Friday, December 31, 2010

Popping In To Say Hello!

Hiya girls! I'm Michelle, one of the newbies for 2011. I'm bloggy friends with Michele, so I started following this VQB- and am most excited to join your ranks this time around!

I blog over at ~Michelle's Musings~ so you can spy on my happenings over there. For a quick intro, I'm nearly 29 and live with my hubs & 2 fur children in sunny Los Angeles. But lest you think I'm a city girl, I was born & raised in rural Nebraska, and spent my college years as a Cyclone (which I think Doris & Linda may appreciate). My hubs works in aerospace, which is how we wound up in LA. I'm a CPA, but that doesn't mean I do taxes... I was a (financial statement) auditor, and now I'm an accounting manager for a small furniture distributor. I really started quilting in mid-2008, so I think I'm past the honeymoon phase and this little hobby of mine is going to stick. I'm a great project starter and a poor finisher, which I why I like these bees - a block a month is perfect for my attention span and limited time!

I'm looking forward to working with y'all! :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Fairy Tale For Nettie

I had SO much fun making this last night...loved all the little scraps with fussy-cut potential...  I hope it is wonky enough, Nettie!  My focus print was Snow White and the seven dwarfs, but only four of them ended up in the center square, so I used another scrap to add these three little characters (a BLUE frog, a puppy, and a panda!) in the upstairs window: 
And this little mouse is lurking around outside the door, probably interested in those half-eaten apples discarded on the floor:
And the wise old owl is watching the scene from his perch up high.  (See the Moon fabric?  Isn't that awesome?)  Nettie has fabulous scraps!
Enjoy, Nettie...can't wait to see what you make with all these blocks...

Merry Christmas all,

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Nettie and Liz

Here is Nettie's block -- her scraps are so much fun! Your block will depart the premises tomorrow morning.

Just realized I didn't post a photo of the blocks I sent to Liz. So here those are. Hopefully those blocks arrived at their destination. Sorry, the only photos I took were with the Hipstamatic app on my phone. :-)

Monday, November 29, 2010

fun house


Nettie, I got your fabrics and had to jump right in and play today... 

I started out log cabin-ing, and then I went awry... 
(I tend to do that.) 
I hope this is OK... I had a lot of fun with it!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

december is my month!

i realize that december is a busy month for everyone, so i had big plans to send my fabric out early in november, but now december is a week away, and i still don't have them sent out.  i will have them shipped by the end of this week, i promise.  and please don't feel stressed about getting them done right away, there really is no rush.

i have been a fan of krommama's for a long time, and she is the "house expert".  I fell in love with this quilt and it is my inspiration!  I am asking for log cabin type houses, tutorial here.  I am a fan of SUBTLE wonky (how's that for subtle), less is more.  Feel free to follow the tutorial or do something else you like. 

You are welcome to add any fabric, but I'd like to stay away from brown and grey (black is fine).  I want it to be COLORFUL I am sending a 3 inch-ish square of fairy tale fabric that I would like you to use as the center.  You don't have to keep the 3 inch shape perfectly.

I would like the block you send me to be 12.5 inches. 

Thanks ladies, I can't wait to see what you come up with.  If you have questions, let me know.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cyclone Block for Doris

The Fall Cyclone block for Doris.  This was a really great challenge for me.  I don't think I totally understood what I was doing for most of the 3 hours I spent on the block.  Every time I pieced the next section, I just hoped really hard I had the fabric going in the correct direction.  It took three or four attempts to get sections 1 and 2 put together properly!  Stripping, Thangling, and Squaring Modern fabrics next ...    -- michele

Squares in a Square

I forgot to post pictures of the two square-in-a-square blocks I made for Liz. Since she requested square-in-a-square block, I was excited to try this tutorial from Anna Maria Horner.
I made one scrappy version, which was fun to make with all the great fabrics included my package.
I also made one matchy block just to see how different it might look.

Personally, I liked the scrappy version better, but I hope you like them both, Liz!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Playing catch-up...

Hanging my head in shame as the bee leader, having to admit I got two months behind. My apologies to Liz and Angela... these blocks may be in your mailboxes today already:
2 Thangles Shoo-Fly blocks for Angela

A Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow block for Liz

I really loved these blocks, so hard to part with after I made them. Can't wait to see your quilts ladies!

Now, for our followers out there, might you be interested in joining us n 2011? We are going to have 3-5 openings in this Bee starting in January 2011. If you want to be a part of One Block Over 2011, email me at schmitz(dot)doris(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

up to date???

here are the october blocks. boy they were fun to make and i just might have to make a block in block quilt

i loved the fabric line. i also liked septembers blocks they were fun and liked that fabric also. i think i might be back in the swing of things. sorry i'm so behind.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

1 1/2 blocks

I'm loving the Modern Meadow, and the blocks were so fun to make.  

But this one is only 12" square.  Sorry Liz!  I replay the horror on my own blog. 

Bee - hind!

I do hate to be late...sorry about that Angie! Got both yours and Liz's blocks done. They are on their way!

