Saturday, November 1, 2014

Red Square Swap

Welcome to round 3 of our color square swap! 

RED!!

We will ship as soon as we have a full group. I'll send a confirmation email to everyone in the group, once we're all full.  

First, you must fill out the registration form, join the flickr group, and pay your $6.00 via paypal to Briawna.hugh at gmail.com in order to be accepted into the group. The first 39 people to do so will be in the group. I'll send you an email confirmation with some specifics about the swap, along with my shipping address. 

For the swap, you will purchase 3 yards of quality quilting fabric to cut into 40 10" squares. That's 100% cotton fabric from a recognized fabric manufacturer. If you purchase from a big box store, you MUST purchase from the "quilting cotton" section only (it usually runs $10-$12/yd.). Otherwise, I'm fine with your purchasing from any quilting shop, etsy, or online fabric company. Fabric purchased from the "calico" section or similar lesser quality will not be accepted.  

Remember, you will not be accepted into the swap unless you join the flickr group, pay your shipping fee, and agree to ship by the date designated in the confirmation email (You'll have a month to purchase, cut and ship your fabric). 

Please be patient with the process. I"m doing this as a side project and, while I enjoy coordinating this, it still requires time and effort on my part. I'm not a professional blogger or quilter (fairly obvious). If you'll uphold your end of the bargain, I'll do my best to get your squares to you in a timely manner. I have a smoke-free, pet-free home. However, I do have four children and my first priority is to make sure their needs are met. 

I can't wait to see all the beautiful fabric you choose! If you post pics of your fabric on IG, use the hashtag #colorsquareswap. 

Don't forget the registration form.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

October Nurture Circle Blocks

I spent several weeks trying to figure out which pattern I wanted to try for my assigned month in the do.good stitches circle of which I'm a part. I spent so much time deciding, I realized that September was over and it's my turn to provide a tutorial/pattern! So I decided to go with a pattern I've been wanting to try and that I can't wait to see in a full quilt.

Our block for this month comes from Moda's recent blog tour. We're using the smallest size, which is still 12 inches finished! Here's the basic pattern (we're using the last page, which is the one using all 2.5" squares). I'm asking for blocks in two of the following colors: red, pink, lime green, aqua, or navy. I'd like a white background (I use Kona white or Moda Bella Solid 097), but your blocks can be scrappy, as long as they read one of the asked colors.

my finished blocks


The pattern asks for 18 2.5" squares and 12 2" squares. To get the two-tone pattern above, you need 12 2.5" of the outer color (red in my block) and 6 2.5" of the inner color (aqua). You'll also need 12 2" squares of the outer color. 

Make 12 HST from the inner color (aqua) and 24 HST of the outer color (red). Press them open and square up to 2". 

Once you have everything squared up, chain piece your squares together. Also, I use a "webbing" technique to make sure I don't misplace any blocks. I keep the rows connected while I make the block. Like this (the rows are still connected to each other, you just can't see the white thread). 

The most helpful tip to this block with lots of points and intersections is to press your seams open! 

I hope these tips help. I can't wait to see your finished blocks. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Scrappy Spectrum Swoon

Warning: This is my first quilting tutorial. 

Ever since I first discovered Camille Roskelley's Swoon pattern, I thought it would be fun to do a scrappy version. But it was overwhelming enough to just finish one basic swoon quilt  block, so the thought of drafting a scrappy version was intimidating. But since this was on my quilty bucket list and I was between quilt tops, I gave it a shot. Feel free to make corrections or change it to make it your own.


First, I used Corey Yoder's Quilty Stitches cross stitch sketch (I'm still working on getting the cross-stitch blocks done...another quilty bucket list item) as the basic grid for my scrappy swoon. You'll need the original Thimbleblossoms pattern to reference. You'll also need some colored pencils (trust me, don't use markers like I did the first time around).


For this scrappy swoon, you'll need to construct an inside and an outside "star".

(Outside star)

To make this quilt, I needed to pick 8 colors. They didn't have to be a rainbow, but they needed to blend well. You could pick a range of different hues of 4 colors, but they should blend well. Did you get the part where they blend well? Once I had my colors picked out, here's how I figured out what goes where. 

Disclaimer: feel free to try it your own way. This is what worked for my non-spatial, non-math mind. 


