Sep 27, 2015

BOM 2015 - Irises and Y seams... Check!

We only have a week left in September, and I'm still trying to catch up with blogging about my 2015 Craftsy BOM blocks

I'm not really sure whether to start with saying that this block is actually the July block or with sharing that all of the blocks are finished now, and I actually completed the frames today!! YAY!! I can't wait to take lots and lots of pictures!!  It's really exciting that my first traditional quilt, which is also my first BOM, is almost finished!

But now, I need to go back to July and share about the beautiful irises - it's amazing what can be turned into a quilt!  So exciting!

Beginning with some mise en place... Everything ready to go, with seams marked in chalk, pieces stacked together, the middle stem already pieced... Everything just waiting to get sewn in the right place to live happily in the Iris block!

It took me a while to mark all the seams... Hehe... you can even see some chalk on the right side of the fabric!  (I had them all stacked on top of each other, but you cannot tell in the final block, phew!)

And yes, I made a tiny design decision and changed the color of the petals.  I wanted to show the range of color in the fabulous palette. I was liking every bit of it!

So, I started making my way along the Y seams; however, I was not very sure it was supposed to look like this,...  

... but things looked better after pressing!  Yay!!  My first Y seam flower down!

I also made my mind and decided to give hand piecing a try.  Not too bad, but I didn't like the way it looked after pressing; I ended up redoing that little triangle, but left my hand stitches there, just for mere romantic reasons... hehe!

I actually enjoyed doing the Y-seams. I have heard about them, and I have seen people in blogs talking about how to avoid them and sew the Y in different ways, just to avoid it all together. 

I wouldn't mind doing some more of them; I thought the flowers ended up looking quite nicely! There are also some other Y seams in some of the other blocks, and welcoming this new skill was refreshing... A little challenge doesn't hurt much, huh?

Throughout this quilt, I have put the pieces on the mat, just to take a peek at the finished block. This one was no exception - I got more and more excited each time I got to see things coming together.

Sadly, I got so excited, that something didn't look quite right when I saw this:

I couldn't believe that I made such a silly mistake - placing the squares in the wrong order! 

I was about to undo the seams, when I thought of the easy way out, but what would also become a sort of Easter egg in the final quilt... something to look for and talk about when the quilt is done!

And here is the official picture on the carpet, with the evening light coming through... 

I had that minute of excitement, knowing that I had learned something new and that it actually worked!  :)  

Have a blessed week!


Sep 16, 2015

BOM: Getting started with appliqué

Well, technically, I think there is this kind of understood agreement that posts have to be chronological - at least for those efforts that build up to a project, like my 2015 BOM.

However, in my previous post, there was a little about my advance on the appliqued flowers. And this post is about that moment in June when I first started tracing the flowers, the one in July when I started cutting the shapes, some heres and theres, up to today, when I'm blanket stitching around them.

But, before I go on with more details, let's go back to the beginning.

So, I started with the tracing on freezer paper.

Then, I thought I'd better mark each piece with its letter and fabric number.

and... I didn't like it... lol

I tried using the freezer paper, but in between the turning, preparing and... well, lack of experience with applique, I ended up going back with something that I've done before: fusible web.

Of course, I had to retrace everything again, but I knew I was heading in the right direction.  After all, this is the technique that I used for Terminal Bee and it ended up looking quite well. 

After one or two TV episodes, this is all I had:

... it eventually made it into baggies, just to make sure all the pieces stayed in their place.

I liked when they were all like in the next picture; the beautiful fabric looks pretty also from the back.

I took them with me everywhere I went, so that I could work on them whenever possible. What I didn't like is the scissors... They are good scissors, but things go WAY slower with the smallies... Oh well! They work and they make really precise cuts.

Finding a bit of time here and there, I was able to -eventually- get all the pieces done.  

As I post this, all of the pieces have made it to a block and I'm working on stitching around them. Now, whenever I need a break at home, I take five or ten minutes (yeah, right... about one hour!) and blanket stitch around a petal or two... or three... or four...

This part of making the 2015 Craftsy's BOM is probably what got me more frustrated.  I even voiced my five-minute breakdown, thinking that I had taken a really complicated challenge this time - one which does not allow me to bend rules and makes me stick to it.  

Then, I had the five-minute picker-upper, thinking of all the lessons I've learned so far, and how my piecing has improved. I actually took a time to see all the blocks that I've finished so far. They are... well, different. It's obvious that the first one has a bunch of mistakes; I'll probably re-do it at the end, once I've finished all the blocks and know I have enough fabric to get a second one out of it. 

Go figure! From too much to "one more."

Learning experiences are always there, waiting for us to take advantage of them. 

So far, I'm getting there bit by bit, and it's really exciting to be able to share it with all of you.

Today is Wednesday... let's see if these beauties can be finished by Sunday! In the meantime, be blessed!


Sep 14, 2015

What did you do on the weekend?

Weather is starting to change, and I feel I'm finally making some progress in my quilting. I about decided to dedicate some time to it at least three times a week, so that things get going. And yes, this post will have to count as one of those three times this week.

I feel like there were two major things accomplished that feel like a huge advance in my quilting projects.

I think I don't actually realize that things wear and get old... After attempting to cut fabric twice unsuccessfully, I finally took a long, good look at my poor cutting mat... No wonder why things were not working!  

