Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Penny Basket Week 7 Moda BlockHeads

Time for another block!  The week absolutely flew by.
Easter holiday even surprised me...I just was not ready.
You may be reading this while I'm at Jury Duty! Wish me luck and pray I don't get chosen. Is there ever a GOOD time for Jury Duty???  OH MY!  Book deadlines and Quilts to make for Spring Market....Big Sigh....Here's to hoping I'm home Thursday and back to sewing!!!

Just look where we have been!  Aren't they wonderful?  And really we have just begun!



Question of the Week....What is your favorite ruler?
I love Olfa Frosted rulers. Clean uncluttered and thin lines. My most favorite is the size Olfa calls 1" x 12" but it is really 1 1/4" x 12 1/2", go figure!
Most used is probably the 4 1/2", but I have them all from the 2 1/2" to the 16 1/2".

My other favorite ruler for trimming...I'm a BIG fan of making HSTs and geese larger and trimming to correct size and Bloc_Loc is the best!  In my opinion, of course.
There are many, many great products on the market.  But I do think we become a fan of a brand. The brand that suits our needs. I can do everything I need with these brands.
I have almost all Bloc_Loc rulers too.
 Olfa do you make a 60 degree triangle ruler?  I'll be checking at Market.  In the meantime, I've got lots of 60 degree diamonds and triangles  to cut...with the 6" x 12".
Hard to photograph, hope you can see.


Speaking of photos....
Hudson: MOLLY! MOM is trying to get photos.
No, I'm her assistant today.
MOVE, Molly!
Minor skirmish ensued.




Ha Ha Molly, I've taken your place.
I'm in every photo!
even if it is just my whiskers!

Here's the Penny Basket designed by Lynne Hagmeier.
It's sooo cute!

Please don't stop reading....link is below.

and here is my Mini Penny Basket! Mine, not Hudson's!
 Still not moving.


 Finally! 
For Betsy's 3" Penny Basket
Trace around a penny for your berries. Applique as you choose. Cut background strips 1" wide, 
cutting again at 3", 3 1/2", and 2 @ 2".
Basket and background triangles are a 2" finished HST and for basket feet, cut 1 square 1 3/8", cutting once diagonally.  Construction is similar to Lynne's basket, except for the triangle under the basket, cut a 2" square  in half diagonally.  
(the last triangle is oversized for trimming after applique is finished. 
If you don't enjoy applique, try sewing buttons for the pennies. I've made another 3" basket for another time, without applique.  Only a basket would do for me this time...I simply could not pass up a Mini Penny basket! 

For Lynne's pattern Penny Basket, CLICK HERE 
Be sure to visit my BlockHead friends to see their blocks and tips. 
All the links for the designers are below.
Thank you Lynne!  and Hudson....

Hope you all had a lovely Easter.  The weather cooperated!
And Madison enjoyed the day, and that made the day for me!

It was a two basket kind of day...Uncle Matt played Easter Bunny.
Madison, use a basket!
Evaluating her lot...Precious.

Still hoping I'm not on a jury....
I'll post to Facebook and Instagram when I can.

Until next time ~
Betsy

Lynne - 
Blog - http://kansastroublesquilters-lynne.blogspot.com/Click Here 

Betsy - 

Lisa B - 

Jan - 

Jo - 

Moda - 
Blog - http://blog.modafabrics.com/ 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Moda BlockHeads Week 6 Sunflower

Here we go... Week 6, designed for you by Carrie Nelson...a sweet and fun to sew Sunflower block.


Before I show my blocks and talk blockheads, did you know Carol Staehle and I were on American Patchwork and Quilting's podcast with Pat Sloan yesterday? We were dishing DIVAS! lol Talking with Pat about our Treasury of Quilts book and our 19th Century Patchwork Diva group. The podcast will be available to listen to this week and also on Pat's website, now, if you like. Click on the underlined words and the link will take you where you need to go.


Okay...now for the block!

Block 6 Sunflower

Some tips, and a glimpse as to how I work....
Step 1, after selecting fabrics...and cutting, I arrange all my pieces.
Fabrics are from Rachel Remembered and Lizzie's Legacy and the green is from Hope's Journey.

