Showing posts with label Paper Foundation Piecing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paper Foundation Piecing. Show all posts

Monday, 1 May 2017

Meet Uncle Mischka - Pattern Testing

Sometimes opportunity comes knocking. For a while now I have seen pretty projects created with @unicornharts patterns popping up on Instagram. Joanne seems a fountain of ideas and her foundation paper patterns are a lot of fun to look at.

Foundation Paper Piecing, Barmy Bear, Unicornharts, Puppilalla, Pattern Testing, Patchwork, Quilting

You might have seen her ‘Bull Betty’ pattern around IG? I love it! It is my favourite pattern of Jo’s so far. (And yes, that was apparently a deliberate name choice! That makes me love it even more. Food for thought isn’t? As what and who do we self-identify then? And how accepting are we of those individual choices in others? A bull named Betty, why ever not? =) 

unicornharts pattern, Betty Bull, foundation paper piecing, patchwork, quilting

Anyway, I came across Jo’s test block for her new ‘Barmy Bear’ pattern that is about to be released and it was sweet and a bit sad looking and I liked it at first sight. Bears were the protagonists of many of my childhood stories and a bear is the heraldic animal of my hometown Berlin. As you can see there was plenty to associate with so I commented on a whim that I would be happy to test the pattern once Jo reached that stage. 

Bummi; Geschichten für das ganze Jahr; Das Schneemädchen

Not long after Jo got in contact and asked if I was still available and that she looked for the block to be finished by the 30th of April. That gave me about a week worth of time and was terribly timed. Of all weeks this one was almost booked solid with after work activities. Apart from the usual swimming session at a local pool and the weekly Ukulele evening, friends were in town and I myself intended to travel over the weekend, which left me effectively with one evening to do this.

Yet, I work best under pressure, the bee block of the month was long gone and the next one not due for a week and my round robin round was well underway and in a good place completion wise and I really wanted to do this. So I said I would.

Foundation Paper Piecing, Barmy Bear, Unicornharts, Puppilalla, Pattern Testing, Patchwork, Quilting

Jo’s pattern was well written and all the pieces very accurate. It took me about five hours to complete from start to finish and I would recommend it for confident beginners. Jo will offer it in two sizes. My block finished 15x15 inches. I used four different yellow solids, two AGF prints and a Robert Kaufmann print for the background. The latter, being a directional print was a bit of a challenge to keep oriented.

So meet Mischka who will turn into a pillowcase, yes another one, for my friend Jens who deserves a pretty surprise gift just because.

Monday, 27 March 2017

The Rakish Needle - My Compass Rose Starter Block

Puppilalla, round robin quilt, New York Beauty Block, BOM, Patchwork, Compass Rose block, wind rose, mariner's compass

Well, what do you think? It is a bit on the whimsical side isn't it? Also fairly colourful. The inspiration for my compass rose came from Jennifer @ ‘Never Just Jennifer’, who made a compass rose starter block for the 'Round Trip Quilts' Round Robin she participated in. So yes, the blocks look very similar but then again not.

Puppilalla, round robin quilt, New York Beauty Block, BOM, Patchwork, Compass Rose block, wind rose, mariner's compass

Like Jennifer, I used some of the free ‘New York Beauty’ BOM block templates to make that wind rose. It was my first ever foray into curved piecing. The result is OK, I managed to preserve most of the points but the actual piecing of curves on foundation paper was not exactly easy. I regularily fell short and had to somehow gimick in add-ons to make the piece go around the other piece all the way. Subsequently, the blocks turned out wonky and had to be trimmed to shape, which in turn led to the loss of some of the acurate paper piecing. There you go, not exactly an odyssey but also not easy as pie.

I had initially meant for three of the four compass points of the wind rose to be removed from the starter block with the space in-between to be filled with ‘Adventure at Sea’ ideas by my fellow sewists but then changed my mind. I then felt that to block would have lost cohesion had I gone through with that.

