Friday, April 28, 2017

Hidden Gems - May 2017 Block Lottery


I’m Jill and I’m leading this month’s block lottery!

I chose a visually stunning paper pieced block from Diane Bohn of From Blank Pages. Diane's been blogging for more than seven years, began quilting while pregnant with her first child, (because you know, a baby needed a quilt), and designed her first pattern in 2011. To say I love her patterns is an understatement! 

Diane originally wrote Hidden Gems for The Bee Hive. It's a modern geometric block with killer points that are hard to come by with any method other than the precision paper piecing allows. What I love most, is the secondary design once all of the blocks are assembled.
Hidden Gems is available on Diane’s pattern page, here. She provides two options for printing - either legal sized or letter sized. I recommend choosing the larger legal sized paper in order to avoid taping pieces together.
Diane's step-by-step instructions are a great resource, as are the included coloring pages (for visualizing that secondary design) and cutting templates (especially good if you are fussy cutting or are using lovingly hoarded fabric).

For our version, please use yellow, blue-green, and navy.  The Background fabric is a low volume that reads white (can include some grey or black, but no tan or browns).

Note: The pattern pieces are lettered (A & B) and numbered (1 - 12) because they are mirror images. I made a little cheat sheet to help with color organization.

Low volume: 1, 4, 9, 12
Yellow: 2, 5, 8, 13
Navy: 3, 6, 11
Blue-green: 7, 10

Finally, before you start, here are my top paper piecing tips:

1 - Print accurately. Do not use the "print to fit" option. Templates should be actual size! Double check that the 1” line on the pattern really does measure 1 inch. Believe me, there is nothing worse than realizing after you’ve done a significant amount of sewing, that your block is the wrong size!
2 - Label your paper with the colors before starting. It’s so easy to mix up which color goes where and end up with a mess. Once you've printed the templates, take a few seconds to look at the cheat sheet and label each shape with the corresponding fabric color.
3 - Shorten your stitch length; it is much easier to rip out the papers later. If you want to be extra careful to make sure your fabric will line up right, use a normal stitch length or even slightly longer, to sew the fabric once. Then, after verifying that points match, seams match, etc., sew back over the line with a much shorter stitch length.

Now, you’re ready to sew!

Be sure to tag your social media pictures with #ecmqg #ecmqgblocklottery #fbppatterns #fbphiddengems.

Thanks for sewing with us. See you in May!


PS. You know I really want to win these blocks!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

You Showed Us - March 2017

Jo shared her denim woven purse - upcycled - the sides made from the hems of the jeans.  Wonderfully, creative, Jo!         


Marcia had two upcycled denim blanket/quilt tops that have a home on bunkbeds in her house.  These were from her daughter's jeans.


Mary had a very busy February and early March, creativewise.  Here's the beginning of a pillow made from our block lottery Letha's Electric Fan.

The fabric she bought from our Donation Table last month turned into a couple of Noodlehead Open Wide Zippered pouches and a pillow top.  

Mary's last project was a quilt, like the one we made and donated to the Ronald McDonald House last year, from a stack of 3.5" squares Cindy had gifted her.  Both quilts were scrappy versions of the Reverse Rainbow Star.  

Wendi had two old UFOs completed.  The first was her Fresh Flowers quilt.  

The second was her Spools quilt, orginally started at Stash Bash several years ago.  The pattern is from Camille Roskelly of Thimble Blossoms and is jelly roll friendly! 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Feeling Swappy, Anyone?

Are you feeling like it's time to swap something?  Well we've got just the thing!  Two things, in fact!

Thing One.  Moda Grunge F8 Swap.

First up, it's a Moda Grunge fat eighth swap.  Natalie suggested we each swap a warm color, a cool color, and one of the newest, Grunge Hits the Spot (any color).  That way, we'll get a great variety of modern basics in our stash.  There are more than a hundred different colors, so duplicates shouldn't be a problem.

Grunge is a really unique basic fabric because it's dyed first, then printed to give it a textured look.  The color variations add a lot of depth and interest to your quilt projects.

As always, you can swap up to three one-yard pieces (each choice must be one yard).  Cut them into modern fat eighths, fold them individually, and put them into a zip top bag labeled with your name.  Bring your bag(s) of fabric to the May 13th meeting where our swap team will sort and return to you, eight different Grunge pieces.  Please sign-up in the blog comments section, or our Facebook group, with your color choices because we want to reduce duplication.  
Need to know how to cut a modern fat eighth?  It's easy-peasy!  This blog post will walk you through it.

Thing Two.  One Hour Basket Swap.
Photo courtesy of
Next up for the June 10th meeting is this cute, fast, and useful (utilitarian even, to use Cindy's new favorite word!) basket to swap.  

This fun little basket is Kelly Bowser's 1 Hour Basket (original size) available on Cratsy for $1.  She's updated the pattern with multiple sizes.  (Fun Fact:  Did you know Kelly was a founding member of ECMQG??  Yup!  It's true.)

Here's the way this swap will work.  Everyone who wants to play will make a basket and add a few favorite things valued at NO MORE THAN $10.  Items such as candy, a piece of fabric, a sewing tool, a couple of lottery tickets, some homemade caramel corn, etc.  You get the idea.  It's your choice to make either the basic basket, or jazz it up any way you want.  Search the web or Instagram for ideas - there are hundreds of these easy baskets out there!

Then, at the June meeting, we'll number each basket received, set them out for display and oohs and ahhs, everyone who made a basket will receive a number, (only not the number that matches the basket you made), our Super Secret Basket Team will put each in a brown paper bag, and finally, randomly draw participant names.  

So choose some pretty, modern fabric and get cracking on a One Hour Basket.  Your quilty ECMQG friends will thank you.