Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler Week 18

The Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along, is now at 18 out of 25 blocks!  This fun online sew along is hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell. The block for this week is Square Peg.  (for the free download to make this or the previous blocks, visit Maureen's or Sharon's blog).

It has been my goal with my version of the sampler blocks, to use scraps and to mix colours of the rainbow with low volume fabrics. I am eighteen blocks in on this quilt and still having fun searching through my scrap bins for fun colours and treasured bits to make each block.  I love scrappy quilts!

I decided from the very beginning of this sew along that I would play with the block's design if I could.  Sometimes block design changes were made just for the fun of it, while others were made to allow me to use particular scraps. This week's block underwent a few changes.  First I eliminated the half square triangle units and chose to make a half and full version of flying geese units instead.  It meant fewer seams and the opportunity to use larger scraps. ;o)

I ended up making a couple more changes once I finished sewing my block (you can see my first version of block 18 shown in photo below, while the final version is in the photo above).

I decided to replace a couple of my fabrics for the border when I realized I had mixed up placement of the long and short sections. Ooops! While unpicking the borders, I remembered that I had the key print ( Sandi Henderson print from her Secret Garden fabric line) in another colour way and that it would perfectly compliment the fabrics in my block.  I couldn't help but exchange the border fabrics once I discovered that!  I'm even more pleased with the second version.
You may also notice that just like block 17, I couldn't resist making a pieced square from my low volume fabric scraps.  I like that it adds a little more interest to the block and gives me the opportunity to use up a few more of my tiny scraps.
Sewcial Bee Sampler Blocks 1-18
Pop over to Maureen's blog and Sharon's blog  for all the details in joining this fun,  sew-at-your-own-pace, virtual sew along! If you're on Instagram, you can find all the inspiring blocks that are being made shared under the tag #sewcialbeesampler - although I will warn you, it will be even harder to resist joining in, once you see so many beautiful versions. ;o)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler Week 17

Woohoo, it's Wednesday! That means it's time for the next block to be released in The Sewcial Bee Sampler (a fun online sew along), hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell. The block for this week is Spools.  (for the free download to make this or the previous blocks, visit Maureen's or Sharon's blog).
SBS Block 17 of 25 is Spools

I really had fun making this scrap filled block! I made quite a few changes to the original design. You may remember me sharing a glimpse of some low volume fabric scrap sewing that I've been doing? I decided to combine that idea with the design of this block!  I replaced the four, single fabric square pieces in this block, with pieces of patchwork instead. Look at all the extra scraps I was able to incorporate into a single block!  I went on to change out the center square of this block for a patchwork of four fabrics and I eliminated the half square triangles in the four corners of the block, to really make this block mine.  It is so fun playing around with ways to accomplish a different look for a block and this time around, I went all out.😉 I think I set a new personal best for how many low volume fabrics in a single block. 😄

SBS Blocks 1-16

Block 17 will be added to the rainbow scrappy mix of blocks already waiting!  I think I fall more in love with this quilt with each passing week.  Only eight more blocks to make before turning these into a flimsy! I'm already thinking about how I will go about sashing my blocks together, because I want to continue with the scrappy look.  Hopefully, by the end of summer, I will have a new quilt to share!  I can't say enough good things about the sew along - it's organized by two lovely, inspiring ladies (Maureen and Sharon) and the participants are also supportive and inspiring.  It's a wonderful community that I'm happy to be a part of!  Honestly, as much as I look forward to completing my sampler, I also don't want the fun to end.  If you haven't had a look at the sew along, don't be shy - visit Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell on their blogs and then #sewcialbeesampler on Instagram .  It's never too late to join the fun!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Button Bonanza

Years ago, I happened upon a large ziploc bag of buttons at a thrift store, that nearly left me speechless. It was one of those "can this be for real?" moments. The bag was filled to bursting, with cards of buttons in all colours, sizes and styles. There was even multiple cards of some buttons! I eagerly popped that bag of buttons into my shopping cart, knowing that I had scored a major find.

The buttons were originally stock from a local fabric store chain that closed down.  Apparently, some of the unsold inventory was donated and by some sort of lucky timing, I happened to walk into the thrift store housing the button bounty!