Puppilalla, round robin quilt, Quilting, Patchwork, Applique shapes, Alphabet Applique, letter

I did not have any templates to foundation paper piece the letters for the compass points but when in doubt have applique come to the rescue. I cut letters from old-fashioned cardboard and used a water soluble glue stick to affix the shapes to the fabric. Afterwards, I used needle and thread to pull the edges around the shapes and baste them into place. Anything with curves works like a charm. The letters 'W' and 'N' were a bummer though, too many points and sharp angles. These present a problem when you try to press the shapes to get sharp edges for the applique that is to follow. As I am not too fond of blanket and zigzag stitches on my applique shapes, I try to tug the edges in and under and just go around with with an unobtrusive straight stitch.

Puppilalla, round robin quilt, New York Beauty Block, BOM, Patchwork, Compass Rose block, wind rose, mariner's compass

Add some yellow compass needles and the block is good to go. By the way 'East' translates as 'Osten' in German, which is why there is the letter 'O' rather than the 'E' in the block.

So this is what went into my starter kit to Ileana. The starter block, a fish block to be added at some point, extra fabric, the quilting journal and chocolate. Of course chocolate. I said it was mandatory after all. =)

Next up

While my starter block is travelling to grow into a quilt top, I am thinking of piecing the cutest seahorse and wonder how to go about translating the below atmospheric picture into a quilt block. I have an idea for the ship. If all fails I will just draw the ship with a permanent fabric pen right onto the background but how to go about the whale is a conundrum. Any suggestions welcome, cause I have no idea. Layers of applique from dark to bright?

Doesn't the picture look dramatic? It would make the most awesome side panel addition to my quilt top.

Monday, 20 March 2017

The Rakish Needle Round Robin - Prep and Planning

With the ‘Blithe’ Blog Tour safely out of the way, I finally turned my attention to the exciting prospect of the ‘Rakish Needle Round Robin’.

I am so excited. Yes, I am aware that I have said as much in every last blog post for a few months now. =) It is still true though. Our group of six is already busy exchanging progress pictures on WhatsApp and I think everyone is as excited as I am.

I have already seen two starter blocks and I can promise that this is going to be a challenging and amazing round robin year. The starter blocks are meant to go into the mail around the 20th of March, so I am busy getting my act together. As Anita, who will receive my starter kit, is currently travelling ,I have an extended grace period to complete my starter block. =)

My quilt theme is:

Adventures at Sea...

Puppilalla, Rakish Needle, Round Robin, Quilt Journal

I have prepared a little inspirational collage and glued into the little journal that is to travel with the quilt. I even wrote a little story, which I hope will set the mood for my fellow sewists.

Puppilalla, Rakish Needle, Round Robin, Fabric Pull, Patchwork, Fabric Stash
My fabric selection consists of jewelled tones in contrast with gray on white, white on white and discreet low volume background fabrics.

Puppilalla, Rakish Needle, Round Robin, Fabric Pull, Patchwork, Fabric Stash, low volume fabric

I will of course send a selection of fabrics travelling with the starter block to help out those participants that might not have many jewelled tones in their stash, as well as to illustrate what kind of fabrics to look for.

Puppilalla, Rakish Needle, Round Robin, Foundation Paper Piecing, New Yourk Beauty BOM, Patchwork

I admit, I fell in love with Jennifer’s starter block which was a wind rose. Thus, I will shamelessly steal that idea and make it my own. As Jennifer of ‘Never Just Jennifer’, I will use some of the free ‘New York Beauty’ BOM block templates to make that wind rose. I am already furiously piecing away.

Imrov block, Patchwork, Improvisation quilt, folksy fish, Puppilalla, round robin quilt, quilting
I also made this little ‘Folksy Fish’ inspired fish block to send as an extra. I really like these funny and happy looking fish by Sarah Elizabeth. There is a paper piecing pattern now available too but as I just wanted one little fish at this point, I improvised it. I will ask my group to insert it along with their own contributions at some stage. It poses an interesting question of scale. So how big or tiny exactly are fish and mermaid then? =)

There is something nautical going on...

As you might have already guessed, I am not looking for a traditional round robin quilt top, where border upon border is added each round but instead for a more free style, add blocks and pieces as you go, kind of piecing.

Three of the four compass points of the wind rose will be removed form the starter block and I will invite my fellow sewists to fill the space in-between with their ‘Adventure at Sea’ ideas.

In the spirit of less talking and more doing I will be off to my sewing machine again.

Happy stitching everyone.


