cross block, Jacquie.

blocks for Nadia

Here's the two I made for Nadia. This fabric is absolutely adorable and now I've got a hankering to make a woodland themed quilt.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fractured Forest for Nadia and Gus

This is the "fractured forest" block for Nadia. I love the way the little animals are peeking out. Congratulations again, Nadia. I know you will have fun putting this quilt together for little Gus.