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::Catch-Up Week::

This is as good as a photo gets in your dark bedroom.  Roan’s snoozing in my bed, and there’s no way in Hell I’m going to chance waking him.  I think crappy photos of quilts from a distance are actually quite good in helping “see” the design anyway.

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Below is my usual design, and though I like it, I’ve just done it too many times.

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I probably will crash on the couch to watch cartoons with the little guy when he gets up.  You can get a lot done when you for no reason what-so-ever are wide awake at 3am.

I’ve read The Stranger and filled out my city voting ballot.  Ordered this delightful home decor owl fabric with Christmas presents in mind, and now that I am fully caffeinated I thought I would set us to work on the design of our Value Quilts.

That’s all we’re doing this week, because I need a break to catch-up on my quilting bees.  This might provide some time for some of you to catch-up too.  Head over to the Value Quilt Flickr Group, test out some designs, see what resonates.

I am curious what you think of the top design?  I can’t fit all the blocks, so I’ll have to add as I go.  There are a few blocks that don’t have enough contrast of light and dark, but I think I’m going for it anyway.  I did place a few of the squares to make the diamonds all one color.  Looking at the photo makes me see some other areas where I’ll do some more of this.

Off to look at House Blocks, not my favorite, I always feel so inadequate when I produce them.

Have a great weekend.

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I got paid to sew a pillow today.  I’m so happy!

Ok, ignore the pillow for a minute and the poor quality of the photo.  See what it looks like outside?  I always thought that going back to work in Seattle meant I would need coffee and a slap by noon…but Sarah really put thought into the lighting at her shop Fabric Crush.  It really shows the true color of the fabric (unlike my photo) and will likely keep me from Seasonal Depression.

Cross your fingers I’ll learn how to take better photos in it someday.

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One of the wonderful things about working at her fabric boutique is coming up with lovely fabric combos all day long.  I loved the Anna Maria Horner dots with the new Amy Butler Love.  And while I was taking the photo I noticed how lovely the bolt the pillow is sitting on looked with the Carolina Chambrays below.

So much fun!

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::Baby Steps::

How are you all getting on?  I don’t know if I get the hang of this Kindergarten/Work thing, it really cuts into your sewing time.

This week we are going to iron and square up our blocks.  Then you may play with your arrangement.

I love what I call my “lap board” for this next step.  The one in the link is a bit bigger, which would be nice and free shipping today only.

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It’s an ironing board on one side and a cutting board on the other.  Our next step is a bit time consuming, and boring.  I like to catch up on some TV whilst I do it and this little contraption is perfect.

IRONING:

I like to cut the chain apart getting rid of all the threads and then iron the squares to set the seam before cutting them in two.  Certainly you could iron the squares while still chained first.

I iron my seams open.  I have also done it to the side.  I suppose there are arguments to each system, just do what works for you.

SQUARING YOUR BLOCKS:

If you are perfect you can skip this step.  I find squaring the blocks to be the most time consuming of the whole process.  Taking the time to do it will make all the difference in your corners meeting.

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Like the picture above, line the diagonal line of your template up with that of your block.  You are going to square up the first two sides of the block.  Try to place the template close the first two edges.

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This next step is a bit difficult to explain, but the picture above shows the line-up.  Now that you have two clean edges, place the template so that the measured corner of the template is on your cleaned squared corner.  Pay attention that the diagonal of the template and block is still lined up and cut the other two edges clean.

I bring my original 6 inch squares to 5.5″.  You will be so pleased when you have a neat pile of perfect squares!

Now you can place with the placement of the blocks on your wall and see what you like.  Next week we’ll sew rows.

Happy weekend!

::The Time Has Come::

Ok Friends.  The moment you have been waiting for is here.  I know I’m a day late and a dollar short, all due to working at this FABULOUS store.

Hope you have cut yourself some squares!  I went a little crazy.

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This week we’ll pair up our squares and sew them.  Then cut them into their new blocks.

DETERMINING VALUE:

No worries on making fabrics match, we’re going to think in values, or the degree of lightness or darkness of a color.

Cut your fabric squares. I used 6-inch squares, but you may go smaller or larger.

Divide them in piles into light, medium and dark. Like below:

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You have a ton of Mediums you say? Our eyes tend to like Mediums. Most likely your stash is made up largely of this value.

You won’t immediately know into which pile to place some fabrics. The questionable squares will be sorted out in the next step. One will always be lighter.

PAIRING UP SQUARES:

Now you need to pair TWO squares.