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

'Static Interference' Foundation Paper Piecing Block - Blithe Fabric Blog Tour

Puppilalla, Blog Hop, Katarina Rocella, Blithe Fabrics, Foundation Paper Piecing, Free Quilt Block, Original Design

That’s it folks, the last day of the official Katarina Roccella ‘Blithe’ Fabrics Blog Tour, although I have the sneaking suspicion that it might continue unofficially with people posting their creations on Instagram using #blithefabricsblogtour or #blithefabrics. So many beautiful things were created that I would like to encourage you to follow the links and check them out.

While I am bringing up the rear, I am very pleased to share with you a baby quilt top made with selected ‘Blithe’ prints in combination with April Rhode’s 'Wanderer' print 'Sacred Seeds in Brittle'.

Static Interference, Puppilalla, Blog Hop, Katarina Rocella, Blithe Fabrics, Foundation Paper Piecing, Free Quilt Block, Original Design

The German mail system failed me miserably concerning this blog hop project. As previously mentioned, the fabrics I had required for this project just did not arrive. I mailed Katarina to let her know, I checked with a few local post offices and then finally Katarina told me that the letter had returned, as it had not been claimed for 20 days(!). The thing is that I never received a notification to let me know that the letter had arrived in the first place. As the recipient of any non-commercial mail in Germany you are just left to your own devices and absolutely no-one is helping you when you are trying to make enquiries. You can tell that I am still a more than only a little annoyed. When I commenced my project I then worked with a fat quarter bundle I had purchased, rather than with the fabrics and amounts initially requested.

Static Interference, Puppilalla, Blog Hop, Katarina Rocella, Blithe Fabrics, Foundation Paper Piecing, Free Quilt Block, Original Design

This is why am especially pleased to present you my blog hop contribution despite the adversities suffered in the process. I love how my baby quilt top turned out. Somehow the featured prints look very feminine to me, which goes nicely with the softness of Art Gallery Fabrics in general. I still have got a few months time to finish the baby blanket until my friend Tina is due to give birth to her second child, though we do not know if it is going to be a boy or a girl yet.

Static Interference, Puppilalla, Blog Hop, Katarina Rocella, Blithe Fabrics, Foundation Paper Piecing, Free Quilt Block, Original Design

One of the secret plans, I hatched very early when I commenced blogging, was that, should I manage to stick writing the blog, I would want to give something back to the sewing community. When Katarina Roccella called for makers to work with her gorgeous new fabric line it seemed like an opportunity to me. Firstly, I would get to work with Katarina’s new and indeed very pretty fabric line and secondly, a deadline approaching would provide the necessary pressure to actually get things done. Having said that, paper piecing under time pressure sure poses a challenge.

A new block from me to you

Static Interference, Puppilalla, Blog Hop, Katarina Rocella, Blithe Fabrics, Foundation Paper Piecing, Free Quilt Block, Original Design

Herewith, I am saying THANK YOU to each and every one person, who has taken the time to painstakingly write up a step-by-step description, to film a tutorial, to explain processes, to share tips and tricks or to provide encouragement. Like many a member of the online community, I have hugely benefited and continue to benefit from your knowledge, generosity and the free resources you provide. So consider this payback time.

'Static Interference' -  8x8 inches

Here it is, a free 8 x 8 inches foundation paper piecing block from me to you. It is called ‘Static Interference’. It is a fairly minimal and modern block but very versatile indeed. I had a lot of fun playing around with the colouring sheets and was in for quite a few surprises myself in discovering possible repeats other than those, I had initially envisioned. So overall I am very pleased with the outcome. I am especially grateful to all online sewing acquaintances who, with their casual questioning, if and when any of my #30daysofquiltdesign designs would be realized in fabric, gave me the confidence to actually convert an idea into a usable template. Their lack of doubt as to me being able to do that was rather catching.

Static Interference, Puppilalla, Blog Hop, Katarina Rocella, Blithe Fabrics, Foundation Paper Piecing, Free Quilt Block, Original Design

My sewing friend, the lovely Maja blogging at 'betyipiernaty - quilts and coverlets' agreed to pattern test my creation. I am certainly in love with what she came up with fabric selection wise in her rendition of the block. Her current plan is, to make three more blocks and assemble them into a pillowcase. Whilst testing the pattern, I noticed that I had included a line in the C and D templates that was – in the end – superfluous. Since, as a rule, things ought to be kept as simple as possible, I simplified the templates accordingly.