Monday, October 18, 2010

October, received

If you don't mind, I'm going to start this post to make sure I know whose blocks I've gotten back.

Thank you to
VICTORIA (love my little "surprise" block!)

They're beautiful!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Liz's Blocks

Here you go Liz!  I finally  broke into your stash of fabrics to play!  Can I just say, Do you know how hard it was for me to NOT GO SCRAPPY AND WONKY!  I know, I have a serious problem... 
BUT! I persevered...  well almost... Wait til you get your package...  ;-) 
These are on tier way to you.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mis-matched blocks for Angela

Er, um, I couldn't squeeze the second block out of the strips. Sorry, Angela! I looked at your other fabrics and hope my replacement fits in.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

September blocks for Angela

Angela, thanks for sending us those Thangles! I'd never tried them before, definitely a neat way to make HSTs.

Hope you enjoy your Shoo Fly blocks! Will put them in the mail Wednesday or Thursday.

Shoo-Fly blocks for Angela

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Peace and Comfort...Finished

My Peace and Comfort quilt is finally finished. I wanted to thank you all for making crosses for me. It turned out better than I could have imagined! You can see all the pics here.
I've finished another top with more crosses. When I get a picture taken I'll post that too. Thanks again for helping me make this quilt!


I sent off the blocks today Angela!
 I forgot to take a photo of them before!! duh!  
So here is the package as my proof!  ;-)
It will bee to you, soon!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

for terri

September Shoo Fly blocks

Tutorial on my blog!

Nothing too creative, but I thought it would be fun for you to try something that may be new to you - Thangles.

I'm horribly late getting them to you, so don't worry about sending them before October 1st!

Thank you so much :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

September troubles

I'm horribly late.

I finally got a chance to pack up envelopes for everybody. I even made a set of blocks myself with lots of pictures for a tutorial.

My computer has been taken over by horrible malware this weekend - so no way to upload my pictures.

I'm sending your envelopes tomorrow. Don't rush...I'm late you can be totally late getting them back to me.

Wait for my tutorial - hopefully this week - so you'll know what to do with the two strips I've sent you.

Thank you for not tossing me out :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I'm done, too!

Fabulous fall colors!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

String Blocks for Terri

You know, normally this would not be a color palate that I am drawn to. And yet, they are SO SO lovely together. This is going to be a gorgeous fall quilt! Can't wait to see it.

August block for Terri

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cyclone block, belated

Doris, I'm so sorry this took me so long! I was out of town for much of July, and it took me most of August to locate my sewing mojo. :-( Anyways, this was my first foray back at my machine in over a month, and I'm pretty excited with how it turned out! Will get it in the mail to you ASAP.

July Cyclone block

Terri's String Blocks

I had great fun making Terri's string blocks for August -- such fun to play with Amy Butler fabric in this colorway. It certainly felt like fall to me! I'll get these blocks in the mail tomorrow, Terri.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Red Cross Quilt

Hi all! I've started working with all my cross blocks. I've gotten them from you all and from my Common Thread's bee buddies. Of course, they all got mixed up, so if you don't see yours, it's going to be on the other side. Since I have so many I decided to make a double sided quilt.

I started with this little bit of embroidery and this teeny tiny cross and made a focal point for this side.
The quilt went a different direction than I imagined, but I do like how it came together.
So many of the crosses were so interesting. Thanks for adding to this quilt.
It's not done, but at least I'm making progress. On to side two!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

June? July? August?

Christmas Wonky Log Cabin for Autumn
Does anyone really know what time it is, or what month for that matter?  The days slip by, and I lie in bed at night trying to remember what items were crossed off my list in the previous 18 hours. 

Autumn's wonky block is finished and ready to join its companions.  Can you see the trees in there, Autumn?  I was too afraid to embellish and ruin, however, you might consider running some ric-rac or a buttonhole stitch around the trees to make them stand out.  You could even add a button star at the top.  Right!  I have so many ideas now that I'm finished with the block and am ready to post. 
Christmas Wonky Log Cabin for Autumn
I still have some cherished Figgy Pudding from last year which I thought melded with your fabrics.  I really love your spotted red fabric best though.  Can't wait to see the finished quilt! 

Doris, I broke out the paper piecing last night after packaging Autumn's block.  We'll see how far I get before I lie back down in the bed tonight!   

Saturday, August 7, 2010

terri's blocks!

Terri, your blocks went in the mail today!
yes there is one scrappy block...
You know I couldn't throw the scraps away....;-)
pretty can't wait to see it all together!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


This one was so fun to make. Thanks, Doris, for introducing me to this block. I made a sample first with some extra fabric I had laying around and am turning it into a gift for an expectant mommy. I just love the playfulness of this pattern.

It's in the mail and should be home in a day or two.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Strings for Terri

Terri, made these four for you last night and posted them today....I am coveting this quilt already!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Stringing Along!

Here are your string blocks. The blue strip you sent was only long enough to make 3. I sent all the fabrics and the paper back. I hope that's ok. I didn't have the right blue to match yours or I would have made the 4th. It's going to be a cute quilt.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Thank you, Doris

Thank you, Doris, for teaching me something new!

