Monday, May 28, 2012

1000 ( x 8 ) words

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I don't know who 'they' are, but let's say they are right.

Here, in "8000" words, is why you haven't heard much from me here in blog-land.

escalator block for Lisa

stacked coins block for shawn

monkey wrench/churn dash

Basket Weave Blocks - for Solidia

square in square blocks

Gone Quiltin Bee May 2012

MBB May Wonky Star

In addition to sewing I've been getting fabric and instructions out as June host for 3 groups!
The lady behind the counter at the post office has no idea what's in store for her tomorrow ;)

I have to say, May kicked my butt- the heat and stress made for a very cranky, unproductive vibe for alot of the last few weeks. 

A & T at Buttermilk FallsFortunately, I got to clear my head a bit with a 26 mile bike trail ride along the Lehigh Gorge last week.

Here's to an equally productive (and hopefully less stressful) June!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Basket Weave Block: (free) Pattern Review

Hey Folks!  It's FRIDAY!!!
I have a few more things to do today before I can officially give into weekend indulgences, and one of them is sharing a little pattern review with you!

basket weave block

I saw this stunning purple block from Nydia a few weeks ago. I became obsessed with it, and would seriously 'visit' the photo every couple days. I am not telling you this not to make you think I am a freak, but because it was one of those blocks that made me think 'that is way to gorgeous and hard for me to make!'

Neural or Not Bee - braided star
 Well I asked Nydia for her pattern, and she was generous enough to share it. She has posted a FANTASTIC (FREE) tutorial on her website.

Here are a few things I've learned:

  • It is a dramatic looking block, but it is not hard to piece! Speaking as someone who is terrified of paper piecing, this is the perfect block for the first time pp'er or newbie. 
  • It can be time consuming, if you are new to it and only work one quadrant at a time, but it has no weird angles, and is easy to do.
  • Do a practice block. Once you get a feel for it, you can easily 'pseudo' chain piece and work on several quadrants at the same time. This reduces the trips to the ironing board- and makes it go a bit more quickly.
  • I recommend using real foundation piecing paper, or a light weight craft paper. Copy paper can get a bit thick in some of the seams. The craft paper is easier to tear off at the end too, which means you don't have to shorten your stitch length quite so much. I used a fisher price 'Doodle Pad' that I got from a dollar store at a whopping $1.  It's just slightly heavier than newspaper and I printed the template straight onto it. Easy!
  •  It is very scrap friendly.... but don't get too skimpy with your scraps, if your fabric moves you will have to rip a seam.  If you give yourself a little extra fabric to play with you can trim it neatly, and it will looks very crisp once complete.

Still scared? Don't be! I asked a few others what their first time with this block was like. They echoed the sentiment that it can be slow going at first, but is easy to do, and well worth the time!

Basket weave
(Nydia's color wheel interpretation)

A start for Solidia :) 
(Katy is working on a beautiful aqua and green version) 

 basket weave block

Give it a try- you won't regret it! Thanks for sharing this block Nydia!!