Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Hive 10 - July Block Tutorial

Hello Everyone - JULY - That’s me!

Sorry this is coming out right at the end of the day.. I've been having trouble with the pictures, but here it is! Yay!

What is your name?
I’m Tabatha Martinez - don’t let my name fool you; I’m a sucker for tall, dark, handsome, and multilingual; so I married a Spaniard. :-)

Where do you live?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Funny you should ask: I live in South Florida. We just sold our house in Miami at the end of June, and due to about a million hiccups, we aren’t closing on our new home until August 1!  So, for now - we are camping out of my mom’s house, all 5.5 of us (I’m 6.5 months preggers), sharing 1 bathroom, until my parents come back from Hawaii in mid July. Then, it will be 7.5 - sharing 1 bathroom.

I’m a native of South Florida, and have only seen snow 2 times in my whole life. And the last time was in high school.. about 13 years ago. We love the beach, and the heat, and the sun, and hate the traffic, gas prices, and well, all the prices.

Tell us about your family.

I live with my wonderful husband, Ed, our three children: Sophia (6), Brody (4), and Thomas (1), and are expecting another precious little boy blessing in September. We also have an aquatic turtle, Bubbles, that we rescued from a very hot March day in our garage.

I’m a homeschooler, so I spend a lot of time with my kiddies, and not a whole lot of time doing anything else, but I wouldn’t change it for the world! My daughter Sophia is a lot like her Momma - bossy, spoiled by Papi, and loves helping with babies. Brody is my jokester (yesterday, in the car - I asked him “What are you hiding in your lap?” After a short pause, he said “I’m hiding only one thing in my lap…” He held up two empty hands, wriggled his fingers, with a very serious face, and said “Jazz hands.” We all roared with laughter). Our little Thomas is constantly smiling and loves to say to everyone. He is a lovely toddler.

My husband is my romantic love and soulmate! He works in operations, but has a PhD in English and Creative writing. He speaks and writes beautiful Spanish and French, which make for lovely holiday cards. 

Tell us about how you got interested in quilting.

I started to quilt in 2008 when my daughter was born, but it didn't really go anywhere. Then, in 2012, I really became immersed in it. And when my DH surprised me with my Bernina, Big Bertha, well - I would love to spend hours every day in front of my machine. I also got a Janome Artistic long arm last fall after falling in LOVE at Quilt Market, and am looking forward to it having a permanent place in my new home once we move in August.

How do you organize your fabric stash?

Well, I buy lots and lots of precuts. I actually have bought so much that besides a Gypsy Wife BOM club that I am part of and woefully behind in, I have been on a no new fabric buying kick since the beginning of the year. As of this minute, my fabric is in storage, or her at my mom’s in plastic bins (my husband would only let me bring 4 bins :-( ); but normally it is stored in this tall bookcases; and I love sitting at my desk gazing over stacks of lovely fabric. I also keep cuts larger than 5 yards in some other shelving, and since I buy white and gray by the bolt, that is usually hidden away somewhere as well.

Who is/are your favorite fabric designers?

I love everything in the world by Bonnie & Camille. I met Camille Roskelley and she was so nice. I have tons of her and her moms fabrics, and also their patterns. Other favorites are Kate Spain, French General, Tula Pink, Kaffe Fasset, and Denise Schmidt. Oh, and Carolyn Friedlander. So many, if I keep thinking I’ll name 30 more.

What is one thing you have learned that you wish you knew when you first started quilting?

Don’t underestimate the power of pinning. I used to only pin as absolutely necessary (or so I thought) and now I pin at every seam intersection and work out from there. Also, the quality of pins. My favorites are probably Little House, and the come in a cute little tin to boot.

What is your favorite sewing/quilting tool and why should we all go out and buy it?

This is probably a little outside of the box, but it would be my iron! I have a Rowenta Eco Intelligence MicroSteaming Iron.  It works so amazingly awesomely; it is also pretty and has a good weight to it. It has great steaming that doesn’t blow up into your face instead of on the fabric. It also goes into “hibernation” mode when you sit it up and don't use it for a bit. There are a million features but it by far the best iron I have ever used. Oh, it also has a nice shape to the tip for going down seams, even though it is a full size iron.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why? 

My favorite fictional character is… gee, I totally don’t know. I will say we are HUGE fans of Batman in our house. Comic book heros in general, but especially Batman. We have memorabilia and comic books and action figures hidden throughout our home (when we have one). He’s exciting! He has a depth of character; he is not a mutant but a real man. This is a picture of a painting in our-now-previous-home, that my husband drew and painted with his Dad from an original he had seen.

The Tutorial

For this month, we will be making a teacup block from Kate Spain’s In From the Cold Free Project.  This project was originally intended to be a Christmas theme, with several different mug and teacup blocks, but you can choose to do either block 2, 6, or 7 from the project sheet found through the link. 