Close up of my center.  It is machine basted, using the paper template provided in the pattern. I traced the circle on freezer paper, pressed to the wrong side of  fabric, and then stitched slowly on the circle. Easy breezy. Of course I forgot to take a picture of the paper side! After stitching, I pulled the excess paper away leaving the circle in tact.

Stitch parts, and return to layout 


All stitched together and circle is basted to center square.

 Finished. Center is appliqued last.
 I used the edge of the freezer paper template as a guide for needle turning. Basting stitches were removed as I stitched, giving another guide as I turned the edges underneath.  I loved making this block and you will too.

CLICK HERE for Carrie's pattern, Sunflower.

      

My Mini Penny 3" block


I saved the tiny triangles cut away (leaving a scant seam allowance) from Carrie's block and stitched them using 1/8" seams. I sewed them together to make hourglasses which I trimmed to 1 1/4". The 4 hourglass blocks measure 2" (1 1/2" finished) when sewn together.
Geese units finish at 3/4" x 1 1/2" and HST corners are 3/4" finished.
Want to try it?  I think you better starch those pieces before you cut for the 6" block!


Question of the week....
Pressing, to open seams or press to one side? 
I'm a press to the side sort of girl.
 FOREVER, I have flipped the seam intersections open to make seams stagger.
Flipping, which really means  breaking open the threads in the seam allowance in a twisting motion.  (you can pick out the threads too) The result usually makes a little 4 patch or a pinwheel. I then clip next to the seam allowance ONLY when necessary.
Press intersection and seams on the back, then front.
I generally press to the side with the least resistance. 


Here is another example. NOT a blockhead project. 
Every intersection is flipped, not clipped. Flat as can be.
See all the tiny 4 patches?


A parting shot, very spring like.
Thank You Carrie! for such a fun block!

Now go see what my friends have made......

Until next time ~
Betsy

Lynne - 

Betsy - 

Lisa B - 

Jan - 

Jo - 

Moda - 
Blog - http://blog.modafabrics.com/ 


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Week 5 Moda BlockHeads BOW

I cannot believe it. The week flew by and here we are for Block 5, designed by Lisa Bongean.  It's fabulous, but I want to prepare you for tiny pieces and lots of them. Starch! Do you hear me?  Starch! LOL. 
Below is my version of this week's block. 
Keep reading for tips and the 3"  Mini Penny block.

Coronation by Lisa Bongean


 Click HERE to find the pattern on Lisa's blog.

Lisa may have an alternate piecing technique on her blog which will include tips I'm sure. Take care with pressing. Stagger seams where you can, flipping open the intersections and clipping as needed.  Pressing seams open is also an option and I did press open the tiny HSTs. My fabrics are from Hope's Journey and Rachel Remembered.

Below, are links  to all the designers, don't forget to visit their blogs for 
their fabric choices and their tips. Each week one of us posts the pattern we designed.
Our facebook group has 3768 members at this writing Tuesday evening.
BlockHeads are posting pictures there and on Instagram....and they are so cool!  What variety and creativity!  Follow the #modablockheads

Did you finish your bee skep?  I thought that was great fun,
 and such a nice break from piecing.  Break's over!!!
Look for 7 more appliques from Jan, applique is her speciality...her super power! Last week,
Lisa offered an alternative to applique and my 3" pieced block from last week, could easily make a 6".  So keep the 3" blocks in mind, 4 of them make a 6" and alone they are easily upsized for piecing. So no worries, ok? There are options for those who don't care for the 'A' word.



Before I show the 3" mini, here is the question of the week....Needles...
 How often do you change them?
Guess my answer....
Some of are cheating and know me...


I count 8 or 9 machine needles on this side of the pincushion.  
Now, guess how long they have been there...No prize involved.
Answer....I change needles when they break. I dispose of those.   If  I've hit too many pins, yes I sew over them, and I notice a thread popping sound, I might replace, hence the needles in the pincushion.  On rare occasions, stitches start skipping as I piece, and I'll replace.  Full disclosure, Needles in this pincushion have been there for years.  I bought the pear pincushion in Missouri, in 2009, when Gone to Texas was published. FYI, pins on this side of the pincushion are bent...Yes, I know, I could clean this up.  r i g h t .

