Mar 26, 2015

March BOM - Fruit Basket

Oh! The joys of the creative process!  

The March BOM brought new techniques and things to learn, but the main thing is that I was finally able to enjoy every step.

The main new challenge for this block was the handle. Yup! Another first time for me... applique on a quilt block. I took as long as I could and decided to be extra careful to enjoy every part of the process, stitch by stitch...  

It is amazing what a bias cut can do! It was almost as if the fabric laid on top of the triangle by itself.  And yes, I thought that a picture with a bunch of pins would look cute... lol

I had fun making this block! Finally! FUN with this 2015 BOM that has pushed me to quilting limits I didn't know existed...

You know I use my machine to sew, but let's admit it - there is something quite special about hand sewing. To be honest, I'm probably so excited because it's only one handle and not the whole quilt! 

Tada! Handle attached and pointy triangles!  :)

By this point, I was already happy dancing... All of those points, matching seams and intersections matching made me feel like a quilting "big girl." LOL

After so many ups and downs with the previous blocks, I was elated to complete one without questioning every single step (and understanding what I was supposed to do), and my first bias fabric applique on a quilt block. I love it! Ah! The marvels of the learning process!

With a picture that feels like a diploma, here are the first four blocks:

It's interesting; I feel this... feeling (lol...) that could be described more as a big sense of accomplishment wrapping around me while leaning back on the chair, with my hands behind my back and legs stretched out! Nice! Just that... Smile...

Stay blessed,


Mar 23, 2015

A bundle of... something...

One friend told me he had something for me. Months went by and by, and one day, he finally said something like: "I got something for you. I put it on your desk. It's the bundle I told you about. The one this old lady had at a garage sale and it ended up in the attic, in a box with other bundles."

So, this is it!

What a fantastic surprise!  

A bundle of "precuts" all the way from around the 40s! (If my friend's estimates are right.)

Some of the pieces were still kept together by color; somebody made sure that they stayed together by sewing through all of them, and making two knots - one at each end.

The most amazing thing is that all the pieces actually stayed together and did not fray that much.  I mean, these have survived at least 60 years! It's almost impossible to grasp...

Among all the little bundles were two units of what seemed to be a flower garden. No pattern and most pieces cut in the same fashion, like a kite. Some were not evenly cut; there seemed to be a lot of one color and very few of another one.

With the thought of years and years of survival, somebody's hands carefully preparing a project and even leftover fabric, began the search for a crafty idea to give these precious pieces of fabric a final home...

How to be respectful of somebody's plans for this little bundle? How much of myself can I put it in? (Sigh!) What a wonderful opportunity to create and enjoy such a treasured piece of the past!

This makes me think of my sweet niece, Yoyo, when she blew a bunch of kisses into a purse, right before I looked at it. It was my Christmas gift. Her kisses touch my heart and fill me with joy. She reminds me of grandma, too. Her love and dedication would touch every single project she worked on.

With the thoughts of my Tita's hands preparing things to start sewing, my mind flutters away and dives into research. Hopefully, I can come up with something that conveys my gratefulness and celebrates heritage... Wow! Big words!

What yould you do?

Stay blessed,


Mar 13, 2015

2015 Craftsy BOM Ash Basket - TIPS!!

Hi there!

First of all, thank you for all the sweet e-mails you have sent!  :)  

I am far from being an experienced quilter, but I am so glad that my struggles have provided valuable lessons that I can share with all of you!

Per your requests, I would like to post a bit more about the February BOM Ash Basket templates. This block is part of the 2015 Craftsy BOM, and it's proving to be an interesting challenge. Even if I started a bit bumpy, things are taking shape and my piecing has seen the benefits - YAY!! That's exactly what I wanted.  Baskets are not my quilting cup of tea, but I knew that I had to go way outside my comfort zone if I wanted to improve.

Because of my inexperience with templates, I was having issues constructing the blocks because I was trying to match the edges of the cut pieces. In the next picture, you can see that either side of the triangle (the sides forming a 90o angle) was too long.

Here is another way of looking at the issue. I didn't include the following two pictures in my previous post; my poor mat has been beaten and worn, and I should have snapped this in the other corner.  Alas! Let it all be for the sake of us expert quilters-in-progress!

See the following picture? Well, that's exactly what I was trying to do with the fabric. There is a bit of the template 3D that goes beyond template 3A.

Ignore that, and focus on the inner seams. See!! Perfect match!!

And that's what started it all! I continued playing with the rest of the templates, and surprise, surprise... It works!

I was wondering about the rest of the block, so I used some of the cut fabric to sort of "see" the finished block. Now, see the brown fabric in the middle? It is actually a trapezoid, but the black fabric on top makes it difficult to see the whole piece. I know, it looks veeeery weird... And when you begin opening the pieces after sewing, everything turns even more weird...

Again, focus on the seam; try to not see the edges of the fabric or the weirdness...  

If you don't worry (at least not too much) about the edges of the pieces, you will have a NICE end result! 

Enjoy the learning process!! Believe me, Ash Basket will NOT be the only block that will reap the benefits of precise piecing, no matter which your quilting cup of tea is...  :)

Stay blessed and keep working on that Ash Block!