Monday, September 1, 2014

Hive 9 - September Block Tutorial

What is your name?  Where do you live?
Hello hive mates!  My name is Karen M, and I currently live in Sacramento.  I moved out here a little less than a year ago after a stint in the Midwest, and I love being back in California!  I'm currently working in the state Capitol, and it's a beautiful building to work in.  I'm also in the process of moving again (it's just a local move this time - thank goodness!), so stay tuned for an updated address.  =]

This is from a recent trip to Sequoia National Park.
Tell us about your family.
I've been married for close to six years to D.  He's pretty great.  (And maybe one day, once I start making quilts that aren't gifts, he'll even get a quilt from me!)
Tell us about how you got interested in quilting.
I grew up quilting.  I think I made my first quilt sometime in elementary school with my mom as my quilting buddy.  I would piece the top, and she would do the quilting.  Eventually, I got to the point where I would do everything from start to finish.  We mostly focused on baby quilts, and I vividly remember trying to wrestle with the first behemoth twin-sized quilt I made for a friend.

After I moved out to Illinois for graduate school, I decided it was time to start quilting on my own again.  I love the entire creative process, and I'm starting to push myself to try new techniques (like curves!).
How do you organize your fabric stash?
Umm, yeah, about that...  My entire stash of fabrics fit into two plastic shoeboxes.  I find that I buy fabrics for specific projects rather than just amassing fabric.  I do keep the remnants, but they often get consumed in the next project.  What I do have is roughly organized into kid fabrics, metallics (this is the one quilt that I'm actually building up a stash for), and scraps.

The other reason that my stash is so small is that my quilting "room" is actually in the closet.  When I was in Illinois, I had a glorious room all to myself for quilting.  Needless to say, that is no more!  I now sew sitting next to our suitcases and linens.  It's cozy!
Who is/are your favorite fabric designers?
This is going to sound terrible, but I really don't follow designers...  I also tend to gravitate toward the tone-on-tone "filler fabric" rather than the bold prints.
What is one thing you have learned that you wish you knew when you first started quilting?
Machine binding.  I still don't do it very often, but sometimes it's nice to only spend an hour working on the binding rather than hand-stitching for hours and winding up with a sore wrist.  I spent a period about a year ago having hand-binding parties with a quilty friend, and that was also an awesome alternative.
What is your favorite sewing/quilting tool and why should we all go out and buy it?
6.5" square.  And it's actually the tool that I need to buy.  I currently have a 6" square, and it's just not big enough!  That being said, the smaller squares are lovely for cutting small pieces.

Also, a walking foot.  I love my walking foot for evenly feeding fabric.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why?
Matilda.  She can move things with her mind - what more could you want?  =]
Okay, so on to the block!

This month, I would like to have people make a starry night block.  This is an improv block with at least two stars, but I'm open to whatever kind of stars you'd like to include!  My two examples are below:

Here are the specs:
Size: 16.5" x 16.5"
Background: Dark navy/blue (please try to use more than one color for the background to make it a bit scrappy)
Stars: At least two of your choice.  The stars should be bright and use tone-on-tone fabrics.  I'd also prefer if the stars were consistent in their coloring (ie, if you have a light blue star, please use the same fabric throughout or coordinate the fabrics so that they aren't scrappy).

Also, please don't use fabrics with text on them.  They're not really my style, and I think they'll take away from the final block.

Thank you, thank you!  Please let me know if you have any questions!

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