Monday, July 28, 2014

July Bee Blocks and Such

Time for a block round up for July! Believe it or not, we had to twist PatchworknPlay's arm to let us make blocks for her in the Mid-Century Modern Bee this month! She gave in, asked for star blocks, and I chose an adaptation on Megan's Star by Maverick Quilts in Modern Blocks.

It was Christmas in July in That Stash Bee, where mihertz had us make either a 4-patch or a 9-patch AND a 16-patch or a 36-patch in Christmasy fabrics. I was reminded how much I like those chartreuse Metro Living Rings with Christmas fabrics as I put that block on the right together. I used up my last little bit, so I ordered more to put with my Christmas stash.

As I may have already mentioned, FAITH Circle is making Postcard blocks for me this month, with solid or tone-on-tone "fronts". Here's several that have shown up in the group so far.
I redid these blocks after I noticed my measurements were off on the first set. Hope these are ok @aquilterstable. For July #faithcircle #dogoodstitches blocks #postcardblocks

Postcard blocks for Do Good Stitches Faith Circle July 2014.

And though not technically bee blocks, I did make 2 blocks for the giving committee of our Seattle Modern Quilt Guild. These are 2 of the suggested blocks of the month. First I made a hashtag block, using some crazy-piecing left over from last fall's Crazy Rainbow.
Next was a wonky star, using the tutorial by The Silly BooDilly, using our signature guild colors of aqua/light blue, citron green, greys and white/ivory/neutrals. Blocks are being collected for charity quilts in  4.5″, 6.5″ or 12.5″ (unfinished) - these 2 are both 12.5".

So that's it for miscellaneous blocks for this month! Enjoyable, but it's always a relief when they're done!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

On Thoughtful Stashing

Earlier this week I read a convicting post by Rossie/Fresh Modern Quilts on "What to Stash". She referred back to a series of 2011 posts by Jeni/In Color Order on "The Art of Choosing," specifically the post on Building a Well Rounded Stash. It didn't quite ring true for Rossie, who discovered that "personally [she didn't] need a well-rounded stash" and I encourage you to read her post to see what she has to say about that, as it's thoughtfully written.

For me, I find both posts were imminently helpful. When I read Jeni's original post, I was a new blogger with pretty much no stash at all. I had been quilting for years, but rarely purchased fabric that wasn't for a very specific project. And I had just discovered the modern quilting movement, so whatever bits of fabric I had left from my projects were not quite what the bloggers I was getting acquainted with were using. As I got more involved in the online quilting community, I began joining swaps and bees and such. And I soon realized that I needed to build a stash, and a modern one at that. So slowly, over the next 18 months or so, following Jeni's advice and watching others, I built that stash that allowed me to pretty much always have something suitable on hand whatever project or sewing whim presented itself. For the first time ever, I had a rainbow of prints to choose from, and solids even! And linen!
Fast forward 3 years, to a place where that well rounded stash has served me very well indeed. I pretty much quit "building" a while ago and as Rossie suggests, am more "maintaining." When I'm running low on certain solids or Essex or text prints, I get more, because I know those are standbys for me, and I'll need them to do what I do. Which brings me to Rossie's basic guidelines for herself which she kindly gave me permission to share:
I'm not suggesting that her rules should necessarily apply to you, me, or anyone else but her. But I do think the whole subject is worth some thoughtful consideration. And even though I'm working on the "admire, don't acquire" bit, I was also touched by something Molli Sparkles shared in his post yesterday, where as an intentional challenge to himself he joined a fabric swap for fabric that didn't really grab him. And after working with it, he found he loved it! So yeah, sometimes I, too, purchase fabric just to see what all the fuss is about. Or because a certain grouping just is so nicely done. Or, yes, just because fabric therapy is a real thing and I need some. But I also want to be attentive to what I have already gathered - because it's helped bring me to where I am - and I can trust it to serve me well going forward.

So give it some thought. I'm pretty sure happy medium wins again.