Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hive 12 April Tutorial

Hello all!  I'm Michele and I'm from Indiana.  My little family includes my husband Terry and one very spoiled Yorkshire Terrier, Cooper.  For many years I was a children's librarian, but I decided a few years ago that I needed a career change and I am now a psychiatric nurse.  I work nights, so often when I'm off work, I quilt into the wee hours of the morning.
Tell us about how you got interested in quilting.
My grandmother is the ultimate crafter and I spent most of the weekends of my childhood with her at her camper on a lake.  She taught me the basics of sewing and, most importantly, how much fun it is to try something new.  While we never quilted, I certainly count her as my inspiration for starting my quilting journey.  My mother-in-law is responsible for the quilting part of my creativity.  She is the ultimate shopper and she bought me a quilt kit one day out of the blue.  The fabrics weren't ones that I really liked, but I loved the idea of putting it all those different fabrics together and I've been practicing my craft ever since.  (And it's been more than 16 years and I still haven't sewn that kit!) 
How do you organize your fabric stash?
I don't have a large stash, but what I do have is organized mainly by color and/or size.  As you can see, the top shelf of fabric is yardage and the next one is fat quarters.  My biggest accomplishment is that I now have all of my scraps sorted by color!

Who is/are your favorite fabric designers?
Tula Pink, Tula Pink and probably Tula Pink.  If you look closely at my stash photo you can see that I have all of Acacia and Saltwater in there.  There's also some Prince Charming and some Neptune squirreled away.  I love how her lines can be used with each other.  Recently, I have been adoring fabrics from Bonnie and Camille and am working on a sampler quilt using their April Showers line. 
What is one thing you have learned that you wish you knew when you first started quilting?
If someone had told me what a scant quarter inch was and how important it can be, I would have cussed a lot less!
What is your favorite sewing/quilting tool and why should we all go out and buy it?
Hmm...I don't know that I have one tool in particular that I love.  My rule is that if a tool is made in the color pink, then it must be the best and I must have it.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? (Could be from a book, movie, TV show, etc.)
Oh goodness.  As a former librarian, this is really, really difficult.  For today, it would probably be Einstein from Dean Koontz's book Watchers.  Einstein is a Golden Retriever who has the ability to read.  Because of his gift, he has to learn how to be both kind of a dog and kind of a human.  Maybe I like him because I wish more people could be as awesome as dogs in their kindness. 

And now for the good stuff:
I dreaded choosing my block.  I hemmed and hawed for ages. I've been hoarding this fabric for ages and I knew that I wanted to use it and that I wanted curves to mimic the bubbles. This will be my sashing and border fabric.

But here's the catch - I'm terrified of curves and I would NEVER subject others to something I wasn't willing to do myself.  So, I decided to fake the curves.  Enter the Dresden Plate!  I searched long and hard for a tutorial that didn't require a special ruler and I found a fantastic one that uses just 6 charm squares and a regular quilting ruler.  The video is here

For colors, I am looking for bright jewel tones that will complement that bubble fabric.  If you have dotted fabric in those tones, please add them in!  I would like the background to be a solid, bright color.  No whites or greys, please.  I want this quilt to be be scrappy and overwhelmingly bright.  My sample block will be in the quilt, so you can see I didn't get all matchy-matchy with the colors.
I had to watch the video a few times to get it, but once I did, I was off and sewing like mad.  Here are a few pointers:

-In the video, its a little confusing about what she means when she says to cut the wedge at 3/4 inch.  You are actually cutting off 1 1/4 inch from the lower right hand side.  If you do it the way she does, your ruler is 3/4 of an inch to the right of that second inch mark on the cutting mat.  This took FOREVER to get my mind around, so I cheated.  I just ended up measuring 1 1/4 inch from the right hand side at the bottom, marked it with a pen and lined that mark up with the top right corner and made my cut.

-When I put all the wedges together, I did them in groups of 3 for a total of 4 pie pieces.  When you sew those last four pieces together, end your seam at a little more than a quarter of an inch from the bottom. This will leave the middle of the plate open and it will be easier to iron flat.

-My back ground is a solid 12 inch square.  I centered the plate on the square by folding the background in half by length and width and finger pressing.  I did the same with the plate and placed it in the middle of the solid square.  I didn't do any fancy applique when I put the plate on the background, I just sewed about 1/8th inch inside.  You can see this on my finished block.

-The center circle on the plate was just made by tracing around an old spool for the circle shape.  Again, it is just sewn on as a raw edge.  Any sized circle you can find is fine as long as it covers the middle of the plate.

     So, there we are!  I hope that the block is easy and fun to make - once I figured out the cutting, I was surprised about how easy it was.  I can't wait to see what you all come up with! Happy quilting! -Michele


Francis Paul said...

great block! :-)

genevievegraves said...

Do you want the background square to be CUT 12" (finishing 11.5") or do you want it to FINISH 12" (cut 12.5")?

Willa said...

I hope it's 12 inches; I just finished the block! I would be happy to do another if it's 12 1/2 inches. What a great block/tutorial! Good additional clarification too!

Michele said...

It should be cut at 12 inches, for an 11.5 inch finish. Sorry for the confusion!

Michele said...

How is it going for everyone?

Michele said...

Francis, I got your block yesterday! Thanks so much! The lime green is awesome.