Monday, May 23, 2011

May Block Lotto block

Finally had two seconds, well really, ten minutes, to sit down and sew up the May Block Lotto block. (If you haven’t yet found Block Lotto, check it out NOW).

The May block is a Bonnie Hunter design, Pineapple Blossom and was it ever fun!

Block Lotto May 2011

We had to use two grays and two gold fabrics with WOW as the background. After fretting that I didn’t have any gray fabrics, I found two and was on a roll. I always make an extra block for a sampler quilt I’ll put together “someday”, and pick the best blocks to put into the Lotto pool. Only made two blocks this time around, so one block to put into Lotto and one to keep. Pretty much the same fabric layout, too.

What are you working on?





Saturday, May 21, 2011

Local Shop Hop!

Well, we are in the middle of a four-day local quilt store shop hop, and I am having a fun time! My little boy and I have visited five of the 11 shops on the shop hop list, and altho’ money is tight so purchases have to be slim, I am walking away a happy girl! Each shop is giving away a free pattern to a sampler quilt and a free fat quarter! There are raffles and a big grand prize drawing at the end for those who visit all 11 shops. That I cannot do, one is simply too far away and my kid’s schedule is nutty this weekend with girl scouts and softball games.

If you’re in the area, you’ve still got time to hop to some shops. Check out the info about the Ninth Annual Quilter’s Quest Shop Hop here.

What is really neat is finding stores in our area (it’s about an hour drive to the farthest shops), that I never knew about!   A brand new one just opened and it is fabulous. It’s called The Joyful Quilter and they are also online. Check them out – they rock! Seeing all the new fabric lines in person is also a plus. I like seeing them online, but in person I can TOUCH them! You all know what I’m talking about {wink}. Being in the company of others with our obsession is also so motivating and inspiring.

I am hoping to sneak in a few more today after our mother/daughter girl scout brunch, and maybe one before my DD’s softball game tomorrow afternoon ~ a quilter’s got to do what a quilter’s got to do, right?

Enjoy your weekend! clip_image001

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tips & Tricks ~ May 2011

Wow – it’s time for our May Tips & Tricks block! We’ve had a super rainy April and I am so ready for May flowers (plus, it’s my birthday month, so extra celebrating!) While it rains here, let’s sew up a fun block that we can play with…really, we’ll be playing with it!
First, let’s recap what we’ve already done during the first four months of 2011…
Four 12” blocks
Tips & Tricks January 2011Tips & Tricks Feb 2011 Tips and Tricks March 2011 Tips & Tricks April
and two bonus 6” blocks
Tips and Tricks March 2011 BONUS BLOCK Tips & Tricks April BONUS block
Mine are wonderfully scrappy, just love it.
May brings us the Playful Chevron block (my own name…you’ll see why soon {wink}). For this block you’ll need to pull from your stash:
  • Lights: You can pull all one fabric, or a variety of lights – 16 each 3-1/2” squares
  • Mediums: Again, use all one fabric, fabric colorway (which is what I am doing) or a variety of colors as long as they all read medium when compared to the lights and darks – 4 each 3-1/2” x 6-1/2” rectangles
  • Darks: Same as medium above, but remember to make sure these fabrics read dark when compared to the lights and mediums you’re using – 4 each 3-1/2” x 6-1/2” rectangles.
 Tips & Tricks MayTips & Tricks May
We’re not learning any new techniques this month, but we will be reinforcing the flip & sew method we learned in January. It is so common in piecing that it’s almost a new basic in our art form. Always good to practice! Find the original post in the January Tips & Tricks posting for all the details. Don’t forget to sew an extra seam line to get that bonus HST from each flip and sew corner!
First, mark your sewing line on the back of all 16 light squares. Divide in to two groups of 8 each.
Next, let’s get out the dark rectangles and 8 of the light squares. TIP #1: Direction is super important when creating units for a chevron pattern. Read through the directions and then read through them again! Place a light square right sides together on the left corner of a dark rectangle – make sure the sewing line is going from the top left to the bottom right. See mine below:
 Tips & Tricks May
Prep all four in the same way, chain sew them (TIP #2: chain sewing saves a TON of thread and time), trim and press the corner out.
 Tips & Tricks May  Tips & Tricks May Tips & Tricks MayTips & Tricks May
Now, take these units, and we’ll add another light square to them. Place a light square right sides together on the right corner of a dark rectangle – with the sewing line is going from the top left to the bottom right again – it needs to be in the SAME direction as the first. It’s easy to turn it to go the other way if you’re thinking flying geese. Resist the urge to make geese – we’re making chevrons today! Chain piece, trim, press…
 Tips & Tricks May  Tips & Tricks May Tips & Tricks May Tips & Tricks May
Let’s work on the medium rectangles now. Pull out the 4 medium rectangles and remaining 8 light squares.
Place a light square right sides together on the left corner of a medium rectangle. NOTE – the sewing line is now going the opposite way! Make sure the sewing line is going from the bottom left to the top right. TIP #3: Double-check your sewing line placement! Can’t tell you how many times I haven’t double-checked only to be pulling out my trusting seam ripper – ugh. See mine below:
 Tips & Tricks May
Chain sew all four units, trim and press as above.
  Tips & Tricks May Tips & Tricks May Tips & Tricks MayTips & Tricks May
Repeat with the last 4 squares on the opposite corner, remember the sewing line goes from bottom left to the top right.  Chain piece, trim and press…
 Tips & Tricks MayTips & Tricks MayTips & Tricks May
You now have 8 fun rectangle units! Pair a medium and a dark as I have done below – a “v'” forms.   Tips & Tricks May
Place the dark unit right sides together on top of the medium unit. Repeat with the other pairs and chain piece. Press the seams open.
 Tips & Tricks MayTips & Tricks May
Now the fun begins (can you hear the party music playing?) A traditional chevron pattern looks like Charlie Brown’s shirt…
   Tips & Tricks May
But, since it’s playtime, you can arrange your pieced square units ANY WAY YOU WANT within a four-patch layout! Here are some ideas:
 Tips & Tricks May Tips & Tricks May Tips & Tricks May

I’ll be going with the Charlie Brown layout….I just love the Peanuts!
Tips & Tricks May
When you decide, simply sew your squares and then rows together, remember to press your seams so they nest easily. Keep an eye on those “v” points, too!
And our fifth 12” block is done!!!  Please post your blocks in the Tips & Tricks photo album (or my crickets studio blog flickr group) and show off your block! Can’t wait to see all the fun Playful Chevrons.
Oh, and I’ve been playing around with a layout for our blocks and trying to whip up a way to use those extra HST units we’ve made and are saving….have some ideas, but you’ll have to stay tuned….
Thanks for playing sewing with me today!
©2011, Carrie Graziano, crickets studio
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