Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Afternoon Tea Blocks

Afternoon tea blocks for Kerry ~ 318 bee ~
Yay it's March! I couldn't wait for March to come because 
I'll be playing catch-ups with a bunch of things this month. I'm most definitely
going to catch up with my two bees I fell behind terribly and
I'm planning on some serious make-over for my craft room and 
for my blog design. (I can't wait to show you my room filled with lovely lovely 
handmade gifts from friends!) Hanging out with friends and Joe and a lot of
gifts-making are happening too, not to mention I'll get to experience the spring
in Japan first time in 9 years. Woohoo! 
Afternoon tea blocks for Kerry ~ 318 bee ~
I made two blocks for Kerry for her Afternoon Tea theme for Patchwork
318 bee. I'm pretty happy with how this kettle turned out except for..


this unacceptably small seam allowance! This happens to me quite often. 
As the block I am working on is about to finish, I start slacking off and just eye-ball to 
make sure if pieces are large enough and I don't realize the lack of seam
allowance until the very end. (Am I the only one who has this problem?)
Knowing Kerry's amazing piecing skill, I know she wouldn't have too much trouble
piecing it, but I wanted to give her another option in case this doesn't work out for her.
Afternoon tea blocks for Kerry ~ 318 bee ~
I made this in the hope to make up for it, but I am so not happy
about this result. The addition of the black fabric was a bit 
too much and the tea cup turned out quite wonky. Hopefully,
she doesn't mind these as much as I do. 

Thank you for stopping by ;) 
Just to warn you... I will be blogging a ton in March!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tutorial: Scrappy Hour Glass Blocks

scrappy hour glass quilt

Hello everyone! Here is a virtual big hug for all of you lovely folks for coming back
 here after my longest blog break ever. I apologize for having being away for this long
 without giving you a heads-up (again!). I have been tied up with some project
 for the past few months, which is coming to an end now, so I will be back to
 my normal crafting and blogging schedule very very soon! I can hardly wait!
 You have no idea how much stuff I have on my to-blog-about list now.
 I have so many things I want to talk about and share you with, but for today,
I have a super simple scrappy hour glass block tutorial for you.

Pink Quilt

Do you remember this quilt top? I started working on this about a year
 and a half years ago with no plan ahead. I just had so much fun playing with my precious
 scrappy fabrics and hoped they would inspire me to make something with them.  


I remember this project being very pleasing partly because it didn't turn out
 to be too busy (at least I think so, hehe!) I love scrappy look so much, but when my
 scrappy project is big in scale, I tend to worry that it would be too busy
 for my eyes.  I added solid sashing between each block, which I think helped
to offset the craziness.  And the little square blocks are added fun ;)

Scrap Attack Quilt-Along

Just like what happens to many projects of mine, it was side tracked by
 other projects and months passed by so I haven't made a progress since then!
When the sweet, talented friend Rachel of Stitched in Color contacted me last year 
if I could participate in Scrap Attack she is hosting,
I immediately thought of this idea of revisiting this quilt top for it. 
I got it out of a zip lock yesterday and it had its first fresh air in Japan.
Thanks to Rachel for giving me this opportunity! Now I actually want to finish this quilt.
I always appreciate this kind opportunity that gives me a little
push to go back to my old projects and actually finish them. 

Mini quilt in progress

This tute might be a bit too simple, but I hope this will inspire some of you to turn
 your scraps into teeny hour glasses and hopefully do something with them!
 Each block finishes at a 2 1/4" square. Yup, it's teeny tiny, so these have 
potentials to be used for some small patchwork projects too!


Two squares, each measuring 3 3/4" x 3 3/4".


Cut from one corner to the other corner.


Take one of each triangle and sew along the long edges like this.
(1/4" seam allowance as usual ;) )


Press seams to one side (same side for both.)




Trade between the two!


Now to sew this bottom edge.


Press seam open.


Now you have two hour glass blocks, each measuring a little larger than a 2 3/4" square.


We want to trim down each square to be a 2 3/4" square. 
(1 3/8" from one edge is the center point.) Cut off the excess. 


The one on the right hand side is done.
Repeat the same process for the remaining block too.


Now they are clean and pretty ;)


It's quite addictive! 


We'll need some 1" x 2 3/4" strips.


to join blocks to make a row.


Here I have the white strips sewn at the short edges of the panel,
but you can choose to do that part later. Completely up to you.


I like to press seams this way.


To make a sashing that comes between rows, we'll need
some strips with a little colored block attached.
Here I am sewing together a 1" wide pink strip and
a 2 3/4" wide white rectangle. (Don't worry about length of each fabric.)


After pressing seam to the colored fabric side, chop it off
to create some 1" wide strips like this.


And repeat the same process with grey fabric.


Here is to show you how I pressed seams on the sashing.
(I made the sashing by sewing three strips and a 1" square at the short end.)


Sew along the edge.


Tada! Here is the beginning of the scrappy quilt.


If you would like to make a similar mini quilt, here 
is a measurement of my quilt. I have 49 hour glass
blocks with sashing between and around them.
I added a 1/2" wide border and then finished with a 4 1/4" wide border.
This quilt measures a 32 3/4" square - a nice size for a baby quilt?

I would be thrilled if this tutorial could inspire you to
play with your scraps! If you are feeling scrappy, don't forget to stop by
Rachel's blog and Scrap Quilt Attack Quilt Along Flickr pool to
check out everyone's scrappy projects - so inspiring!!

I'll be back next month and have tons of stuff to share with you!
Hope you are all having a nice week ;)