May Bite Size Block

784254829_203149c89b_zApril showers bring May flowers

Did you know this little ryhme can be dated clear back to the 1500s? There is meaning behind the words, as well. “April showers bring May flowers” is a reminder that even unpleasant things, in this case April rains, can bring about very pleasing things, like an abundance of flowers in May. “April showers bring May flowers” is a lesson in patience, and one that remains valid to this day.  When you apply this to quilting, exercising patience in cutting, piecing and pressing, you’re rewarded with a pleasing block!

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This month’s block is a beautiful May flower block. If you ever want a really cool reference book, pick up a copy of Jinny Beyer’s The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns. It has more than 4050 pieced blocks! The book shows this square was called The Weather Vane by Ruby McKim, and was in the Kansas City Star in January of 1929. Looks like a pretty flower to me. I recently saw this block used for an entire quilt. (Or a block like it.) When I went to find the magazine so I could list it for you, I couldn’t find it. When I find it, I’ll leave a comment. Or if YOU see it, you leave the comment so I can quit searching my sewing room.

I’ll be teaching this May Flower block this coming Sunday afternoon, May 3, in my Bite Size class. If  you’re local, join us for an afternoon of fun. You can download my instructions for the block, ILoveUsYearRound.InsidePgs18-19. You can sign up for the class through In Between Stitches website’s class page.

Coincidentally, Missouri Star Quilt Company’s Daily Deal is the same fabric line that the I Love Us Year Round quilt is made of – Marcus Fabric’s Primo Batiks: Aurora & Twilight. And they have instructions for the Jelly Roll races. I’m hostessing In Between Stitches Jelly Roll Race II in August. Buy your jelly roll and sign up!

Absewlutely,

Lisa

April Bite Size Block

AprilBiteSizeBlockTime seems to fly by me all the time. I turned my head… and a week of April just flew by!

The weather has been beautiful here in Livermore. The sun has been shining bright, yet Easter weekend we got a little April Shower to water our May flowers.

This coming Sunday is our next Bite Size class and we will be putting together this cute “Birds on a Line” block. Download the pattern here ILoveUsYearRound.InsidePgs15-17. We will be making this block with light, double-sided fusible web and machine stitching the pieces in place. Add three pretty pinwheels and you’ll have a lovely spring block to add to your growing stack of “I Love Us All Year Round” blocks or to finish as a Bite Size, 12″ quilt and display in a small rack or on the wall!

I just love this “I Love Us All Year Long” quilt. I think it is my favorite quilt so far. I love the bright Marcus Fabric batiks [R07 Primo Batiks: Aurora & Twilight] and the whimsical designs of each block. I love how the calendar blocks gently encircle the house. The home is the center of my world. I think that is why I can get so stunned by how quickly the calendar can go by. I am quite content to sit in my pretty center block and watch the calendar blocks go by my window. And say, How did it get to be April already? I delight in all the vibrant colors but what makes the quilt so special to me is the incredible quilting that Lora did on it.

If you’ve not had a chance to study the quilting on this “I Love Us All Year Long” quilt, next time you stop by In Between Stitches in Livermore, take a moment to study the intricate quilting that was done.

In Between Stitches just presented the next quarter class schedule this past Tuesday. Lora and I both have classes offered over the next 4 months. Lora has two new class options on quilting. One is called “Quilt as Desired”. It is an open quilt class where students bring their quilt tops and are coached through the entire quilting process. Lora will demonstrate quilting products and their uses. She is offering that workshop four times this quarter, May 5, 10-1pm; June 7, 11-2pm; July 23, 10-1pm; August 23, 11-2pm. If you’re interested in quilting your own quilts, these are a must! At just $25 a session, it is a stitchin’ deal.

Lora’s second quilting class that she is offering is called “Quilting Makes the Quilt”. It is a one day workshop from 12:30-3:30 on Saturday, June 13. During this class Lora will discuss batting, thread, marking choices, backing and where to find quilting ideas. Then you get to do free-hand quilting, meandering fillers and free motion feathers with your machine.

