Queen Bee for Gridsters: Piggies!

Queen Bee

I am the Queen Bee this month for the Gridsters Bee, and thought and thought and thought of what I could do.  I happened on this design while surfing the blogs, and something about it just made me smile.  Since I am one month post-op on my interminable rotator cuff repair recovery, I realize that it’s probably because I just needed some happy-cheery-goofy-fun in my life.

gridsters-250-buttonx

IG: #gridsterbee

Yes, I made the tutorial and wrote it all up before I went in to surgery, perhaps anticipating the need for something happy-cheery-goofy-fun. To start us off, here’s something to get you in the mood for making my block this month (stop it about 3:00):

babe-the-gallant-pig

For those of you who can’t see the link, it’s from the movie Babe, The Gallant Pig, completing his “sheep” trials. (Go to the blog if you want to see it.)

Yep.  Somehow little piggies have gotten in my heart and under my skin and I want a whole quilt of them, although I may add a barn or tree to break things up.  I first found them on Gayle’s blog, Mangofeet, where it says she is a bonafide farmer.  She found them on Sally’s blog, The Object of Design, which is where I found a tutorial for littler guys.  And I found Gayle, by following a link from Bonnie Hunter’s Quiltville’s Linky Party for her En Provence mystery quilt.  Connections everywhere!

Before I leave all the attributions, please visit Sally’s tutorial page, where she has other tutorials for bunnies and fish and all sorts of creatures.

piglet-b_opquilt

But mine are slightly different, both in size and in style, so I wrote up atutorial for what I want.  Since they are small, I’d like you to make me two, if you wouldn’t mind.  I used Gayle’s post for inspiration (also look *here.*). To make it easier on yourself, make them both the same, but if you get adventurous, it’s okay to flip the orientation of the piglets, or make one going up and one coming down.  But really, keep it simple so you aren’t calling me names in the middle of this process.

Again, while Sally has a tutorial (linked above) and she is the designer of this block, I changed up a few things (like the dimensions), so please follow along and make my piglet according to my tutorial.  The piggies are all scrappy, but I do need:

  • sky–a consistent low-volume or “background–no need to make them the same fabric, but the do need to be the same lightness: pale blue, cream, white, tan, low-volume with grey/tan/etc. prints.  Avoid prints with too dark of  text or design so that it throws it to a muddy tonality.  Some background prints are fun and will make the quilt more sparkly.  It’s okay to mix up the borders, but I’d probably stick to the same fabric around the piglet.
  • body–a medium value fabric: small print or geometric, floral, Kaffe, but avoid fabrics that look “splotchy” when cut this small (such as cutting a giant polka dot in half)–generally anything in your stash.  Have fun.  Make me some colorful piglets.
  • ears, feet, snout–a darker-toned fabric that stands out from the body fabric
  • tail–embroidery floss/Perle cotton to match your piglet, to embroider the tail. Pattern is not given for this, but below are some piglet tail ideas. Please use a back stitch.  More info in the tutorial.

piggy-tails-composite

piglet-a_opquilt

Gayle showed hers on a tilting grassy hill, which I like quite well, so that’s what I’m asking you to make for me.  Copious amounts of photography and images and text follow, but really it isn’t too hard.  The following directions yield one piggie, so cut everything out double, out of two different piles of scrappiness.

Lastly, I follow standard print journalism standards: the caption in UNDERNEATH the image (MQG had theirs backwards on their award-winners page and I was so confused!)

piglet-tutorial_opquilt_1

Cut the background (sky).piglet-tutorial_opquilt_2

Cut the body fabric.piglet-tutorial_opquilt_3

Cut the accent pieces of snout, ear and feet.piglet-tutorial_opquilt_4

Step one is to snowball body fabric onto the background fabric, using the 2- 1/2″ square pieces of background and the 1 -1/2″ square pieces of body fabric.  Then the last snowball is a double: use one 2- 1/2″ square of accent fabric and snowball on one 1 -1/2″ square of background and one 1- 1/2″ square of body fabric.  Press the snowball corners to the dark side, and trim after pressing.  With the double-snowball, you’ll press one square’s seam allowance toward the accent fabric and the other toward the body fabric.piglet-tutorial_opquilt_5

