Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hive 1 ~ September 2014 Tutorial

What's your name?  I'm Diane and can be found occasionally blogging at mystudioQ.net.
me earlier this year + shopping for fabrics just last week
(BTW blondes do have more fun!) 
Where do you live?  In the lovely village of Dobbs Ferry, NY, overlooking the Hudson River, just south of the Tappan Zee bridge and about 25 miles north of New York City.  
morning + evening views from home
Tell us about your family?  I live with my sister, Corinne.  We each have a dog ~ mine is Baci (an Italian Greyhound) and hers' is Buster aka Fluffy White Dog (a Coton de Tulear).  They may be fancy breeds but we rescued both of them.  And I have a twin sister ~ Debbie, who is married to Joe.  Thanks to them I have nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews to keep me quilting for a very long time!
our boyz!
Tell us how you got interested in quilting?  I learned to sew when I was young. As an adult I always had a sewing machine and would sporadically make clothes for myself.  It wasn't until I took a part time job at a craft store that I started quilting.  Many years later I discovered the modern quilting online community and felt as if I had found my people.  Quilt guilds near where I lived at that time didn't understand the modern aesthetic ~ so I started the Jersey Shore Modern Quilt Guild (JSMQG).  In October we will celebrate our second year together and I consider our members as my family ~ they're such fabulous + creative ladies!
my Rainbow Confetti wall hanging; the JSMQG label; some of our members at a monthly sew in

How do you organize your fabric stash?  All my fabric has been stored in racks from Ikea ~ but there really wasn't any organization.  Now thanks to this bee I have sorted my scraps by color into small containers and use comic book boards to make min-bolts of larger cuts of fabric.  I keep WIPs in desk wire baskets which are stashed away in the white drawers of the racks.

Who is/are your favorite designers? I never had a favorite designer until I saw Tula Pink's Salt Water  fabrics!  It was the first time I just had to buy FQs of each pattern in the line and of course 2 or 3 yards of my favorite ones.  Then I had a dilemma that I've heard other quilters talk about but I had never experienced before ~ I didn't want to cut into the FQs because they were soooo beautiful!  I finally did though to make Tula Pink's sweet City Sampler blocks and a quilt (WIP) for myself.

What is the one thing you have learned that you wish you knew when you first started quilting?  I wish I knew about Leah Day's tips for free motion quilting (FMQ) on home sewing machines.  As soon as I changed my darning foot the way she suggested ~ my FMQ improved immeasurably!

What is your favorite sewing/quilting tool and why should we all go out and buy it?  It's Pinmoors ~ you put them on the end of straight pins instead of using curved safety pins, spray glue or hand basting to stabilize your quilt sandwich.  They make the job so much easier and faster to complete.  And they're too cute!

Who is your favorite fictional character and why?  Easy ~ Bridget Jones!  I can so relate to her never ending struggle with her weight, smoking and relationships.  Besides, the predicaments she gets into are just hysterical!


Tropical Fish Tutorial 

Swimming Upstream by Merran + three freshly made fishys
Before I retired I was a marine biologist and scuba diver.  I was lucky enough to dive on coral reefs in the Caribbean and these fish playfully remind me of that colorful underwater world.

They are foundation pieced and if you have never tried it before this is an easy big block to make. But first watch Sew Easy Foundation Piecing on Fons + Porter's Love of Quilting.  It's the technique I use and the video is so much better than any tutorial I could post.


I mailed out packets to make your life easier.  Here's what you'll get:

I have sent four tissue paper foundations which easily separate from the white paper.  The perforations on the tissue paper serve as your printed lines when sewing.  There is extra fabric just in case you make a mistake or if you're having fun and want to make another one.  I only expect one fish though a second would be greatly appreciated.

You will be adding the colorful fabric for the fish ~ think Caribbean, or Great Barrier Reef, and coral reef fish!  Use the same fabric for the whole fish.  Batiks work especially well for paper piecing because there isn't a right or wrong side and they usually come in such fabulous colors!


As she says in the video (they never mention her name) select large pieces of fabric and you'll have no problems.  The tissue paper makes it easy to audition fabrics:


I have two changes from the video and they're when you begin ~  place your fish tail fabric (section 2 on both the tail and body) right side down under the tissue paper first instead of section 1.  Then use a tiny dab of glue to keep the fabric in place:

To finish the tail and body just keep repeating these three steps:
  1. place fabric for the next section onto previously placed or sewn fabric section, right sides together
  2. sew seam, starting and ending in seam allowance
  3. trim seam to around 1/4", finger press seam towards the section just added

Sew the tail to the body and voila ~ you have a tropical fish!  I leave the paper on and iron this last seam open.  This is a very, very forgiving block.  So don't sweat the small stuff.  

I'm thrilled my quilt will be made with fish from around the country and globe!  Thank you ladies!     Diane

{Will someone please explain to me why no matter what font I choose, it's always smaller than all the other bloggers?}

2 comments:

Helen@Till We Quilt Again said...

Hello Diane, Love your Fish! They are just as bright and cheery as you. This Stash Bee is lucky to have you in their group. So--for the font--I know how to change it-but not how to explain it in writing. We will need to phone chat! Great demo!

Diane Calesso said...

I'm so glad to hear that the demo makes sense!
Thanks ~ you're a sweetie!