I think her classes will fill up quick. Be sure to log onto InbetweenStitches.com and sign up for a class.

We’ll blog more on quilting. It is an very important part of a quilt! I hope to see you Sunday at the April Bite Size class!

Sew on and Sew on,

Lisa

March Bite Size Block

pDlnSx4W1v9p94kW5IG8cT7Xu-5_GFTRhmgd6Gz5JGY=w830-h839-noTop of the Morning to Ya! (pretend I said that with a thick Irish accent). I’ve finished the instruction for the March block. You can click here ILoveUsYearRound.InsidePgs13-14 to download the instructions. This is an Celtic Knot I created. I searched all over the internet for interesting knot patterns but they were either too boring or too complicated, so I made up one myself. I love how the lines weave under and over to create this beautiful block. The nice thing is, it isn’t very complicated to put together. It is 4 identical units put together around the center square. I’ll be teaching this block this coming Sunday. I’d put the class link here for you but unfortunately the class has already filled! I will take lots of pictures and post our blocks for that class.

I have so much to write but I’m out of time. I went to the Sew Expo in Puyallup WA and took several classes, talked with several venders and bloated my suitcase! I’ll write more sewn!

Absewlutely,

Lisa

February Bite Size Class

We did it! Everyone got their paper pieced heart completed. Three of the ladies got out the door before I remember to get my camera out. But didn’t these turn out lovely? I really had a good time. Well done ladies.20150208_170503

Jennie got a lot done. Loved the splash of orange!

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Nicole is Jennie’s daughter in-love and is making her blocks with the black batiks as backgrounds instead of white. It was stunning. LOVED how the black background was looking.

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I love love love Pat’s fabrics. And she was quite clever in creating a fix when she noticed she missed a strip of background. Looks lovely.

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My brain just isn’t recalling this sweet lady’s name. She did her block by hand! She handstitched her paper pieced heart and kept up with the ladies with the machines! We were all amazed. I really like her choice of backgrounds too. The gray set the pink off quite nicely.20150208_165755

Kim’s block turned out beautiful. She used more of the orange, fuscia and purple batiks. The photo image just doesn’t show off her colors as well as real life. It turned out great!

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Sharon is a new quilter and she thought this was the most stunning block she has created so far! Paper piecing is definitely a process that she enjoyed learning. The process gave her the precision she was wanting. We were both delighted with how beautiful her block turned out. Sharon was so pleased that when she pressed the last seam, she exclaimed, “I should frame this!”

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Not to be left out, I made the steps outs/examples for the class with some fun fabrics from my stash. When I was at the Cotton Patch in Lafayette, I found some chocolates fabric and thought with roses, it would make a sweet pillow. I’m going to finish up my pinwheels, add more chocolate fabric around to frame the block and make a quick pillow cover for the sofa – just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Next month we’ll be creating a Celtic Knot. I hope that you can join us!

Absewlutely,

Lisa

 

February Bite Size Block

20150131_141205Will you be my Valentine?

Some say it is just a fake holiday manufactured by the florist, chocolate and greeting card industries. Single people say it just makes them more aware of being single. That is all sad. This is what I found out regarding the history of St. Valentine’s Day.

The story goes that during the reign of Emperor Claudius II Rome was involved in several bloody and unpopular campaigns. Claudius found it tough to get soldiers and felt the reason was men did not join the army because they did not wish to leave their wives and families. As a result Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome. A romantic at heart, priest of Rome Saint Valentine defied Claudius’s unjustified order. Along with Saint Marius, Saint Valentine secretly married couples. When his defiance was discovered, Valentine was brutally beaten and put to death on February 14, about 270 AD. After his death Valentine was named a Saint.

