Showing posts with label low volume fabrics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label low volume fabrics. Show all posts

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Stash Bee 2016 - April Block - Log Cabin Plus

All hail Queen Liz of April. Hooray.  In requesting the very simple - yet striking - Cabin Plus Block Liz made life very easy for us bees this month. The block came together like a charm. Colour wise Liz asked for black on white against a white background. The resulting quilt is bound to look very modern and dramatic.

I like how my block turned out but in comparison with the sample blocks and the blocks my bee mates made, it is a bit on the lightish side. The other blocks seem to be darker. I hope it works for Liz.


Stash Bee 2016

Monday, 29 February 2016

The Bee Hive 2016 - March Block - Double Star #1

All hail the Queen! (Ha! - I have always wanted to say that out loud =) March is here and somehow it took me by surprise. It feels as if February was about a week shorter than it should have been. As Queen Bee, I will be able to call upon the aide of my swarm mates in creating blocks for my 2016 Blossom Heart Quilts block exchange quilt top.

The Bee Hive, March Block, Queen Bee, Bee Block 2016, Quilting Bee

I have decided to wish for the 'Double Star' block. Its abundance of triangles appeals to me. The monochromatic tutorial did not at first seem very inspiring but then I found this interpretation by 'vdizzledazzle' and - Hey Presto! - things fell into place.

So here my own version of the 'Double Star'. 

Puppilalla, Double Star Block, Blossom Heart, The Bee Hive, Sample  block


Colour Recipe:

The Bee Hive, March 2016 Block, Colorway, Puppilalla

I would like the blocks to be made out of citron, mustard yellow, bright orange and dusky purple or lavender mostly with the occasional accent in aqua thrown in. My best friend mocks me mercilessly, claiming that all my projects essentially end up being aqua coloured. That is not quite true. Only because my bedroom is painted in two shades of aqua, I having been known to fall for aqua coloured product packaging and - uhm - moving swiftly alomg...

To help getting a better impression I fed the picture with the sample fabrics to the Palette Builder tool but sometimes it is not as helpful as you want it to be. It refused for example to give me the accurate citron yellow for the triangle print in the middle. I think you will be able to get the accurate impression from the above pictures though. And the shades next to the purple are lavender rather than grey. When in doubt just stick to the fabrics in the actual photograph for reference. 

When having a closer look at the low volume fabrics for the background, you will notice that they veer towards brown and sepia and do NOT contain any greys or bleached whites.

Block Realization:

First of all, I printed out the tutorial in order to be able to scribble onto it. The tutorial is well done and easy to follow but all the referenced greys confused me. Therefore I re-named the cutting list as follows:

From A  White fabric, cut: 4 squares, 2 7/8″ x 2 7/8″; 1 square 5 1/4″ x 5 1/4″
From B  Light Grey fabric, cut: 8 squares, 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″
From C  Medium Grey fabric, cut: 4 squares, 2 7/8″ x 2 7/8″; 1 square 5 1/4″ x 5 1/4″
From D  Dark Grey fabric, cut: 1 square, 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″
From E  Black fabric, cut: 8 squares, 2 7/8″ x 2 7/8″

Subsequently, I took a pen, looked at the directions and replaced each fabric reference with the corresponding letter. Thus the instructions now read as: Lay two C 2 7/8 squares onto opposite corners of one A 5 1/4 square... - you get the idea. 

I then wrote the letters A - E onto post-it notes and put those onto the fabric pieces once I had cut them according to the instructions. That significantly reduced the danger of confusing them later. 

Either fabric C or fabric E should be the darkest colour in your block. (Check the sample blocks above for comparison =) In any case fabric C should be of a strong colour to provide contrast to the white fabric A. This is important for the secondary pattern to emerge. 

Use colourful prints for fabrics C, D and E.
Fabric B is the low volume print.
A is a white solid.

The white fabric A should be an off-white or creamy white rather than a bleached white. 

Feel free to include a pretty fussy cut for the D  fabric square if you feel you have one fitting the colour scheme. By the way, since the fabric D square does not feature until the final assembly, you could prepare all the other pieces first, lay them out as shown above in the monochromatic sample picture and rehearse, which fabric suits the middle square, prior to cutting into any of your pretties.

The finished blocks have a size of 12 1/2 (including seam allowance).

Last but not least:

I had trouble putting these blocks together. Despite meticulous measuring and careful sewing they turned out wonky-ish. The points of the flying geese got eaten by the sewing machine more often than not and not all of the seams are straight. I do not know how other people manage to assemble these so accurately. I wonder if this comes down to starching the life out of the fabrics prior to using them. I have not managed to find spray starch here in Germany but I have read about it being used with interest. 

Anyway, all I am saying is, enjoy putting the blocks together, do your best but do not stress if they do not turn out perfectly. Only stick to the colour scheme as closely as your stash can accomodate it.  =)  I think that's it. I'm excited!

and now some chit-chat:

My favorite blocks of the block exchange series are - in no particular order - 'Hidden Gems', 'Wanta Fanta', 'Busy' and ‘Alpine’, which struck my fancy from the moment I saw it. I definitely want to make a project using 'Alpine' blocks. I even have the final layout idea already mapped out and am curious to see if it would work the way I am picturing it. 

However, while I like those block designs, I find it difficult to translate them into bee appropriate blocks, with the exeption of 'Wanta Fanta' that is. The way I picture the assembled tops, I would want the individual blocks to hide in the repeat, maybe by using the same solids throughout. As every bee works from her or his own stash to create the requested blocks, it is by definition rather unlikely to receive sufficiently similar blocks to enable a hide and seek in the repeat. This is why I went for the 'Double Star' in the end.

I am looking forward to seeing what my fellow bees all come up with. God, I love surprises! 