All these lovely buttons are kept in a glass gallon jar on a shelf in my sewing room, ready to be sorted through whenever I need buttons for a project.

Love sewing buttons on by machine! I have been doing it for years and long before a specialty foot was designed for the task. These days I'm spoiled because my Janome 8900 comes with a stitch setting specifically for sewing on buttons, as well as this ever so handy foot - to make it easy-peasy!
 This week, I took that jar off the shelf to search for possible candidates to finish a blouse I have been making for myself.  The tricky bit would be finding nine matching buttons in a small size, but I figured it was worth shopping my stash first.

My blouse is McCall's M5522 and the lovely, all cotton fabric, is from Windham Fabrics, designed by Heather Ross (from her Far, Far Away 2 Collection in 2014).

I lucked out! My lovely new blouse is now sporting these fun wood/metal buttons all found in the button jar. Woohoo!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Fabric Friday!

Happy Friday! I wanted to share the lovely package that arrived today from Pink Castle Fabrics.
Apparently, I cannot resist a sale (or sweet fabrics! ;o). 

Just in time for some long weekend sewing. ;o)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler Week 16

The Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along, is counting down with the last 10 blocks!  This fun online sew along is hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell. The block for this week is King's Crown.  (for the free download to make this or the previous blocks, visit Maureen's or Sharon's blog).
Block 16, King's Crown for the Sewcial Bee Sampler
My version is scrappy, like all my blocks have been, but this time I couldn't resist a touch of whimsy, so I fussy cut a scrap from a friend, for the center of my block.  I didn't have enough to be able to center the print, but I love it all the more because it meant making use of what I had to hand, which always makes me happy!  I am having the best time sewing my blocks from my scrap stash and playing with all the colours in the rainbow.😀

If you're feeling inspired to join the sew along, you can find all the blocks (and the instructions to make them) on both Sharon's and Maureen's blogs.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Fabric Stories

I have mentioned my love of scrappy patchwork, which also means I'm reluctant to part with even the smallest bits of fabrics. They hold magical potential!  Sewing those tiny pieces together to make one of a kind blocks is something I love to do.  I let the scraps lead me in terms of the order I sew them and the design that develops.  I think of it as telling story in fabric!
Part of my fabric storage organization is having containers to place the smallest scraps. This makes it easier for me to sew scrappy blocks whenever the mood strikes. Lately, the container with my low volume fabric scraps has been put to use as leader - enders as I work on other projects (such as my Sewcial Bee Sampler blocks).

Those scrappy bits of patchwork are slowly adding up and are destined to be made into something larger or perhaps even several finishes! My mind is bubbling with ideas to incorporate these into projects, so don't be surprised if you see some of them popping up fairly soon in some of my makes. ;o)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler - Week #15

Time to add a little sunshine to my Sewcial Bee Sampler! Broken Dishes is the block for week 15 of the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along, hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell (for the free download to make this block, visit Maureen's or Sharon's blog).
 Broken Dishes is Block 15 in the Sewcial Bee Sampler
A simple block to make and a wonderful chance to use a colour that I don't turn to very often. Since this block is small with wide borders, I thought it would be fun to choose low volume fabrics that included a hint of yellow to make the block appear larger.  I'm happy with the result!

Blocks 1-15 in the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along
I look forward to a new block each week and am happy we still have 10 weeks of block making ahead!  The sewalong community is so supportive and inspiring.  No wonder Wednesday is my new favourite day of the week!

Thinking about joining the sew along?  It's not too late!  The blocks are great skill builders and Maureen and Sharon are doing a wonderful job of inspiring and cheering us all on.  You will find lots of  helpful tips, too!  Instructions for each block are well written, so it's beginner friendly and for those of us with a bit of experience, we are certainly free to play a bit with things (as I have been doing by making extra pieces in several of my scrappy block versions ;o). Some participants are even making more than one version of each block, which really is tempting! Sew along at your own pace, so even if the timing isn't the best for joining in and stitching a block a week; know that you can always download the PDF for each block so you have the information when you are ready to start sewing.