Pull a square from one of the Light, Medium or Dark piles and match it RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER with another value, until you have one big stack.

This is an easy way to weed out the questionable (is it Light, Medium or Dark?) valued squares, by mating what you have left.

Remember, value is relative.  When you hold those last stragglers up to each other, one will ALWAYS be lighter.  You might have to rematch a few to pair all your squares.

Each pair will now need a line drawn diagonally from one corner to another on the wrong side of the mated pair. Pencil is the recommended method, but I use pen, make your own calls on this.

SEWING SQUARES:

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Sew a quarter inch seam on each side of that line.  I don’t pin, but you might want to if your blocks aren’t staying square. I chain piece when I do this step.  If you need some photos of this and the pinning, Stitches In Place does a fabulous job.

With your rotary cutter and ruler, cut on the penned line to make two blocks.

If you get a moment, I would love to see what you’re up to!  Our Flickr group is HERE.  I really wanted to include discharged blocks as my light, but time didn’t allow…would love to see this if someone has the time and motivation!

I decided with everything going on that I wasn’t going to reinvent the wheel. All text and photos have already been done, so if you care to skip ahead because you have time, the whole process is HERE.

I am so excited to have a weekend with my family.  We are super busy tomorrow, but Sunday I hope to fit in football, beer and sewing.  Have a productive week you all!  I’ve really enjoyed the emails.

BTW, totally quilting unrelated, if you are any of these things:  someone who likes to laugh, waste time that you could spend sewing on the computer, or possibly white, go check out the blog Stuff White People Like.  You will be humored, I promise.

::Fabric Crush::

I’ve always had this thought,

“If I was working outside the house I wouldn’t have so much time to search out and buy fabric.”

HOLD THAT THOUGHT.

It doesn’t apply if you work HERE:

3966999417_e75fdaf746(All photos courtesy Chara Michele Photography)

My friend Sarah is holding a soft opening of her wonderful new store FABRIC CRUSH, on Friday the 2nd of October from 10am-2pm.

Her shop is located in the Village of Magnolia at 2313 Viewmont Way West, Seattle, WA 98199.

Come in and say, “HI!” and receive a 10% discount!  Fabulous fabric and a boutique feel!

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Some more eye candy for “Come and See Us Incentive.”

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MORE to come!  We’re still unwrapping fabric, but can’t wait to see your smiling faces and your fingers itching to sew with beautiful fabrics!

I haven’t run for days…lazy.  So I might be adding some fluff to my middle section, especially with all this beer I love.

But I am productive.  Three Quilting Bee Blocks and two pillows in two days.  That’s my marathon.

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I funked up Rachel’s String Block for the Cottage Quilting Bee.  Sorry about that Rachel, the white is off, but I’m a newbie and fully hooked on this!  Check out her tutorial.  I think this will be my block for my Ten Make Two Month.  Sorry in advance to those of you having to make two.  You all can damn me now.

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I decided instead of blending my little corner studio in the living room or the livudio as we call it, that I would make it stand out.  I already had the red metal drawers and made myself a pillow for my booty and painted my chair black.  I’m lovin’ all the red and purple popping up all over the place.

Purple center side:

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Red center side:

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I believe I’ll go check out the swivel chairs at IKEA this week, maybe it can add some more fluff.

My Ten Makes Two Blocks for By Needle and Thread just pressed!

They look awesome in person.

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Oh, but wait!  I finished this for my friend’s birthday.  She has the most awesome hand painted pillow with a Virgin of Guadalupe on it.  I thought this would pair up well.

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My brain is always onto the next project.  I can’t help it and am sure it’s in my genes…my Mom was the same.  I can see from the response to the Quilt Along that many of you also have this going on.

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I think even if you can make a start, you will be able to pick it up to work on here and there.  I somehow managed to plan this Quilt Along during the time that I now have a Kindergartener and am going back to work, so bare with me.

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My example of fingers in too many places, but for good reason is the One A Day Quilt Along for a Nine-Patch. I can’t even find Amanda Jean’s original post.  I can officially say I am probably over a 100 days behind on the quilt, but pleased as punch when I have a moment to work on it.  This fabric was waiting for a project like this.

I’m glad I made a start, and I hope you’ll feel the same.

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BTW, does anyone have any Amy Butler Charm Tulip Flower with the white background.  I just need a bit and have some of the other Tulip Flower to trade, looks like this below:

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I hope your square cutting is almost complete.  We’ll start on the 1st…and I’m already thinking about this quilt with flannel and little boy fabrics for Roan.