I divided my outside star into 8 sections. I found that I had a main section and a "blade" in each color. My sections, starting from the top and moving counter-clockwise (I'm left-handed, so everything is always backwards in my world), you have Pink, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Aqua, Navy, and Purple. I matched up the inside star points with the outside star blades. Like this:


Then I filled in the inside star. I wasn't too picky about exact placement, just that I had roughly the same number of squares from each color.


Once that was done, it was pretty easy to build the outside star. Also, I used grey to differentiate the background from the blocks (Don't you love my uber-professional coloring job? My seven-year-old said she'd redo it for me, but I like to keep things real).


Once that was done, I just added everything up and cut it up. One quick tip for cutting, don't worry about all the colors being exact. My greens ranged from light green to lime to kelly green. The same goes for every section. It blends better if you have a range from each section. I'm a firm believer in using what you've got. For me, the point of scrap quilts is to use up scraps! 

Here are the cutting instructions: 

Pink: (38) 1.5" squares, (6) 2" squares, (3) 2.5" triangles*
Red: (34) 1.5" squares, (5) 2" squares, (3) 2.5" triangles
Orange: (38) 1.5" squares, (6) 2" squares, (3) 2.5" triangles
Yellow: (34) 1.5" squares, (5) 2" squares, (3) 2.5" triangles
Green: (38) 1.5" squares, (6) 2" squares, (3) 2.5" triangles
Aqua: (34) 1.5" squares, (5) 2" squares, (3) 2.5" triangles
Navy: (38) 1.5" squares, (6) 2" squares, (3) 2.5" triangles
Purple: (34) 1.5" squares, (5) 2" squares, (3) 2.5" triangles

* Usually, I use the standard method of making HST. However, you need 12 triangles that are all scrappy and need to be made individually. I know it's a pain, but this isn't a fast block to put together. 

Background fabric: 

(12) 3.5" squares
(84) 1.5" squares
(54) 2" squares
(3) 2.5" x Width of Fabric strips

HST Construction:

To make my color/background HST, I use the basic method. Sew Many Ways has a great tutorial for it.  I drew my diagonal line on the background fabric and chain pieced those babies while binge-watching some "North and South". One big tip about working with blocks this small- PRESS ALL SEAMS OPEN. I promise, it will save your sanity.  Once I had all my color/background HST ready to go,  I squared them up to 1.5". I know, you hate me. But the end product is worth it.



Alternate HST Construction:

There are 12 HST in this block/quilt/mini that are a combination of two colors, instead of color/background. For these, I pieced the 2.5" triangles together in the following combinations: Red/Orange, Yellow/Green, Aqua/Navy, and Pink/Purple. Sew carefully because you're dealing with a bias. I pressed my seams open and squared them up to 1.5". 

Once I had all my squares, HST, and background cut out, I sorted out the squares in each color in order from light to dark. For example, with the green I started with the light green, then lime, and finally the kelly greens. When I built my block, I tried to make sure I had a range of each color in both the inside star and the outside star. 

Sewing the Squares Together:

For me, this was the crazy-making part, which explains why it sat on my design wall for a week before I even attempted piecing it all together. I was so worried about mixing up my squares and getting my order messed up, I almost numbered each square. But I decided to piece them together in a nine-patch and then piece those together. It worked. I sewed my rows and left them connected to keep track of everything. 

Once my nine-patches were all sewn together and pressed (seams open), i put them back on my design wall to make sure I was sewing them in the right order. I pulled them down row by row and sewed them all together. Then I sewed the rows together into one big, giant, scrappy swoon block.


I decided to add an outer border, just because I liked the look of the block framed by the background. Feel free to leave this step out if you don't want the outside border. I added top and bottom borders and then side borders. I'm sure some master quilter out there is cursing me because they do it the opposite way, but I wanted a finished mini quilt, not a perfect one.

My top and bottom border measures 25.5" and my side borders measured 30". Don't stress if your block doesn't measure exactly the same as mine. Just make sure it's square. 


I finished this quilt by making the quilt sandwich and quilting it with vertical straight  organic lines, 1/2" apart. I polled my instagram friends and loved the suggestions of a fairly neutral grey binding. So, here is my finished Scrappy Spectrum Swoon, 30"x30".


I'd love to see your version! If you post a picture of instagram, tag me (@purplepoppyquilts) and use the hashtag #swoonallthethings. 


Friday, July 25, 2014

Purple Square Swap

UPDATE: Sign up Extended until Aug. 18. 

Welcome to The Great Fabric Swap, Round 2! 