 Pop over to Maureen's blog and Sharon's blog  for all the details!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler - Week # 14

Star and Cross is the block for this week of the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along, hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell (for the free download to make this block, visit Maureen's or Sharon's blog).
Star and Cross block for Sewcial Bee Sampler Week #14

Sticking with my plan of full on rainbow-scrappy, this block had me diving into my stash of purple scraps.  Purple is not a favourite with me, so my stash has a very limited amount of this colour - actually most of the fabrics in this block are made from fabrics I have received in various swaps.  Thank goodness I have friends that have shared some of their purple fabrics with me! ;o)

Sewcial Bee Sampler Blocks 1 - 14

The weeks have been flying by and the blocks are really starting to add up! I'm already planning out which colour I will use for next week's block to make sure I cover all the colours of the rainbow.  Any guesses which colour I might be thinking of?

Monday, May 1, 2017

No Scrap Left Behind Blog Hop

Welcome! I am delighted and honoured to be able to share with you today as a part of  No Scrap Left Behind Blog Tour!
No Scrap Left Behind!

It has been a decade since I first discovered Crazy Mom Quilts and became friends with Amanda Jean online. I immediately felt I had found a kindred spirit! It is no secret that I have a love affair with scraps and Amanda Jean is the Queen of Scrappy!  I cannot think of a better title for her book and I know that if you love scrap quilts or if you are looking for inspiring ways to use your scraps (not just for quilts!), you will want this book.

How do I manage my scraps?
My system for organizing my scraps is simple; scraps sorted separately by size and then for the large or odd shaped pieces, grouped by colour. This works well for me, keeps me using my scraps and cuts down on the chaos of not finding what I want, when I want it. ;o) Find a system that suits you and your methods - I think that's what matters most. There's no "right" or "wrong" way to sort scraps!

"June" is the quilt pattern I tested from No Scrap Left Behind.  It's a fun design that goes together quickly and Amanda Jean's tips help it go smoothly from start to finish.  As suggested, I varied the widths of my strips and trimmed each unit afterwards. Chain piecing also works beautifully for making lots of strip units in a short amount of time.

The beautiful floral print fabric used for the large squares, is a European poplin designed by Rebekah Ginda for Swafing. I purchased it a couple of years ago, online from L'Oiseau fabrics in Calgary.
  My colour palette was inspired by the fabric that I decided would be perfect for the main squares in the quilt. I knew I had stashed that gorgeous print for something special! ;o)
Pink, orange and blue are abundant in my stash and I enjoyed mixing them all together for a colourful, scrappy quilt filled with energy.  Pink gingham for cornerstones and a sweet cherry print for the binding.  
The solid backing allows the dense free motion quilting to show off all the texture it adds.
 The solid pink for the backing, is from Free Spirit (in fuchsia) and I pieced strips of the main fabric along with the gingham in two narrow matching bands, to make the backing large enough. Love a pieced backing!
The wee cherry print seemed like the perfect choice for the binding!
 It's difficult to see all the quilting from the front of the quilt,  but it really shows on the solid fabric backing. 

Those large squares inspired me to free motion quilt big blooms in them, while the pieced frames I quilted in long loops.

There were approximately a bazillion thread ends to bury after my quilting - but I think it was totally worth it!  ;o)

This quilt was a joy to make!  It's a beautiful pattern that makes treasured scraps shine and it's easy to sew. 

 I am so tempted to make this pattern again! If you're short on scraps (um, not me...) I suggest you cut up charm squares for the narrow pieced sections and a couple of layer cakes for the large squares - wouldn't that be fun?
 Thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of the fun in celebrating your gorgeous and inspiring new book, Amanda Jean!
Thank you to C&T publishing for providing a free copy of No Scrap Left Behind for me to giveaway (hard copy for a U.S. winner or a digital copy for an international winner).
  •  To be entered to win a free copy of No Scrap Left Behind by Amanda Jean Nyberg; please leave a comment on this post between now and Friday May 5, 2017 at 9pm PST.
  • This giveaway is open to everyone, anywhere in the world. Please make sure I can contact you through your comment by leaving your email if you are a no-reply blogger. 

Here's this weeks blog tour stops...

Monday, May 1, Katherine Greaves (this is me!)
Tuesday, May 2, Tracy Mooney
Wednesday, May 3, Cheryl Arkison
Thursday, May 4, Debbie Jeske
Friday, May 5, Amy Smart
 Giveaway is now closed and the winner is...

Congratulations, Lorene!
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