August is here, and it’s my turn to be Queen!

August is here, and it’s my turn to be Queen!

This was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  I had a really hard time finding a block and deciding what to do, but I’m happy with the block I chose.

I’ve been admiring the Elizabeth Hartman critter patterns and looking forward to trying them out, but in the meantime I found this quilt-a-long from a few years ago that has a similar feel.  I apologize for doing another dog block so soon after Karen’s poodles, but I just love these guys.  They remind me of my boys, Bucky and Leo…and after all, my blog is named after Leo’s brown paws.

The quilt-a-long, which happened in 2015, is from Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts.  The original “Dog Gone Cute” blog page is here.  Here are the details for our bee blocks:

  1. Please do the large blocks (18″ x 12″)
  2. I’d like the background to be white, or a white on white print.
  3. The dog face should bright color.  Prints and batiks are fine, but the fabric should read as one primary color (red, blue, orange, purple, green…you get the idea).
  4. Eyes and nose should be black, or a black print.
  5. for the contrasting part of the faces, I used grays.  You can use another coordinating color with your face fabric if you like.  I was struggling with this fabric as the background is white, and I wanted something to stand out both against the dog face and the background.  I think the gray worked well.

She has 8 different dogs to choose from.  You can choose whichever one you like – I’ll give you some tips on that here in a minute.

This is some inspiration for what I have in mind.  This was a quilt completed by Gina at Quilts and Cakes (blog post here) from the original Quilt-a-long in October 2015:

sample dogs

The links to the block patterns:

Quilt-a-long kickoff post (interesting for background purposes)

Blocks #1 and #2

Blocks #3 and #4

Blocks #5 and #6

Blocks #7 and #8

My suggestion, and request actually, is that you think about a dog who had some meaning to you and find one of the block patterns that most makes you think of that furry friend.  If you are not a dog person, that’s ok, I can recommend some pups to use as inspiration!

I did do some block testing and have some thoughts to offer.

I decided my Leo looked like block 5, and my Bucky looked like block 3.  Block 3 was much easier than block 5, but both came together very well.

For each pattern, there is a table with cutting instructions.  I copy/pasted that table into Word and printed it out.  I crossed out the small block column to help me avoid confusion, wrote the colors of the fabrics I was using in each section, and crossed off the pieces as I cut them:

cutting tables

I then cut all the pieces, and pinned letters on them so I knew which ones they were.  This was REALLY helpful, as with them marked I could just walk through the rest of the tutorial.

cut blocks

From there, I just went step by step through her instructions.  It was really straightforward, and actually didn’t take too long.

This is my Leo (Mr. BrownPaws):

leo block

and my Bucky (I got to try out my new Moda Grunge Hits the Spot!):

bucky block

and I had to make the boys pose with their blocks (Leo insisted on bringing along his parrot stuffy):

leo and his block

bucky outtake 4

Many outtakes were required, for which they were rewarded with ice cream later:

 

 

If you don’t have furry friends to use as inspiration, here are a few more of mine, past and present:

 

The big one is of our Sporty and Katie, who have now passed.  Upper right is Maggie, our corgi.  Middle right is Sandy, our crazy Jack Russel Terrier who left us 3 years ago.  And the bottom right is Sporty after we adopted our two boys, Bucky and Leo.  All of our furry kids have meant so much to us, and we love them all.

I hope you enjoy making the blocks – I look forward to seeing what you all create!

 

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April and May Brown Paws Blocks

Here we are into June, and I haven’t yet posted about my April and May blocks.  Both were fun to do, and I’m happy with how they came out.

This was April – fun birds for Velda from GrannyCanQuilt.  My first block is this one:

first birds

I’m also making my own set of blocks from a Me+You bundle of batiks, duplicating each of the monthly Bee blocks.  These are the bird blocks I made from my own quilt:

me+you birds

I just love these blocks, and they are a great way of using up scraps.  I might start making my own set of blocks for a big bird quilt!

For May, Irene of Patchwork & Pastry went a very different direction.  She was looking for a very subtle palette with an assortment of grays.  At first I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough grays to  get this block to come together, but I was really surprised with the selection I had.  This was my fabric pull – the photo is in monotone to check the values:

Gray block fabric pull

Her block was a series of 9-patches gradually increasing in size.  Here it is coming together:

gray first piecing

Look at that cute bitty 9-patch!

small 9 patch

And the final block:

gray full block

I’m really pretty happy with it – it came out a bunch better than I thought it would.  I’m going to have to figure out how to adapt this block to my Me+You color palette, which is a lot more colorful.

I hope Velda and Irene like their blocks – both have been sent off.

Now on to French Poodles in June!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trees and Gnomes for Kate

Trees and Gnomes for Kate

I was able to grab some time between trips to get my March block done.   I have to admit I wasn’t totally crazy about it to start, but making the blocks was an interesting process.  And doing different things is kind of what this is about, isn’t it?

Here is my fabric pull – I was drinking coffee in my New Mexico mug on a Sunday morning:

And here is my finished block.  I was in deep concentration trying to make the trees, and especially putting the darn trunks on the trees – they kept winding up way off to the side – so I don’t have any in-process photos.