According to another version of legend Valentine was killed because he attempted to help Christians escape from the Roman prison as they were being tortured and beaten there. By the Middle Ages, Valentine assumed the image of heroic and romantic figure amongst the masses in England and France. Later, when Christianity spread through Rome, the priests moved Lupercalia from February 15 to February 14. Around 498 AD, Pope Gelasius declared February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day to honor the martyr Valentinus and to end the pagan celebration.

Sounds to me like Valentine was  single too. So whether you’re paired or not, lets celebrate the gift of Love with this beautiful paper pieced heart block! Download the pattern ILoveUsYearRound.Pgs10-12. I didn’t include detailed instructions on paper piecing but I did list several links and tutorials if you’re not familiar with the paper piecing process.

This class will be held Sunday afternoon on February 8, at 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. I will supply the pattern and instructions and teach paper piecing at a beginner level. I hope you can join us for a fun afternoon. You can sign up online or visit In Between Stitches in Livermore.

Absewlutely,

Lisa

January Tips and Swatch Sheets

20150131_141147Hi Quilting Friends,

We’ve completed our first “I Love Us in January” block. They turned out fabulous! If you’re interested in some of my tips and tricks I shared with class, I am happy to share my JanBiteSize.Tips with you. One of the other handouts I shared with the class was a Swatch Sheet. The purpose of a swatch sheet is to keep track of the fabrics used for each block. This way, when you’re shopping for additional fabrics for the up coming blocks, you can just bring your swatch sheets with you. You’ll know what you already have and it makes it easier to match instead of bringing all your blocks and fabrics. Click Bitesize.SwatchSheet to download.

 

20150131_141418I’ve organized a binder for my “I Love Us All Year Long” Bite Size quilt. Each month has it own numeric divider and a swatch sheet is included in each section. It is January after all, when we try to be more organized! 🙂  I also printed out the R07 Primo Batiks: Aurora & Twilight Fabric Sheet from Marcus Fabrics. This is the fabric line I used to create my “I Love Us all Year Long” quilt. If you are interested in printing out the same, you can find it here. Of course, you’re welcome to make the blocks in whatever fabrics you desire!

 

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Lora Zmak finished the machine quilting on the I Love Us quilt. And my response? WOW!!!

She really did an amazing job! Keep an eye out for her machine quilting classes that will be coming up in the next class schedule at In Between Stitches. You can also follow her through Pinterest, Lora Zmak. She has some beautiful pins of great quilting examples.

 

 

 

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I’ll will be posting the “I Love Us in February” block tomorrow. (oh the sewspence!)

Absewlutely,

Lisa

Happy New Year! 2015 January Bite size Block

MarcusBlockofMonthDesign.BiteSizeColorHappy New Year!! I’ve been work,work, working on a full year of new Bite Size designs. I’m so excited to start 2015 with this year’s Bite Size quilt project called I Love Us All Year Long. I Love Us in January is the first block of this year-long series.

“What is a Bite Size quilt?” you ask. Let me explain. On the first of each month, I will post a FREE 12″ block. Each block is geared to increase our quilting skills. The 12″ block can be finished, quilted and bound with a tiny sleeve and hung in a wire stand. A mini quilt, if you will, of just a 12″ block. It is great for a monthly seasonal decoration. This year, however, I’ve created all 12 block to be either an individual Bite Size Quilt or added together to make the I Love Us All Year Long quilt. In my design, I’ve used the new batik fabric line from Marcus Fabrics called Primo Batiks Aurora & Twilight. The fabric was available to quilt shops December 1, 1014. (I’d recommend purchasing a fat quarter tower of this line if you plan on making all 12 blocks, as well as the 24″ center block.) View the fabrics at the Marcus web page here. Of course, the blocks can be made from your stash or any fabric that tickles your fancy.