I ended up turning the mat and using an indelible marker to mark 1, 2, 3, 4, 5... inches where I had 24, 23, 22... Hey, I'm good for ingenuity that keeps me going without so much effort! It felt like I was cutting butter after doing this - I just can't believe I waited so long to get it done. I can just begin to imagine how far ahead it will let me go with fast and accurate cutting.

Another major step are these little guys. 

The fusible web had been on the fabric for a while; Kathy came and visited about two weeks ago, and I finished cutting all the pieces. They are now anxiously waiting to get to their final destination in the gorgeous baskets... I hope!

So, not a long post, but excited about going forward.

How did you go forward this weekend?

Stay blessed,


Sep 7, 2015

BOM: Baskets!

Well, who said things had to stay the same all the time?

When I first started my quilting adventures, I never thought I would be working on a year-long project with bunches of baskets! 

The 2015 Craftsy BOM has brought challenging opportunities to overcome and fall for this wonderful craft over and over again!  

I look back at these five blocks, and smile as I remember the challenges of understanding a very basic skill - pattern reading. I think it was the beautiful fabric that got me involved, and it has been fantastic.  I keep working bit by bit and some of these will get appliqued flowers very soon.  I couldn't resist but snapping a quick pic to remember how they all look like together. Pieced handles, bias-cut handles, matching points... A smile comes out and I feel grateful for the opportunity of enjoying the creative process.

I once said that I'd never quilt baskets - ha! Better watch out for next time I say I'll never quilt something - I may end up making a whole quilt of them...

Until next time... Have a blessed week!


Aug 24, 2015

Happy Weekend!


Well, I know it's Monday and Monday is generally not the weekend... However, I think it's about time to post something that is up to date.  So, even though this post will be a short one, I'm happy to share what my work table looked like two days ago:

Yep, that's right... That's one of the 2015 Craftsy BOM blocks and some of the applique is finished. I decided to use some of my embroidery thread, which I rarely use, good for embroidery (obviously), that I almost never make, in order to blanket stitch around the applique. I used some blue Isacord that I've used before for FMQ (click here or here to see the FMQ samples), and the embroidery thread will be for the leaves and stems. 

I was not looking for a color that stood out, but for something discrete, that would not take away from the piecing or the gorgeous fabric. I've found that the best way to audition a thread is just take a bit of it and put it on top of the fabric to get a fairly good idea of how it would look once finished. So, the darker thread made the cut!  It's interesting how the olive green threads look blue-ish, gray-ish in the picture - maybe that's why I didn't like them for this project, in the first place... Interesting...

Anyway, you may also spot some colorful squares... Well, that is a side project I started working on. I'll post on it, and will blog about it, eventually...

In the meantime, applique flowers get done little by little and I'll still keep trying to sneak in a post here and there.

I hope you have a blessed week!  


Aug 14, 2015

MIA - Basket blocks

Hello everybody!

I have been kind of all over the place lately.  This week has been crazy so far, and I kept thinking of creative ways of finding a quiet moment that would actually help me forget the rush, rush, rush of work at least for a second... This week I traveled to another location for training related to work, which I really like doing, but it seems to make things crazier in the office for the time we come back.  I know that only happens to me... Lol!!

I'm just trying to get to the point with a good story -or a half-decent one- about how I was caught up in the frenzy and decided to make the most out of lunch, go to one of my favorite places, hook up to the internet and come to this little corner of the woods that keeps words flowing, with my fingers trying to play catch-up, and my brain suddenly forgetting about everything that was in there twenty minutes ago...

So, let's get to business here and have a good laugh at my inadequate abilities to rescue pictures from a low battery camera... Remember the black pictures in my previous BOM post? Well, here they are!

I got a different kind of batteries (rechargeable, of course), but tougher. I already had a set of those who can handle the flash, but I got some that are supposed to be even tougher. I'm not a battery expert, but Mr. Fuzz thought it would be a good idea, and the camera has been working great! 

I'm so glad I was able to get this picture "back;" the two blue baskets with the pieced centers seem to glow with the right amount of evening light coming through the living room door. 

A little witness of my slow advances in the 2015 BOM that keeps feeling like a major milestone; challenging baskets that keep pushing me into precision piecing and even provide a little relaxing escape from a frantic week... Smile! 

We can keep going, and every day, with ups and downs, we are breathing and something inside tells us that we can make it...  How wonderful to know that God blesses us in such wonderful ways! Even though we may not share the same beliefs, I hope you get to experience hope and joy to the fullest!

Stay blessed,


Aug 9, 2015

BOM 2015: Paper-piecing in August!!!

OK... wait a minute... August blocks in August? Really? Well, yes!!  

I spent a good time yesterday working on these beauties, and it was just fantastic!

After a challenging week and some really needed time to relax, I must confess I kind of forgot there was laundry waiting to be done, or dishes to be washed... I just took my quilt ruler and rotary cutter, and did not stop!

OK, I did take breaks, and made sure that things around the house were taken care of. However, Mr. Fuzz did most of the work; he said that he knew I needed quality time with my fabric - isn't he the most amazing fuzzband!! 

And, although I'm behind in posting other things I've been working on, I thought about jumping into August and share the beautiful paper-pieced flowers for the Craftsy 2015 BOM, with Jinny Beyer.

By the way, remember that this is a free class, so you may want to visit the site and see what all the fuzz is about.

It all starts with a piece of paper...

... and cut fabric...

... and it just keeps going, and going!

I love the perfect points and the complexity - elegant and clean.  I can't wait for September blocks, which will also be paper-pieced - let's see if I'm caught up with my blogging by then.

Thanks for reading, and stay blessed,