Additionally, this block will NOT be Christmas theme. My daughter Sophia loves tea parties. These blocks will become part of a quilt for her new room. With all the challenges of this year, and the lack of more than 24 hours in a day, it would take me forever to finish, but with your help - there will be one happy little 6 year old in the world!

Finished Block Size: 10.5” x 14.5”

Fabric Selection

Cup Pieces (Patterned): Choose bright happy florals, or stripes, but not too “eclectic” style. Think happy colors, but no neons, and no dark florals (no French General or Kansas City Troubles style) - pink, purple, teal - etc. Think girly, think tea party. If it is from the Camille side of Bonnie and Camille’s colors; you literally cannot go wrong.

Background (solid): Bright white. I using Moda Bella Bleached White for this one. I also often used Art Gallery Snow for my light whites. Whatever you used for last month’s star block is perfecto.

Steam (low volume): Use either a white on white or other low volume combo. Aiming for the steam to be very subtle.

Here are some fabrics that I WAS NOT super fond of for this project:

Here is what I chose:

Cut It Up

I used a big scrap of white and 4 layer cake squares from a Bonnie & Camille Scrumptious layer cake for this block. For my steps here, I am making Block 2. But you can choose to make either Block 2, Block 6, or Block 7 from the project sheet. Essentially, any of the teacup blocks, not the big mugs. But the cutting notes here are for Block 2: if you want to do the Block 6 or 7 variation, refer to the project sheet.

Tip: Some of the pieces for this are pretty small and so I highly recommend starching, or starch-alternative-ing, and pressing the fabric before cutting to give it a little more substance when sewing. :-)

For Block 2, cut:

From Patterned pieces (you can mix and match patterns for the pieces):

Cup Top: 

2 - 2.5” x 4.5”
1 - 4.5” x 4.5” 

Cup Bottom:

1- 8.5" x 2.5"

3 - 1.5” x 2.5”


1 - 8.5” x 1.5”


5 - 1.5” x 1.5”

From White:


4 - 1.5” x 1.5”
1 - 1.5” x 2.5”
4 - 2.5” x 2.5”
2 - 2.5” x 3.5”
2 - 4.5” x 7.5”

Make It

Now that you have all your pieces cut up, let’s put this little beast together. 1/4” seams. Press to the dark when possible.

Step One: Make the Handle

Follow the instructions for making the handle on page 23 of the project sheet. Here’s how it comes together.

Sew one background and one handle rectangle together.

Make diagonal lines on two background squares and sew to rectangles. Then, trim away excess and press it, press it real good.

Finally, sew the three pieces together and then add a cup background piece. And now you have a super cute handle.

Step Two:  Make the Saucer

Follow the instructions for making the saucer on page 24 of the project sheet. Here’s how it comes together.

Make diagonal lines on two background squares and sew to rectangles. Then, trim away excess and press it, press it real good.

Woah, that was an easy step. :-)

Step Three: Make The Steam

Follow the instructions for making the handle on page 25 of the project sheet to make the steam. Here’s how it comes together.

Draw those diagonal lines you’ve come to love on 5 tiny weeny steam squares and then layer, trim and press onto a cup background square. Do this again on the opposite corner. Make 2.

With the remaining teeny weeny steam square, layer, sew, trim and press onto a background rectangle.

Join the units together. 

It’s getting hot in here.

Step Four: Make Teacup Bottom

The teacup bottom is assembled just the like saucer; but using the teacup pieces. Follow the Step 2 instructions for Block 2 on the project sheet. Here’s how it comes together.

Why am I picking out stitches? Because I measure a inch too big. Double check your measurements before you are start sewing. I was able to fix it; but I felt like I was in Geometry again in high school. 

Step 5: Assemble the Cup

Woohoo! Almost Done. Follow the instructions in the project sheet. Here’s how it comes together.

Sew together the three pieces which compose the top portion of the teacup.
Attach the top portion of the teacup to the bottom; press to impress. Then, repeat for the bottom to the saucer. Press.
Attach handle to the teacup. Press it like you mean it.

Attach the steam section to the complete teacup. Press.

And there you have it. No need to trim. One lovely teacup block for my tea party loving 6 year old.

Have fun and let me know if you have any questions! Thank you everyone. 


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

I got it all figured out--the project sheet has some cute blocks.

Cyndi said...

You're missing the bottom part of the cup piece in your cutting directions.

Sarah said...

Tabatha, I had to laugh because I am also a Homeschooler, and my daughter is six and her name is Sophia! :D how fun is that? My six year old is very girly and would love such a darling teacup quilt. Love it!

Unknown said...

I'll check on that and get it fixed ASAP!