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!