The mini this week...1/2 size Coronation?  No.
The HSTs in the 6" are the same size as the little HSTs I've been using in my 3" blocks...3/4" finished.
I saved the extra triangles cut away from the flying geese/starpoint units, for another time.
Here is what I made...

It's the center of Lisa's Coronation block but a darker center.  I have a couple of starpoint backgrounds improperly placed which I didn't see until I was pressing and no way was I unsewing! This dark version looks quite different to me. Corners and center parts are 3/4" finished.  Flying geese units are 3/4" x 1 1/2" finished. 
There are a LOT of seams in this block and in the 6" block..

Then I tried sewing with HSTs instead of flying geese.
And left the center square plain. Center is  1 1/2" finished. corners and HSTs are 3/4" finished.
In case your corners come up a little short after stitching, try upsizing your corners a little, then trim excess away when you finish. Trim to 3 1/2" finished.

 Slightly bigger than needed! LOL


The back.

Hope you are enjoying the blocks of the week!
I love hearing from you and seeing your blocks.

Until next time ~
Betsy



Lynne - 
Blog - http://kansastroublesquilters-lynne.blogspot.com/ 
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/KansasTroublesQuilters/ 
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/lynnektq/ 

Betsy - 
Blog - http://betsysbestquiltsandmore.blogspot.com/ 
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/betsy.chutchian 
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/betsy_chutchian/ 

Lisa B - 
Blog - https://lisabongean.com/ 
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/primitivegatherings.quiltshop/ or https://www.facebook.com/lisa.bongean 
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/lisabongean/  or https://www.instagram.com/primitive_gatherings_quiltshop/  or  https://www.instagram.com/primitive_gatherings_ca/ 

Jan - 
Blog - http://janpatek.blogspot.com/ 
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/jan.patek.79?fref=nf 
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/jan_patek_quilts/ 

Jo - 
Blog - http://jomortonquilts.com/jos_journal/ 
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/jomortonquilts/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE&fref=nf 
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/joquilts/ 

Moda - 
Blog - http://blog.modafabrics.com/ 
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/modafabrics/ 
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/modafabrics/ 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Moda BlockHeads WEEK 4


Week 4 is a darling applique block by Jan Patek.  
Click on Jan's name to be directed to her blog for this week's pattern.

What a nice change to do a little applique! Thank you Jan!  I love it!

Hand appliqued, and I loved the change of pace...slow down and stitch!!! I strip pieced the foundation for the skep, in a random manner and had lots of the golds left over, as well as the blue and the brown prints.  All week I planned a 3" Honey Bee block. The wings are fused , but I hope to do a tiny buttonhole stitch around the body and wings. No templates, I just drew on the paper side after fusing the brown print, cut out and pressed into place. Center square is cut 1 1/2". Sides are also cut 1 1/2" wide. Love the color combination.


I actually made 3 pieced blocks for this week.  The others may appear another week, or not.  Knowing the tiny applique might be a little much for some of you, I had to include a 3" pieced block.
This cute little thing has a 1 1/2" finished center, 3/4" HSTs and 3/4" finished corners.


Forgot to take the photo with the penny!

 How weird, the blue is a different color entirely in this light! hmm.


This week's question for discussion..."What thread do you use?"

I love Aurifil. I sew with all shades of cream, to tan, to taupe and light brown. 50wt. 100% cotton.
If I had  80wt chocolate brown Aurifil, I'd use it on the Honey Bee, but since I don't , I'll either use the 40wt, which I do have in chocolate, or a single strand of DMC embroidery floss.


That's one shiny penny!

I buy the small spools when I need a color, but for sewing, only the large spool. 2326 is at the upper left, 2312 to the right. I especially love that filled bobbins last forever!  don't you just hate it when the bobbin runs out, and always at the very worst time!!!

