Monday, June 30, 2014

Circle of Geese - July's Bee Block!

If you follow me on Instagram (I go by, er, PearTreeStitching,) you will have noticed I am a fan of a block called "Circle of Geese."  Its a great little paper pieced block created by Christina over at The Sometimes Crafter.  My month for the Columbus MQG Bee is July - and you guessed it - I'll be requesting this gorgeous block from my fellow bee participants!

Here is the sample block I made up a few weeks ago - and have been staring at ever since:

I've had some time to consider parameters when asking ya'll to create this block so here goes nothing.

  1. If you've never paper pieced before, do NOT freak out.  Excellent tutorial here and here.  Also check out YouTube.  I repeat, DO NOT freak out and become overwhelmed before even starting.
  2. For the geese, choose your two favorite colors and go scrappy, if possible.  Each fabric should read as a single color.  Saturated colors are ideal - but not mandatory.
  3. Divide your two colors to each half of the circle of geese, as shown.
  4. For the background fabric, use a "mostly neutral" print… text, geometric, solid, floral - take your pick.  I do love Modern prints as I've been hoarding this MamaSaidSew newsprint for years… and finally chopped into it!  So use what you think will look good!
The completed block should measure 12.5" square (unfinished.)

Now for a few tips on paper piecing that are somewhat important, and will make your paper piecing experience hassle-free, hopefully.  The tutes will probably mention all of this, but I'll reiterate just in case:
  1. Plain old printer paper works fine, do NOT go out and buy a product that's specially made for paper piecing.  Seriously.
  2. I'll request the "Clockwise" circle of geese… but if you do the "Counter Clockwise" instead, I won't fuss.
  3. Check the 1" square on the printout to make sure it's EXACTLY 1".  Do it.
  4. Change your stitch length to itty bitty bitty, like on my Janome, the length of 1.0 is perfect for paper piecing. The only shorter line is 0, which is not moving.  Looks like a perforated line, as it should, and tearing it away will be easy.
  5. Start with a brand new needle.  
  6. Backstitch at beginning and end of each piece.
  7. Stitch about 1/8" into each seam allowance.  
  8.  Cut each piece of fabric LARGER than you think you'll need.  There will be a bit of waste, but it will save you from having to start over… since itty bitty bitty stitches cannot be ripped out (easily.)  Ahem - trust me.  ;)
If you love this block, check out more inspiration on Flickr

And because I am currently addicted to mini quilts - I blew up the pattern size to 125% and created this:

All of the prints are from various DS Quilts Collections (from Joanns.)  I am rather in love with how it turned out!  I chose some simple straight line quilting that echoes the two short sides of each, um, goose.  Twenty Four total lines make a pretty little geometric design, don't you think?

This mini measures about 15" square and the background is Essex Linen.  Yum.
Aurifil Cotton Mako Thread in 28 wt (thicker than the 50 I use for piecing) makes distinct quilting lines, as I wanted to show how geometric a circle of geese can be. 

Are you a fan of paper piecing?  If you've never tried it, why? 

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Vice Versa June blocks + a bee block

 Summertime is in full swing around here, which means fun with friends!  So I recruited my little guy plus his buddy who happens to live right across the street.  
These are my two June blocks for the Vice Versa BOM, and I Loooooove how they look!  They're called "Capital T" blocks and the usual layout (right) and its inverse (left) are just brilliant!  You can see my previous months blocks here, if you're so inclined.

 Why hello there, handsome boys!

 For the Columbus MQG bee Ann asked for an "X + Plus" block so here's a very scrappy version!  All out of my scrap bin - yippee!  A very easy tutorial can be found over at BadSkirt.  If you like a bigger block, like the one I made which is 12.5" unfinished, here are the fabric cutting adjustments.  Super easy - and I could see one huge block for a baby quilt... I'll have Ann get on that math for me!  hehe

 And for good measure - a glimpse into how we spend most of our summer afternoons and/or evenings.  A mob of babies consisting of my girls plus little sister of the above adorable neighbor boy.  We love our neighbors!  

A new bag and a freshly painted buffet are coming up soon for show and tell! 
What fun things (sewing or otherwise) do you plan for this summer?
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Vice Versa BOM update + a Bee Block

It's May which means I've completed TEN blocks for the Vice Versa Block of the Month (BOM) Club via GenXquilters.  Only six more to go then its time to put the quilt together!  I'm really enjoying the process and I rather adore these Kona colors together!  Not to mention the traditional blocks and their inverse!  AnneMarie did an amazing job designing these blocks and I seriously cannot wait to see them all come together.  You can see the final quilt layout here, just scroll down a bit.  Unique and modern, I love it!

Here are May's blocks.  So purty!

A little behind-the-scenes of this photo shoot.  Our backyard.  The sun was absurdly bright so I chose a shaded grassy spot, just a stones throw from the sandbox.  I've had some problems really capturing the colors.  The colors, in real life are charcoal grey, raspberry pink, jade green, plumb, and mustard (or perhaps gold) yellow.  I cannot quite edit the colors to resemble the real thing… Maybe a cloudy day will produce better results.

