Friday, March 30, 2012

Paws For Mary

Hello Everyone,

I had fun with this one even though I don't have a lot of blue in my stash.

The HSTs read almost black here, but rest assured they are dark blue.

Thanks Mary for such a great block!  You actually should already have it by now, hope you like it!!

Until Next Time...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Polka Dot Paws for Mary

This was a lot of fun to make.  Believe it or not, these were the only two pieces of dark blue in my stash!  It took a lot of discipline to NOT put a red square in the middle.

April Block--Secret Garden Block

Hi Everybody! Are you ready for your April block? This month, we are going to work on a Secret Garden block. Have you heard of these before? I hadn't until recently. I'm super excited to have you try this block.

I have been infatuated with Cathedral Window blocks for a while now, so I bought the book Cathedral Window Quilts by Lynne Edwards (click the book title to go to Amazon and see it). Wonderful book. Highly recommended. So, originally, I wanted you to help me with a Cathedral Window block, but I couldn't figure out how to make it work, since one needs to assemble four blocks at a time to make it. Then, I saw the Secret Garden block in the book and thought, "That's it! We can do that one! And I'll still get a little of the Cathedral Window experience!"

And "Secret Garden" seemed very apropos for April! How many of you loved the book, The Secret Garden (click the book title if you can't remember), when you were a kid? I did! I loved fantasizing about having a really cool old key that opened some secret gate to a beautiful garden. And I thought the message of healing and regeneration was pretty awesome.

When I get your blocks back, I'll butt them up against each other like this and blind stitch them together to make a quilt. :-) (I think. Who knows. Maybe I'll change my mind by then.)

Your packets will go out in tomorrow's mail. I'm sending each of you four 8" squares of white fabric that you'll sew, fold, and press to make the foundation blocks on the left. (You can do that step on the machine.) Then, I'd like you to contribute four 3 3/4" squares of red fabric that you'll tuck inside and then do the hand sewing to make the Secret Garden. (I sometimes find it helpful to cut mine just a little smaller than 3 3/4". They seem to fit in there better.) The block finishes at 3 3/4" square.

I know some of you can't or don't like to do hand sewing. In that case, if you would at least make the white foundations for me and send them back to me with four 3 3/4" squares of red fabrics, I will do the hand sewing. I enjoy that part, but I find making the white foundation tedious.

If you can hand sew, I'd love it if you'd at least give one of these a try. If you don't want to finish the rest, please just send the completed foundations back to me with your red squares, and I'll finish them up. If you want to sew all four, that would be terrific. But I don't want to ask too much!

Also, these blocks don't get any batting. The finished block is the front and back. So, the back of the block shows. You have to work fairly neatly on the back.

Don't worry. I'm sending detailed instructions with your fabrics. I'm really excited to see what you send back to me. Go wild with your reds. Pinks, reds, dark reds, orangey reds, peachy reds...the more the merrier! Currently, my blocks are boring, because all the reds are the same value. I need some variety here, ladies!

(Click here to head on over to my blog, if you want. I did a blog post about traveling with these babies. This is a GREAT travel project! Very compact. I love it!)

Thanks everyone! I hope you enjoy the block!

Stephanie (AKA Mama Pea)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mary's Paws

I've had Mary's Bear Paw block finished for quite some time, but just never took the time to get over here and post it. So I'm sure Mary has seen it by now, and now you can see it, too.

This block was very easy and more fun than I thought it would be. I thought I'd get bored with those triangles, but they went fast and I didn't. Talk about First World Problems! Haha . . .

I also thought I'd give you a glimpse of what my Laurel Leaves quilt is looking like so far.

These are all the blocks I have so far. Note that I have not even pressed or trimmed them yet.

I'm adding an applique border, but my design quandary at the moment is whether or not to add some sort of red solid or red & white pieced border in between the blocks and the outer border, or not. What do you all think?

Paws for Mary B

Hard to believe this is my first Bear's Paw. I know it won't be my last! Thanks for getting me started.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I finished Mary B's block today. This Bear's Paw block was a lot of fun to make. I have never made one before, but I have always wanted to. Thanks, Mary B., for giving us this one!

I decided to use a solid blue, given that it was a fairly traditional block, and it was all I had that looked good with this background fabric. (Much of what I had was too busy.) But I did like how this navy blue fabric had an interesting texture. I thought that added a little interest for you. I hope you like it, Mary B.!

Hope everyone is enjoying as wonderful weather as we are here in Michigan! It sure has been beautiful!

Stephanie (AKA Mama Pea)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Here's Mary's block, which was mailed last month but never posted here.

I am SO grateful for Stephanie's heads-up about cutting carefully and Amanda Jean's mini-tutorial on cutting the pieces using a template.  I am quite sure I would have botched it TERRIBLY without your help.  I also realized part way through that it would work better if two sides of each square were extended so Mary could trim it down.  Hope that helped!

Here are Jackie's geese.

Loved having her tutorial.  Certainly am learning more about paper piecing than I ever anticipated!  Can't wait to start those blue Bear Claws!!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mary B.'s March Bear Paws

I was on a roll with finishing the February block (late) for Jackie in the Two's Company Bee
so I decided to keep going and finish Mary B.'s block for March EARLY!

I have to say that Mary B. came up with a brilliant block and color scheme for this two color bee!  I love it and wish I had a quilt out of these same blocks.  AND it was so fun to make too!
I really can't wait to see Mary B's finished quilt.  This block will go in the mail tomorrow.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Jackie's February Geese

The first thing I did after I returned home from our eight week eight thousand mile trip was to start and finish Jackie's blocks for February.

I needed more red fabric than I brought on the road with me. Thanks for your patience Jackie. They are in the mail today.

Here they are:

Jackie's paper piecing tutorial is wonderful and I followed it step by step.

Now on to Mary's Bear Claws.


Friday, March 2, 2012

jackie's geese

Jackie's geese are done. Now, the tricky part...the mailing! Ha!