Static Interference, Puppilalla, Blog Hop, Katarina Rocella, Blithe Fabrics, Foundation Paper Piecing, Free Quilt Block, Original Design

There are further assembly options of course. =)

Please download your templates here

Well, here 

If you use the block pattern I would be delighted if you let me know and shared a picture with me, i.e. on IG using #staticinterferencequiltblock. The block is free for private use including sales items in non-commercial quantities. Please do me the courtesy to link back to me as originator if you do use the pattern.

Static Interference, Puppilalla, Blog Hop, Katarina Rocella, Blithe Fabrics, Foundation Paper Piecing, Free Quilt Block, Original Design

That’s it, all done.

I link up with 'Let's Bee Social'
Sew Fresh Quilts

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Katarina Roccella’s Blithe Blog Tour - Baby Blanket

Currently, it is very busy behind the scenes of this blog. I am busy organising the 'Rakish Needle Round Robin', which starts properly in March. So far I have signed up participants, compiled the address list, organised the commuication platform and discuss form and whatnot of starter blocks with the ladies in the group. All this causes me to want to flit off to do a just a teensy bit of work on the round robin project when I ought to concentrate on the blog hop that is lying ahead. And I do. Of course I do BUT I am tempted to veer off nonetheless. 

Blithe Blog Hop, Puppilalla, Katarina Roccella, paper piecing, static interference quilt block, paper piecing in progress

So where are we then? I have created the paper piecing template for my block design in Inkscape. A shaky but valid first attempt. It does not look as neat and professional as I would like it to but I accept that this will come when I start understanding the design programme better. (I needed a tutorial to tell me how to affect a straight line in the first place. I can tell you, it is not self-explanatory!) As for now, I am seriously thrilled that I have managed to transform one of my many designs from mere idea to an actual usable and workable template. (YEAH)

It is an unreal pinch-me feeling to realize that I am working with my own templates rather than some printed from a fellow quilter or admired designer (both may co-incide of course =)

Blithe, Blog Hop, Puppilalla, Katarina Roccella, paper piecing, static interference quilt block, paper piecing

I have printed said templates as many time as I needed for a baby quilt and spent an evening cutting them to size and colouring them in accordance with my project plan. At the moment they litter my living room floor in order for me not to loose oversight of the colour flow whilst I am sewing the pieces.

The fabrics I had  requested for the project still have not arrived. I had word from Katarina this week that the consignment was returned to her after not having been claimed for 20 days. This angers me more than I can possible write here. I checked with several local post offices at the off chance that the consignment arrived - of course without avail. I never received any notification that the consignment had arrived in the first place, which is obviously why it had subsequently not been claimed. I am getting angry again... deep breath... no use crying over spilled milk... OK, then.

I had waited to the last possible moment in the hope the fabrics would arrive but had to start sewing eventually. In fact I have left it too late, which means I will not be able to present a finished baby blanket. A completed quilt top is my aim for the 1st of March and I will have to sew at speed to make it happen. In the absence of the required material, I am working with a fat quarter bundle of 'Blithe' prints I had luckily purchased. Of course - as previously mentioned - that changed my original project plan. I have also chosen the 'Sacred Seeds in Brittle' print of the 'Wanderer' collection by April Rhodes to compliment Katarina Roccella’s wonderful 'Blithe' prints.

Paper piecing is a lot of fun and I am enjoying the look of the finished blocks. I am sorely tempted to show them to you already but no - patience - the 1st of March is not all that far away now. If you have a moment, check out what fabulous projects already were made in the course of the ongoing blog hop.

I link up with 'Let's bee social'

Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, 23 January 2017

Katarina Roccella’s Blithe Blog Tour - Kick Off

Katarina Roccella’s fresh new blog tour featuring her fabric range 'Blithe' for Art Gallery Fabrics, kicked off last week and will last until the 1st of March. This is very exciting for me as I am a participant and the ‘tailender’ at that, bringing up the rear on the 1st of March. I have already seen many wonderful pictures on Instagram worth checking out.

On the downside, the fabrics I have requested to actually sew my project have still not arrived. That is unfortunate actually border lining on project disastrous but I am not ready to throw the towel in just yet.