Step two is to gather the other pieces together:  Line up the 1 -1/2″ x 4″ pieces in body and background, AND the 1- 1/2″ x 3″ pieces in body and accent.  Place on the front accent piece (snout) and the back background piece on the large body piece (lowest piece).piglet-tutorial_opquilt_6

Step three: sew the strips together and then press to the dark side on the top one.  I don’t care which way you press the bottom one, but I went towards the dark as well.piglet-tutorial_opquilt_7

Now cut those strips in half.  Exactly.  The top strip set (A) will yield two with body and background fabric that will measure 2″ across.  The bottom set (B) will yield body and accent fabric that will measure 1 1/2″ across.piglet-tutorial_opquilt_8

Step Five is to lay them all out.  If you were going to make a reverse-direction pig, you’d need to fiddle with that ear (double-snowball) piece to sew that up differently, otherwise, everything else is the same/can be moved around.  (See second pig at the end.)piglet-tutorial_opquilt_9

Sew the top row together, then the middle and yes…sew the bottom row of pieces together.  Pressing instructions are in a minute, but generally press towards the dark.  PLEASE DO NOT PRESS THE SEAMS OPEN. piglet-tutorial_opquilt_10

Babe!!! Babe!!piglet-tutorial_opquilt_11

This is how I pressed the seams.  I just realized I pressed the legs the wrong way.  Oh well.  Either way is fine, but just not open. [NOTE: I show it correctly in the second pig, at the end.]piglet-tutorial_opquilt_12

Time to tilt this little guy.  Start by sewing on a 2- 1/2″ strip of ground–can be green for grass, or flowery for a meadow, or brown for forest floor or purple for Outer Space.  It just has to have contrast to the background and side strips.piglet-tutorial_opquilt_13

Sew on three side strips, by FIRST sewing on the top, then the two sides, all 2 -1/2″ wide strips.

piglet-tutorial_opquilt_13a

UPDATE FOR MY BEE MEMBERS:
Please do not trim.  After sewing on borders, just send untrimmed, untilted.  

Now back to our regular programming.

Now to cut.  Please check the areas in those red circles to make sure you are leaving 1/4″ seam allowances (one above the line, one below the line).  Lay your ruler with the edge along the black line, above.  Cut.

piglet-tutorial_opquilt_13b

Now lay a square ruler at the bottom (newly cut) edge.  Now play with the adjacent side it a bit, making sure to leave that 1/4″ in the circled area.  Cut.

Now think about it as a beginning rectangle.  Turn the piglet 1/4 turn clockwise so that the newly cut green line is at the bottom of the mat and the black line is to your left.  Measure over 7 3/4″ from the black line; cut.

Measure 9 1/4″ up from the green line; cut.

Tilt the pig back to a proper vertical and it should look like this:

piglet-tutorial_opquilt_15

The piglet’s rectangle will measure as shown above: 7-3/4″ high by 9-1/4″ wide..

piglet-tutorial_opquilt_14

Again, this is the most important corner when you cut for the tilt.  It’s so the ground will look merged together when seamed.
piglet-tutorial_opquilt_14a

I made you an overlay, if you are nervous.  Download the PDF file: piglet-tilt-overlay1 and print it out on vellum paper, or make a template out of this (too much trouble, I think).  It will help you get the right angles.

screen-printing-settingsPlease print it at 100% or you will again find yourself cursing.

