Friday, January 20, 2017

I Like/Love...

This is a (mostly) photos post.  Good luck with that, Sandra, I can hear you thinking! Here are about 10 items for which I am grateful.

I've stashed some of these photos for a while..
A few weeks ago we went to the Edison and Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers.  It is a place I've wanted to visit for ages.  It did not disappoint.  Clockwise from top left: Mysore Fig Tree in the distance on the left and a stately row of palms leading to the Caloosahatchee River on Ford's estate.  Next is a closeup of another massive Mysore Fig in front of Edison's home. I wanted to do a headstand in front of Ford's tree. Too many people around but that would've been so cool! Mysore is the style of Ashtanga I practise, which originated in Mysore, India.  (yes I'M-sore LOL after some days of practice!)  Close-up of one of my all-time favourite Florida plants, Bougainvillea, and then a row of a few colours of these "paper flower" bushes on the estates.

I love animals.  I love my own three fur kids; they are a part of our family, each with their own wonderful personality. I love that they often gravitate to my sewing room, clearly a place of extreme happiness, completeness, and peace.  I love that Bella, like Naala, will often lie beside her cushion, and use it to rest an elbow and head on!
Clockwise from top left: turkey buzzards; Norfolk Pine and bougainvillea; Design #8 Sunset in the City; a leaf bug
We live in an area that is not built up very much, although it sure has had a housing boom over the past two winters.  As a result of the lack of houses, there is a lot of wildlife and nature.  I find turkey buzzards both hilarious and a bit creepy.  Hilarious because they are so big and perch in these dead trees, or on the neighbours' rooftop , two of them, a few days ago, much to Naala's annoyance.  She raced around the yard, deep growling in her chest and leapt into the air at them!  They, in turn, flipped her the bird, lol, by buzzing relatively low overhead, flapping (loudly! they're huge!) their wings. Nature is beautiful but also cruel: I saw a dead (looked agonizing) possum yesterday at the side of the road, mostly eaten out but head and legs and fur very much there.  Quite possibly killed or half-eaten by one of the many bobcats we see; munched on, or will be, as well by buzzards.  I love Norfolk Pine trees (not as much as those Mysore Figs) which also get humongous. I just found out they are native to Norfolk Island in the Southern Hemisphere, east of Australia, not Norfolk, VA! Orlando is their limit for how far north they can grow. Seems so odd because when I think of a pine tree, I think snow, northern climate, right?
Design #8 - Sunset on the City: I am quite amazed at how much I am enjoying fiddling around with design, especially colouring with pencil crayons! This design above, #8, was inspired by the fabric below,

which I purchased on sale from Hawthorne Threads.  May I interject that I love sale fabric as well?! I couldn't afford to quilt without finding deals. I bought it to go on the back of my House Blocks RSC2017 quilt.  I wrote a tutorial for the block in my last post, or you can download a PDF for free right here. That is an affiliate link.😉  Finally, last photo in the collage above, I am not a fan of bugs per se, but of some, yes.  No clue what this leaf bug is that MacGyver scared out of the jasmine when he was watering, but look at the size of it! At first I thought it was a Praying Mantis. I actually saw it wipe its face on the leaves of the viburnum right after I took the photo!

I love the first installment of my Christmas present from MacGyver, a fat eighth subscription to Art Gallery fabrics from Pink Castle Fabrics.
Nope, I would not have bought a lot of these...lemons anyone, for example!  But seeing and petting them, possibilities are forming.

I love hummus.  Tomatoes.  Good cheese (this is Swiss) and spinach on a wrap for lunch.