I'm so happy I finally know how to paper piece. Your cyclone block is in the mail!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sewing Again!

I started sewing again!

It's been over two weeks since I've had the time or motivation to sew. I know. It's a terrible feeling.

My apologies to my quilting bee partners for being late with the June and July blocks. I finished the wonky log cabin for Autumn's June kit.

I have to confess, I'm not a big fan of making wonky log cabin blocks. I always afraid I'm going to turn the block the wrong direction and sew the next log onto the wrong side. But this one was fun. Maybe because it was Holiday fabrics. Maybe because I pretended I didn't have anything else going on so I was able to focus and let loose. I am happy with how this one turned out, so I hope Autumn likes it too.

Next, I am gearing up to make Doris' cyclone block for July.

I've never tried paper piecing before, so I am going to use the tutorial Doris provided and this tutorial for reference.

Once I'm caught up on everyone else's bee blocks, I am planning to get my fabrics ready to mail for my August kit. I'm going to request string blocks for a fall quilt, using these fabrics.

Sure feels good to be in the sewing seat again!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tutorial: Paper Pieced Cyclone Block

Here is the promised tutorial, specific to this block.  If you have never paper pieced before, it takes a bit before the "a-ha!" moment comes, because you might feel like you are working backwards or upside-down... you'll see what I mean.  The only way to get it is to try it.  There are some other great tutorials out there on paper piecing in general, including a good one that Terri pointed out at The Sometimes Crafter.

This is my foundation pattern:

You don’t need any special equipment for paper-piecing, but  I do use one nifty tool to trim my seam allowances, the Add-A-Quarter ruler by CM Designs:

The first thing I do when creating a block using a paper foundation is to orient myself with where each fabric is going to go.  In this case, I did that by marking the numbers with a "P" for print or an "S" for solid.  You can also use a color to denote each fabric, that works well, too.

1.  My foundation block is copied onto regular 20 wt. Xerox paper, so you will want to set your sewing machine to a shorter stitch length to make the paper easier to remove.  (You DO NOT need to tear the paper off, I will do that!)  I set my Janome at 1.5; it’s a tiny stitch.  

**There are some great foundation papers available on the market, I like the one sold under Carol Doak’s name.  I just didn’t have any on hand when I prepared these.  


2.  With the printed side of your pattern face down, lay your first piece of fabric over the shape labeled “1”, face up.  This is your center square.  You always want to make sure you have enough fabric to cover your desired space, a seam allowance, as well as a little extra wiggle room.  (I used all squares and rectangles to piece my block).

3.  Place a print rectangle big enough to cover space #2, face down on top of the center square, piece “1”.  Hold your paper up to the light, or use a light box, to make sure your fabrics will cover space 1 & 2 while allowing some extra for a seam allowance.  Note that #2 fabric is in place of where it will be when you sew the seam, just like it is when you piece normally, not in the place where it will be when you press it open to reveal it's right side. 

** I recommend pinning in place, at least the first time around

4.  Your first seam will be stitched ON THE LINE between space 1 and space 2.  Stitch from just before the first intersection on the line (start of the line), to just beyond the end of that line.


5.  Turn you block over face down, and fold the paper back along your seam line.  Using a ruler or your Add-A-Quarter ruler, trim to your seam allowance.  It is not necessary that it be precisely 1/4", close is good enough.

6.  Turn paper over and press seam open.

7.  To find your stitch line (necessary since we are using Xerox paper and not  transluscent foundation paper), fold the paper and fabric along the seam line between the pieces you have just attached and piece #3.  Crease with your fingernail or a stiletto.  It will show your seam mark like this:

You can also use a seam roller/presser to reinforce your seam mark. 

8.  Now lay your next piece of fabric (a solid) right side down, overlapping the crease mark by roughly ¼” to leave a seam allowance.  Carefully flip your foundation and fabric over, stitch on seam line for piece #3.

9.  Repeat step 5 to trim your excess fabric to the proper seam allowance.

10. Repeat the same process for attaching fabric 4, 5, 6 and so on. 

A Few Notes:

**I stop and press every seam open (without steam) to avoid getting “ripples” or "puckers" as I add pieces to my block.

**Sometimes, I will trim a piece before I sew it down.  I use the same method of folding back and finger pressing and then cut a roughly 1/4” seam line.

**Remember you are always going to stitch exactly ON your line:

**Your stitch line only needs to extend slightly beyond the ends of the drawn or printed line:

When you get to the edge pieces, stitch through the seam allowance, just past the edge of your paper foundation:

10.  Once all your pieces are attached, your foundation block will look like this:


11.  Trim your block to size (including the ¼” seam allowance) to get your finished block:

Hopefully this makes sense, I've written and edited patterns and instructions for years, but this is the first time I have attempted teaching something so visual via written instructions!  Any seasoned paper piecers reading this, please feel free to clarify my words and tips in the comments...

And email me if you just can't get it!