Showing posts with label Improv. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Improv. Show all posts

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Stash Bee September Block - Oh Scrap

September Queen Amanda’s block choice is the exact opposite from my orderly and precise foundation paper piecing request last month. For her block she asked us to pull out our scraps to organically grow a block by matching scraps of similar sizes, combining away until you had a piece large enough to trim to 9 x 9 inches. We were to avoid browns and pastels. I succeeded on the first part but looking at my picture now, some fabric read more ‘pastel’ than Amanda might like. The good thing about this project is that she can just cut my blocks up and re-combine them with other pieces if she does not like what they currently look like.

 I have prepared one 9.5 x 9.5 inches block and an extra piece that is about 8 x 9 in size. They are already en route to Queen Amanda.

Stash Bee

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Improv Pillowcase - A Finish

Just in time for the first quarter Finish-A-Long link-up, I finally put the finishing touches to my improvised pillowcase. It is my only finish of my 1st quarter FAL list but one finish is still a finish. I am quite happy with how it turned out too. 

Puppilalla, Patchwork, Pillowcase, Improv, Quilting, wonky log cabin, modern quilting, scrap buster, scrappy project

The denim coloured super soft and light cotton works well with the colours in the front and back panels and makes the project look more grown up. I kind of accidentally started the project in February last year and am glad to report that it is finally done. I am clearly not the fastest sewist. =) 

Puppilalla, Patchwork, Pillowcase, Improv, Quilting, wonky log cabin, modern quilting, scrap buster, scrappy project

I tried a few new things with this pillow. Following along several bloggers, I noticed that many sewists also use quilt batting in their pillowcases. I guess the reason is that they actually do quilt their pillowcases. Thus, I thought I might try that too this time round.

What I have failed to find out yet, is what is happening on the inside of these pillowcases. Is the batting covered by even more fabric on the inside? Is it not covered on the inside and lies 'raw' in its lint shedding state against the pillow? I seriously do not know. I, however, did not want any uncovered batting within my pillowcase and therefore tried one-sided adhesive cotton heatbond to a) secure the substantial amount of seams on the back of the improvised panels and b) to cover the backside of the backing inside the pillowcase-to-be.

Puppilalla, Patchwork, Pillowcase, Improv, Quilting, wonky log cabin, modern quilting, scrap buster, scrappy project

It worked so so. So in my experimental state of mind, I had laid out the entire length of the pillowcase panel, put a piece of batting, where the front would be and covered all that with the one-sided heatbond. I bonded away and had thereby secured the seams and covered the back of the backing in one go. It worked all fine for covering and securing the multitude of seams. (This is going to be my new secret weapon in pillowcase making) However, I still had a sort wiggle room or air pocket between the batting and the front panel. And this wiggle room then caused trouble when I tried to unobtrusively quilt a few lines on the front panel as the layers puckered and shifted somewhat.

Puppilalla, Patchwork, Pillowcase, Improv, Quilting, wonky log cabin, modern quilting, scrap buster, scrappy project

The upshot is that the idea works in principle (no raw edges or seams within my pillowcase, yay  =) but that some fine-tuning is still required. Maybe, I should quilt the front panel with the batting first before adding the heatbond as a finish.

I also for the first time ever used bias tape to bind a pillowcase. I must say it makes a very sophisticated finish.

I have the next pillowcase idea lined up already. I snatched up some gingiber animal panels at a local quilt shop once they posted on IG that they had those and they basically scream 'Use us! ' so I feel I might oblige.

Linking up. I noticed that there are literally hundreds of projects linked as finished. Quite amazing how big the Finish-A-Long initiative has grown.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Stash Bee 2017 - March Block - Gwen Marston Style

Puppilalla, Gwen Marston, Improv Block, Patchwork, Liberated Quilting, Improv quilting

This month’s Queen Bee Patty invited us to broaden our quilting horizon a little bit by embracing Gwen Marston and her ideas on ‘liberated’ quilting. Patty made a few sample blocks and provided a wealth of resources to delve into in support of our monthly assignment.

The assignment was fun even though it took quite a while to complete, certainly much longer than the short hour bee blocks are meant to take up. I found the sewing experience overall satisfying and think I succeeded in creating visual interest.
I would however not necessarily want any such items – look wise – in my living surroundings. I believe that trying the ‘liberated’ quilting techniques is helping me to grow as a quilter but the overall look reminds me too much of ‘crazy quilting’, which is just not my thing at all. Therefore, I am not sorry to let this little block go but I certainly hope that Queen Patty will like it.