I love scraps.  I love figuring out ways to get more out of my scraps.  This Card Trick block called for cutting 3.5" squares in half twice diagonally which would leave two extra for all four colours used in this block. I used two white triangles cut from a 3.5" square as templates so I only had to cut a 1.75" rectangle to get two.  This also is a great block for another love, playing with gradation in colour.
I like Tuesdays because we get three more 6" blocks!  We are now 20% done the 150 Canadian Women Project at Next Step Quilt Designs.  Here are this week's ladies:
28 - Emily Carr, famous Canadian painter; 29 - Madeleine de Verchères, who, when her parents were away in Montreal, successfully defended her family's fort at the age of 14 against an Iroquois attack; 30 - Henrietta Laetitia Tuzo, first Canadian born woman mountaineer.  Mount Tuzo, on the BC/Alberta border, bears her name.
Here are the first 30 blocks! I will be sewing sashing and cornerstones to them, but haven't got the fabric from Sew Sisters yet because it's been delivered to my friend in Ontario!
Yep, I LOVE!
I love my country, Canada; I've made no secret of that.  It has inadvertently sneaked into this blog over the past year, unplanned, but I'm happy that it has. We celebrate 150 years as a country this July.  I feel very fortunate to be able to escape a few months of the Canadian winter and sojourn in Florida's sunshine.  I love sunshine.  I admire and deeply respect American's outgoing president and, without getting too political, because I don't have the right to express my opinion on choices for president here since I can't vote, but I do have the right to express my opinion on a fellow human being.  Let me just say this phrase: President Obama and Chelsea Manning, which makes me both smile and choke up at the same time with emotion.  So thankful.  Kudos to you, Mr. President.

I like pattern-testing.  I've learned about writing my own patterns by testing for others.  The 10" blocks I've done for Cindy over the past several months have challenged me:  to find the right fabric for the various components, to evaluate the instructions for clarity, and to apply pieces a quarter the size or less of my pinkie fingernail!  I am so thankful for Lara's Crafted Appliqué!  I've done no stitching on the four appliquéd blocks I've made and they all have held wonderfully.
Tried for a nighttime scene for the moose block. It's actually a bit darker in real life.

The Parliament Buildings, Ottawa.  I added some greenery on either side of the main building, the walk and an attempt at the Centennial Flame that burns at the approach to the walk.  Might have to add a bit there.  I also was true to the roof colour as of the present.  They are replacing the copper roof, which has a lifespan.  So the Peace Tower is still the light green that aged copper goes, while the Centre Block building has changed to chocolate brown, which I read it does shortly after being installed.  I've had that sky fabric about as long as the twinkle stars one, but this sunset piece was just an 8X10" piece I picked up on a shop hop somewhere.  Thanks for the flag Cindy! And for being patient with my slow testing.  Appliqué and I are not always the best of friends...

I love the saying on Instagram posted by Fat Quarter Shop.  This could apply to anything: yoga, your body, your parenting, or any hobby or activity.  I love Angela Walters, who said in this week's episode, "Finished is better than perfect" and notes on her blog that she purposely left mistakes in her videos to show that she herself is not perfect and she is totally okay with that.  "Fibre in my wine...hmmph!...meh, I'm okay with that, " and she takes another swig.  I LOVE her.  None of what you see in her videos is forced; she is truly that spontaneously funny in person.  Another great quilter whose YouTube channel I subscribe to, is Jamie Wallen and ...... DRUM ROLL .... I am going to be taking a couple of his classes when he is at The Quilt Bee in Ontario this May!!! EEEP!

Linking up
Whims and Fancies
You can hop over to Not Afraid of Color if you'd like to read LeeAnna's "I Like" Thursday post and find a few other bloggers who write similar ones.
and also with
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Crazy Mom Quilts (no finish here, unless you count the finish of pattern testing Cindy's Canada blocks😉) 



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

House Block Tutorial

As promised, here is the House Block I designed with the quilt on the side wall, a free tutorial for you, dear reader. 😊

House Block Tutorial

You can find a PDF copy of this tutorial here, for you to print out.

This is what we will be making:
House Block - my own design - with Evening Star on the house side
Here is how it started:
From a sketch based on the houses on the cover of The Quilter's Companion by That Patchwork Place, to this block!
Here is my first house block, in the colour purple for January at RSC2017.
You might notice this is a different star, the Ohio Star, to be exact, on the side of the house. You can put any block you want there! ;-)

