Showing posts with label Stash Busting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stash Busting. Show all posts

Monday, 6 November 2017

Puppilalla Fabric Fairy

A few weeks ago, I noticed that the long anticipated #getyourquiltywishesgranted Instagram initiative – Round 3 - had kicked off again. So I posted my wish for ‘Heartwood Scenic’ by Makower and any ‘Ghastlies’ by Alexander Henry. Then I took to reading wishes to find some I could grant. 

Grant some wishes...

…some encouraging words to brighten up my new studio space – check
…modern fabric 2.5 x 2.5 or bigger fabric scraps – done
…Tula Pink selvedges – check
…fussy cuts – OK
…pink, grey and yellow fabric squares for churn dash blocks – alright
…some fabrics for an ocean themed quilt – can do

Tula Pink befor line (insert line name), Tula Pink – the old lines … Tula Pink OOPs

While I have not got an excessive Tula stash, I happen to have some of the by now out of production prints of the lines ‘Prince Charming’, ‘Hushabye’, ‘Plume’ and single prints of various lines like ‘Moonshine’ or ‘Saltwater’ (You just had to have that cute Octopus print, right? =) 

Unicorn spotting

Use it or lose it and too much hoarding is a bad habit anyway, right? Right. 
Therefore, I decided to try to help out some of the Tula lovers hoping to get sight of their out of print unicorns just maybe.

I photographed this fun postcard, I that never fails to cheer me up and announced that I just might be able to assist with unicorn spotting. I asked the other readers perusing wishes on IG to direct the parties asking for Tula Pink to me and I would see what I can do.

Oh dear! What followed next was a wave of increased interest coming my way. Luckily, there were wishes I could help out with.

Given the interest, I just had to get organised. I collected the prints I was happy to cut into, assigned them numbers and photographed them. That photo I sent to those who had approached me and asked them to pick any two prints that I would cut into on their behalf. Some had specific print requests – that ‘Prince Charming’ frog in dark green – which I helped out with. There were also many wishes I just could do nothing about as Tula Pink has published a great many fabric lines, most of which I did never own.

In the end I granted 15 wishes, among which I managed 10 out of print Tula Pink ones. That green froggy fabric was the most popular one and the one I had the least amount of. I had to refuse wishes here and the remaining wishing parties got exactly one frog each.

Incidentally, I also set out to surprise each of my Round Robin friends with fabric I had purchased whilst being in Japan around the same time. You can see, I have sent out a lot of envelopes. Might just have earned the post office clerk his keep this month. =)

Wish Granting Central...

I have therefore decided to award myself the title of ‘Fabric Fairy’ having done my bit of gifting. The intended recipients were very happy, so happy that some of them felt they had to reciprocate. That was sweet though kind of not the point in my opinion. My approach is too look for wishes that I can grant effortlessly. I would not look to receive anything in return from the same parties I send things to as I would expect, that they in turn too look for those wishes that they can easily grant, rather than going out to specifically purchase fabrics or similar. Would you agree to that or do you have a different approach? As I am always up for some Anna Maria Horner (the happy colours), Pat Bravo or Carolyn Friedlander, I wasn't had to convince to accept a bit of those in return though when they were offered.

Fellow fabric fairy 'nanraylittle' offered to share some of her 'Heartwood' print with me AND even asked me if last year’s wish for some AMH ‘Mod Corsage’, especially the ‘Centered’ in Seafoam, had ever been granted? She had gone and looked it up. How considerate is that? Incidentally, it had not been. She offered to send a bit of both and I had to keep myself from ambushing the mailman in anticipation.

Puppilalla, Fabric Stash Building, getyourquiltywishesgranted
Yeah! Happy Mail

The best part about this initiative are the participants. Every year the level of excitement and genuine generosity is incredibly heart warming. Simply reading along is already jaw dropping. I had some amazing moments this year. I got to grant a wish to the alleged founder of the initiative 'raven2006'. I of course pestered her with questions as to how it all got started three years ago. I had to.   =) It turned out she had not started 'getyourquiltywishesgranted' but had heard that it came about via some private IG account and someone musing 'If I could have wish for something this Christmas...'. Could be true or not.

I am also a bit awestruck. Cath of 'Wombat Quilts' whom I have admired for a long time and whose pretty (also generously free) FPP star templates are my go to favorites whenever I need a star block, has granted one of my wishes. (Swoon ) Wow!