If you are really truly too nervous to cut this pig, send it back to me untrimmed and when I get better, I’ll be happy to trim it up.

piglet-tutorial_opquilt_16a

Now let’s add the pigtail.  Draw on a squiggle, originating from the pig’s backside edge.  My drawn line is really faint, above because I don’t want to have to figure out how to get the pencil off.  Sometimes I’ve just eyeballed it.  Sometimes I’ve just scratched it in.  See the picture at the top of the post for pigtail ideas.piglet-tutorial_opquilt_16b

Tie a knot in your perle cotton (I used size 8, but 5 or 12 is fine, too) and bring it out at the fold, at the beginning of your drawn line, hiding the knot in the seam.piglet-tutorial_opquilt_16c

Take one stitch (#1) and then skip a stitch, coming out as shown in the photo on the left.  Now put your needle in the same hole as where you came out on your starting stitch (#2) and backtrack and stitch that empty place, which will put you on the road to backstitching the piglet’s tail on.  piglet-tutorial_opquilt_16d

Insert the needle in the last stitch and pull it to the wrong side.piglet-tutorial_opquilt_16e

On the wrong side, weave your thread down from the top , then make a knot (below) by making a loop and drawing your needle through it.  Continue weaving your thread for one or two more stitches, then cut it off.piglet-tutorial_opquilt_16f

Okay, let’s do it again, but with the pig flipped to the other side.

piggy_opquilt_1

You can see how the ear needs the double-snowballed corners switched.piggy_opquilt_2

And the back, showing the pressing, this time with the correct pressing for the legs.piggy-trimming_opquilt_1

You have to think on this step: do you want your piggie going uphill? Or downhill? piggy-trimming_opquilt_2

I voted for downhill since I already have an uphill.
Here’s how I laid my ruler, keeping an eye on those 1/4-inch seam allowances.piggy-trimming_opquilt_3

Now you can see how I use my square ruler to find the next edge.  piggy-trimming_opquilt_4

It’s really straight, even though the photo doesn’t look like it.piggy-trimming_opquilt_5

I put the ruler on as I described above, and worked it until I had the correct measurements of 7-3/4″ by 9-1/4.”  I ended up trimming off a slice of a previous cut to get those dimensions.  Then I do the tail. piggies

Here they are together, but not sewn together.

piglet-c_opquilt

That’ll do, Pig.

Thank you everyone!  I look forward to a whole farmyard of little piggies, running around my design wall.  While I attribute all these ideas to two very fine quilters: Gayle, of Mangofeet (she is hilarious to read) and Sally of The Objects of Design (who has made a stunner of an En Provence Mystery Quilt), all the photographs and instructions above are my own.  Please do visit their blogs to see all the fun piglets that are running around there.

Mid-Century Modern Bee 2016 Wrap-up

MCMLogo1

Four years ago, Cindy and I sat at this computer and designed this logo for a bee she was starting.  She brilliantly gathered up a coterie of quilters, all over the age of 50, and I helped her with the spreadsheet, organization, and the design.  Some members have come and gone, but as I am one of the original members, and since 2016 is our last year together, I thought I’d do a wrap-up of blocks and quilts.

Riverside Sawtooth_labeled

January 2016 was my month and I asked for blocks to make the above quilt, titled Riverside Sawtooth.  

Riverside Sawtooth_small2I used my sample blocks to make this little table topper.

February was Cindy’s turn, and she asked us all to make little books.

MCM book block_1

I chose ballerinas because I knew this was headed to make a quilt for her granddaughter.

wiens-back-_mcm

She arranged all our signature blocks on the back with some fussy cut blocks that were representative of her, so her newest grandchild could associate these cute blocks with her grandmother.wiens_mcm

The quilt is like a library of books!

March was Linda K. we were ready for some bright colors.

March MCM bee blocks

She asked for 4″ churn dash blocks in fun colors, with a few “oopses” in the construction of the blocks to make it interesting.  I switched around some of the corner blocks and substituted in another block of color.

kucera_mcm

These are all the blocks, arranged up on her design wall.  Those colors just pop!

