23 August 2014

Bits and Bobs - 1

This is the first of what I hope will become a regular series of posts calling attention to awesome things I have encountered on the Internet. My purpose is to practice gratitude by making a record of the good stuff that I see around me and perhaps bring something fun and new to my readers.

Making a Baby Groot using a YouTube tutorial from NerdECrafter. Just wish I could get his face as sweet as the demo!

The photo above is of a baby Groot, being made from polymer clay.  I made him following the tutorial at NerdECrafter (actually, I made four! shhh!)

Groot is a character in  Guardians of the Galaxy, which I saw in the theater last week. So funny! I really need to go back and watch the Marvel movies I have missed over the last few years—I’ve seen most but not all, and LOVE what I’ve seen, but need to fill in some plot holes.

I need to mention that this post is modeled after Elise’s weekly habit of posting a variety of rad stuff she’s seen online. Her whole blog is great.

The new season of Doctor Who starts tonight! Yay!

Have you read this book,  Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar ?  It is based on an advice column unlike any other advice column I’ve ever seen.  There's just so much honesty and wisdom in Strayed's writing.

I’ve been thinking a bit about home d├ęcor lately and loved this post, which redefines beauty in home renovation: Give me Liberty

Hate small talk? Learn to move conversations into something more fun! http://ideas.ted.com/2014/07/28/how-to-turn-small-talk-into-smart-conversation/

She's always seemed like someone I might not like, but Donatella Versace’s Proust Questionnaire won me over: http://www.vanityfair.com/style/2014/09/donatella-versace-proust-questionnaire

Do you love Laura Ingalls Wilder? They’re publishing the version of her life story that she wrote first, before it was re-written for children. Should be interesting! Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography

21 August 2014

More quilts from the Greek Plus Puss pattern

I am super excited to share with ya'll the quilts that my pattern testers made while I was working on my pattern for the Greek Plus Puss quilt.

I love pattern testers!  They are invaluable for finding typos, pointing out places where the instructions are lacking, and, perhaps best of all, making the quilt in a wide variety of fabrics that really show off the potential in the pattern.  Everyone has their own taste and sense of color and seeing each quilter channel their individuality through my pattern is a real joy.

I've actually been a little overwhelmed about posting these quilts as I want to make sure to do them justice. I've had a bit of writer's block because the task seemed important and large. So, I've decided to share some of the tester's quilts today and some another time.  Breaking large tasks down into more doable bits is so often the answer, don't you think?

As a bonus, since I've given myself more space and time, and since the makers were posting their progress on Instagram, there are progress photos for me to show you, rather than just "done!" photos.  I love process posts!

Each photo is linked to the it's owner's Instagram account, so you can find the maker easily.

Let's begin.

Dyan pulled an awesome stack of fabrics (Leah Duncan's Meadow, I do believe)

And made awesome progress

And posted this shot with some really kind words, "It's a GREAT pattern. Rossie does all the work for you with the quilty math calculations. It's a fast and an easy block to put together. Check it out, seriously."

Karen from CapitolaQuilter shared a number of pictures on Instagram, but also wrote a lovely blog post, which you can find here: http://capitolaquilter.blogspot.com/2014/08/pattern-testing-and-winning.html

My pattern includes instructions for keeping directional prints flowing the same way, and Karen took the leap and used some directional fabrics to test out that option:

I love the placement of the different hues and values in her blocks.

And she flipped the script when she flipped the placement of the fabrics with some of her final blocks. Such dynamic and beautiful work!

Sharing just a single block so far, but boy is is promising, is Kim, a friend from Camp Stitchalot.  Show us some more, Kim!

Amy went bright with her blocks.  Aren't they beautiful?  She says, "I saw lots of low volume with the testers, so I thought I would go bright, bright, bright. The pattern is fun and comes together quickly."

I want her to finish it up and then take it to this stunning building for a photo shoot!

Alright, that's it for tonight.  See you soon!