I was also much impressed with another participant's determination to grant at least one more wish than was granted to her. That I consider very admirable. While there is a percentage of freeloaders - there always is-, the majority of people is truly invested in making somebody else's wish come true and likewise grateful for wishes granted.

If you could see the big smile plastered on my face, you would know just how much fun I had with this these past weeks, though I admit packing all those envelopes was a bit of a chore. =) As for myself, I feel thoroughly spoiled by happy mail, positive IG messages and good vibes all around.

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'

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Wer lesen kann, ist klar im Vorteil!

As I had finished my February bee assignments, I though of crashing Stash Bee Hive 5. Why not, as the requested block, a log cabin variation, is perfect for scrap busting and it looked as if would come together quite quickly.

Puppilalla, Patchwork, Improv piecing, log cabin, scrap block

Thus, I started to piece away. After a while I went back to check the tutorial for some detail or other and found that I was galloping down the completely wrong alley colour wise. Oops. ‘Wer lesen kann, ist klar im Vorteil!’ 
This is a German saying to ironically self indicate that you missed a piece of information or understood something wrong. The literal translation of it – though any interpreter and translator will agree that literal translations are seldom any good – is

‘Advantaged is who is able to read’.

See, told you it would not make any sense as it is not meant as a comment on literacy. The meaning is more along the lines of having a head start or advantage for having read the small print. Usually, one uses the saying in relation to oneself rather than somebody else to indicate that one does NOT in fact have said head start, on account of having missed a detail or gotten it wrong. I like the saying and think it infinitely more charming and certainly void of the aggression underlying the English language ‘RTFM’.

Puppilalla, Patchwork, Improv piecing, log cabin, courthouse steps, scrap block

Anyway, I then declared my work an exercise in improve piecing, unpicked some seams removing strips that would have taken the block in a different direction and made a few more block components in the same colour scheme. It was relaxing to work away without having a definite outcome in mind. I like how the little pieces look so far. They might end up as pot holder or pillowcase depending on how motivated I feel. 

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Top 5 Blocks for Quilting Bees - Suitable Bee Blocks

Once you have successfully joined a quilting bee it is time for the BIG question. What block shall I ask my bee mates to make? The answer depends somewhat on the ground rules of your bee group, swarm or hive. 
Usually, there are a few restrictions that need to be observed. Mostly, it should be possible to construct your block of choice without having to purchase patterns or additional, fancy equipment beyond what can be reasonably expected in a sewing basket. Also bees do mostly work with fabrics from their own stash, which naturally leads to a variety of different fabrics appearing in the final project. That needs to be factored in when choosing a block.

Still, even discounting the commercial patterns, the possibilities are sheer endless. Working with scraps or going mono chromatic seems to work fine. Tuning you swarm mates to a very specific colour scheme is equally possible but a little more challenging. Will you allow your bee mates to improvise or should you go for that extra tedious design that you would appreciate not to have to make 18 blocks of on your own? Decisions, decisions. 

Puppilalla Original Design Copyright 2015, Queen Bee, Quilting Bee

Let me share with you a few blocks that I really like and consider absolutely quilting bee suitable. 

1. 'Pickle Dish Variation' at red pepper quilts 

I fell for this design when I saw Rachel's interpretation at 'Stitched in Color'. The warm bright colours and low volume fabrics creating a strong contrast absolutely work for me. Rachel used Rita Hodge's easy to follow tutorial and Rita's version uses a somewhat cooler colour scheme. The secondary pattern emerging is drop dead gorgeous. Bees could use all sort of scraps to make this block, though I find a rendition in solids would also work quite well.

Pickle Dish by Rachel Hauser @ 'Stitched in Color'

2. 'Simply Woven Quilt' at Moda Bake Shop

This is such a simple yet effective design. Again many different fabrics could be used without clashing or causing offence. I imagine this design would save a queen bee a lot of grief when he or she receives a block in colours that are ever so slightly off the preferred colour scheme. One could easily hide the 'offender' in the pattern not that I think any block would manage to offend in this design. The pattern is by Jessica Kelly of 'SewCraftyJess' and can be found at 'Moda Bake Shop'.