Currently, I am re-planning the project, developing another block design over my initial choice as I also purchased a fat quarter bundle of some of the ‘Blithe’ prints. Thus, I have some fat quarters to play with just not enough of some of the prints to run with my initial design choice.

I will see how quickly ad well I can resolve the issue. Meanwhile, I enjoy looking at all the below participant’s blog hop projects.

Here is the participants list with linked Instagram pages though Katarina will be linking the blog posts after their respective publication too =)

1. Erica Toole - January 18: @ skynme2
2. Mariana Diaz - January 19: @ sewMariana
3. Ashley Herrmann - January 20: @ petitestitchery
4. Isabelle Selak - January 21: @ southbaybella
5. Stacey Derksen - January 22: @ sweet_finnagin_boutique
6. Eleri Kerian - January 23: @ sewandtellproject
7. Hemamalini Elumalai - January 24: @ helumalai
8. Paola Baker - January 25: @ loveoffabrics
9. Sue Stone - January 26: @ needleinafabricstash
10. Cassie and Alexis - January 27: @ lilyshineforlittlelizardking and myysweetsunshine
11. Carolina Moore - January 28: @ craftmoore
12. Lesley Storts - January 29: @ lesleystorts
13. Ali Brorsen - January 30: @ becauseofbrenna
14. Kimberly Baird - January 31: @ monkeykimberly
15. Rebecca Makas - February 1: @ restitcherator
16. Natalie Santini - February 2: @ sewhungryhippie
17. Anna Durocher - February 3: @ bizzy_bean_clothing
18. Sharon Mcconnell - February 4: @ colorgirlquilts
19. Laura Scaramella - February 5: @ petitestitchery
20. Audrey - February 6: @ skirtfixation
21. Terra - February 7: @ mamasayssewblog
22. Nichole Vogelsinger - February 8: @ wildboho
23. Mara Capron - February 9: @ mara.creates
24. Anne Boundy - February 10: @ anneboundy
25. Heather Hatch - February 11: @ tanglewood_lane_dolls
26. Michael Caputo - February 12: @ patchworkandpaper
27. Julia Liebl-Fern - February 13: @ finefabric
28. Nicole Young - February 14: @ lillyellasworld
29. Karly Nelson - February 15: @ paisleyroots
30. Ines Hilsberg - February 16: @ naehzimmerplaudereien
31. Geraldine Wilkins - February 17: @ livingwaterquilter
32. Deanne Chambers - February 18: @ annieanddotfabrics
33. Mathew Boudreaux - February 19: @ misterdomestic
34. Judith Posdziech - February 20: @ septembers_delight
35. Elise Baek - February 21: @ eliseandemelie
36. Marija Vujčić - February 22: @ mvquilts
37. Elina Temmes - February 23: @ elinatemmes
38. Maja Wlusek - February 24: @ betyipiernaty
39. Jennifer DauFerermany - February 25: @ petitestitchery
40. Jacky Ayres - February 26: @ jackyayresdesigns
41. Yuliya Reshetnikova - February 27: @ yureshetnikova
42. Christine Bacquer Joubert - February 28: @ lopolokko
43. Katrin Umlauft - March 1: @ puppilalla

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

The Bee Hive 2016 - December Block - Wanta Fanta (again)

Yule Queen Bee Ileana was the last queen in 2016 to request a block. Ileana settled for the lovely 'Wanta Fanta' block, which I thus got to make a second time that year. That time round, the fabrics were to shine in the ever classic combination of inky blues and off whites and in my case a bit of ivory thrown in. The fabrics were to be floral or geometrics and the blues were to be veering towards the cool and muted spectrum. I expect the quilt top with its timeless look to be an instant classic.

Puppilalla, Wanta Fanta, free bee block, Quilting bee, The Bee Hive, Foundation Paper Piecing

Bearing in mind that fellow bees, yielding to life's demands, had to partially bow out throughout the bee year, I decided to make two blocks with the 'angel block' making up for the absence of a former fellow bee. It is hard on the queens, whose turn comes late in the year, when fellow bees have to bow out and thereby do not manage to reciprocate the efforts that this bee invested throughout the year.
 (That is not to say that I am not fully understanding of bowing out. Sometimes it cannot be helped despite one's best intentions) Anyway, I made these two blocks.