Fabric Requirements for one 16" Finished Block
You will need:
  • scraps of whatever colours you wish, the biggest being approximately 9X5"
Broken down, if you want to follow what I did, you need fabric for:
  • the roof and chimneys
  • the front of the house
  • a door
  • the frame of the little quilt
  • background for the Evening Star little block
  • centre for the Evening Star
  • star points of the Evening Star
  • grass or flowers strip on which the house rests
  • background or sky fabric
Cut:
Roof and Chimneys
  • (2) - 2.5" squares for the chimneys (*note these could be a different fabric from your roof fabric)
  • (1) - 5" square
  • (1) - 4.5" square
 House Front
  • (1) - 5" square
  • (1) - 4.5 X 8.5"
  • (2) - 3.5 X 4.5"
Door
  • (1) - 2.5 X 4.5" 
Background/Sky
  • (3) - 2.5 X 4.5"
  • (1) - 5" square
Grass or Flowers Strip
  • (1) - 2.5 X 16.5"
6" Little Evening Star Quilt Block on House Side
Frame
  • (2) - 1.5 X 6.5"
  • (2) - 1.5 X 8.5"
 Background (this can match your sky/background fabric for the house or not)
  • (4) - 2"
  • (1) - 4.25" 
Star Points
  • (4) - 2 3/8"
Centre Square
  • (1) - 3.5"
Assembly
Make the Evening Star
This uses the No Waste Flying Geese method.  I have a detailed tutorial for this here.

1.  Draw a diagonal line across the centre diagonal of all 4 star point squares.  Place two star point 2 3/8" squares on opposite corners of the 4.25" background square.  Sew 1/4" on either side of the drawn lines.  Cut apart. Press toward the star points or press open, as you prefer.  It will look like this:

2.  Place the other star point square on the little heart-shaped unit and sew again on either side of the diagonal.  Cut apart and press.
Trim to 2 X 3.5".  **Be sure to have the 1 3/4" mark at the point of the geese unit, and the other 1 3/4" and 3 1/4" at opposite seams.  See below.  You will get 4 flying geese units with this method.

3.  Arrange as shown below:


Piece each row, pressing seams to the corner squares for the outside rows, and to the centre square for the middle row, so they will nest nicely.

4.  Sew the 1.5 X 6.5" frame strips to either side of the star block.  Press towards the frame.  Then sew the 1.5 X 8.5" frame strips to the top and bottom of the block.  Press as before.  This block should now measure 8.5" square.

Make the house
1.  Sew the two 2.5" chimney squares between three background 2.5 X 4.5" rectangles.  Press towards the chimney fabric except for the first left seam which you will press to the background fabric.  The finished unit should measure 2.5 X 16.5".

2.  Cut all three 5" squares in half on the diagonal to yield 6 HSTs.  Place a background and a roof HST right sides together (rst) and sew a 1/4" seam.  Press towards the roof fabric.  Place a background HST with a house front HST and sew.  Press towards the house front fabric.  Repeat with a house front HST and a roof HST, pressing towards the house front fabric.  Trim all three HST units to 4.5".  Sew together in this order:  a BG/roof unit, the 4.5" roof square, a roof/house front unit, and a house front/background unit.  Press towards the 4.5" roof square except for the house front seam which you will either press open, or towards the background HST.

3.  Sew the door between the two 3.5 X 4.5" house front rectangles.  Press.  Sew this door unit to the 4.5 x 8.5" house front rectangle.  Sew the door/house front unit to the Evening Star block.  This unit will measure 8.5 X 16.5".

4.  Sew the chimney unit to the roof unit.  Sew the house front/quilt block unit to the 2.5 X 16.5" grass/flowers unit.  Finally sew these last two big units together to make your house block.  It should measure 16.5" square.  Voilà!


You can personalize your house block in many ways.  Stay tuned to my blog to see what I do throughout the year, since this is my block for the RSC2017 at soscrappy!  If you make one of my blocks, I'd love to see it! Send me a photo in any way you prefer--see the social media buttons on my sidebar.

Linking up:
Let's Bee Social
My Quilt Infatuation








Sunday, January 15, 2017

Purple

This is my third year participating in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge at soscrappy.  Angela picks a colour each month; last year it was a colour with hits of a secondary colour, and we work with that colour.  Some people make multiple small projects throughout the month, most (I think) make a big ongoing project throughout the year.