Jessica Kelly of  'SewCraftyJess' for 'Moda Bake Shop'

3. 'Disappearing 9-Patch' at Sewn Up

That is a clever little design looking a bit like a fancy 'Irish Chain'. It manages to look a bit different and hides the single blocks nicely in the repeat. This design also lends itself to fussy cutting. The tutorial is by 'TeresaDownUnder' and can be found at her blog 'Sewn Up'.

Disappearing 9-Patch by TeresaDownUnder @ 'Sewn Up'

4. 'Boy's Nonsense' at Where The Orchids Grow

Well the actual block stems from the free block pattern library at 'Quilter's design Board' but Leila at  'Where The Orchids Grow' turned it into the below beauty of a quilt and wrote a tutorial to go along  with the block pattern. I am positively smitten with her fabric choice and colour scheme.

Boy's Nonsense by Leila @ 'Where The Orchids Grow'

5. 'Garden Fence' at Hyacinth Quilt Designs

I consider this a beautiful design by Cindy Lammon at 'Hyacinth Quilt Designs' and as far as quilting bees are concerned. a kind of play-it-safe option. Since the fabrics are framed in a solid, as here in white, the colours do not mix and mingle as much as in all the other designs above. Therefore, any block received by your fellow bees could be treated as self-contained entity. For some this might be a good way of controlling the overall impression of their quilt top to be. Not to mention that the central squares pretty much beg for fussy cuts. 

Garden Fence by Cindy Lammon @ 'Hyacinth Quilt Designs'

Further Online Resources: 

A fabulous free online resource is the 'Moda Bake Shop' blog, where quilters worldwide share their quilt designs and step-by-step tutorials, many of which can easily be adapted as bee blocks.  

For completeness sake, I would also like to point you in the direction of the Bee Hive quilt block tutorial series by 'Blossom Heart Quilts', of which I have not included any designs above since these blocks will feature prominently on my blog this year anyway, with me being a bee member of one of the 2016 swarms and all. The blocks are all newly designed rather than traditional.

'Sewing for Beginners' collected 10 free quilting patterns each for Fat Quarters, Charm Packs and Jelly Rolls.

Still not inspired? 'Generations Quilt Patterns' provide a free library of quilt block patterns and are well worth checking for further inspiration. 

If you like stars and paper foundation piecing Cath Hall at 'Wombat Quilts' can surely accomodate your every wish. 

Right then. This should help you getting started deciding on a bee block for your next quilting bee. I surely feel inspired.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

The Year of The Stash - less stash building, more stash using in 2016

A Quarter Inch from the Edge

Happy New Year everyone! 2016 has arrived and a New Year’s resolution wants pledging. Jenn at 'Quarter Inch From the Edge' has declared 2016 'The Year of the Stash' and she has written a stash manifesto to go along with it. Mostly it centres of re-discovering your stash and working with what you already own. She is encouraging others to play along and write their own manifestos. While I would not go as far as writing a manifesto, I definitely feel that I really need to use up more of my existing stash before buying more fabric, (says the girl that just spent all her Christmas money on more fabric, right?) 

I am tethering on the brink of losing oversight of what fabrics I own and that is never a good thing. Being a member of two quilting bees this year will already help using up fabrics. Using up more of my stash would also work well with another 2016 goal, which is to de-stash what I am no longer absolutely in love with fabric wise. 

So 'The Year of the Stash' it is. I shall try to be mindful of my fabric usage and to keep a tally of what I have used up for the various projects throughout the year.

Oh, and feel free to chide me if you should notice me giving into temptation. 

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Up the Ante #2 - Paper Foundation Piecing and Directional Prints

Had I known how easy Paper Foundation Piecing is, I might have started earlier exploring it. As mentioned in a previous post, I recently started a Craftsy class with Elizabeth Dackson called Start Foundation Paper Piecing  and am really enjoying the process so far. Let me show you some of the blocks that were provided with the class materials. 

Puppilalla Paper Foundation Piecing Sampler Quilt Blocks

For the ‘Vortex’ block  (a) and the ‘Starbust’ block (b) I stuck to the instructions but once I felt comfortable, I altered the 'Starflower' (c) and 'Monarch Block' (d) a bit. I started by scaling the templates down as I did not want them all to be the same size. The 'Starflower' is therefore now only a quarter of the size of the ‘Vortex’ or ‘Starbust’ block. 

