New York Beauty: Layout Options and Block Design Part 2

The New York Beauty Quilt Along is officially underway and I'm enjoying all the blocks being posted in the NYB flickr pool and eager to get started on my own. First I need to catch up on a few other project's and that's giving me time to spend pondering and planning my NYB blocks and layout rather than jumping in not knowing what I want my quilt to end up looking like!

Most of my fabric has arrived and again I have to wonder if I'm crazy.....but I'm loving the riot of color and the variety of print and scale they have. These are fabrics I would never have considered years ago....even if some of them had been available.



So, after spending some time with my fabric, I returned to studying my New York Beauty pinterest board to help me finish planning my layout. My fabrics include a wild range of colors, large and medium florals along with a variety of prints and scale similar to the blocks below. I love the way they look.....seeing them helps me envision how my fabrics will look.
Source: flickr.com via Karen on Pinterest

I had already decided I wanted to include some black and white fabric in each block so they would have an element in common and provide some unity.

I think this simple New York Beauty quilt with nine circles floating on a solid background will be the ideal setting for my quilt.

The NYB Quilt Along features ten different block designs, so when I saw this simple New York Beauty quilt with nine circles floating on a solid background I thought it would be the perfect layout for a scrappy sampler style New York Beauty.
Source: flickr.com via Karen on Pinterest

I'm going for a wild scrappy look achieved with fabric alone.....as I will use four NYB blocks of the same design for each circle rather than mixing block designs as was done in the quilt above. Block "0" will become part of the backing and blocks one through nine will make up the quilt top.

But wait......Fast Forward a few weeks.......

Since getting the fabric above(and playing with it) and finally getting  around to publishing this post (that's been in draft for a few weeks!) about my design thoughts for my New York Beauty blocks ....I bought some gorgeous batiks that I would love to use.....

The NYB QAL is well on it's way and the blocks being posted in the flickr group are all so different and oh so gorgeous! I have yet to begin any blocks for a couple of reasons. First, I needed to finish my Sew Happy Quilt QAL top and a mini quilt for a swap, get caught up with the Bloggers BOM....and now need to finish my 3x6 bee blocks and cut charms for fabric swaps.  Second, and the
main reason I believe I've delayed starting is that after seeing the fabulous NYB blocks being created I came to the conclusion.....I really can't make up my mind exactly what I want do!

And I confess this isn't the first time such indecisiveness has struck!

Fabric Giveaways: Great Bundles And Gift Certificates Up For Grabs Enter Now!

Yesterday, the fabric I ended up buying with the Fashionable Fabrics gift certificate I won at Nap Time Crafters giveaway arrived. I love it....fabrics always look so much better when you finally have them in front of you.



Check out some of the fabulous giveaways going on right now!

Win a $25 Gift Certificate from Skye Reve Fabrics giveaway over at Quilt Story.


Win a $50 Gift Certificate from Contemporary Cloth giveaway over at Everything Etsy.



CUTE! Two 1 yard cuts of corduroy fabric from Paisley Parade collection over at Springs Creative



Funky Fabrix is giving away two 100%  vintage charm packs.



Gorgeous Brrr! Fat Quarter set Laurie Wisbrun for Robert Kaufman over at Twin Fibers.
Brrr!!! fabric giveaway
www.flickr.com/photos/twinfibers/6961866513/



Fat Quarter giveaway over at Itchin Stitchin.



Fabricworm is giving away 15 Fat Quarters of Aneela Hoey Walk In The Woods  Blue Bell Poppy!



Gorgeous bundle of  Sugar Hill by Tanya Whelan EIGHT 1/2 yard cuts from Fabric Shoppe and Everyday Beautiful!



