Saturday, March 1, 2014

Hive 3 - March Block Tutorial

What is your name?
My name is Michelle Wilkie. I blog @ Factotum of Arts. Factotum is Latin, and in english means “a person having many diverse activities or responsibilities”. Perfect!! Factotum of Arts…diverse activities of arts. Kind of geeky, I know.
Where do you live?
I have lived in North Carolina for the last 8 years. I grew up though in Auckland, New Zealand. I have also lived in Sydney Australia and Heidelberg/Mannheim, Germany.
Tell us about your family (Spouse, kids, grandkids, pets, etc.)
I met my husband while living in Germany. We were on a snow board trip together, when I broke my arm, and he helped (along with the rescue folks of the Swiss alps) to get me down the mountain….that’s where it all started. We have an adorable 6 1/2 year ls son, who is all boy through and through but he is a mommy’s boy. I love getting his wonderful cuddles.
Tell us about how you got interested in quilting.
I have been quilting since Nov/Dec 2012, so just over a year. I was sick with a sinus issue, that restricted my movement for a month or so. I needed an activity that I could do with little movement, and I decided to start using a $150 sewing machine I had purchased in June 2012 on a whim. After reading a few blogs and doing a couple of small projects, I was hooked. This was my first quilt top:
How do you organize your fabric stash? (Picture appreciated)
I am a little type A when it comes to my fabric stash. The photos show my stash, scraps and project bins.
Who is/are your favorite fabric designers?
Right now:  Carolyn Friedlander, Francis Newcombe, Joel Dewberry, Vanessa Christensen, Lotta Jansdotter, Alison Glass
What is one thing you have learned that you wish you knew when you first started quilting?
This is a hard one to answer, as I learn something with every project. Maybe, maintenance of my sewing machine or needle types/changing of needles.
What is your favorite sewing/quilting tool and why should we all go out and buy it?
My small quick’n'pick (seam ripper) and my rotary blades…could not live without them.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? (Could be from a book, movie, TV show, etc.)
I am a big fantasy and science fiction girl…I think though my favorite character would be Westley from Princess Bride. I don’t think an explanation is needed…who can not like Westley, after all he is stands for “True Love”!!

And now – the March block:

I have designed this quilt “Through the shattered Looking-glass” which is a collection of improv blocks.

Stash Bee Details:

I would like to ask you to choose one of these three colors for the use in your block:
  • Blues or
  • Reds/Oranges/Yellows or
  • Greens
If you could make either a 6 1/2 or 12 1/2 unfinished improv block, and I would like Kona White for the sashing – for those that do not have this please let me know, I will supply it. Modern Fabric would be appreciated.


Here are the steps I used to build a block.
  1. Depending on the size of your block, use painters tape to mark out the edges of your block on a design wall (in this picture I just used a piece of batting). This is a technique I learnt from Nicole @ Mama Love Quilts.
  2. Take scraps that are between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 inches of various sizes, and shades/values of the color you chose and start laying them out within your marked area. Overlap your edges of your scraps to take into account for the 1/4 inch seams.
  3. Take a photo of the layout to use while you sew.laypout_block_pieces
  4. When laying your pieces out try to take into consideration the construction of the block, you want areas that can act as straight lines.
  5. Cut some white 3/4 inch sashing strips (Kona White). Based on your smaller quadrants you, take one blue piece and sew some sashing on one side. Trim. Take the next neighboring blue piece and sew to the other side of the sashing. Add sashing along your next side. Here are 3 quadrants (A, B, C) and the numbers represent the order in which I added the piece/sashing. Please Press your seams open as you go (this helps with the bulk of the seams).
  6. Repeat, until block is at the size you want and trim to square the block.

That’s it, the block is done. Let me know if you have any questions.

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