Last year I ended up doing two ongoing projects. The first was planned, to use my Whirling Star block I designed, the second was basically a squirrel, a DrEAMi! that grabbed me in March, when the colour of the month was purple.  It was Red Rover, a lap quilt in Cozy Modern Quilts, Kim Schaefer's book that I had out of the library, and subsequently bought because I love every quilt in it! I dropped everything and made 6 blocks in, you guessed it, PURPLE!  We had to add a bit of yellow.
Even Bella's favourite beat-it-up toy, her spider-baby, is purple!
Thus Pop Rocks was born, along with a year of playing even more, read fascination, with gradation in colour.  Pop Rocks has still not grown up into flimsy form.  With no plan in mind, it grew into a large number of blocks, 54, I believe, that don't, as of yet, a proper quilt size make.

During the first year of RSC for me, 2015, LeeAnna's cow blocks at Not Afraid of Color grabbed me (see the squirrel problem yet? Ooh I've got it bad.  But do not shake your head in dismay, because all these squirrels have led to wonderful results...somewhere in there there is an acorn to oak tree analogy...)
It took me the better part of two years to get this to flimsy form.  The aunt for whom this is destined loves purple.  Note the final border.  Note as well the purple churn dash on the side of the barn, which, at 6", is half the size of the other churn dashes.

Which brings me to the RSC2017 and January's colour: pure, pleasing, perennial purple.  I told you I designed the barn block basing it on Lori Holt's Barn Along 2013, another blogger's take on Lori's barn, and evolved that blogger's take on the barn to my own version.  During the designing and construction of this barn block, I had an epiphany in the purple haze of my brain:  HOUSES!!
This is the second quilt book I bought, (the first was Pioneer Sampler by Eleanor Burns) and in the cull of books and magazines before the big move last Fall, this one definitely did not get culled.  I have wanted to make the quilt on the cover from Day 1.  It apparently isn't a house block, but a schoolhouse block.  Both names work in my world because: A. I am a teacher; from my skin to my heart, I love to teach and B. I am a homebody.  Home is a presence, a state; it's peaceful, calm, sustaining.  So this is my block for the RSC2017 BUT.... with a quilt block on the side!  (clap hands) Guess there's an emoji for that👏

I sat with this photo off Amazon in front of me, (because my copy is in the storage box right) and drew on graph paper until I had a block that would work for me.  I want 6" blocks on the side of the house (seem to have developed a 'thang' for these babies thanks to Tula Pink's City Sampler and the 150 Canadian Women quilt along) and so it became a 16" finished block! I figure 10 blocks will give me an 80" square quilt before borders, before any Irish chain additional blocks if I want it to look like the one on the cover!

So without any further ado, here is my first block for the 2017 RSC:
I look at it and this is what goes through my mind:
  • Dayna! - the vast majority of my relatively few purple scraps are from quilts and quilted items for her
  • her Mariner's Compass quilt
  • her Shoot for the Moon --still need to write a proper post worthy of this quilt and the daughter who so deserves it
  • Brady! - the owl in the window (a find in the 2.5" squares bin that made me grin with glee) from his Jack and Friends quilt
  • New York City - a hobo bag I made with NYC fabric purchased at The City Quilter
  • Maren's quilt...Judy! her mum and a good friend...Edmonton...
  • the Cows quilt, ah the farm...
  • Ohio Star - mmm, good friend Julie of Pink Doxies
  • Moda Grunge, how I love thee and need more colours
How I adore scrappy quilts.  I plan to set each house in a colour-of-the-month garden of flowers.  I also plan to post a tutorial for this block in short order.  My gift to you, my readers. 😁

Linking up with
soscrappy for Scrap Happy Saturday
Patchwork Times
Cooking Up Quilts




Saturday, January 14, 2017

Updates: 150 Canadian Women and Quilt Challenge

#30quiltdesignschallenge2017

(I know, two posts in one day? Like what's with that? This was the planned one; the Q1FAL list had to get whipped up and posted in time for the deadline.)
There were 32 designs in the challenge on Instagram as of 7 pm Friday night, January 13.  That is fantastic!