Jaybird Quilts  has a great giveaway 60" wide Ann Kelle slicker fabric from Robert Kaufman. This birdie fabric is so cute!
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New York Beauty: Layout Options and Block Design Part 1

The New York Beauty block has many layout options and design possibilities. The look achieved, in a quilt made with New York Beauty blocks, will depend on fabric design and color, as well as fabric placement. Deciding on fabrics and fabric placement can be made easier by first choosing a layout.....which is a task in itself, they are all so beautiful!
Source: flickr.com via Karen on Pinterest

So, to inspire my design process and help in choosing a layout and fabric, I started a pinterest board of New York Beauty blocks and quilts that I like. I find I'm drawn to layouts with bold design, circle and "s" type curves and layouts with sashing. As for color, I like NYB quilts with bright colorful fabrics, those with just two or three colors and the very scrappy looking quilts. I particularly like the use of black and white fabrics in New York Beauty quilts.
Source: flickr.com via Karen on Pinterest

Source: lenzula.de via Karen on Pinterest

Source: flickr.com via Karen on Pinterest

Many New York Beauty quilts are made with the same block design and fabric throughout to achieve the desired effect like this simple but stunning quilt.

While others use several block designs with fabrics in a limited color palette with very interesting results.
Source: lenzula.de via Karen on Pinterest

These quilts are great examples of the way different fabrics, colors and layouts can be used to give such unique results.
Source: flickr.com via Karen on Pinterest



Source: flickr.com via Karen on Pinterest

Source: flickr.com via Karen on Pinterest

Tea Time And Paper Piecing

Lately, I've become interested in paper piecing due to the precision and near perfection that can be achieved, and I absolutely love it....which helped me to finally decided on a design for the little quilt I'm making for Quilting Gallery's New Beginnings Mini Quilt Swap. Deciding on what to make hasn't been easy since my partner had no preferences and does not have flickr account for me to stalk!

So, when I stumbled on some paper piecing templates that looked like they would be perfect for some floral fabrics I'd been eager to start using....my mind was made up! The main part of the quilt will be paper pieced....I'll show you more at the end of this post.


I started my paper piecing practice with the scrappy part of this bee block.


My first completely paper pieced block is this one, called "Walking Man" and I love it. I love the batik and solids it is made with...so much so, I decided to make more and keep them for my self. And just in case you liked it....sorry partner!


Next, I decided on using this paper pieced Double Pinwheel block for my 1st quarter 3x6 Sampler Quilt Mini Bee blocks.


So, to get a little extra practice in before the New York Beauty QAL begins I wanted to do some paper piecing that was a little more finicky or intricate. I thought the tea pot with some floral tea cups would be great practice and look so pretty!


From just a little practice you can see what is possible with paper piecing!

Giveaway & NYB QAL: I Won $50 For Fashionable Fabric's

What a great surprise I got this morning when I checked my email....a couple of days ago I entered a fabric giveaway over at Nap Time Crafters and this morning, found out I was the winner of a $50 gift certificate from Fashionable Fabrics!

Well it couldn't have come at a better time because prior to entering the giveaway, I had spent time pinning New York Beauty quilts that inspired me both in block layouts and fabric combinations and had started perusing some of my favorite online fabric shops to choose fabrics for the upcoming New York Beauty Quilt Along.


Fashionable Fabrics has a wonderful selection of premium 100% cotton quilting fabrics. They have categorized their fabrics in several different ways (collection, manufacturer, designer, print, theme, half yards, etc), making it easy to find exactly what you're looking for. Above are the fabrics I'm choosing from....and since I have the $50 gift certificate from
Fashionable Fabrics I may get all of them!

And here are a few of the New York Beauty blocks and quilts that inspired my fabric choices and have me excited to be participating in this latest QAL.

Source: flickr.com via Karen on Pinterest


Source: flickr.com via Karen on Pinterest


Source: flickr.com via Karen on Pinterest

Source: flickr.com via Karen on Pinteres

Source: flickr.com via Karen on Pinterest
Check out the New York Beauty QAL flickr group and take a peek at the New York Beauty blocks we will be making.

