Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentines and Fabric

 Need a last minute Valentine idea?  Julia found this tutorial for an origami Valentine.

She grabbed a selection of scrapbook paper and some markers and went to town!

So cute and crafty and personal!  Exactly what her friends expect from her.

I ran to JoAnn's last week for some specific supplies and thought I would just swing through the designer fabric section.  I couldn't resist the DS (Denyse Schmidt) prints at 30% off!

They were all mixed in with other fabrics and I completely missed the oranges, so I ordered them online when I got home.  I hope to get back to my tangerine challenge piece as soon as they arrive.

Have a happy week!

Friday, February 10, 2012

EPP Demo

 This week, I was happy to present a demonstration of English Paper Piecing to my quilt guild.  There were 6 presenters, so groups of quilters moved round-robin style through the stations.  That meant I had to do my demo 6 times!  There was a lot of starting and stopping and half-sewn seams and thread tails hanging! 

I brought several examples of different shapes that can be made with this method.  Of course, I brought the Rose Stars.

When I taught EPP to a small group in January, we talked about this interesting pattern with hexagons, squares and triangles.  I later discovered it is called Ferris Wheel and you can download a free design sheet at Paper Pieces.  The sample is made with 1" pieces.  (The raggedy owl pincushion is for scale.)

An additional note about that January group...  Nancy, the overachiever, has made 500 hexagons in one month!  Have I mentioned recently that hexies are addictive?

Megan at Canoe Ride Creations posted last week about using leftover HSTs for hexagons.  Brilliant!  I just happened to have a little baggie full of leftovers from a Weed whacker class sample.  I have enough to make 3 more hexie flowers.

The star flowers using a jewel shape and hexagon were going to be my FTLOS swap piece, but I completely changed gears and did some foundation paper piecing instead.   I've been dying to do some embroidery on a hexie.  This pearl cotton heart is a pretty lame attempt.  I need to find my copy of Doodle Stitching to make something cuter.   Julia had it last, so it may have been sucked into the black hole!

I prepared a handout with my favorite EPP links.  Enoy!

CD Designs - Instructions, free patterns, grids to color

Paper Shapes:
Paper Pieces (the company) - lots of shapes and sizes, Free Pattern Sheets, Free Design Sheets for coloring in and Cutting Guides to calculate yardage.
Incompetech - Graph paper generator allows you to create triangles, diamonds or hexagons to your size specifications.  Print on card stock or freezer paper and cut out.
Possum Blossom Patchwork - Helen pointed me to this Australian shop that carries die cut Rose Star packs and lots more!
Photos & Inspiration:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Do you know me?

Does anyone recognize this quilt?  I found the photo on someone's Flickr album of the 2011 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show.  I'm trying to track down the quilt maker and/or the designer.

We're considering using this pattern for our guild raffle quilt, but in a cool palette.  Maybe batiks.  At the very least, I want to give credit where credit is due for the inspiration.

I love this quilt on so many levels.  The small paper pieced stars, the larger off-kilter stars, the HSTs that frame the stars, the positive/negative effect, the two-color-but-scrappy look, the piano key border.  It all adds up to a modern quilt with a traditional vibe.  LOVE!

So, if you know anything about this beauty, please leave a comment or email me at tinastitches (at) gmail (dot) com.  Thanks!

** Many thanks to Sinta and Elke!  This is a Buggy Barn pattern called Going in Circles from their book Certifiably Crazy.  I'm buying the book now! **

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rose Stars

 Sorry I haven't been around much lately.  I'm off to a slow start, but I really need to kick into high gear soon!

I've been playing with the Rose Star block this week for a couple of reasons.  I will be demonstrating English Paper Piecing at a guild meeting on Wednesday, and I thought it might work as a bee block.

 Did you already recognize my colors here?  (pink, yellow & orange)
The test block was based on a 2" hexagon, but it is just a bit too big to fit into a 12" square.  12.25" from point to point.  Really?!  I might remove the dark pink triangles from my block to make it fit.

Take 2: 1.75" hexagons.  
The pretty blue block will be for Christine in the 4x5 bee.  She asked for some Denyse Schmidt prints that she can't get in the UK.  I will probably hand applique the star to the white background.

I print and cut my own paper pieces on card stock. Visit Karen's tutorial for basting instructions.  Since these were bigger pieces, I needed to take a few basting stitches through the paper.  I have been using incompetech to create accurate hexagons in various sizes. 

I think the backs look so cool!  You can see that I haven't removed any paper yet.

To see more Rose Stars, visit Self Sewn for Clare's linky party.  She also has a tutorial and a flickr group dedicated to this sweet block.  Thank you, Clare!

In family news...

Julia recently performed in her school's production of Anything Goes.  Here she is making the pre-show announcements in the cutest costume.  She was one of Reno Sweeny's Angels, Purity.  She has a gorgeous singing voice!

That's Pete on drums with the high school Jazz Band.  We are so proud of him for being chosen for the All-State Jazz Band!

It's time for more stitching!