What is your name?
Hola! I'm Jamie. On IG and flickr I am frampuna. I only started a blog so I could do this bee, so I don't really have anything posted over there:)
Where do you live?
I live just north of Denver and south of Boulder in Colorado. We get a decent amount of snow, but we also have a ton of sunshine, so it doesn't stick around for very long.
Tell us about your family (Spouse, kids, grandkids, pets, etc.)
I have three kids, Evalyn (5), Denison (3), and Elodie (8 months)
My husband is Daniel. We met in college in Chicago, got married 6 + years ago, and moved to Denver when we started having kids. Daniel is in graduate school here.
Denison is a ham.
This is Elodie. She bears a striking resemblance to her sister at this age, so just imagine this face but crying and you'll know what she was like as a baby.
This is all three of them loaded up in a wagon for Easter because I thought that is what you are supposed to do with your offspring on Easter, apparently.
Tell us about how you got interested in quilting.
To be honest, it was because I quit my job as an editor to stay at home with our kids.
They are cute, I think.
But moments like these can make a person a little cuckoo. I got a sudden and extreme urge to buy a sewing machine in February of 2013 and started learning the basics of sewing and quilting.
When I'm not chasing these sillies around (you know, like at 3 in the morning), I am in my studio sewing something.
How do you organize your fabric stash? (Picture appreciated)
I keep all my batting, interfacing, and random fabrics like flannel and canvas in a shelf unit by my closet of shame (which is where I store my unfinished projects).
My fabric stash is stored in an Ikea shelf. Most of it is 1/2 yards or fat quarters. Half yards are folded on comic-book boards and FQ are in the vintage locker baskets and Target bins.
I store any scraps that are smaller than a FQ in the bins under my cutting table. Tiny scraps go in a vintage knitting basket next to the cutting table and I grab that first when starting a project to see if I can use any up. I do love scraps!
My sewing machine(s) are out on a desk under a nice window where I can get some great light to sew by. I've been trying to sell my Pfaff (the one on the left) because I use it so rarely and love my straight-stitch Juki, but for the time being, the Pfaff only comes out when I need to zig zag, which is like 1 time per year.
Who is/are your favorite fabric designers?
I love so many designers. I started out a huge Bonnie and Camille fan. I still like their stuff because all the colors work so well in our vintage-inspired home, but I've branched out so much from my first fabric purchases. I love Japanese and novelty prints, Yuwa, Suzuko Koseki, Melody Miller, Heather Ross, Teagan White, Kokka, I could make that list even bigger, but you get the idea.
What is one thing you have learned that you wish you knew when you first started quilting?
Most of the "rules" can be broken and there is more than one way to do most things. I spent a good deal of time worried I wasn't cutting, pressing, and sewing correctly. I certainly feel precision and technique/skill building are important, but I've realized that there are so many great ways to achieve the same result, it is best to find what works for you and stop worrying about the "right" way.
What is your favorite sewing/quilting tool and why should we all go out and buy it?
I recently won a bottle of Flatter at my Modern Quilt Guild meeting and I'm surprised to find how much I love it. I typically press with steam, but this stuff doesn't seem to cause any warping on tricky fabrics and it smells great. I also love my Little House pins. They are worthy of the hype. They are super sharp and glide through fabric like butter...also, I may or may not sew over them because they are so fine:) The other two tools I can't live without are my thread snips (nothing fancy, just a cute polka dot pair from Hobby Lobby) and my add a quarter ruler for paper piecing. I absolutely love paper piecing and I can't imagine doing it without this ruler.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? (Could be from a book, movie, TV show, etc.)
Hard to pick a favorite, but I've always been rather fond of Calvin. His intelligence and perspective on life are astoundingly accurate. I must admit, however, that I found him much more amusing before I had a Calvin of my own. Denison would give Calvin quite a run for his money.
