Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Busy like a bee..

I signed up for two sewing bees this year. My first Bees ever, sew exciting to be asked! The Must.Stash Bee is run by Amy and it’s a nice small Australian bee. These folks have awesome stashes! The premise is that the Queen bee chooses a block for the month and the hive all pull fabrics from their stash to create a couple of blocks for her. It has been a wonderful and eye opening experience. I think we’re going for round two. The benefit of running a bee this way is the postage costs are kept down and I’m challenged to make something that someone else will love from my fabrics.

Here are some blocks I’ve made for the Must.Stash girls so far.

Must Stash Bee blocks so far

I’m still receiving the Jacobs Ladder blocks from my month and love them. It’s going to be a spectacular quilt. I’ll have to remember to take a photo of the blocks together to post here. Thank you Must.Stash girls!

The second Bee I’ve been in is the AusMod Bee organised by Jeannette. This is a much larger Australian bee with 15 members and each Queen bee sends out her fabrics and chooses a pattern. I only knew a couple of the members before I joined this bee and It’s been wonderful to get to know everyone over the past 4 months. I’ve made blocks for Jane, Charlotte and Bronwyn so far. The great thing about a big bee is the sheer number of blocks you get back, perfect for a big quilt. And I LOVE big quilts.

QuiltJane's blocks

Jane designed her own paper pieced pattern Refractatorium, isn’t it awesome?

Charlotte's AusMod Bee blocks

Charlotte sent out three solids Snow, Pink and Grey for modern 12” blocks. It was hard to send these away!

bronwyn's AusMod Bee blocks

Bronwyn sent out a variety of blue and aqua fabrics for some 12” modern blocks. I’m loving these stars. I think I see stars in my future…

I was lucky to be first cab off the rank and have 60 gorgeous AMH Feather blocks to show for it. I’m thrilled with the experience so far. Postage was a little expensive sending out the 14 parcels especially given how big the templates were. I’m very happy that my long hoarded stash of Anna Maria Horner fabrics is finally being put to good use! Now I need to find some time to sew them all together.

AMH Stash

Luckily one of the Bee members recommended Lisa at Sunset Seams to make the templates too, they really helped with making the feathers and we’re using them again this month for Kirsten’s blocks so it was a good investment.

AusModBee packages ready to ship

There’s only 13 cause I hand delivered Jane’s and Catherine's in January!

Will post photos of my gorgeous feather quilt when I have the top together, but here are some of the blocks. I have to say it felt like Christmas receiving all the gorgeous parcels in the mail!

Feather Blocks mosaic

Phew! Today I’m making some Granny Square blocks for Belinda, I’m really excited about using some of my new stash that I know she’ll love!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter guilt, yes I really should blog more often

It’s not like I don’t have much to write about, or don’t have pictures to share… It’s just that I leave it so long and then… where do you start?

How about some photos of the awesome blocks my patchwork and quilting students have made during our eight week Techniques course? They have really picked up lots of nifty tricks. Techniques are tools to tackle those tricky looking jobs. If one doesn’t work, try another one.

We concentrated on machine piecing, covering most aspects of patchwork. Over the weeks their piecing improved so much, they can now feel confident tackling curves, y-seams and fiddly foundation paper piecing.

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Here are some of the blocks made during our machine pieced curves class. So we could concentrate on the piecing we cut our fabric using the Sizzix and the Drunkards Path and Rose Dream dies.

Freezer Paper Piecing

And look at these gorgeous blocks they chose for the Freezer Paper Piecing class, aren’t they perfect! Patterns are from top left clockwise: Tea Cup and Saucer pattern by Piece By Number ; Hummingbird by Julia at Stars and Sunshine and finally Pink Penguin’s Kitchen Scales from her Let’s Bake pattern series.

Foundation Paper Piecing

And one more mosaic of their incredible work using the Foundation Paper piecing and English Paper piecing techniques. The first three are the striking Circle of Geese pattern by Piece By Number, the last photo is a block from Chuck Nohara’s book, made four times and then rotated to make a new block. Isn’t Munaiba clever!

So that’s just a little of what they’ve been doing, I know that after eight weeks their minds are ticking away with all the new techniques up their sleeves. I know the feeling well, I haven’t learnt everything I need to know about about it yet, there are always new products and techniques to try. I find it so exciting to have so much technology available to hone our craft .

PS I’m often asked about my classes, the easiest and most cost effective way to get started with Patchwork and Quilting is to book into an 8 week course via the City East Community College. The next course begins on the 6th May. Book online via their website: http://www.cityeastcc.com.au/course/patch