I hope you enjoy making today's block, you have a whole week! LOL! before Lisa Bongean brings us her first block! Can't wait until next time!
~Until next time, 
Betsy

Lynne - 
Blog - http://kansastroublesquilters-lynne.blogspot.com/ 
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/KansasTroublesQuilters/ 
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/lynnektq/ 

Betsy - 
Blog - http://betsysbestquiltsandmore.blogspot.com/ 
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/betsy.chutchian 
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/betsy_chutchian/ 

Lisa B - 
Blog - https://lisabongean.com/ 
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/primitivegatherings.quiltshop/ or https://www.facebook.com/lisa.bongean 
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/lisabongean/  or https://www.instagram.com/primitive_gatherings_quiltshop/  or  https://www.instagram.com/primitive_gatherings_ca/ 

Jan - 
Blog - http://janpatek.blogspot.com/ 
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/jan.patek.79?fref=nf 
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/jan_patek_quilts/ 

Jo - 
Blog - http://jomortonquilts.com/jos_journal/ 
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/jomortonquilts/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE&fref=nf 
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/joquilts/ 

Moda - 
Blog - http://blog.modafabrics.com/ 
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/modafabrics/ 
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/modafabrics/ 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

BlockHeads recap


Good Morning BlockHeads, this is only a recap, answers to questions, and a test!

I'm having trouble posting the Wednesday blocks at the time I set. If this comes to your inbox today, then this particular test failed, but every test tells me something, to do,or NOT to do!  LOL.  
I'll get it figured out, eventually.


So tell me, are you having fun?  I love the pace of a block a week.  And I really love the addition of my 3"  Mini Penny blocks.  Remember, they are not part of the BOW, just something I'm doing for fun.  I love working with leftover parts.  I am LOVING seeing your blocks On Facebook and Instagram. The creativity that is coming out of these 6" patterns is amazing.  Cool fabric combinations, and unique interpretations of value and placement. Just awesome!

I've been remiss on the discussions Lynne has put forth for the designers.  I receive Lynne's blog on Thursday!  Good idea though to get us talking!

Lynne's first question for us was, "Where do you stand on pre-washing?"
I prefer to prewash, and here is why:
1.  I like how the fibers raise just a bit, making the cut pieces snuggle to together as they go through the machine.
2. Resolving shrinkage and color discharge issues. Neither of these are a big deal these days.  Most fabrics are colorfast and my Moda reds are very colorfast! Most fabrics behave very well, but I do throw a color catcher, made by Shout, into the wash if I have mixed darks and lights or if combining with other manufacturers.  As for shrinkage, it comes from years ago spritzing a fabric on the ironing board and watching it shrink before my eyes. I've seen this happen to a pieced block too when just pressing with steam, and yes I do use steam. If you have ever had a color bleed after the quilt has been washed, you won't take a chance again.  
3.  I have more allergies than ever before in my life. Hopefully, I'm not allergic to my fabric, perish the thought! So, prewashing does remove whatever is used in processing our beautiful fabrics, that might cause allergies.
4. It is the rule in our 19th Century Patchwork Diva group for block exchanges.  Don't mess with the Divas! LOL

Lynne's second question was, "Do you starch your fabrics before or during piecing?"
Short and quick answer...BEFORE!
Why starch?  
1.  Cut pieces behave very well and, since I love tiny pieces, starching is imperative for accuracy.  In my opinion.
2.  I do a lot of finger pressing  as I piece, starching makes that wonderful.
I like my fabrics crispy, but not stiff as a board.  I've never had a problem with starch.  I'm very sensitive to scents, and even though Best Press is an excellent product and has an unscented version, I don't use it as it doesn't give me the amount of body I desire.  I'd be buying it by the gallon and that is a pricey investment, considering how much as I sew.
There are 2 non-aerosol starches on the market, Niagara and Faultless. Faultless has more scent, not enough to give me a migraine, but not unscented.  Niagara, is very pleasant, no migraines!


Do you have a question for me, or of all the BlockHead designers?  I'd love to hear them. So, let me know!

Watch for Jan Patek's block Wednesday! And my version will be right here!  Happy stitching!!!

~Until next time, 
Betsy