I had www.tintup.com choose the winners and they were:
1.  $15 gift certificate to The Red Hen Shop
2.  fabric from moi
3.  fabric from Lisa at Sunlight in Winter Quilts
Thank you so much everyone who has joined Lisa and me in this design adventure.  Here are the ones I have entered so far:

The challenge continues until March 15 remember, so there is lots of time to hop in the pool with the rest of us.  Bi-weekly prizes of $15 gift cards are ongoing and Lisa and I will add a prize too here and there.

Guess what arrived today in my mail?!
EEEEP!!  I am both excited and a tad nervous at having this (again) in my hands.  I had EQ4 years ago when we had our first computer, a PC Seanix.  Have we come a long way baby!  However, think: exhilarating, time-eating, and frustrating all in one?  Now I played a bit over the past few days with Quiltography, an app for iPad which is pretty darn cool and at $13 a bargain for your dollars.  EQ7 I bought with some money my mum gave me for Christmas.  She is influencing my life a fair bit at the moment: I brought down with me a few of the books she has given me over the years, have read two, The Camel Bookmobile and Beatrice and Virgil, and am currently reading and thoroughly enjoying, A Walk Across France.  Thank you Mum!!  There also just may be some fabric bits 'n bobs working their way into a quilt in celebration (belated, sigh) of your auspicious 80th birthday...  Anyhow, onwards and upwards to the designing end of quilting.

Scraps Upon Scraps :  150 Canadian Women project

May I just say I am in LOVE with this ongoing (for a year!) project?  I am in LOVE with what I am learning about my country's kick-ass, bold, and quietly brave women.  Why is this not taught more in our school curriculum?  Right...we learn about Louis Riel, but not about his mother or his grandmother and their contributions and brave accomplishments.  That's wrong!  Anyhow, thank you Next Step Quilt Design, specifically Kat, for this project.

Sidenote: heard that Hayley Wickenheiser has just announced her retirement as of yesterday, Jan. 13.  Five-time Olympic gold medalist, she has done INCREDIBLE things for women's hockey.  And, at age 38, she said she doesn't want to put off going to medical school any longer!  Love her, hope there's a block for her, but if not, remind me to make on as a tribute to her, okay?

Here are this week's three blocks:
#25 Madeleine Parent - she studied sociology at McGill University and fought for the underdog, fighting against horrific working conditions,  a 55-hour work week and child labour in Quebec's cotton and woolen mills; #26 Thérèse Casgrain - she is the epitome of the Japanese proverb "Fall 7 times get up 8" because she ran in politics 9 times unsuccessfully, BUT she ended up being elected as the first woman leader of the NDP, a national party; #27 Dame Emma Albani - first Canadian woman to become an international celebrity; performed at Covent Garden for 24 years running; a favourite of Queen Victoria, she sang at her funeral.
Just wow.  Again.  I used French text in the background for Thérèse, and for Emma, red fabric with crowns because of Queen Victoria, and stars because of her global stardom.  Here is the collection of 27 so far.  Love!
I have a plan for the sashing pieces that is pretty exciting!  Once I have my hands on my fabric, I will reveal my plan.  I think the additions of pinks here and there is brilliant, and I am using low volume backgrounds from whites to creams to a bit of greys.  At this point I am just loving the way all these scraps play together.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

I am not loving so much the way my scrap vomit vortex fabric scraps are playing ...uh, together?  Please help:
These were just thrown up willy-nilly on the design wall.  I kind of like the diagonal line happening from the lower left...

I am at pretty big and medium slabs now.  These are about half of the lot.  Put 'em together as is or try to make them into a standard size, say 12X18" and contain some of the chaos by sashing the blocks?  Right now it's uncontrolled chaos which is kind of compelling but kind of nauseating to me.  Having never done this sort of thing I need opinions and suggestions please.  It's going to be a good size, or perhaps even two medium sized quilts?  and the scraps have not gone down a whit, but seem to have increased...wabbits....