Yours royally

Queen Puppilalla

The Bee Hive

Monday, 8 February 2016

Stash Bee 2016 - February Block - Knock, knock. Who is there? An Orange...

I had so much fun with the January assignments that I was very much looking forward to February. Bee blocks instil me with a sense of satisfaction. Their limitation in scope means you arrive at a tangible outcome very fast. You also get to try new designs or techniques and work towards the completion of a project, albeit somebody else’s.

Queen Bee Graphic, Quilting Bee

Stash Bee February Queen Bee Renae tasked us with making her some ‘Orange Peel’ blocks. They were to be in bright summer colours on black on white backgrounds. Provided our stash could accommodate it, each peel and background fabric was to be different. Renae also prepared a Pinterest collection for us to get an impression of her preferred colour scheme. Most importantly the colours chosen for the peels were NOT to be muted or muddied.

Sounds straight forward or so I thought until I looked at my stash. Until Renae expressly asked that the colours were not to be muted, it never occurred to me to evaluate my fabrics under this aspect. The fact that I am currently taking Rachel Hauser’s class on colour ‘Color Intensive’, where she also looked at colour values with us, might also play into this. Anyway, I found that most of my pretty fabrics actually do fall into the ‘muted’ category. Works for me but was not what was required for this bee block.

Therefore, I started to take pictures of my fabrics to assess their relative values and to see which shone the brightest. I finally chose these ones as they meet the requirements.

Patchwork, fabric pull, bee block, Puppilalla, quilting bee

From there and after a trip to the fabric shop to get the fusible interfacing, I only had to follow the tutorial to arrive at this finished block. I think it ticks all of Renae’s boxes and will look just fabulous with her sample block.

Patchwork, Orange Peel block, bee block, Puppilalla, quilting bee

As the February Queen Bee of my second quilting bee group also asked for ‘Orange Peel’ type blocks, I got to practice two ways of going about creating the look this months. The second one partially used paper foundation piecing and is called ‘Wanna Fanta’. Both were fun and both had their own challenges.
With this technique, I found it difficult to assemble the four block components to a unified whole. With background fabric, interfacing, peel and seem allowances, there were about four layers of fabric on each side, which made it difficult to feed the bulk under the footer, whilst maintaining a reasonable straight seam.

All that remains this month is to mail the block and prepare for March. I will be Queen Bee in that second quilting bee and there is a lot of sewing to be done in preparation.

Stash Bee 2016

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Stash Bee 2016 - January Block - as scrappy as your stash will allow

Stash Bee, Teal Star, Blue Star Block, low volume background, Puppilalla,

Okay, January has arrived and the 2016 quilting bees kicked off with the January block requests. Our 'Hive Mama' Laura at 'Stash Bee' started the bee year requesting a star block in teal on a low volume background that was to be as scrappy as our stash would allow.

Original Puppilalla Design all rights reserved

Initially, I had thought about making the centre star scrappy as well, but once I had pulled fabrics from my stash to compare them with the sample picture, it became clear quite quickly that this was not going to happen.

I have lots of aqua prints and a fair bit of mint coloured ones but teal? ... surprisingly to myself, hardly any. I chose eight different low volume prints for the background squares and decided on, as some of you will have already spotted, Denyse Schmidt's 'Honeycomb Lace' for the central star. I love that print. It combines flowers with ornaments and is just all around pretty and versatile. It also added the fun challenge of working with a directional print. 

I grouped the low volume prints in a way that the brightest and darkest prints are placed diagonally of each other across the star pattern. This way Laura could, subject of course to how the other blocks end up looking, create areas across the quilt top that are visually more or less busy.

I sure hope Laura likes the block as much as I do. It will go into the mail sometime next week.

Stash Bee 2016

Friday, 4 September 2015

Up the Ante #1 - Sampler Quilt Project

Puppilalla Quilt Project Up the Ante Graphic

On learning new techniques and up-skilling

As it is as good a time as any to take a little time to learn new techniques, I might just as well make a start now. A while back, I had mentioned to my friend Conny that I was interested in learning how to foundation paper piece and - Voilà - received a Craftsy class on the very theme last Christmas. As I was tight up with various other sewing projects it took me until July this year to finally have a proper look at the class and other Craftsy classes beside.

Very motivated to find out how foundation paper piecing works, I set out to make the first class project, which was real fun. But following from that first finished block the question arose what to do with it and the ones that would follow?

I was not too keen on the general idea of a Sampler Quilt. They are generally just not my cup of tea. The decision on how to proceed, hinged on the question what I would want to do with the finished blocks though. Not wanting to continue without a definite plan I kind of got a little stuck.

Finally, I came across Rachel Hauser's blog Stitched in Color. Rachel created this stunning Penny Sampler Quilt, on which she taught a class on quilting techniques in 2013. I was instantly fascinated. It manages not to look like a typical sampler quilt but more like a storybook gone wild.

Stitched in Color Rachel Hauser Penny Sampler Quilt
Stitched in Color - Penny Sampler Quilt

What I really like about her design is the loose placement of blocks and the broken borders, that somehow manage to be engaging but not too crowded. Having decided on the Penny Sampler as my guiding principle and source of inspiration, the project is finally starting to fall into place.

Project planning:

Fabric wise I will try to use most of my green and blue scraps combined with low volume fabrics. As you can see there is plenty to keep me going =)

I also intend to keep a tally on the overall number of fabrics used in this project.

The blocks I will be making will inevitably be of various sizes as I am drawing on a number of different Craftsy classes and other resources to up my skills. I will just wait how they turn out and worry about placement and trimming once I have a fair number of blocks completed.

New techniques to master in the process:

- Foundation Paper Piecing
- some new Chain Piecing Techniques
- Sewing Drunkard's Path Style Curves

By the way - how can the Summer be over already? *sigh*