For this month's block, I'd love a low-volume churn dash block. These blocks will measure 12.5" and should go together fairly quickly. I tried to pick a block that would require minimal effort since I know the holidays are coming up and I think we're all probably desiring to get as much checked off our to-do lists as quickly as possible!
I took the basic instructions for measurements from Katy Jones' scrappy churn dash tutorial found here. For additional inspiration, check out this quilt I found over on Pink Stitches blog. I love the look of her quilt and would be pretty happy with something similar.
For the background, I'd love low-volume prints similar to those above. They don't have to be all black and white by any means, just light enough to read low-volume and allow the churn dash to stand out. For each block you will need two 5" dark squares, two 5" light/low-volume squares, four 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles of light/low-volume prints, and one 4.5" low-volume and/or novelty print for the center. For the low-volume rectangles, please feel free to use different prints for each rectangle, or two or three, or all the same... whatever your stash will allow. I chose to use a handful for my blocks.
For the block centers, I would love some novelty prints or fussy cut squares of fun things like animals, sewing notions, macaroons, strawberries, etc... You will need one 4.5" square for each block. They don't all have to be low volume; please just be sure that what you choose for your center contrasts enough with your darker fabric for the churn dash so that the center shows up. For example, if you chose navy blue for the churn dash, a navy center will not show up as distinct from the churn dash.
For the darker, churn-dash portion of the block, you will need two 5" squares and four 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles. I love reds, aquas, green, navy, pink. They can be a solid or they can be a print or text. As long as they read dark against the low-volume background. I would prefer a vintage-like color palate as opposed to primary colors. Not sure if that description makes sense, but I'd lean away from dark purple, hunter green, maroon... maybe the colors you might expect to see in a more traditional quilt. I posted some palate photos below for a better idea. Though don't feel like you have to stick to them strictly if you get my aesthetic:)
Ok, so let's get to cutting!
I made two blocks at the same time.
Dark (churn dash)Two 5" squares
Four 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles
Low-Volume/Novelty Print (middle)
One 4.5" square
Four 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles
Two 5" squares
(Remember you can make the block super scrappy and use a different print for each low-volume background piece, or use all the same print. I used a mixture for mine.)
Now cut all of your 5" squares in half on the diagonal so that you have 4 triangles of your dark print and 4 triangles of your low-volume/light prints for each block you are making.
Next, you will match up your dark-print triangles with your low-volume triangles and sew them together. I use a scant 1/4" seam to give me room to trim these down a tad and get a nice, even square.
Press to the darker fabric for your half-square triangles (HST).
Trim off the dog ears and trim up your HST to 4.5" if you need to.
Next sew your rectangles together. There will be 4 dark prints and 4 low-volume/light rectangles for each block. Match up one dark print and one low-volume and sew together down the long side using your 1/4" seam. Press to the darker fabric. These units should now measure 4.5"
Now lay out your block as pictured above. There will be 4 HST for each block, and you will alternate as follows: Top row- HST with dark triangle down, rectangle unit with dark print down, HST unit with dark triangle down; Middle row- rectangle unit with dark print to the right, 4.5" low-volume/novelty print center, rectangle unit with dark print to the left; Bottom row-HST with dark triangle up, rectangle unit with dark print up, HST with dark triangle up.
Now sew your rows together and then press each row in an alternating direction. These rows should measure 4.5" x 12.5"
Now nest your seams...
And sew the top row to the middle, and then top/middle to the bottom.
Press all seams in one direction.
Here is what your block should look like!
I intentionally left the selvedge on the square on the bottom left because I like that look, so feel free to do the same if you have scraps and want to use those selvedges in them!
I haven't decided exactly how big I want this quilt, but I will likely make it lap-sized. So if you're in the mood to do more than one at a time as I did, I'd love it! And feel free to ask any questions you might have.
It has been a great year sewing with you all and getting to know you a bit better. Thanks for making my first sewing bee so fun and for pushing me outside my box a bit. Hope to stay connected with you on IG!