Saturday, October 1, 2016

Hive4, October 2016 "Don't Worry, Be Happy" Block

Wow, so tell me, where did the year go?  It seems like such a short while ago that I first signed up, and I remember being so excited to be assigned a hive.  This is where I wrote and published my first blog--ever!  I started sewing in 8th grade and began making quilty gifts as a cheap alternative to department store shopping when I was a poor law student 35 years ago.  After our only child was born, I put sewing on hold and managed my law firm and our son's many activities.  I started quilting again in 2012 when I was recovering from surgery and needed something to keep me busy.  I discovered the world of quilting had changed dramatically with the Internet, and I love it.  Anyone besides me out there recall saying early on with home computing, "blogs-- what the heck are those and who would waste their time reading others' diaries."?  I have numerous blogs I follow and I am absolutely in love with the fabric lines now.  Yes, the quilting world has changed. I taught myself to machine quilt so my hand quilting these days is a bit limited.  I have learned so much, particularly this past year.  Thank you bee mates!!

I have been married to a wonderfully talented writer/carpenter, Steve, for 36 years and live in northern Wisconsin.  I have the pleasure of working in a busy law office 4 days per week for a Tribe north of my primary home, so instead of commuting one hour each way everyday, I stay at our Lakehouse a few nights a week and spend most of my evenings admiring beautiful sunsets over the lake while I sew.  I feel very BLESSED.  I just finished my 75th quilt and I gave them all to family, friends or charity so this is really exciting to get one for myself!  (And I have 100 more that I want to start, right?)

Sometimes I just like to sew without thinking too much so I wanted to make this month an easy block.  I confess that I feel like the Varmit on this block
because I am raiding your scrap box for a finished block that measures 15.5" square.  So here goes:

1.  Pull from your string scrap bin, strings measuring between 1" and 2.5" wide in low volume or very light pastel prints---anything that reads low volume.  

2.  From any low volume or light print fabric, fussy cut a 5.5" x 5.5" inch square of something that makes you happy and share with us why when you post your block. (Well, this one is not so low volume but I like it anyway.)

3.  From your strings, just build a frame around your fussy cut square.  You do not have to be fussy with the strings--
                 a.  They can be a bit wonky- I am looking for a scrappy look.
                 b.  They can be different widths.  Do not worry that the end result leaves the fussy cut square not centered.
                 c.  If your string isn't long enough, do not worry, join two pieces together to make it so.

4.  I made more than a few blocks as samples for you. Note the samples are NOT sashed--I hung them on a patio window and the seams are showing through.  Oops.

The only tip is any string less than an inch is getting a bit narrow.  Be careful in pressing as you add strings because your fabric can stretch a bit and the narrower the string, the more the stretch.  And save the skinny strings for the inner part of the block so that when trimming to the 15.5 x 15.5 finished block size, there is enough fabric to trim.

I hope you enjoy making this simple block as much as I do.  I am a fan of using every last scrap.  See what I do with my itty bits and thread?
  I make fire starters for campfires.  Cardboard egg cartons, scraps, and leftover candle wax. My family and friends save their candle stubs.  I even clean and recycle all of the glass containers!  OCD. I know.πŸ˜†☺️
Thanks for letting be part of this amazing community.  Kim

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