Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hive #1 - July Block Tutorial

What is your name? Hi all, my name is Tina and I'm totally in love with big color, fabric and quilting.  

 I live in Santa Cruz, Califonia where the weather is usually not too hot or too cold.  I love taking my kids outside and to the beach.
At the moment I'm a stay and home mom, but have worn many hats including pastry chef, technical writer and also fabric buyer for a shop which was incredibly fun and I learned so much.  I became interested in quilting as a young kid when I had my great-grandmother's quilt given to me and put on my bed.  It was a double wedding ring quilt that was made completely from feedsacks.  I would trace my fingers over the arcs of the rings and figure out which print was my favorite.  I never thought to make quilts because I didn't really decorate my home in a vintage or shabby chic way.  But, all of that changed when I was buying fabrics for a kid's craft project and saw some awesome Japanese fabrics at the store.  
Being a curious person who likes to research what I'm interested in, I went online to look at quilting pictures.  I found that quilting wasn't necessarily all about small, sweet prints, or had to be done a certain way.  I was soon immersed in the online quilting world and joined in Flickr bees, swaps and became enamored of Denyse Schmidt's work.  
After that, there was no stopping me!  I was drawn to all the modern quilting and wanted to find my own way in the quilting world and taught myself with tutorials.  I try to do a little quilting every day, even if it's just a few minutes' worth.  Last year, I was lucky enough to have a quilt accepted at Quiltcon and my quilt received a judge's choice ribbon :)

As far as my stash is concerned, it's kind of a hodge podge of prints and lots of solids.  For prints, my personal fabric crush is on Anna Maria Horner.  I just love her use of rich color and originality of design.  I am also very drawn to Japanese designers like Echino and Nani Iro.  I love also love working in solids especially shot cottons.  
A link to my stash is HERE

When I first started quilting, I wish someone had told me how important it was to keep your quilt piecing as flat as possible.  If your block doesn't lie flat, and if your seams aren't pressed open, then your quilt won't really be as square or as flat as it could be.  Yes, I am in the seams open camp and I'm there to stay :)  I really love it when your quilt is all finished, and the seams visually disappear and your blocks seem to be floating on the background.  

My favorite quilting tool I think is starch!  Starch helps again with the flatness factor and accuracy.  That and a fresh new rotary blade. 

My favorite fictional character?  Madame Bovary?  Mr. Darcy? Harry Potter? Don Draper?  I don't know... it's probably a different answer on any given day.  Alrighty then, enough about me:)  The block!!  Danny gave me the green light to mail out my fabrics to you.  (They should have already arrived by now) I've wanted to make an all Anna Maria Horner quilt with a block I designed which is somewhat inspired by my blog/social media name - Little Blue Cottage.  Here it is!  The Little Blue Cottage Block.  As you can see, I've made the block three times and each time it's taken me less than 20 minutes to make once the components are cut out.  

Here, we'll break down the pieces to the block and their sizes. 

Each block has 9 pieces to it.  
GRASS:  The long bottom strip - 3.5"x12.5"
SIDE GRASS: Two pieces, along either side of the house, matches the grass strip below.  2 pieces 3.5" x 3.75"
HOUSE: Square in the middle - 6.5"
ROOF: Upper rectangle above the house 3.5"x6.5"
SKY ABOVE HOUSE: Two pieces, 3.5" 
SKY ON THE SIDE OF HOUSE: Same fabric as the sky above the house.  2 pieces 3.5"x6.5"  

With me so far?  Ok, let's make that roof.  It's a basic flying geese unit.  Easy peasy :)  I'll show you in pictures how I made mine.  
Take your roof fabric and one of the sky squares and place it on the left side of the rectangle.  Mark the square from the middle of the top to the bottom, outside corner.  Sew along this line.  Then, trim to the right of the seam, leaving 1/4" seam allowance. Press seam open.  It should look like this:
Ok?  Let's do that on the other side of the rectangle to complete that flying geese.  Place the second sky square on top of the rectangle and mark a line to sew on.  Trim to 1/4" and press open the seams.  
You should then end up with THIS...

What's important here is that there is 1/4" of "sky" above that roof.  So, when I put the blocks together, the roof top will not be lost in the seam allowance.  

Ok, so putting the rest of the block together goes really quickly.  Piece the roof to the body of the house.  Then, piece the sky pieces to the grass pieces for either side of the house, then sew them to the house.  Piece the lower grass strip to the bottom and VIOLA!  You have a Little Blue Cottage block.  (Please remember to press seams open)  Block will finish at 12.5"

Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions.  Fabrics were mailed out before June 1st to make sure that everyone would have their fabrics on time.  There should be more than enough to make the block and please keep whatever is leftover.  I'm excited to see how these all shape up!  


Gooses Bags and Gifts said...

Tina - is the "side grass" square really 3.5 x 3.75? I haven't cut yet, but it seems to me that it should be 3.5x3.5. Maybe it'll come together when I begin to cut and sew though...
Myrth McDonald

One Wee Bird said...

Hi Tina!
No fabric here yet in NZ? I do have some AMH here if you can give me an idea of colour preference just in case?In 7 years if buying online I have only ever lost one parcel and I get a lot of parcels so maybe it's just delayed 😳

Unknown said...

Myrth, yes those measurements are correct!

As far as your packet goes, I'm sure it'll be there any day. I love ALL AMH fabrics, and you can create an extra block if you like while you wait for your packet. The only print of hers that I truly do not like is the leopard/cheetah print. I know I am in the minority here, but it's just not very "me". :)

Thanks! -Tina

Anonymous said...

Hi Tina,

Got my beautiful fabrics - this looks like fun!


AmandaK@whatthebobbin said...

Received your fabrics. I can't wait to make the block. Thanks!

One Wee Bird said...

Hi Tina your package arrived today! I have made two extra with a little AMH in them, I will send all together but if they're not the look you're after I won't be offended if you don't use them :)

craftykat said...

Yay fabric arrived today!!!!

Danny Heyen said...

Just wanted you to know I got my fabrics a few days ago! I'm excited for this block! I love AMH!