Thursday, December 8, 2011

We Can Do It! Skill Builder Sampler: Half-way there update

I am half way finished with my year long quilt block sew along, the We Can Do It!  Skill Builder Sampler at Sewn.  I haven't been keeping up with posting about the blocks, so I have a few to share that I've completed since the last time I posted about this project (back in October!  wow!).  

This one is the Green Mountain Star.  It wasn't one of the official "assigned" blocks in the sampler, but it was a bonus block that Leila linked to on one of the "catch-up" weeks.  Since I stumbled across the pattern for this block and suggested it, I thought I should complete it.  I love it and I'm happy to have it as part of my quilt.  

The skill we were learning with this next block was improvisational piecing with a fabric foundation.  Basically, you have a large piece of scrap fabric, just slightly larger than your block and then you randomly sew scraps on to it.  I don't love it as much as the others.  It's called a "crazy" block, but I think it's just too crazy for my tastes.  

I did enjoy the opportunity to try out some of the decorative stitches on my machine, though.  

The next month was all paper piecing.  Paper piecing uses a shape on a piece of paper.  You sew your fabric and then tear of the paper along the dotted line created by your machine.  When Leila posted this first paper pieced block, she said, "it's simple enough that you actually wouldn't have to paper piece it.

So I didn't.  But I wish I had.  I ended up cutting off the points of all my diamonds, which is quite silly since the name of the block is "Diamond Dash."  That's what I get for not following directions.  I considered either taking it apart and redoing it or just doing another one correctly, but I don't hate it enough to go through all that extra work.  It will just be a reminder of what I've learned.

The next block is called "Minnesota."  It was at this point that I decided that this quilt, when it's finished was too "girly" to use as the eventual quilt in my and Jason's bedroom.  When all the blocks are finished, they will be divided into 2 quilts for the girls.  So I started using pink, which I had mostly avoided before.

This paper pieced block is called Starry Night.  Leila linked to it from Fresh Lemons Quilts.  It is done in 4 quarters, and then the quarters are sewn together.  At first, I thought I had messed up because I pieced the second portion in mirror image of the first, but as it turns out, that's what I was supposed to do, I had just missed that direction.  This time, my mistake wasn't really a mistake (until the Diamond Dash).

The final paper pieced block, and the one that marked the half way point was Circle of Geese.  Those little triangles are often found in quilts in a line and they are called "flying geese."  This time, they are turned in a circle.  I decided to use the dark background on this one, and I am loving how it turned out. I'll have to remember to use more of this dark purple color in future blocks.

I really love seeing how all the blocks of the quilt are coming together.  We've had 18 "assigned" blocks, plus a few bonus blocks, and I redid my log cabin block, and made a couple extra improv houses because I thought they were so cute, so at the half way point, I have 24 blocks completed.  Seeing all the blocks together, the project as a whole is much less purple than the original concept in my mind, just because of the fabrics I was choosing for the individual blocks.  I think they look awesome together, though, and I can't wait to see this project continue to grow!

And here's some exciting news!!  Leila had a drawing for a fabric prize open to everyone who had completed all the blocks at the half way point and I won!  So, I should have some fabric coming to me in the mail for my effort.  Thank you, Leila.  


  1. I love the flying geese one and the Green Mountain Star too. I love how all the blocks look next to each other. It amazes me you have time to do this with 2 little ones!

  2. The quilt is looking awesome!! I love your color combinations... I love these updates. I'm thinking of renting a machine (while my mommy is here!) to see if I want to commit to buying... and commit to a new hobby! Your blogs on quilting and sewing are SUCH an inspiration. :-)