Puppilalla, Gwen Marston, Improv Block, Patchwork, Liberated Quilting, Improv quilting

I am also approaching the finishing line in completing my improv pillowcase, which I only started last year in February, so no need to hurry right? =) I will have to make some bias tape to frame the pillowcase and it will be done – in time even for the First Quarter FAL.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Stash Bee 2017 - February Block - Improv Log Cabin

Puppilalla, Quilting Bee, Stash Bee

Carmit, Hive 4 Queen of February asked for an easy, improv log-cabin-y block in a colour of our choice to make a monochromatic block with a neutral centre. Additionally,  for a bonus level challenge, Carmit pointed out that she does not like solids.

I chose yellow as it seemed that I had the most scraps in that colour. But once I got sewing it did not feel as if I had actually enough scraps. Strange phenomenon. =)  I could not entirely do without solids either as firstly, solids lend character and secondly, I needed something anchor the busy prints. The block is a little bigger then it needed to be but this way Carmit will be able to choose which print she wants to see more or less of and trim accordingly.

Improv quilting, log cabin block, Puppilalla, quilting bee block,

Carmit also said that she is really bored of her own fabrics and can’t wait to introduce a bit of variety into her existing blocks. So I hope my block contains enough new prints to shake things up.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Commencing an End of Year Review - Improv Piecing

improvisation piecing, patchwork, scrap busting, Puppilalla, log cabin block, patchwork pillowcase

Back in February I had started an improvisation piece, which initially was supposed to become a wonky log cabin block for a fellow bee in a parallel hive. As I had gotten the instructions wrong, I decided to keep it and kept puzzling along whenever I found time. You can see that it cannot have been very often because now it is December and the improv piece is still unfinished. 

improvisation piecing, patchwork, scrap busting, Puppilalla, log cabin block, patchwork pillowcase

Before I went on leave to Ghana, I was sure that I would be able to cross the project of my 4th quarter FAL list but now it seems I might have been somewhat hasty with that assumption. Improvising in that manner took me a long time. A lot of thought went into this, which seems counter-intuitive when one thinks of 'improvisation' but this is how it felt to me.

improvisation piecing, patchwork, scrap busting, Puppilalla, log cabin block, patchwork pillowcase

Still the front panel is finished and I counted 20 different fabrics that are making it up. There will be even more on the back panel that I have commenced piecing as well. Once done, it will make a pretty and modern pillowcase. 

improvisation piecing, patchwork, scrap busting, Puppilalla, log cabin block, patchwork pillowcase

I am also trying to decide what colour to chose for the bias tape that will frame the pillowcase. Any ideas? 

I am currently in the process of finishing the last bee block of the year and am not sure that I will be able to fit in any more sewing before Christmas. There are so many things I would still like to share with you this year though that I could easily publish a blog post a day at the moment.  

I guess I have to make up for my absence in November.  =)

I am linking up with 'Scraptastic Tuesday'

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Up the Ante #7 - I Could While Away The Hours...

Before I write about my forward look for 2017 it might be opportune to stop and review at what stage my various projects currently are. 

Quilt blocks, sampler quilt, Puppilalla, improv piecing, foundation paper piecing

Like my 'Up the Ante' sampler project, which grows steadily although the process has become fairly random. When I started out, I wanted to do specific blocks from some Block-of-the-month Craftsy classes to learn new techniques. For a while I did just that but quickly began to construct whichever block took my fancy at a time. I am surprised just how many blocks I  already have stitched up this year, considering that it is not on my official 'want-to-get-done' list at all.  =)

I put those blocks down as above for an IG snapshot when we were asked what we were currently doing with our scraps. I am getting excited about putting the blocks together to a quilt top at some point next year.

So what's new? Last, as previously mentioned, I had slightly amended the 'Anne's Flower' block and the colours flow much better now.

Anne's Flower Block, Puppilalla, Quilting, Sampler Quilt


I also was constructing flying geese from triangle and other scraps only. These will be used as fill-in pieces on a need be basis. All blocks have completely different sizes and there will be plenty of gaps to fill in.

Here I had not been paying attention. I had two pieces of equal size of that blue dotted Joel Dewberry print and I had wanted to use them both in a rather different block. I did not think of that at the time I made the 'Plus' block and just went with a fabric combination I liked. I still like it. Then however I saw the other fabric piece peeking out of the scrap pile remembering. Best laid plans right?  =)

Quilting, Plus block, Puppilalla

I had counted the amount of fabrics used up until now but now I cannot find just where I noted down that number. Ah well ... Anyhow, I very much like the relaxedness of that project and am looking forward to keep working on it.

On a side note, I am very excited to read that Rachel Hauser @Stitched in Color will offer her Penny Sampler Class again in 2017. Her amazing design serves as inspiration piece and guiding principle for my own sampler quilt for which I intend to use Rachel's broken border approach. I am seriously contemplating to sign up but then again the quilty project plan for next year looks so busy already that I might not.