Q1FAL My List

I debated on signing up this quarter, as there are more than a couple irons in the fire, but here I am and let's see where this goes.  My success rate for Q4 was 60%.  Once again this year, there are multiple hosts.  There are hundreds of quilt bloggers who participate, and each entry is verified as having been on the Quarter List and then a finished useable product, so this makes for a ton of work.
https://cutandalter.blogspot.com/p/welcome-to-2017-finish-long-for-second.html

I will be linking up on Abigail's blog this year, at Cut & Alter.  She is in England.  The first year I participated, I linked up to Adrianne at On the Windy Side in New Zealand, the second year, to Leanne at She Can Quilt in Canada, and now this year to Abigail.  It is a global event.  Seems to me to be a trend, no? Global community.  We're all in this together.  Because we are.  So let's have fun, be amazed at others' talents, and celebrate more beautiful quilts on our planet!

Interesting to note another trend, one that's been around since quilting itself I venture to say, the majority of the quilts on the quilters' lists, my own included, are being given to others.  Mmm, I like that! 💖

1.  Radiance
This is coming back from Q4 of last year, so you've seen it uh, more than once...and is a flimsy I made almost a year ago.  It needs a top and bottom border, which I already have planned, and then quilting.  It is for my nephew Aidan.
Pattern is Triangle Transparency from Quilting JETgirl
2.  Cuh'Boss!
This is going to an aunt. I just finished it in December and now need to get it quilted and mailed off to give to her.
3.  A secret project #1
4. Another secret project
The fourth colour is white.  There are two others, but they are not as dominant.  How's that for mysterious?
5.  A cushion cover, part of the Windfall upcoming Quilt Along I am hosting on my blog.
6. Whirling Stars
I would really like to just get this quilted already.  I've sewed the backing, applied the label, cut the batting, and now it just needs basting and then I can get to work.
7.  A wallhanging size of Windfall for a Quilt Along sponsored by Paint Brush Studio (pinch me! 😊) in the near future on my blog.  I haven't got the fabric yet, but here is the large version.  The wallhanging will be done in Spring colours, and I will post the photo of the fabrics once they arrive.

8.  Jolly Christmas Trees
Get this quilted up and ready for donating.

Oh, there will be more projects that creep in, rest assured.  Those darn squirrels get me time and time again. If you are like me, you may want to click the DrEAMi! button on my sidebar to find a place for you to celebrate your QADD.  Quilter Attention Deficit Disorder.  I confess that I am quite badly afflicted with it. 😬

Friday, January 13, 2017

Two Tips: Twirling Seams and Cutting Backwards

Here are my blocks for January's step for the Meadow Mystery at Meadow Mist Designs.  Cheryl has me mystified, as I played around a bit with all 25 blocks, but can't seem to get a design that says, yup!  She's a great mystery quilt writer!!
This is SUCH a pretty block!

We had to make 4 of those and 8 of the others. I am loving the fabrics and colours I chose.
 
A few of the 25 blocks arranged...so many possibilities!

Twirling Seams

I like to press my seams to one side.  I like to stitch in the ditch to stabilize a quilt before doing FMQ or ruler work on it, whether I am on my Bernina or my Avanté.  With seams pressed open, there is no ditch, and the stabilizing stitches sink between the seams.  I guess one could say you are stitching the batting to the backing then, but the point of ditching is to stabilize all three layers of the quilt.

Problems arise when there are multiple intersecting seams.  A needle can get broken when hitting a lump like this.  You can get a nice a flat intersection, just as you would had you pressed seams open, by doing this cool little trick.  I first saw it on Alex Anderson's "Simply Quilts" show on HGTV, and then later in Carrie Nelson's Another Bite of Schnibbles book.

Here is what it looks like on the back, and on the front, nice and flat.  All you do is gently push the seams in opposite directions right at the intersection. Sometimes I push them in both opposite directions, one way and then the other. This will make a stitch or two loosen and open and you can then lie the opposing seams flat.  You will get a little 4-patch if you have just sewn straight seams, little pinwheels if you have sewn any HSTs together at the intersection.  Too cute!

Here's a great YouTube video by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts that shows you how to do this.  I didn't spin the 4-patches in this block, but easily could have. Something Edyta says in this video was a lightbulb moment for me: "Whatever direction your first two seams are pressed in, twirl the just-sewn seams that same direction."  Like a pinwheel! Snap!