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This first month’s block I Love Us in January, is geared to strengthen our piecing skills. Let’s not be pointless in our piecing in 2015! The second Sunday of each month, I teach the Bite Size block at In Between Stitches. I will go over cutting, piecing and assembling the block. I will also give you every tip, trick and secret that I know in keeping those points from being buried into a seam! If you’re local, join us for a fun Sunday afternoon. You can sign up online at In Between Stitches’ class schedule page. If you’re not local or can’t make the class, tune in to this blog in a few weeks and I’ll post all the tips that I share with the class as well as pictures of their January Bite Size blocks.

Download the I Love Us in January pattern by clicking here. ILoveUsYearRound.InsidePgs8-9

Have a wonderful New Year!

Lisa

August Bite Size class

IMG_0787What a fun day! We had quite a successful day creating our Sunflower blocks! Here is one example. Unfortunately my phone “filled up” and wouldn’t let me take more photos! 🙁 But they all turned out fantastic! Here you see the completed sunflower getting the buttons sewn on before it was quilted.

August Bite Size Block

Aug.DresdenSunflowerWelcome August bright and sunny, like a happy sunflower.

I once planted sunflowers in a row along side my fence. The stalks grew tall and straight and the heads grew fuller and fuller and then they opened their beautiful faces toward the sun. Unfortunately for me the sun shown over my neighbor’s house. My neighbor loved the sunny yellow flowers peaking over the fence at her. I couldn’t get them to turn their heads to shine back at me and my kitchen window! Ha!

This lovely project may turn a head or two. Create this dresden plate block with scrappy yellow fabrics. Place a large center circle and accent with random button. What a lovely bite size block to make for yourself or to give to a friend.

“True friends are
like bright sunflowers
that never fade
away, even over
distance and time.”
~ Marie Williams Johnstone

You can join the class at In Between Stitches in Livermore this Sunday if you’re local. Click here for the class link. Scrappy yellow sunflower kits are available for $12.95. Call to have one reserved or mailed to you at 925-371-7064.

You can download these FREE instructions to make on your own. LieslMade.com is a fun blog to read, full of creative projects and tutorials. Liesl has a great dresden plate tutorial that I used to make my sunflower. Instead of the smaller circle center, I made my center large like a sunflower. Here is a template for the 5 1/2″ SunflowerCenter. Add some miscellaneous dark buttons in the center and whala!, you have your own happy sunflower which will always be happy to face your way instead of peaking over the fence at the neighbor.

Absewlutely,

Lisa

July Bite Size Quilt block

JulyBiteSizeBlockStars and Stripes Forever! Happy Independence Day America. Don’t you just love this holiday? Fireworks, homemade ice cream and cherry pie! Let’s enjoy our freedom with a fun 12″ paper pieced block. This lovely block was designed by Amy Friend, duringquiettime.com. She used fun and funky fabrics and called her pattern Confetti Star. I thought it was adorable and made mine out of red, white and blue fabrics to display in my Bite Size quilt stand. I love how it turned out!

Your flag and my flag, And how it flies today
In your land and my land, And half a world away!
Rose-red and blood-red, The stripes forever gleam;
Snow-white and soul-white, The good forefathers’ dream;
Sky-blue and true-blue, with stars to gleam aright –
The gloried guidon of the day, a shelter through the night.
~Wilbur D. Nesbit, Your Flag and My Flag

You can download Amy’s free pattern here. Be sure to check out her blog. Amy lists this pattern “For Novice”. If you’ve not paper pieced before or it has been a while, it is helpful to visit  YouCanMakeThis.com for a free pattern and instructions and watch the tutorial.  My instructions, July.BiteSizeBlock.Instructions includes your fabric requirements. Kits are available at In Between Stitches.

The class for this block is tomorrow (yeah, sorry about the short notice) but there is still space. If you call, 925-371-7064, you can join us Sunday, June 29 from 1-5pm. Or you can go to the website and register. I teach this at beginner level. You can do it!

There is a Bite Size Quilt class listed for Sunday, July 20 and that will be our “finishing” class. Any Bite Size Quilt block that you’ve started, can be brought to that class.

Enjoy!

Absewlutely,

Lisa