Decisions, decisions

I join up with 'Let's Bee Social'

Sew Fresh Quilts

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Stash Bee 2016 - September Block - Trail Of Geese

We were doing some paper piecing this month. Queen Jennifer asked us to use the Geese Trails templates from 'Piece and Press'. Daniel Rouse, the author of 'Piece and Press', asked if anyone shares their blocks on Instagram, to use the tag #trailsofgeese so he can follow along - OK ... and done.

Four of the templates yielded a 12x12 finished block. Actually, Daniel uses 6 templates to create a little trail proper. There are a few different ways you can join the blocks. Daniel prepared 2 templates which form the set and Jennifer asked us to print 4 sets. I then randomly picked 4 of the 8 templates  and ended up with the below assembly.

Puppilalla, Trails of Geese, Flying Geese Block, Triangle scraps, Scrap Busting, Improv piecing, Stash Bee, Quilting Bee, Bee Block

Colour wise it was almost a do-as-you-please-job, which I find the most difficult ones. Jennifer asked for an all white, blue or grey background with geese that transitioned somehow. I played with a pink to blue transition but it looks a bit too ... experimental to me. I know, you can tell that I am not actually convinced of the outcome. I am not in two but in several minds about the question whether I like it.

I am also awfully late with the block this month. My time was not my own the last five weeks but I sure hope that things will look up from here on in.

Stash Bee 2016

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Up the Ante #6 - From Scrap to Quilt Block

I had set this Sunday aside for some relaxed sewing. I pulled the scrap bag out and got busy. So all the blocks were essentially made from scraps combined with neutral fabrics.

Puppilalla, Anne's Flower, Quilt Block, Tu-Na Quilts, Up the Ante, Sampler Quilt, Free Quilt Block,

As I was looking for some pictorial blocks for my sampler quilt to be, I thought to give Karen's @Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats blog hop block 'Anne's Flower' a try. It was the first time that I tried anything 'Dresden Plate' style. Worked like a charm, 

Though the flowery print on the left side there would have been better placed further up, finishing at the upper edge to make the colours flow better... Hmmm - I might still change that.

Puppilalla, Anne's Flower, Quilt Block, Tu-Na Quilts, Up the Ante, Sampler Quilt, Free Quilt Block,

All made from scraps =)

Puppilalla, Anne's Flower, Quilt Block, Tu-Na Quilts, Up the Ante, Sampler Quilt, Free Quilt Block,

I only wish I had chosen a more prominent fabric for the flower stalk. The embroidery on top does not improve it either. Still a good overall effort however. 

Puppilalla, Anne's Flower, Quilt Block, Tu-Na Quilts, Up the Ante, Sampler Quilt, Free Quilt Block,

And here was a little frog to play around with. Improv piecing live from the pond, I tell you! There were some nice fussy cuts to have from those left over fabric strips. 

Puppilalla, Improv Piecing, Quilt Block, Up the Ante, Sampler Quilt, Free Quilt Block,

Overall, I am fairly happy with the outcome of this Sunday's sewing session. It provided me the rest and relaxation I felt I needed this weekend.

Puppilalla, Improv Piecing, Quilt Block, Up the Ante, Sampler Quilt, Free Quilt Block,

Well now you know what kept me busy this Sunday. What were you up to then?

Puppilalla, Improv Piecing, Quilt Block, Up the Ante, Sampler Quilt, Free Quilt Block,

I  link up with 'Let's Bee Social'.

Sew Fresh Quilts

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Procrastination 101 - Up The Ante #5

Ah well, I should be sewing other things, urgently so even. But somehow I could not muster the energy those last few days. Do you know that feeling? The Cloud 9 Fabrics 'New Block' Blog Hop is coming up and I still have to finish writing the block tutorial AND to actually sew the block in the (gorgeous) sponsored fabrics. After having finished the amazing looking test block however, my energy just somehow dissipated and is yet to resurface.

Therefore, I stopped trying to make myself do it and just went to sew something entirely unrelated. Just to keep the sewing momentum going. I had my eye on the little 'Dala Horse' for a while and thought it would be an enjoyable in-between project. I am still working from the scrap pile reserved for my 'Up the Ante Sampler' quilt and enjoy adding small blocks to it from time to time.

Julianna Gasiorowska, Sewing Under Rainbow, Puppilalla, Dala Horse, Paper Piecing, free quilt block,
I made a little mistake there at the lower right hand corner but no matter, it will disappear in the seam allowance.