After our successful yellow swap, we're moving on to a new color. I'm trying out a new format this round in hopes of making the process a little easier for everyone.

First, you must fill out the registration form, join the flickr group, and pay your $6.00 via paypal to briteacher@hotmail.com in order to be accepted into the group. The first 39 people to do so will be in the group. I'll send you an email confirmation with some specifics about the swap, along with my shipping address. 

For the swap, you will purchase 3 yards of quality quilting fabric to cut into 40 10" squares. That's 100% cotton fabric from a recognized fabric manufacturer. If you purchase from a big box store, you MUST purchase from the "quilting cotton" section only (it usually runs $10-$12/yd.). Otherwise, I'm fine with your purchasing from any quilting shop, etsy, or online fabric company. Fabric purchased from the "calico" section or similar lesser quality will not be accepted. ***More details will be included in the confirmation email.  

Remember, you will not be accepted into the swap unless you join the flickr group, pay your shipping fee, and agree to ship by the date designated in the confirmation email (You'll have a month to purchase, cut and ship your fabric). 

Please be patient with the process. I"m doing this as a side project and, while I enjoy coordinating this, it still requires time and effort on my part. I'm not a professional blogger or quilter. If you'll uphold your end of the bargain, I'll do my best to get your squares to you in a timely manner. I have a smoke-free, pet-free home. However, I do have four children and my first priority is to make sure their needs are met. 

I can't wait to see all the beautiful fabric you choose! 

Don't forget the registration form. 

Registration will close Aug. 9  Aug. 18, 
so register now before we're full



Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sewvivor-purple poppy quilts

I've quilted for so many reasons in the last 10 years. I've made quilts for babies, mine and others. I've made bed quilts for my children. I've made wedding quilts, graduation quilts, t-shirt quilts, and every other quilt imaginable. A few years ago, I made the smallest quilt ever for my sweet baby niece's casket. Quilts have been such a pivotal part of my growth as a person in the last ten years that I can't imagine my life without this hobby/craft. 

A few months ago, I started noticing this "Sewvivor" icon pop up on instagram and quilty friends' blogs. I was curious but felt completely overwhelmed by the task of getting 4 children through summer (who am I kidding, I was worried I would survive summer) that the thought of entering a quilting competition seemed daunting, intimidating, and downright scary. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this was a perfect opportunity to challenge myself to try new things, improve my craft, and be more intentional with my quilting skills. 

So, here we are at the very last day to enter the competition and I'm still sitting here, second-guessing myself, my skills, and even my sanity for taking on a four weekly project amidst vacations, soccer camps, beach trips, and general summer craziness. But I'm in, regardless of the outcome. I mean, I did pay my entry fee, so how hard could it be to write a blog post and upload a few quilt pics? Here goes nothing. 

This is my farmer's wife quilt top. It's not a completed quilt, but I felt it showcased my quilting ability thus far in my quilting journey.  There are so many things I love about this quilt. I love that it's bright when so much of living in Seattle is grey, dreary, or dark. I started this quilt almost 18 months ago when we first moved to Seattle. It was overwhelming, as I'd never done a sampler quilt before. But I kept at it and I finally finished the top a few months ago. 

 One of the primary reasons for choosing this top for this competition is because of what it symbolizes to me. First, the perseverance & tenacity of farmers' wives has always inspired me. Second, though my blocks are not even close to perfect, they reflect me perfectly. There are a few blocks that went wonky with pressing, a few that just didn't want to square up to 6.5", and even a few with chopped off points (gasp!). Why would I pick an imperfect quilt for a quilting competition? Because I believe the art of quilting is not in the perfection of the craft, but in being real and true to ourselves in pursuit of something that fils us with joy. 
 I learned so many new skills with this quilt and I'm immensely proud of achieving at least some level of competency in some of those skills. I'd never used templates, hand pieced a block, sewn Y-seams, set a quilt on point, used posts with my sashing, or made a sampler quilt. This quilt tested my patience, as well as my quilting skills. Some of the blocks aren't set correctly, but that's ok. Some of my fabric choices aren't ideal, but I learned so much about choosing fabric and what works for my eye, that I don't care. What I see as the goal of this competition, and quilting in general, is to expand our view of what can be achieved in the industry and in our own quilting experience. Whether I progress to the next stage or not, I'll follow along and test my quilting proficiency. I love this incredible art form that creates memories and tangible evidence of my love for friends, families, and perfect strangers.