Stephanie had April and was interested in having us make blocks representative of the windows at her daughter’s school.

MCM Bee Sewing

The idea was to make a raffle quilt to benefit the school, but it was sold before the raffle could be held, so I’m hoping she keeps the blocks we sent her and makes a quilt for her daughter.

peterson_mcm

They do look like multi-paned windows, sparkling in the light.  She sent us Paintbrush Studio Fabrics to use, and I have to say again how much I love those solids!

Once again, in May, we made churn dash blocks at the request of Carla F. but with a twist: they could be subdivided up inside the 12″ square requirement to add interest.

MCM May 2016_Carla

I made one jumbo block.  She asked for something skewed as well, so I made two sides skinnier.

carla_mcm

This is quite an array of sizes and shapes, and should be an interesting quilt, or a good start to something fun.

June MCM_2016 rene

Rene kept it simple and fun for us in June, asking for Raspberry Kiss blocks (tutorial found *here*).

rene_mcm

The collection is here.  Rene is one of the quilters involved with the Pulse Heart quilts, and she has been incredibly busy this year helping with that project.  Click *here* to see them delivering the quilts to the first reconsiders on the scene. It’s a really sweet video with all those quilts.  Rene is about 2:44 if you want to see her in action.

July 2016_MCM

Sherri, in July, asked us for scrappy Log Cabin blocks to add to a quilt she’d already started.  I don’t have a picture of all the blocks, but I’m sure it will be terrific.

sherri-log-cabin-blocks

Here’s a screen shot of some of the other blocks that our group made for her.

Aug MCM block_MaryS

Mary, for August, found a quilt she liked on the Robert Kaufman website, called Woven Pattern, and wanted us to make blocks in the color of the beach: sea and sand.

mary-s_woven-blocks

She laid them out on the floor at my request, and I really love those colors!

2016sept_maryk

Mary K. is a star-lover and always has great blocks for us to try.  September’s Confetti Star block was no exception and the free pattern can be found *here.*

kolb_mcm

Isn’t this a great layout of stars?  We made each other signature blocks, and you can see them laid out in the lower right corner.  And yes, there are 12 of us in this bee; sometimes we have forgotten to send them along.  She asked us to make the signature blocks two-toned, rather than just out of one fabric. [Here’s a post with another one of Mary’s choices for stars, also including a free pattern.]

Roaring into October found us making B’s and E’s for Anne’s choice.

oct-2016_mcm-anne

She asked us to do one in a color we wanted to and the rest in “barely there” sort of colors, but with enough contrast to distinguish them from the background.

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I can hardly wait to see wait Anne’s imagination conjures up from these letters.

mcm-bee-block-nov-2016

Fittingly for November, Nancy asked us to make these leafless trees, in sky color and green.

nancy_mcm-trees

Lastly, for December Elizabeth R. asked for us to make blocks out of Anna Maria Horner fabrics in the blocks we requested.

december-mcm-blocks-2016

Since my choice (the Riverside Sawtooth block) doesn’t look good unless there are four of them, she gave me permission to make something different, so I enlarged a Chuck Nohara block and made her two.

erich-composite-mcm

Here’s the composite (so far–people are still sending in their blocks).  But while it’s stunning, and makes me want to make a quilt only out of AMH fabrics, some of the genius is in seeing how different the blocks are from the originals:

nancy-trees

Nancy’s tree blocks become transcendent in this new fabric.

mcm-erich_1

And Stephanie’s window-pane triangles completely change character in the different fabrics.  There’s a great lesson for us all to learn–sometimes we don’t have to change our blocks or patterns, but instead think outside the box on our fabrics.

Other wrap-ups are found here and here.  Our blog is here, and since we all know whatever we put up on the internet stays until someone takes it down, you can find many of our blocks up there on the blog.

So, thank you all, to the Mid-Century Moderns.  It’s been fun!