Puppilalla Paper Foundation Piecing Sampler Quilt Blocks template

I also added a few more lines to the template, which changes the design somewhat but I like it better this way. 

Puppilalla Paper Foundation Piecing Sampler Quilt Blocks Starflower

The ‘Monarch’ block too was scaled down and I had a hard time to decide the colour placement. I am content with outcome though the hot neon pink pushed me a bit out of my comfort zone. I am counting on it to blend in with the blues and low volume fabrics in the finished sampler quilt.

Puppilalla Paper Foundation Piecing Sampler Quilt Monarch Block

I also found it challenging to work with directional prints trying to make sure they remain aligned rather than going all over the place. With having to flip the templates over for sewing, I had to think sideways at times to try to keep count of where individual fabric pieces would end up in the finished block. =)

Puppilalla Finished Paper Foundation Piecing Sampler Quilt Blocks

Also have a look at these lovely star themed paper foundation templates Cath Hall so generously provides free of charge on her blog Wombat Quilts. I am thinking about making one or two to go with the ‘Starflower’ block.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Tessellation Style Pillowcase #2 - Fabric Rehearsal

Fabric Rehearsal

Tessellation Style Foundation Paper Piecing Modern Patchwork Pillowcase Puppilalla

The members of the Berlin Modern Quilt Guild are meeting next on 26/09/15 and I hope to find the time to join in the fun. I meant to go along to get to meet follow quilters here in Berlin for some time now. For some reason or other, the previously proposed dates either did not work for me or I got sidetracked by other projects again. In order to be ready and to have a patchwork project to work on, I took an hour on the side to quickly see which fabrics might go with my Tessellation style triangles that are to become a pillowcase soon.

Tessellation Style Foundation Paper Piecing Modern Patchwork Pillowcase Puppilalla

I noticed that, albeit my best intentions to group the triangles together to have them form a self-contained area in line with the original Tessellation design, I catch myself spacing them apart again.

Tessellation Style Foundation Paper Piecing Modern Patchwork Pillowcase Puppilalla

Grouped together they seem to lose their individual character. I can already see that I am most likely going to include some sashing or low volume fabrics to allow the eye some rest and help the triangles pop.

Tessellation Style Foundation Paper Piecing Modern Patchwork Pillowcase Puppilalla
So which fabric and colour do you think work best with the triangles? It is fun to see how each background fabric compliments different fabric pieces within the triangle blocks.

Tessellation Style Foundation Paper Piecing Modern Patchwork Pillowcase Puppilalla

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

A Collection of Patchwork Pillowcases

modern Puppilalla Design Patchwork pillowcase cushion cover with stripes and velvet ribbons

Patchwork Pillowcases. Looking back, I have made quite a few of them by now, for they make such lovely presents. And whats more, they are quick to make and therefore fun fast projects. In the past I have hardly managed to snap a picture of the finished product, let alone the creative process, before wrapping them up and giving them away.

Flower Applique Pillowcase

A modern Puppilalla Design Patchwork pillowcase with flower applique

I made this pillowcase with the flower applique for my friend Hannah as you will have already guessed. The stripes on the left hand side are actually one flowery woven  and one green velvety ribbon that I machine applied to the background fabric.

A modern Puppilalla Design Patchwork pillowcase with flower applique

I just love the green little woven ribbon to the left with its purple and blue flowers.

A modern Puppilalla Design Patchwork pillowcase with flower applique

And a close-up of the machine applied flower petals. With hindsight I would say, something was definitely amiss with the thread tension.

Modern Log Cabin Pillowcase

A modern Puppilalla Design Patchwork Log Cabin Pillowcase

And this beauty even made it all around the world to Sydney, Australia.

A modern Puppilalla Design Patchwork Log Cabin Pillowcase

The pretty modern log cabin block was made from scraps. I just love the fussy cut flower at the centre.

A modern Puppilalla Design Patchwork Log Cabin Pillowcase

Yes, I know, the eagle eyed among you will have spied that the background fabric - 'Grunge' in Mint by Basicgrey, which I love by the way - has NOT been ironed prior to sewing. 
I am entirely self-taught and it has not occured to me until recently, when I watched some online classes on Craftsy, that it might in fact be beneficial to do so. 

Lessons to take away for the future?
1. Ought to improve on documenting the crafting process around future sewing projects.
2. Should remember to iron fabrics prior to using them.

Fair enough, I promise to try.