04 August 2014

Greek Plus Puss Quilt

NEW PATTERN FOR SALE!  You can get it for $9 on Etsy or Craftsy.


This quilt came about because I bought a fat-eighth bundle of Peppered Cottons and wanted to play with them all at once and in a way that brought out the colors in the fabrics.  Peppered Cottons belong to the same category as Oakshotts, shot cottons, and cross weaves -- they are woven from dyed thread and the threads of the weft are a different color from the weave. It's so cool and complicated and shimmery.

When I brought the fabrics into my studio, I immediately started pairing them up with printed fabrics from my stash.  It was so much fun to find prints that made the woven fabrics sing.  The absolute best fun.
Fabric Pairings for Greek Plus Puss quilt

I started to contemplate how I could put together a quilt where the pairs could all be seen and enjoyed.  And I ended up designing a block that is a remix of two traditional blocks--The Greek Cross and Puss in the Corner.

Here's a Greek Cross block:
greek cross
You can find a great tutorial for piecing this block here: Summer Sampler series by Fresh Lemons

I really love the fat plus in the middle of this block, so that's what I borrowed from this traditional block. I refer to that as a "Greek Plus."

I'm far from alone in loving that fat plus, you can find a bunch of quilters online that have taken that plus and switched out the half-square triangle component in the corners of the block for a plain patch.  Holly at Bijou Lovely made a very pretty version that ended up on the cover of the first issue of Love Patchwork and Quilting and Kelly from Kelby Sews posted her pretty version with a tutorial!

puss in the corner
As much as I loved those quilts, I wanted to add a bit of ugly interest to my quilt and also interrupt the repeated blockness of the plusses, so instead of switching out the half-square-triangle in favor of a plain patch, I switched it out for a "Puss in the Corner" four-patch.

There are a bunch of different block designs called "Puss in the Corner,"  I'm referring to this one from Early Women Masters.

Apparently the name comes from a children's game...a game that sounds similar to musical chairs or pickle to me...there's information at the link.  I love quilt history.

I wasn't sure if what I wanted to do would work, so I made a test block just to see, pulling fabrics from my scrap bin.
Test Block for Greek Plus Puss

I ended up loving the mix of vintage sheets and red-purples so much that I made an entire quilt of them!

Greek Plus Puss pattern from Rossie Crafts - 6 sizes

In making these test blocks, I realized that the block was much more pleasing to me if I kept the directional fabrics flowing the same way.  To make that easier on myself, I sat down and drew some cutting diagrams.  And then I realized I could make the final assembly of my blocks much more straightforward if I came up with a plan for pressing, so I drew that out, too.  Having puzzled these out, I thought to myself: hey!  this is worth something! I'm totally going to write this pattern and sell it!

So, for those of you who are experienced quilters, if you can tell from these pictures how to make this block, then please feel free to go ahead and make the quilt without buying my pattern, but do credit me if my quilt is your design source (just by saying your quilt is based on mine and linking back!)  You can also leave me a tip by clicking on the donate button on my blog's main page (in the sidebar on the upper-right)

But here's why you might want the pattern:

    • I calculated the amount of fabric you need for 6 sizes of this quilt!  All the way from a stroller (37"x37") to King size (97"x109").  And for each size, you can choose to make it from a variety of fabric cuts--scraps, fat eighths, fat quarters, or yardage. There are fabric requirements and cutting instructions for each options.
    • I include cutting instructions for both solids or blender fabrics and for directional fabrics.
    • Want to cut this on an Accuquilt?  I include those cutting instructions as well. (Sorry, Sizzix doesn't appear to have the correct sizes of dies.)
    • I also include instructions for pressing seams so that whenever possible, your seams will nest (this adds precision and avoids seam mountains).


It really is a happy quilt.  And I think it makes people happy to make it...I'll be back with another post showcasing the pattern tester's creations in the next few days.  In the mean time, pop over to Etsy or Craftsy and buy a copy of the pattern!