New York Beauty QAL and Paper Piecing

I'm so happy to have my February NuBee blocks finished for the wonderful members of Hive 2! It feels great to be ahead of schedule for at least one thing. I really enjoyed interpreting everyones inspiration mosaic and planning out each of the blocks.

megmormel, MissLisbeth, boltonlandingquiltshop, lauralei143, alyson_olander
Hive member, Lauralei143, wants to make a scrappy quilt, so I decided to make her a scrappy version of the block. So, for the first time, thanks to the block MissLisbeth made for everyone, I did paper piecing and I really think I'm going to love it. Mainly because, while I love piecing...I dread despise cutting so the fact that there isn't precision cutting involved excites me!

paper piecing first time

For a few weeks now I've been feeling so behind in all my projects which has me going crazy.  When I say crazy, I mean C..R..A..Z..Y! That's the only possible explanation I have for joining New Beginnings Mini Quilt Swap over at the Quilting Gallery, contemplated "Swooning" several times and just this evening, since I'm so excited about paper piecing, decided to join the New York Beauty Paper Pieced QAL.


I have always admired New York Beauty blocks and always told myself "no way will I ever attempt them" but having recently tried paper piecing, I've decided to explore it further....what better way than QAL! The New York Beauty Paper Pieced QAL  doesn't start until March 5th, so that gives me time to play catch up on many projects and get familiar with paper piecing.

SewHappyquilt-block5

Next up on my list of projects to get caught up on or finished with are the blocks for the Sew.Happy.Quilt QAL with a goal to finish the quilt top on schedule and post photos in the flickr pool by March 18th.  Above is block five that I just finished. At the same time, I need to get six blocks done for the 1st quarter 3x6 Sampler Quilt Mini Bee.  Also, I'll be getting underway with the New Beginnings Mini Quilt Swap. In preparation of the NYB QAL I've decided to do some paper piecing for my mini quilt and with a mailing deadline of March 19th....eeks, I need to get cracking!

The Bare Essentials

After all my big plans to be sewing right along in my new sewing room by now, I seem to be going backwards. First, painting the wood trim and doors is requiring two coats of paint(I hope not three)....not at all good for my back! So, while I was taking a couple days off from painting I moved some of the sewing and cutting tables into the hallway and finished moving most of the smaller stuff (temporarily), into the huge closet of the new room. It's a bit overwhelming, since I really don't have a plan for setting the room up yet.


Anyway, while taking a break from painting, I thought I'd get back to sewing and start on some bee blocks. It was rather chilly upstairs so I plugged in an oil filled heater and made the mistake of turning it on high. Well...just as I got started sewing, everything went dark....with so many things plugged in the same power strip the heater pulled to much power. I lost power in three of the upstairs rooms. Ughhh.....it would be three days before my son would be over to do the wiring for the light and fan in the new sewing room.....so I would be without  power upstairs for all that time.



The following evening I decided to lug down one of my machines, a drawer full of bee block fabrics, rulers, iron etc. and set up a little area in which to sew.  I had now gone from the prospect of a new sewing room to invading the living room area with the bare essentials.  As long as I could do some sewing I didn't care....I was looking forward to getting started on the February NuBee's block swap.

11262011508.jpg
This machine resides in the above sewing cabinet. Sadly, needles are no longer available.A friend is going to modify some needles so I can use it.
As the evening went by I happily cut and sewed and proudly thought about how great it would be to have all my blocks done in a couple of days! Within a couple of hours I started having chills and getting a scratchy throat....I kept plugging along determined to finish the block I was trying out. The next day I woke up with an awful head cold/allergy attack.  I could hardly function for five days......and had ample time to dwell on my disappointment over the work still not finished upstairs.

Pinwheel (Rosebud)
Pinwheel Rose traditionally red or pink with green tips.
The past couple of days I've started to feel a bit like my old self again.  My first thought was to rush right back to painting....but if I paint it leaves me no time or energy for sewing.  So I decided to skip painting for a few days in order to catch up on the QAL's and get my NuBee and 3x6 blocks completed.  This will at least give me a sense of accomplishment and I hope renew my enthusiasm for the home improvement work I still have left to do!
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