Puppilalla, Wanta Fanta, free bee block, Quilting bee, The Bee Hive, Foundation Paper Piecing

I myself fell in love with how the blocks turned out and am happy to report that Queen Ileana approved as well once the postal workers' pre - Christmas strike in the UK cleared and she finally received her queenly mail. =)

The only misgivings I have concern the absence of light during the eternally grey Berlin winters. It is almost impossible to shoot a decent picture (meh). 

Puppilalla, Wanta Fanta, free bee block, Quilting bee, The Bee Hive, Foundation Paper Piecing

A worthy finish to the 2016 bee year. Happy New Year and cheers to new challenges.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Stash Bee 2016 - September Block - Trail Of Geese

We were doing some paper piecing this month. Queen Jennifer asked us to use the Geese Trails templates from 'Piece and Press'. Daniel Rouse, the author of 'Piece and Press', asked if anyone shares their blocks on Instagram, to use the tag #trailsofgeese so he can follow along - OK ... and done.

Four of the templates yielded a 12x12 finished block. Actually, Daniel uses 6 templates to create a little trail proper. There are a few different ways you can join the blocks. Daniel prepared 2 templates which form the set and Jennifer asked us to print 4 sets. I then randomly picked 4 of the 8 templates  and ended up with the below assembly.

Puppilalla, Trails of Geese, Flying Geese Block, Triangle scraps, Scrap Busting, Improv piecing, Stash Bee, Quilting Bee, Bee Block

Colour wise it was almost a do-as-you-please-job, which I find the most difficult ones. Jennifer asked for an all white, blue or grey background with geese that transitioned somehow. I played with a pink to blue transition but it looks a bit too ... experimental to me. I know, you can tell that I am not actually convinced of the outcome. I am not in two but in several minds about the question whether I like it.

I am also awfully late with the block this month. My time was not my own the last five weeks but I sure hope that things will look up from here on in.

Stash Bee 2016

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Procrastination 101 - Up The Ante #5

Ah well, I should be sewing other things, urgently so even. But somehow I could not muster the energy those last few days. Do you know that feeling? The Cloud 9 Fabrics 'New Block' Blog Hop is coming up and I still have to finish writing the block tutorial AND to actually sew the block in the (gorgeous) sponsored fabrics. After having finished the amazing looking test block however, my energy just somehow dissipated and is yet to resurface.

Therefore, I stopped trying to make myself do it and just went to sew something entirely unrelated. Just to keep the sewing momentum going. I had my eye on the little 'Dala Horse' for a while and thought it would be an enjoyable in-between project. I am still working from the scrap pile reserved for my 'Up the Ante Sampler' quilt and enjoy adding small blocks to it from time to time.

Julianna Gasiorowska, Sewing Under Rainbow, Puppilalla, Dala Horse, Paper Piecing, free quilt block,
I made a little mistake there at the lower right hand corner but no matter, it will disappear in the seam allowance.

I just love using up scraps that seem like there is no purpose for them anymore, as they are too small or too unshapely. Is the saddle not pretty? I did not have enough of the purple fabric for the entire saddle but made do.  =)

Julianna Gasiorowska, Sewing Under Rainbow, Puppilalla, Dala Horse, Paper Piecing, free quilt block,

The 'Dala Horse' pattern has been designed by the talented Julianna Gąsiorowska '@Sewing Under Rainbow' and can be downloaded for free from Julianna's Craftsy page. Check out the other gorgeous pattern she offers there. 'Warsaw Mermaid' is all I am saying  =)

Puppilalla, Dala Horse, Paper Piecing, free quilt block, Improvisation, Improv Block, Polaroids

I improvised another little block with a fussy cut dragonfly(?) in the middle and composed one in stripes. The tiger, feathers and rabbit were not originally mine. Those were sponsored for my Polaroid quilt project. The Polaroids were so small however that they just would not play with the other Polaroids. No matter, I have joined them in a row and will give them a home in the sampler quilt. 

I am still debating whether to include the green block with silver drops. It was goodie sent along by a fellow bee earlier this year. I am not sure how well it would work with the other blocks, as it is rather glaring, but pushing blocks around the living room wall (washi tape rules!) will tell in time.