May’s Blocks (and some of June)

Random Number 6

Because my husband is busy this afternoon recovering from our trip (see below), I used an online generator to pick a winner today for the felt, and it’s Elizabeth (what a great name, eh?) who goes by catskillquilter.  Congratulations, Elizabeth!  I’ll be in touch to get that sent out to you.  I have two more giveaways lined up in the next couple of weeks, one courtesy of Uppercase Magazine, and the other from the Steam A Seam people (that one’s on June 13th–in conjunction with our continuing Hallowe’en 1904 QAL).  I’ll have some great news as well about that fabulous pattern.

MCM May 2016_Carla

Here we go, first with quilt blocks from our Mid-Century Modern Bee: Carla of Grace and Favor asked for a modern churn dash block, saying she likes mustard and plum.  Above is my block, but I was tempted by this, from @myquiltdiet:
Sawtooth Churndash

I thought it would be fun to try, but Carla said “Too much work!” I could hear the laugh in her voice, so I smiled and went with tweaking the center bars to give it a bit of a twist.  I hope she likes it.

Spelling Bee May

In our Spelling Bee Quilt Bee, Susan of PatchworknPlay asked for words to make up her saying, which she’ll reveal on her blog.   I first took three words with “w’s” but then Simone had none, so I gave two back, leaving me with the above.

Zion16_1

Since NOT staying at home seems to be the thing I do the best lately, we headed out Friday for a mini-reunion with my husband’s family in Zion National Park, about 7 hours away.  You can tell who has been coming there for ages (this makes about trip #20 for me) as we say “heading to Zion’s” as if there’s a possessive element there.  (However, I do feel like it’s “my” park.)  To try and catch up with my patchwork, I took some Chuck Nohara blocks on the road, stitching them in the car and in the park.
Zion16_2

We invested in new air mattresses this year, twin blow-up beds, and those of you who have slept on a queen air mattress with another person while it slowly deflates all night long, know exactly why I replaced our aging air mattress.  It also helps that my favorite camp quilt, Hearts in the Pines, is made for a twin.  The pattern is out of print, but you can find the blocks in this previous post.  My husband’s bed later on got a green nine-patch, but he left it off because it was. . .

Zion16_8

…pretty dang hot this weekend. Snapshot was from the next day, where it turned out to have a high of 103 degrees F (about 40 C.)Zion16_3

My husband and I, my son and his wife and boys always go out to dinner at Zion Pizza and Noodle Company the first night, as we all love their pizzas, and who wants to cook after setting up camp? I love their scallopy crusts.
Zion16_4

We were tasked with getting the S’more supplies.  I cracked up when I saw a whole section just dedicated to this.Zion16_5

We rejoiced to have my husband’s niece (shown here in the Virgin River with the  youngest of her six children) join us.  Several weeks ago she underwent surgery for a brain tumor, and while under anesthesia, had a stroke.  She awoke to a mostly paralyzed left side and has undergone significant physical therapy just to be able to walk with occasional hesitation.  But she’s walking! She’s our own little success story, and she and her husband and family are our very own heroes.Zion16_6 Zion16_7

Throwing rocks in the river was great entertainment for my grandson and the other small cousins. (No, he couldn’t lift that one.)Zion16_9

I left the river early because it was too hot, and went back to camp.  I picked up my Chuck Nohara stitching, sitting quietly in the shade, watching (and chasing away) the squirrels.  All of a sudden I hear a sound directly behind me, and using the reverse camera on my phone, caught this shot.  One of the other little cousins came running over, saying “Bambi’s here! Mom, Bambi’s here!”

Because of the above sitting quietly, I’m all caught up with my Chuck Nohara blocks from April and May:

April 2016 Chuck Nohara May 2016 Chuck NoharaNow to head into June!