 

My one tip would be to fold the bottom piece in half to get a crease, and then set it under the tree/gnome before cutting to put in the trunk to get a sense of where the trunk is going to wind up.  Before I did that, I kept cutting my bottom piece way too far over on one side or the other, and the trunk wound up in an odd place (see the bottom 2 trees).  But overall I’m pretty happy with it, and got it sent off to Kate Friday morning.  I do hope she likes it.  I think the gnomes are cute!

A Blue Block for Sue

A Blue Block for Sue

I had a good time pulling fabrics for this block.  Perhaps I took the monochromatic direction a bit too literally, but I really liked the example blocks that Sue provided, and they led me to this blue:

february-bee-block

I think this is a really cool block – very colorful and clean.  Thanks for the inspiration Sue!  I mailed off the block this afternoon – it might take a little bit of time to get to you.

In addition to her block, Sue requested that we talk a bit about where we all are from.  Let me tell you a bit about Albuquerque, New Mexico.

New Mexico is in the Southwest, with Albuquerque as the largest city and Santa Fe the capital.  I’ve lived in Albuquerque for just about 25 years – a transplant from the midwest where I grew up.  New Mexico is known for our many days of bright sunshine and beautiful blue skies.  We have four seasons, which is great, but it is generally much warmer than my native states.  My favorite season is fall, when it is warm and sunny and you can smell roasting green chile in the air.  The worst season is spring because it gets really, really windy.

This is a photo from a walk in late fall – it was a beautiful day for a hike in the Petroglyphs area:

petroglyphs

Albuquerque is known for our annual Balloon Fiesta.  It is held every October and it is amazing.

balloons-in-the-sky

I think these guys are appropriate for our group:

bee-balloon

Northern New Mexico – closer to Santa Fe – is Georgia O’Keeffe country.  There are more mountains up north, along with red rocks.  This is a painting that hangs in the Georgia O’Keefe museum in Santa Fe.  I love that museum and go up to Santa Fe to see it a few times a year.

georgia-mountain

A few other quick New Mexico facts:

  • New Mexico has a rich Native American history and presence.  There are many Pueblos across the state, and the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque is a really interesting place.
  • Our state question is ‘red or green’ – which refers to chile.  You are often asked this in restaurants to find out if you want red or green chile on your food.  The correct answer is Christmas – which means both!
  • We are, in fact, a state and not a non-US country.  It is not all that uncommon for non-New Mexicans to ask if you need a passport to go to New Mexico.
  • Other great things to see in New Mexico are:  galleries and museums in Santa Fe, Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands National Monument, Chaco Canyon, Ojo Caliente Hot Springs, and the town of Taos.  All very pretty, and typically not overrun by hoards of people.
  • The film/TV industry has started filming here quite often.  It is fun to watch shows like Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, and Longmire, or movies like The Magnificent 7, and see familiar landscape.  The new Wolverine movie was filmed here just recently.

 

Come visit me!

 

Me and My Brown Paws

Me and My Brown Paws

Hello, I’m Ann of BrownPawsQuilting.

me-and-bucky

This is me and my pup Bucky.  He’s my bud.

family-photo-2016

This is the whole (canine) furry family – Leo (BrownPaws), Bucky, and our corgi Maggie.  The cats chose not to participate in the family photo.

I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico and work as an engineering manager.  I’ve been quilting for about 20 years, but started my blog just under a year ago.  I’ve really enjoyed meeting new people via the blog and via social media, and have learned so much in the past year – both about blogging and about quilting.   This group will be my first try at a Bee, and I’m anxious to figure it all out!

You can read more about me on my page and on my New Bloggers Blog Hop stop.   Some quick hits:

  • We spend a lot of time in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.  This is my sewing location when I’m there (it is a small place so I only do cutting and piecing there):

pagosa-sewing

  • I changed jobs about 6 months ago, leaving a place I had been for 23 years.  It has been quite an adjustment and I’m working hard to keep focus on my sewing!
  • I also recently bought a long arm, which was something I wanted to do for a long time.  Now I am working up a very steep learning curve.  This quilt is my first quilt top I’ve finished on the long arm.  It is a bow tie quilt top I made several years ago and figured it would be a good one to start playing with:

kite-quilt-in-progress

  • I used to do a lot of work with dying fabrics and using those fabrics in my quilts.  I haven’t done as much of that recently, but I do really love working with the colors.  This is my wedding quilt I made several years ago.  I had people sign the light purple pieces at the reception.full-quilt

 

  • I also enjoy reading (mainly audiobooks right now), music, Star Wars, and am a very large University of Wisconsin Badger fan – hence the dog named Bucky!

These are two recent things I’ve been working on…

The Sugar Block Club 3.0 blocks – blocks are all done, just need to figure out a layout…

sugar-block-bom-blocks

Embroidery blocks for a Moda Bake Shop Pattern called the Bee-utiful Quilt-a-long.  The embroidery has been fun.  So far I’ve completed twelve of the twenty total blocks.

bee-bike

 

Thanks for adding me to the group – I look forward to getting to know you all and working on our blocks!