OK, I am off for a long weekend away at a wedding, hoping to come back refreshed for a another go at the blog hop block.

I link up with 'Let's Bee Social'.

Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, 30 May 2016

The Bee Hive 2016 - April Block - The Bermuda Mail Triangle

Queen Syerli of April was a busy bee indeed as she published a quilting book (how cool is that!) about a month ago. Therefore, she was at the time understandably too busy to decide a design and prepare a tutorial. She put the ball in our court by asking us to pick a design ourselves and to surprise her. We were free to choose the colour but were to work within the choosen colour family from light to dark. Syerli intended to later assemble the blocks into a sampler quilt. 

Puppilalla, Star Plus, Quiet Play, Blossom Heart Quilt Exchange, Quilting Bee

Too much freedom can be paralysing so it took me a while to settle on a design and decide the colours. The block I ended up choosing is the 'Star Plus' by Kristy from 'Quiet Play'. There are very pretty repeats possible but I decided to stick with Kristy's original layout to make it easier to recognize. 

Puppilalla, Star Plus, Quiet Play, Blossom Heart Quilt Exchange, Quilting Bee

I wrapped the block up nicely, added a few goodies and went to the post office to discuss mailing options. My block has still not arrived to-date and might well be lost in transit...

When this happens mailing internationally is so frustrating. I sent Syerli the letter as registered mail 5 weeks ago and it has still neither arrived nor returned. Therefore, it is most likely another letter to be chalked up against the Bermuda Mail Triangle... I am rather miffed as this leaves my swarm mate in the lurch. 

It is not the first letter not to have arrived either. One of the letters that was supposed to reach me when I was Queen of March also never reached me. In either case we will have to decide as a swarm what the way forward is supposed to look like in such circumstances.


The Bee Hive

Thursday, 5 May 2016

May is for Makers! - Support Designers and Artisans

Well I am sure most of you have read by now all about the thoughtful initiative 'May is for Makers', which aims at giving something back and supporting independent talent. 

May Is For Makers |
Lindsey Rhodes over at 'lrstitched' opened up the question of how much longer our community of independent designer’s can sustain a thought culture of makers that have come to expect a lot of support, patterns and resources for free and whose perception of what is worth purchaising might have become somewhat warped.

Food for thought indeed. I believe some people might be in danger of loosing perspective but on the whole, there are also many truly supportive people out there that do in fact acknowledge the worth of the work of designers and artisans. On my part, I am not of the opinion that everything should be provided for free. I am indeed very aware of the substantial amount of work that goes into creating patterns and other resources. Cheryl at 'Meadow Mist Designs' recently hosted a blog series on pattern writing that is an interesting read and illustrates nicely how much effort it takes to create a pattern. 

I have on occasion bought patterns from indie and other designers when I wanted or needed them for a project. On the other hand, I too rely heavily on free online resources for support, how-to-advice and inspiration. I can honestly say that I mostly use free resources and why not, as they are specifically designed to be used by interested parties.
Diane Bohn @ 'From Blank Pages'

Even so, it is good to remember that those free online resources very often are being provided by very active independant indie designers, who, whilst sharing my passion for sewing, also need to make a living and require support to grow. 

I applaud Lindsey for her resolution to support a different pattern maker each week throughout the month of May by purchasing their patterns in order to tell those designers that she is grateful for the time, effort and passion they put into their brand.
Jen Sorenson @ 'A Quilting Jewel'

The initiative is currently being taken up all over the net and the talented Lorna at 'Sew fresh Quilts' nicely put it as 'This campaign is heating up over on Instagram and spreading like wildfire! Do a search on #mayisformakers'

Of course there are other ways of supporting design talent. I also commend Lisa over at 'Sunlight in Winter Quilts' for having taken on patronage of a young designer. Incidentally, Lisa explained just earlier this week why she considers it important to support young designers.
Terri @ 'Arizona Quilt Co.'

I think there are quite a few things we already do and can do more of to show appreciation and support to those who put so much effort in designing things and organising events that the wider community then benefits from.

So again a novel length blog post to merely let you know that I am hopping on the 'May is for Makers' bandwagon. I have purchased the above patterns to support their designers.

Oh boy, more things on the to-do list!