Cutting Backwards

I've talked about this on the blog before, but it's worth mentioning again, another cool trick I saw years ago on "Simply Quilts".  Actually, this is two tips in one.

First of all you can cut two segments at a time for 4-patches by simply laying two strips sets atop each other with the centre seams opposing.
Here I've cut two 10" segments off my strip, destined to become 2.5" segments for 4-patches.

Lay the two on top of each other with seams snugged up against each other. You can feel the ridges.  I've offset the ends slightly just so you see they are on top of each other, but seams are going in opposite directions.
Place your ruler on the double layer strip set.  We have 10" here and I am cutting 2.5" segments, so the first cut you will slide your ruler backwards, i.e. towards the left, 10 - 2.5 = 7.5, so to the 7.5" mark:
Cut
Move the ruler backwards (to the left) again, this time to the 5" mark.
Cut once more.

Make the final cut on the 2.5" mark.
Voilà!  Four pairs ready to sew into 4-patches.  If you do not separate them as I have here for photo purposes, you can take them directly to your machine and piece since the seams are nicely abutted.
I am finished the January Honey Pot Bee blocks. This is a bee hosted by Molli Sparkles, where certain quilters give instructions for a block, and you as the little maker bee, decide to make the block or not.  Remember my modern tree blocks that yielded an entire quilt top?  That was a wild card he threw at us.
Happy, full, colourful design wall.  Happy me.

This month was a strawberry block from Bec at Skyberries Handmade and a Starflower block by Jennifer at Ellison Lane Handmade.
One of my goals for 2017 is to make a quilt of entirely solids. I made all solids placemats for practising FMQ in a class with Angela Walters a while back, but never an entire quilt top.  So this bee is a great place to challenge myself to do that.  Unfortunately, I did not bring very many solids with me, just a few for working on The City Sampler 6" blocks, not a stitch done there yet,  so my first fabric pull of a mere 5 solids did not lend themselves very well to the January blocks, drat! After yoga one day I had to make a pit stop at a big JoAnn's in Sarasota, where I found two more greens (might've got a third because I wanted to be sure they would work with my pale green), and a pale pink.  I am pretty sure I have Baby Pink at home, but alas, I didn't bring it with me.  So I picked up a half yard of these four and well, four others kind of jumped onto the pile.  So I now have some Kona black, Primrose, Buttercup Yellow and Turquoise joined Baby Pink, Chartreuse, Grass Green and Basil Green.
Did I mention these were 40% off?

And then...
In the remnants, which I always check (thank you Preeti, for this terrific tip!) I found this:
Remember remnants are half price so this was $9.44

I nearly left it when I saw the price and what? 108" wide? I don't need a wideback in this colour.  But then I thought, wait, I do need grey. Outside of Kona Silver, I have no grey Kona.  But it seemed expensive.  However, with the help of the calculator on my iPhone, because my menopausal melon is not so reliable these days for math in a hurry, I determined that the price per yard, when converted to 43" wide fabric, worked out to be $3.71!! Score! Sold!

Three quick reminders:
1.  If you are thinking about taking a Craftsy class, or like me, put them on your Wishlist, now might be a good time to buy it as they are BOGO. Buy one, get one free!  With all that's going on, I still haven't finished watching Natalia Bonner's "Free Motion Motifs for Classic Blocks" but as soon as I do I will write a review.  So far it's very good. (affiliate links)

2.  If you are part of our 30 Quilt Designs Challenge 2017 or #30quiltdesignschallenge2017 on Instagram, be sure to get a design in today for another chance at three prizes. I will be drawing this evening for the first bi-weekly winner in our Challenge! There is a $15 gift certificate to The Red Hen Shop, and two prizes, one each from me and from Lisa.  If you aren't on Instagram, consider joining us! It's a great and quick way (unless you get sucked into the vortex) of seeing what people are up to throughout the day.  Also you do not have to be on Instagram to look at stuff there; that's a clickable link with some very cool designs. 😉

3.  You might want to hop on over to Sew Fresh Quilts to check out her newest free QAL! Lorna is getting a jumpstart on helping everyone have a lovely Christmas quilt for this year's Christmas! 🎄

Linking Up:
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Sew Fresh Quilts