I just love using up scraps that seem like there is no purpose for them anymore, as they are too small or too unshapely. Is the saddle not pretty? I did not have enough of the purple fabric for the entire saddle but made do.  =)

Julianna Gasiorowska, Sewing Under Rainbow, Puppilalla, Dala Horse, Paper Piecing, free quilt block,

The 'Dala Horse' pattern has been designed by the talented Julianna GÄ…siorowska '@Sewing Under Rainbow' and can be downloaded for free from Julianna's Craftsy page. Check out the other gorgeous pattern she offers there. 'Warsaw Mermaid' is all I am saying  =)

Puppilalla, Dala Horse, Paper Piecing, free quilt block, Improvisation, Improv Block, Polaroids

I improvised another little block with a fussy cut dragonfly(?) in the middle and composed one in stripes. The tiger, feathers and rabbit were not originally mine. Those were sponsored for my Polaroid quilt project. The Polaroids were so small however that they just would not play with the other Polaroids. No matter, I have joined them in a row and will give them a home in the sampler quilt. 

I am still debating whether to include the green block with silver drops. It was goodie sent along by a fellow bee earlier this year. I am not sure how well it would work with the other blocks, as it is rather glaring, but pushing blocks around the living room wall (washi tape rules!) will tell in time.

OK, I am off for a long weekend away at a wedding, hoping to come back refreshed for a another go at the blog hop block.

I link up with 'Let's Bee Social'.

Sew Fresh Quilts

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Stash Bee 2016 - August Block - Washi Tape

Puppilalla, Stash Bee, Quilting Bee, Queen Bee

Queen Lee of Central Connecticut cracked me up. I had a laughing flash when I read her fabric requirement description. So all you need are some grey fabric squares...

"And a pile of strings. You know those "too skinny to use for anything else" scraps you've been hoarding? Well, now you can use them. Don't have any? Okay, weirdo, cut a bunch of bright fabric that contrasts well with your grey about 1 inch wide by about 4 or more inches."

This is funny because it so true. Of course I have quite a few too skinny to be useful scraps that someday-surely-will-come-in-handy-for-a-project. Well this is it! Thanks Lee for having me use them. =)

Improv, Slash and Sew, Stash Bee, Quilting Bee, Bee Block, Washi Tape, Puppilalla

This block was fun and very easy. Lee was after the look of Washi Tape against a grey background.  I imagine this could have also been easily constructed with leftover pieces of bias tape. There is hardly room to go wrong except for the shade of grey maybe. It was difficult to judge by the sample pictures. I hope works with Lee's other blocks.

Right, on to other challenges.


Stash Bee 2016

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Cancer Relief Improvisation Block - Missing U

Earlier this week a call for assistance reached me. A bee of a parallel swarm, of one of the quilting bees I participate in this year, was diagnosed with cancer and started chemotherapy this week. The members of her swarm decided to make her a quilt and called for blocks in support of the project. I got to work straightaway.

The idea is to make improvised blocks in the style of  the 'Missing U' block as found in the book 'Sunday Morning Quilts' by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison. The blocks are to be collected, assembled and, as I understand, longarm quilted by another volunteer that has already come forward.

Puppilalla, Improvised Piecing, Improv, Missing U, Patchwork

Here a close up of a beautiful embroidered piece of gauze I once came across on the sewing room floor of one of the quilt shops I frequent. It was only a scrap but I was very much taken by the pretty circling spirals and knew I would find a home for it at some point. In order to use it, I backed the gauze with another piece of cotton.

Puppilalla, Improvised Piecing, Improv, Missing U, Patchwork

The very first picture shows the finished block but the one below shows my favorite trim. I felt the block had found some sort of balance and I would have left it at that, had the block already had the required size. As it had not a few more pieces had to be added.

Puppilalla, Improvised Piecing, Improv, Missing U, Patchwork

I mailed the block on Friday and hope it travels swiftly to reach its destination. 

Friday, 8 April 2016

2016 Finish-A-Long - 2Q FAL list

The first quarter of the year is gone and I have not even made an attempt at finishing any of the UFOs. However, I would claim I had good cause having been busy with the polaroid photo quilt, which got completed this month. So I am rolling last quarter's UFOs over into the next one and add another.

1. Tessellation Style Pillowcase

In all fairness, the pieces of the pillowcase followed me around my sewing space - serving as constant reminder - since I had entered them into the 1Q FAL list. I keep looking at them but no real inspiration struck yet as to how to proceed.

2. Mobile Phone Cover for my Sister

No - I did not even think about this one in the last three months. The cover will be made of the striped fabric and have ruffles of the 'Botanique' print on the front, which in turn will be held in place by the blue velvet ribbon. The blue fabric will used as lining. To close the cover I thought to use press buttons. And of course the butterfly needs applying.

3. Convert the improv pieces into a finished object

A first improv attempt that now wants to be turned into something useful? practical? whimsical? - something finished anyway.

If you have unfinished projects just biding their time, you might consider joining the Finish-A-Long as well. Make sure to check out the entries as there are stunning pieces among them.


2016 FAL