Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Fun Blocks

(**UPDATED** I forgot Crazy Mom Quilts is back online again. I'll be linking up with her, too, along with the linky parties below, since I have finishes to share this week. Can't forget that!)

I've been away from Blogland for a week again. I have a feeling that's going to happen now and then now that the warmer seasons are here. This past week was my daughter's last week of maternity leave, so we made another quick trip to spend time with her family before she goes back to work. We hit it at just the right time weather-wise for outdoor play and walks to the park. Yay! We stopped at Lake Michigan on the way there and back to do a quick check on Spring's return. At the end of this post, I'll put up a couple of pictures so you can see for yourself and compare to my post from a few weeks ago. After we got back, it was time to get ready for Easter guests, so no sewing, but this week I'm back at it. I have a couple of WIPs that are so tiny, they've already turned into finishes. 

If you read the same blogs I do, you'll know that Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl recently requested blocks for quilts for a boy and girl who she is teaching the joy of quilting. You can read about her request here. This seemed like the perfect little project in between big ones for me. And the blocks were just the right size (7 by 10 inches) to plan out on a piece of graph paper for foundation piecing. 

For the boy's block, I drew the rectangle with the music note first, and decided that I would improvise for the rest of the block. Yeah right. Me. Improvise. Ha! I had the blue and black fabrics in my stash, but nothing with music notes, so I went to the closest quilt shop with a challenge to myself that I had to find something there. Alas, the only music fabric they had was in tans. Then I noticed a piece of black and white fabric in a scrap bin. Aha. An abstract representation of part of a keyboard. Sort of. Back home, the note went together quickly, and I added some keyboard pieces on each side of it, but then I got stuck. Let's just say I bonded (more than once) with my seam ripper. I ended up stitching together some blue strips without really measuring (hard for me to do!) and then just sewed them together and moved my ruler around to see where I wanted to trim to get the right dimensions. It didn't turn out quite the way I pictured it initially, but I'm happy with it. 

I thought the boy's block would be easier, but the girl's block actually came together much more quickly for me. I had an idea immediately, and it didn't take long to draw it. I propped up one of my umbrellas on the floor to get the angle right while keeping the lines as simple as possible. My biggest challenge was finding fabric for the sky. I had several that were the right color, but the prints just didn't seem right. I settled on a mottled piece. There wasn't a lot left in my stash, but with one extra seam, I made it work. Since one of the requested colors was gray, I used a white with a pale gray figure in it for the sand instead of using a more sandy color. I think it works fine. I included the sailboat at the last minute to emphasize the theme for the quilt. 

These blocks were so much fun, I might just need to expand on the themes sometime for something else. There's still time to get in on the fun for Quilting Jetgirl's block collection if you'd like. I think she's collecting until April 22.

I have another WIP going, but I don't have anything to show yet. My daughter-in-law and I were able to spend a little time brainstorming a bit at Easter, and decided on a way to at least begin the queen-sized quilt for her and my son. I'm starting with a BIG block (40 by 40 inches) that will cover much of the bed top and then I'll improvise (Ha! That, again!) to figure out how to proceed from there. It will feel good to get started. I'm going to draw that block out on newsprint and paper piece it, just because there are some big angled pieces and I want to make sure I keep them lined up right. Stay tuned. 

I'm going to write a separate post this week based on a photo quilt I made a few years ago. I noticed that  Valerie at Val's Quilting Studio is asking for submissions from our archives. I don't have a archived post, but I do have a quilt to share from my pre-blogging days. Watch for it tomorrow. 

Oh, and here's my mini travelogue for this week.

March 29--Warren Dunes State Park
Still some ice and icy sand mounds, but the sun was warm.
April 1
Starting to look better--some breaks in the mounds.
Lots of blue water, with just a few ice chunks. Yippee! Maybe the water will be warm by July this year.
So there ya go! I'm linking up today with Freemotion by the River (Linky Tuesday--a day late), Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday, and Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social.


  1. Both blocks look great, but I especially love the umbrella block. I used to live in South Bend, IN and remember using Lake Michigan as a sign that spring really was almost here!

    I saw above that you usually participate in several link-ups. My Mom and I blog at Prairie Sewn Studios are trying to gain some traction on our new link-up that goes up each Friday and focuses on helping the crafting community connect online and encourage each other by commenting on just three of the posts in the link up. We'd love to have you participate, the info can be found here:

  2. Great donation blocks! I love that music note. Sure to be appreciated. Happy to see the snow gone, too!

  3. Your blocks for Yvonne's young friends are beautiful JanineMarie. Such wonderful details you added. I love how you added in the sailboat on the horizon and the way the water looks like sunlight twinkling off the waves.