Sentimental Journey: Bee Blocks for the Mid-Century Modern Bee, part 1

Cindy, of LiveAColorfulLife, called me up one day and said she had a great idea and a great name for a bee: Mid-Century Modern Bee, and that everyone had to be at least mid-century in age.  Maybe it was the exasperation I felt that all the newbies were claiming invention of tried and true blocks and methods, or that I was ready for another bee, or that Cindy’s charm could not be turned down, but I jumped at the chance to be a part of this new group. We’ve been going strong for three years, so I’m dividing this post into parts, and am grouping them by the participant, rather than going through the calendar years.  We now have a blog, courtesy of Susan and PatchnPlay, so I guess you could say we are all grown up. I wanted a place where all our blocks, quilts, and tutorials could be listed; you’ll find links to many tutorials of these blocks, so have fun browsing. MCM_Timberlake1The first project we did was Carla’s Church Dash quilt, with the tutorial found *here.*  The next year, Carla (Lollyquiltz) had us make another block churn dash block for her, and the beautiful quilt above is the result. MCM_Timberlake2 Carla is still working on this year’s batch of blocks, a birthday cake block using *this* tutorial.  This bee also does signature blocks, which I love, and you can see the array at the top of her pin wall.  My birthday cake block is the blueberry with mint filling, as one of the fun things she had us do was list what “kind” of cake we would make for her.  If you use the tutorial, remember to set your print scaling settings at 100% so your block will be 12″ square. MCM_Wiens Bird in Air Cindy thought for her first turn, she would do the Winged Square Block with the tutorial found *here.*  When I sent around the letter asking for photos of blocks/quilt tops/quilts, she sent me a photo of all the blocks together. MCM Wiens Block Spiderweb For her second round, she fell in love with Rene’s spiderweb block (another member in our bee) and decided she wanted one too.  This became common–we are so well matched that we borrow ideas for each other regularly, tweaking them slightly.  We used *this tutorial* for these blocks. MCM_Wiens2 2015 MCM March w0 label Using *this* tutorial, and again borrowing from Rene’, Cindy went with a rainbow Dresden plate, with a black and white center.  Unlike the Always Bee Learning Bee, we make from our stash, not sending out fabrics to each other.  It is fun to see how many of us have the same fabrics. MCM-Wiens Dresdens Her last request was matched by another bee she is participating in, so her design wall was flooded with circles. MCM_Jeske1Debbie, of A Quilter’s Table, asked for a variation of the Hugs and Kisses Block, but done in soft hues and colors (aka “Low Volume”).  Her stunning completed quilt, above, titled Common Affection, has gone on to be published and to win ribbons.  I love that blue wall, as it really shows off the low volume fabric choices. MCM April 2014_2 Debbie’s next block (in 2014) was a pair of rolling diamond blocks, from *this tutorial.* MCM April 2014_1 Vivid Here’s her completed quilt, Vivid, adding a few more to round out the original collection.MCM_Martinez Spider WebRene’ of Rene Creates, and who inspires many of us with choosing blocks, asked us for a spiderweb block (tutorial link found above), but in scrappy fabrics. She made this cool quilt with the colors moving all around–a real scrappy treat.  She took it with her when the family did Christmas photographs together; I love the setting. dresden plate_OpquiltHer 2014 block was this cool-in-blues-and-greens Dresden block (tutorial listed above). Rene's dresdens She laid them all out on her bed to show us how they look together.  Because of different printing sizes, they range from smaller to larger.  She plans to place them scattered across a solid background for her quilt. MCM_Russell House blocks Deborah, Simply Miss Luella, asked for house blocks, and here are a few.  Mine is in the upper left; link to the blog post about it, with the pattern is *here.*  You can find her on Instagram. MCM January14 Block I made this house for Linda, drawing from my collection of free house patterns that I had worked up for my in-town sewing group. The reason she asked for houses, is that her house burnt to the ground, and she lost everything shortly before Thanksgiving of the year she was with our group.  We all made houses, our hearts going out to her as she worked hard to rebuild her life. (to be continued)