Thursday, 18 December 2014

Playing with Design

I have not been getting a lot of time in the studio these days, I must say, but I have been sketching a bunch of designs. 

I took a few of those designs and tried them in EQ7. Yes, I bit the bullet and got it. Early Christmas present? Yes! :)

Fibonacci Flow - uses the Fibonacci sequence up to 5. Dying to make this one using a fat eighth bundle of shot cottons I have. The colours will change, but this is the idea. 


Have you heard of Quilt Design a Day? This Facebook group's goal is to "spend a little time (15-20 minutes) each day, creating a quilt design. The design can be as simple or as complex as you like. To spark our creativity, we have users contribute images and color palettes for inspiration. In addition to producing a design daily, QDAD helps members strengthen their creative process and hone their creative style by sharing constructive feedback." (From the group's description on Facebook)

I joined in September, but have only completed one design to date. No plans to make this one, but it's fun to play with.


Looking forward to doing some more though! Goal for 2015? Hmmm...

Have a great day!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

What Makes A Great Bee Block?

January Block for EP
Grey and white provided - Tutorial
Do you enjoy being part of online (and offline) quilt bees? I do. I like that it forces me to try blocks and colour palettes that I might normally be too intimidated or lazy to try. It's a great way to try something new, without committing yourself to a whole quilt!

I often struggle when it's my turn to be Queen Bee though because I can't decide what to ask my bee mates to make.

I've found that the most successful bee quilts are those that leverage something dominant and make it consistent throughout all of the blocks, whether it's the background, the feature fabrics, the colours, or the design.

I thought I'd share the criteria I use for picking blocks:
  • Everyone's 1/4" seam is a little different so I usually choose a block with a lot of background fabric so I can trim down or add to it when I get all the blocks back.
  • I love stash bust blocks. I like the scrappy look so I try to find a block that gives people a chance to use their scraps.  
  • That said, I also often provide some or all of the fabric so that the quilt will have a unified look. 
  • Provide a colour palette or some colour guidance without being too prescriptive. E.g. aqua fabrics and red fabrics, but not aqua fabrics that have orange and white accents and red fabrics with aqua and white accents. I don't want my bee mates to have to go shopping if it's a stash bust bee, so if I have something that specific in mind, I provide the fabric.
  • Choose something fairly easy for bee mates to do in about an hour or less. The more complicated it is, the more bee mates may put it off. That said, some of my favourite bee blocks that I've made for others have been very complicated and I've absolutely adored them.
  • I try to pick a block that allows bee mates to use their creativity, whether it's in the fabric selection, the block design or the piecing (e.g. improv piecing). 
  • Provide a good tutorial and/or clear instructions for the block. 
Please keep in mind that these are just my personal preferences to date. You may have other criteria and I'd love if you shared them in the comments. Aren't we always looking for new ideas?

Here are a few of my favourite blocks over the years:

Simply Woven - All fabrics provided:


Weathervane - Centre square fabric and colour palette provided: 


Arrows - Colour palette provided and low volume background requested: 


Circle of Squares - Background fabric provided, solids bee:


Scrappy Trip - A couple of fabrics provided:


Cross stitch - All fabrics provided:


Improv - All fabrics provided:


Slash and insert block - All fabric provided:


Modern Butterfly - Background and aqua fabric provided: 


Mod Mosaic - Background, colour palette and most fabrics provided:


Confetti Block - Background provided, solids bee:


Confetti

Snowflake Block - Sashing provided, solids bee:

Snowflake Block

Feathers - Background provided:

March OMQG Bee 2 Block

And how do those quilts turn out? Well, I've only fully finished one quilt from bee blocks so far.

This quilt was made with blocks from my Don't Worry {Bee} Happy bee. I provided all of the fabrics for the blocks and provided a tutorial for my bee mates to improv piece the blocks.
Scrap{Bee} 2.0
Made with blocks from my Simply Solids bee (Carmine group) - Top is together, but the rest is still to bee (ha ha) finished.


How about you? What are your favourite bee blocks to make and receive?

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Giveaway Day Winner

Hope you all are having a fabulous weekend! It's a beautiful snowy day here. I do love Ottawa in the winter...when I'm dressed for it. :)

I'm glad Ms. Random Number Generator is choosing the winner of my giveaway, because there were so many fabulous colour combo suggestions from you all that I could never pick just one!


According to Ms. Random Number Generator, the winner of this bundle of holiday-but-not-too-holiday fat quarters is....

Congratulations, GranChris! I've sent you an email asking for your mailing address.

It's blues and greens for me.

Thank you all for entering!

I'll be back tomorrow with a post about bee blocks. How do you pick your bee blocks? Tips or suggestions? Pet peeves? I'll be sharing my thoughts tomorrow.



Thursday, 11 December 2014

TGIFF! - It Figures It's Modern Totems

Welcome to TGIFF!, where every finish deserves to be celebrated!

I'm sharing my Modern Totems quilt that is made with the Figures by Zen Chic fabric line paired with some Kona white. Except the binding. The binding was Serena Blue Diamonds by Windham Fabrics. The backing is the Numbers fabric from IKEA. :)

For the quilting, I used Aurifil #2024 for doing straight-line quilting and some wavy-line stitching with my walking foot.

For the wavy-line quilting, I took one of the decorative stitches on my machine (#4 for those of you with a Bernina 440 QE) and elongated it so it gives me uniform wavy lines.

This quilt is 54" by 58". 



Thinking of trying this pattern next with rainbow solids and charcoal backing. Mmmm...




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