Friday, September 2, 2011

WIPs and Bee Blocks

WIP Wednesday Thursday Friday

let's just pretend that it's wednesday, shall we?

i don't feel like i got much done this week, yet my apartment isn't much tidier either, so i'm not exactly sure what i did with my time!

i did buy a whole bunch of vintage sheets to add to my stash at the value village 50% off sale on monday, and since then i've been diligently washing them all. i had to stop after the 7th or 8th washer load, because my arms were so sore from folding them all! i remember working in fabric stores and folding 10 or 15 yards of home decor fabric at a time, but that was obviously pre-fibro... i have one or two loads left, including the most AMAZING vintage fabric find - i'll have to take pictures of it after i wash it, it's incredible.

i worked on my Sherbet Pips quilt over the weekend, and it's all ready to be laid out and pin basted. i was originally going to quilt-as-you-go, since it's a strip quilt, but that was very cranky making, so i decided to piece the strips and quilt it normally.

the main thing i did in the past week has been blocks.

the most important block i finished was my August block for the Unscripted Bee.

this block was inspired by a quilt in the book Block Party, which can be seen in this post on HandmadebyAlissa. there are other version of it floating around, such as this quilt by Caroline of Trillium Design, and there's tutorial for the block by Christinaa, the Sometimes Crafter.

i had this idea that i would use specific fabric every month to try out the pattern/technique for the bee block, before cutting into the queen bee's fabric, and then at the end of the bee, i'd have a second quilt ready to go that would be a sampler of all the blocks from the bee. which sounds fun, right?

we'll see if that continues! i made a sample of this block, and it seemed to take me forever.

b+w stacked block

but it's good that i made a sample, because i did learn a few things. such as, vary the widths of the strips more, so that they're not at all super narrow!

b+w stacked block2

i also found a way to put the block together with very little waste, which was good, because i ran out of fabric for the bee block!

stacked block

we were asked to make a block that was 21” across, and 24” high, but mine ended up being 21" across and about 20.5" high.

august scraps

see how little fabric i had left? not even enough for a small signature block for the back!

i'm super excited to make new month's block, though i've promised myself that i won't start on it until after i get some more tidying accomplished! i have a guild exec meeting here on tuesday, and at the moment, my living room is full of rubbermaid containers. no more sewing until i clean!

remember, i mentioned the blog Block Lotto, in a recent post? i also made a few african violet blocks for that, before i reread the instructions and realized that i was supposed to use PREWASHED fabric. i guess i won't be doing any blocks for that, since i don't prewash my fabric unless i have to!

violet blocks

so now i have two blocks and nothing to do with them. would you use them? if you added two more, you could have a neat little table runner.... if you'd like them, coment or pop me an e-mail and i'll send them out to you, they might as well be used.

and i'm curious - do you prewash your fabrics?

also on the WIPs list - the bow ties, the RSR pouches, the binding on my green kona quilt, plot out my pattern for the Billboard quiltalong, pull out the fabrics for the Across the Sea quiltalong, that blue and black half-quilted monstrosity that's holding half my favourite basting pins hostage

on the quilts to come list - my ghastlies quilt, my far far away II quilt, do something with a prize pack of fqs from Pink Chalk fabrics, perhaps a wonky 9 block??, start a portrait quilt, contemplate the Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild's quilt-a-long, start one of the art quilts floating around in my head....

and in other news, last night my mom and i drove out to port kells to meet my uncle for supper (my uncle's a trucker, so whenever he's in town, he's in an industrial area) and i found TWO thrift stores that i'd never been to! that was pretty exciting, even though after july's thrifting road trip, i'm avoiding thrifts at the moment - which reminds me, i haven't posted about any of the thrifts that i found on that trip! that'll be another day's post.


Cynthia F said...

You've been a busy *bee* teehee! I ran out of fabric for the first bee block too- I had barely enough to make the size with only tiny scraps leftover- including selvedges- to make the sig block. The echino one I found even tighter for fabric- I barely made it to 15" wide which is what she said she was going to cut them down to- eep! I left it untrimmed so she can do it how she wants. I think on mine i'll be sending lots of extra just in case!

I love your idea of doing each block in your own fabrics first- very smart!

I don't prewash either, what's the point right?

and 2 new thrift stores- woot!!

Digital Misfit said...

I don't prewash fabric. I probably would if I made clothing, but for my needs, I don't see a reason.
SO jealous of your 2 new thrift shops. I still only have Value Village and its sad, overpriced selection (and the agoraphobia keeps me away from that place on the 50% off day because those people are WILD!).
Please do post your thrift finds soon!

MareMare said...

I love that blog pattern Amy! I probably wouldn't be able to use those though since purple and yellow give me bad flashbacks to ugly high school uniforms (purple and gold are not good colors for that!).

I don't pre-wash quilting stuff, I like the wrinkly look. Also I'm lazy. Ok, mostly I'm lazy.

Corey said...

I'd love to have the purple blocks! They're cute and they are my state's football team colors, purple and yellow (Go Vikings, whoo hoo). I prewash fabrics that I plan on using for quilts. But for bags, it depends on the pattern instructions.

Holly said...

Nice work on the bee block! I love the idea of making your own sampler quilt alongside the bee and having a chance to preview blocks before you use someone else's fabric.

See you Tuesday!

Anna van Schurman said...

My mom owned a quilt shop, so yes I always prewash my fabric. Besides removing chemicals like sizing, cottons bleed and shrink (and shrink differently at that). I do think your African violets are lovely even if they are part of the great unwashed.

Valerie said...

I never, ever prewash new fabric, I buy a lot of precuts and FQs, I'd be afraid that they'd disintegrate in the washer!

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