If you follow me on InstaGram (PearTreeStitching) you've already seen this fun block.  Its a flying geese mash-up designed by Andrea for the month of May as a part of the Columbus MQG bee.  Everyone was to create this block using either warm colors (reds, oranges, yellows) or cool colors, as I did using blues, greens, and purples, with a dark center. This block measures 16.5" and contains sixty-six (66!) pieces.  Yes, thats 22 flying geese.  

Andrea, just wait until July, my month.  I will try to return the favor of an equally complicated block!  

Another sunny day, another difficult time capturing the colors.  But the blooming flowers make up for it.  This is our front walk way, looking out toward the street. The Irises by the mailbox are amazing - thanks to Jac for giving us the bulbs!  The tray of perennials on the right have been planted and mulch is being laid.   Yay for summer!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and Happy Memorial Day!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

12 Months Old. ONE YEAR!

{Mckenna  &  Summer}

Well we survived the first year with twins, and big brother Eli survived too, just barely.

The girls are *so close* to walking on their own.  Summer can stand by herself.  They love pizza, looking out windows, and swinging.  They do not care for sleeping through the night or growing out of size 9 month clothing.  

At their recent 12 month checkup Summer is finally the bigger of the two, at seventeen pounds and 28" tall.  Mckenna is sixteen and a half pounds and 27.5" tall.  Small, but healthy!  They're in the 7th-11th percentiles - as usual.

We experienced the "terrible threes" with Eli, instead of "terrible twos."  I think now that he's 4… we're on the upswing.  He's almost finished with his first year of preschool, can write his name, count to 25 (only skipping a number here and there) and can sing most of the Alphabet, with J and K swapped.  Yes, its adorable.  

I always get asked, "How do you manage so well?!" I presume they mean with twin babies and a preschooler.  
Here's how:

By the Grace of God.  
With extra helpings of patience.
With the help of local Family and Friends.
Lots of coffee.  Iced or otherwise.

And by knowing this too shall pass.  Whether its two crying babies while I help Eli do this or that.  Nursing one baby while the other screams because she wanted to go first. 
And then there's the Looooong process of getting everyone in the car for an outing which takes no less than 30 minutes of changing diapers, grabbing snacks, wiping faces, finding socks, finding shoes, going potty, coaxing Brother off his bike and into his carseat.  

I'm still in awe that I've been given charge over these adorable, loud, smiley, sometimes infuriating, kidlets.  

Here's to another year of surviving.  Maybe even thriving.

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, May 5, 2014

Vice Versa BOM - April

I love these blocks!  I finally figured out my exact perfect scant 1/4" seam thanks to GenX Quilters great little "how-to!" The blocks turned out to exactly 12.5" square! It's a miracle. Seriously. And don't even get me started on nesting seams. Takes a bit of planning when pressing, but man it makes sewing rows together a breeze - no pinning!  Google it, you won't be sorry. ��


This was the beginning of one of the blocks, adorable in itself, measuring in at just 6.5".

Once I finish May's blocks I'll be sure to lay them all out and take a group picture!  
I think this may become my favorite quilt ever!

Have you ever participated in a Block of the Month (BOM) Club?  Did you enjoy it?… were new skills learned?  This is my first ALL SOLIDS quilt.  Woah.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Vintage Star Mini Quilt

If you know me at all, you know I'm a huge fan of Jeni of In Color Order.  I've always admired her Giant Vintage Star Quilt which uses lots of old-school bed linens that many of us remember from Grandma's house or even our own childhood. I adore the simplicity of it, along with the bold one huge star design.  I don't own enough large pieces of vintage sheets to make a Giant one - YET! but I wanted to add a mini to my wall and use the snippets of vintage sheets I already own.  

I did my best to choose prints that read as one color - but again, my stash isn't extensive enough so I call this my "low-volume" Mini Vintage Star Quilt.  If you step back and squint at it, you can see the star.  
Each finished block is 3" and the entire mini is 12" square. I didn't use a pattern - just decided to go with 3" squares and lay out per the great little tutorial on Jeni's blog.

Straight stitching to outline the star design was simple, quick, and quite effective to make the star pop.  Top stitching with Aurifil 28wt Mako Cotton was a dream - and makes the stitching a more pronounced.

 Here's a better view of the quilting design from the back.

And a little Public Service Announcement:  
Always label your quilts, people!  You never know where it may end up in a hundred years!
(I know, I can dream, right?)

For the binding I chose another vintage sheet with mostly white space and just a hint of green leaves and flowers.  I think it works well!

Here she is, nestled in next to my Poinsettia Mini Quilt… love.  Love!

Yes, I have a new obsession!  Mini quilts.  Must cover entire wall.

Have you ever made a mini?  If so, how many do you own… and what number is enough?
I'm thinking eighty three might be enough.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Rolling Stone Block

April's CMQG block belongs to Cynthia, and let me tell you - this block is much easier to make than it looks!   Its called "Rolling Stone" and I think it took me less than an hour to whip up… including trashing one of the corners.  I used Squared Elements in Navy to go along with the center block that Cynthia provided, from the Meadow collection by Leah Duncan.  I rather love that flower print and I'm seriously considering buying a few prints… Coral, navy, and aqua - yes please!

My month is July and I have yet to nail down a block for everyone to make for me!  I think I'll be browsing this LARGE collection of blocks over the next few days.  And I need a color palette! Navy, Aqua, Coral? 
*seriously thinking about it!*

Thanks for stopping by!