Saturday, March 1, 2014

Hive #10 - March Block Tutorial

First of all, I'd like to apologize for keeping some of you waiting for this.  Let me explain:  I have had my tutorial written for a long time, and all I needed to do was write this part (the introduction/interview).  I live at 6000' in the mountains of Southern California, and if you've seen the news the past couple of days, you know that California just got hit with the biggest storm in several years. I went to bed Thursday night, planning to do a lot of computer work on Friday. We woke up to a driving rain.  At around 11 am, the power went out. That also meant no internet. The initial restoration time was supposed to be 5 pm.  That came and went, and the automated message said 11 pm.  At around 10, just before we went to bed, the automated message said we wouldn't get power back until Saturday.  I could live with that.  But then we woke up this morning to 6" of snow, and not only did we still have no power, we had no phone. Also, our generators that we used for lighting/television/heater/refrigerator/freezer were running out of gas. The automated message from Edison was changed to 2 pm. It's been snowing all day, and is supposed to continue snowing tonight. I drove down the mountain to get gas and milk, and then waited anxiously for power to be restored. It finally came back on about an hour ago.  We still have no phone, but for some reason I do have internet. So, I'm going to get this post completed!

Thanks for reading that!

Now for the interview:
I'm Cyndi, and I live in Forest Falls, California.  I'm married to Don, a retired Air Force Master Sergeant.  I have a 32-year-old daughter, Theresa, who works at a local Indian casino.  My 31-year-old son Kenny is a Staff Sergeant in the Air Force; he and his wife live currently at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

I used to be a cross stitcher. I made all kinds of pieces, but all I knew for finishing them was framing. That gets pretty expensive. So I decided I needed to learn to sew, so I could make fabric frames/mats for them.  I acquired a lovely little Featherweight, and during several trips to a quilt shop for fabric, I was lured into the world of quilting. A few fat quarters here and there turned into yardage, beginning quilting classes, books, and two guilds.
My stash is organized several different ways.  Pieces 1/2 yard and larger are on comic book boards and organized by color. Fat-quarters and those pieces a little larger are folded and organized by color. There are some assorted other pieces on those shelves, too.  Pieces smaller than a FQ are organized on a shelf above my sewing desk, by color.

But I mainly sew from my other fabric stash - my scraps.  I'm known as the scrappy lady at my two guilds, and I have a large box of 2.5" strips, a large box of 2" strips, and some drawers and baskets that are full of 5", 2.5", 2", and 1.5" squares, and a basket of "bits."  I also have 3 huge pretzel jars full of strings.

My favorite fabric designer is Kaffe Fassett.  I don't like his quilts - they're too busy - but I love, love putting his fabric against a bright Kona white background.

One thing I know now that I wish I'd learned when I started quilting was how to match seams.  Honestly!  I have several small quilts that I made when I just blithely sewed things together, and they are all crooked and wonky with mismatched seams.

My favorite tool is a sharp rotary cutter.  I don't think I need to convince anyone to go out and buy one!  I use mine all the time for the bags of scraps the ladies in my guilds give me.  I just finished going through 3 LARGE garbage bags full of scraps that they don't want, and I have enough strips for 8 to 10 quilts.

My favorite fictional character is Ella Clah, a Navajo police officer from a series of novels by Aimee and David Thurlo.  I enjoy getting the insights into the Navajos while I'm enjoying a great crime novel.

Now for the tutorial.  And thanks for your patience!

I was fiddling around on Pinterest the other day, and saw this quilt.  The artist calls it Ribbon Lattice. I really, really like that quilt.  A couple of months ago, for Stash Bee, the block we did was called Simply Woven, and it's a Moda Bakeshop Pattern.  Here are the blocks I made for Stash Bee:

I figured I could follow the steps in the Simply Woven tutorial but use 1" strips, and come up with a block to my liking.  So here we go, and I'll call this Woven Strings.

You'll need one 8" square of background fabric, and 6 to 8 "strings" that are 1" wide and between 8 1/2" and 10" long.  For the background, use your favorite white solid - Kona, Bella, etc.  I use JoAnn's Kona White, so you know I'm not that picky.  For the strings, use bright colors:  hot pink, raspberry, turquoise/teal, purple, apple green, yellow, orange, and so on.

1. Make a freehand slightly curved cut about 1 1/2 - 2" from the left side.

2. Add one of your strings. Press towards the dark.

3. Turn the square so that the first string is horizontally across the top. Make another cut - either slightly curved or straight. Try to mix them up.

4. Insert another strip.

5. Turn the fabric again so that the most recent string is at the bottom as shown.  Make another cut.

6. Insert another strip.

7. Keep going - you can make the strings closer together if you wish, to get 4 strings across instead of 3.

8. Keep going!

9. Another one!

10. (I cut before I took the photo...)

11. More...

12. Looks like I have room for yet another string.

13. So make another cut.

14. While this is the last one I inserted for this block, it's possible that you've cut yours close enough together that you can do four across and four down. I'd like any combination - 3 + 3, 3 + 4, or 4 + 4. 

15. Please don't trim it. I'll do it when I receive it.
Feel free to let me know if you have any questions!


DoohikeyDesign said...

Are there any specific colors you want? This is a trippy block.

Sarah said...

Awesome! Just white background? And any scrappy strips?

Unknown said...

You say to use 8.5" to 10" strips, but the block is 18". Am I missing something?

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cyndi said...

I'm so glad you guys are on top of this! I added the colors in the directions - your favorite white solid for the background, and some bright colors (I made a list) for the strings. As for the size, I had said "1 8-inch square," which might have looked like 18 - so I changed that 1 to one. It's an 8 inch square. Let me know if I need to fix something else. Sorry for the confusion.

Unknown said...


Thanks so much for the clarification.

Ruth said...

Very cool block - this will be fun! Great choice.