Spring Chicken Sampler Block 4

For the fourth block of the sampler, I chose to do a half square triangle version of the Lemoyne Star, called Sarah’s Choice. I love the Lemoyne Star, but the set-in seams seemed daunting, so I love that I got to play with the look of it with a much simpler construction using the half square triangles.

I modified the pattern a little bit to include all four of my colors, namely by using two backgrounds. This meant an even easier block because I used all HST instead of having flying geese units on the sides. I like simpler!

I made four of these units, then combined into the full block.

One quarter of the finished block

One quarter of the finished block

I learned a lot about getting seams lined up on this one. My seam ripper and I are much better friends after this block! Here’s an example of how NOT to sew two quarters together.

Missed the seams!

Missed the seams!

After all the sewing and seam ripping and re-sewing was done, here’s my completed block.

The completed Sarah's Choice block

The completed Sarah’s Choice block

For the more astute of my readers, you may have noticed that this completes the list of blocks I’d originally decided to make. So am I done? Oh no, of course not! There’s been some scope creep on this project and I have ideas to make it way better! (hopefully) Stay tuned for more Spring Chicken Sampler still to come!

If you’d like to see the other blocks in the sampler, here’s a list of links to the squares I’ve completed so far:

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Spring Chicken Sampler Block 3

The third block is completed! This block is called the Rosebud block. It’s not the traditional rosebud block, but I believe the author refers to it as the Kansas City Star Rosebud block. If you’re not aware, the Kansas City Star newspaper is famous in the quilting world for having printing a weekly quilting block from the 1928 to 1961. Here‘s a little article that gives some historical information about it. While I’ve yet to find one authoritative source, I have found several different compilations that look interesting. My top two are Star Quilts and My Stars.

After all that, I’m still not completely sure that’s where this block came from. I haven’t been able to track it down exactly. For all I know, this is a completely original pattern by the lady who wrote the article.

Anyway, now that we’ve journeyed there and back on that tangent….

This block is a very straight-forward block, so even my beginner skills didn’t have any issues. Without further ado, here’s my Rosebud block.

Completed Rosebud Block

Completed Rosebud Block

If you’d like to see the other blocks in the sampler, here’s a list of links to the squares I’ve completed so far:

Spring Chicken Sampler Block 2

For the next block in this sampler, I decided on a Dutchman’s Puzzle block. I followed the pattern here. I modified the pattern a little bit to include two background colors, instead of one. That way, I was able to use all four of my colors in the block.

I learned two things while building this block. One, always always check the layout of your block before too much sewing happens (preferably, before ANY sewing happens). I began to built the flying geese units for this and got half way done with the first set of colors.

The yellow is on the wrong side!

The yellow is on the wrong side! I meant for the yellow to be in the center.

Looks good, right? Wait! The yellow is suppose to be in the inside, not the outside! oops…… Now the question is: do I rip it out or got with it?

Second thing I learned, it’s always worth it to make it look right. 🙂  After some ripping and re-sewing, I finally ended with these flying geese units.

Finally, constructed correctly.

Finally, constructed correctly.

Second flying geese unit

Second flying geese unit

Here’s my final block. How awesome does this look??? I’m very glad I tore it out and redid it.

The finally completed Dutchman's Puzzle block.

The finally completed Dutchman’s Puzzle block.

I’m loving the first two blocks in this. I wish I could get the pictures to look as vibrant on the blog as it does in person, but alas, you’ll just have to take my word for it. They look even better in person! These bright spring colors are so much fun to work with and help balance the rainy weather over the last few days.

If you’d like to see the other blocks in the sampler, here’s a list of links to the squares I’ve completed so far:

Spring Chicken Sampler Block 1

A week or so ago, I got in some really beautiful fabric that I’m really excited to get to use in a quilt. However, I’m not using any of that fabric in this sampler. Let me tell you why.

I was looking at the prettiness of the fabric and wonderful block I was going to use to make this awesome quilt. And then, it was time to cut the fabric and I completely chickened out! I couldn’t do it! What if I didn’t cut it right and messed the whole thing up?! Oh, no! (Please note, this is another off-shoot of my fabric issues discussed here.)

