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!