The logical side of my brain jumped into to full gear at this point. I decided that since my concerns were around not having very much experience with sewing/cutting fabric for quilt blocks, that I would take a step back and do a sample quilt out of whatever fabric I had on hand that didn’t frighten me to cut into. The fabrics that I ended up pulling out my stash are blue, pink, yellow, and white, very spring-like. Therefore, since this sampler was born out of my chickening out of my last project and the colors are spring-y, I’ve decided to call this the Spring Chicken Sampler.

And the title amuses me. 🙂

Color palette

My selection of colors for the sampler. Very spring-like, don’t you think?

The first four blocks are going to be 12″ blocks: King’s Crown, Dutchman’s Puzzle, Lemoyne’s Star/Hunter’s Star, and a version of a nine patch block which the author calls Rosebud. Depending on the amount of fabric left, I may add a few smaller blocks or borders. I’m not sure how much of the yellow fabric I’ll have left; we’ll see!

Here’s the first finished block, the King’s Crown. I was inspired by a free pattern on About.com’s site, but it was only an 8″ square. I found a 12″ pattern here.

Without further ado, here’s my completed King’s Crown block.

Completed King's Crown block

Completed King’s Crown block

Life Is a Project

Well, from the look of this blog, you might think that I’ve given up any kind of crafting. Not in any way true. However, my time has been taken up by some other fun things, just not crafty things. So here’s a project update, maybe a “cheating” one, but it’s a true update of what I’ve been up to.

  • School! I’ve just finished Spring I term. For those unaware, I’m working towards a second bachelor’s degree in Computer/Information Science. Fun. Sort of. Anyway, this term was Calculus and Java programming. Of course, the programming was a blast, but calculus just about beat me up. I did win in the end, but it was a tough fight.
  • House hunting! Love this! We’ve picked the most awesome house in the world to buy. We’ve been working for the last 3 weeks to get all the details finalized and are hopefully going to close on Apr 2. Prayers going up and fingers crossed!
  • Church! I’ve been leading a women’s class at church on Sunday mornings (9:00 at Living Hope, for those in the area.) While this is very rewarding, it’s also a bit stressful as I’ve never really done a women’s class before. I’ve taught bible studies based on other people’s books, but this is a good bit different. Not bad, but different. God is teaching me lots of things through it!

This stuff alone (along with work, of course) has had me pretty booked for the last couple months. Here’s to having some free time!

I did squeeze a little project time in this last weekend, as it was the first weekend I had with no homework! Yay! While I thought I’d be a machine on my first Saturday with some time to craft, I ended up just being so excited to be working on stuff, that I bounced from project to project. It was a bit therapeutic, I think. My brain needed to just unwind and unfocus and breath. Not that brains breath, but you know what I mean.

So here’s a couple of pictures of things I did work on and some beeee-yu-tiful fabric. 🙂 (Click any picture to view it larger.)

Thanks for listening to my life story from the last couple months. 🙂 I hope to get back to crafting updates soon!

Pretty Prototype Purse

A friend on Facebook posted photos of a purse she’d made that I thought was the cutest! I asked for the pattern, and she pointed me here. I showed this purse half done in the President’s Day post. Now that I’ve finished, it however, I thought I give the background of it.

I had bought some fabric recently that I thought would be perfect for the pattern. However, because I have some issues with cutting into pretty fabric (ok, I admit, I just have fabric issues in general), I decided to make a “prototype” purse first.

Completed purse

Completed purse

I had some plain fabric sitting around that would be perfect for it. Of course, plain fabric is no fun, so I decided to embellish a little bit… 🙂 The flower was free-handed on and then painted with fabric paint. The green lines are embroidered on.

Details of the embellishing

Details of the embellishing

I’m actually very glad I did the prototype, even though I’m still laughing at myself for my quirky fabric issues. The purse, while overall being great, has some things that I’d like to change before I use my pretty fabric. For one, the handle is too wide; I’ll probably cut the width in half next time, and I might attach it differently than the direction call for as well. Additionally, I added a pocket on the inside, but for the next one, I’ll add an inset zipper pocket as well.

Pockets on the inside

Pockets on the inside

In any case, the purse was fun to embellish and I think it turned out pretty and cute over all. I’m not sure it’s my style completely, but maybe I’ll carry for a casual evening out in the summer or something.