Monday, June 30, 2014

July Tutorial- Butterflies in the Skies or Grass!

Hive 2 - July Block Tutorial

Welcome to July!
My name is Meghan Weyrens Kuhn and I live in the heart of the New River Valley of Virginia and home to the Virginia Tech Hokies!
Dave, Ella Bea and me at her first Virginia Tech Football Game!

Family background-
I am happily married to the love of my life, Dave. We met my freshmen year of college and have been together ever since. We dated for a long time before we got married. I actually followed him down to Virginia from New York City after college. I am glad it worked out! We both attended Virginia Tech for grad school and planned to move back to the North (Dave is from Maine) or the Midwest (I am from Minnesota). But the Hokie Nation drew us in and we are Hokies for life. It is beautiful here, the only drawback is being so far from family and there are not many lakes. I am a lake girl!
We have one adventurous daughter, Ella Bea who is 21 months and a delightful English Springer Spaniel, Hudson (hence the name of my blog). These two are best friends and Ella Bea has started to called Hudson, "Hudsy". So cute!
Ella Bea "walking" Hudsy and picking flowers

Quilting interest-
I always have had an interest in fabric, quilting, crafting, yarn, you name it, since I was little. My mother taught home economics at the college level and sewing and fabric have been in my life forever. The first time I was introduced to quilting was when I was 3 or 4 and a family friend, Bernice, made my doll a quilt. I was amazed at the pieces coming together and all the stitches. I can still see the quilt frame set up in her living room and the smell of homemade bread and cookies from her kitchen. Very special memories.
The next time I had a brush with quilting was when I was ten and our neighbor Cindy was making a quilt for her son. Again, I was amazed at the beauty of picking out fabric and placing them together. Cindy is a watercolorist, so I also noticed how her quilt colors flowed.
This is where I began quilting. I got out my mother's Kenmore sewing machine and started to sew fabric blocks together. But, the tension on the machine was a nightmare and the machine ate my fabric! I was so upset. My mother could tell this was going to be a life long hobby and we went to the local sewing store. She bought me a used Bernina. This machine is heavy, tension is not a problem and it is by far one of my prized possessions. They do not make this type of Bernina anymore.
I took quilting classes at Gruber's Quilt Shop. I made a quilt in a day and was hooked. This was a long way around a short story, I started quilting when I was ten and have been quilting ever since. I even worked at Gruber's and Joann's during high school and college to help feed my addiction to fabric. Such a great hobby!

Fabric Stash Organization-
I have a closet full of fabric and crafty items. I organize by color and type of fabric. I also have my scraps in photo boxes. I would like to re-organize my fabric so I can see all of it a little better. Potentially a summer project. Most of the time, I pull out the colors I am interested in and go from there.

Fave Fabric Designers-
Amy Butler, Kate Spain, anything floral with a modern vibe to it. Also, love geometric patterned fabric too. I really love all fabric that is bright, fun and whimsical. I am a self diagnosed hoarder of fabric. I have to hide it from the hubby sometimes. He doesn't mind though, even though he hasn't gotten a quilt yet!

One thing I wish I would have known-
The importance of pressing. I was taught early on about precise cutting and seam allowances, but pressing would have been good too.

Fave Sewing/Quilting tool-
Okay, so this is pretty lame fave sewing tool, but it has to be my Bernina. I love this machine! And if I didn't have a sewing machine I wouldn't be able to quilt as much. Yes, I could quilt by hand, but I am way too impatient for that. When I moved to New York City after college. I told my mom, that I didn't care what came with me as long I had my sewing machine. Love it. Will keep it forever. I may get a computerized sewing machine, but I am holding on to this baby!

Fave fictional character-
Betsy Ray from The Betsy-Tacy Series by Maud Hart Lovelace. These books take place in MN and Betsy is a cool girl who follows her dreams. I strongly recommend them for you or any other dreamer. Her stories are imaginative and based on the life of Maud Hart Lovelace. My mom read these books when she was young and she read them to me when I was young. I hope Ella Bea likes them too.

Butterflies! Oh my! 
Inspiration quilt:


As a mom of a little baby girl, who now is a toddler (tear, growing up too fast), I am obsessed with her and making her smile and laugh. I have decided to make a butterfly quilt for her, sorry Dave, next time!

Do you remember Lisa's May block? This block will be similar to her lovely Road to Tennessee, with a few adjustments to it.

Fabric Pull-
As I was thinking of my block, summer had arrived in the New River Valley. My inspiration for my fabric pull is the bright blue skies, green grass, and hot, sunny colors for our butterflies.
You can chose to make the butterflies all the same color/fabric, two different fabrics, or four different fabrics. If you choose to do the four different fabrics, please try to make the four fabrics have some similar theme within them.
You can use either all green or all blue for your background squares.
The butterfly body can either be a dark brown and black, it can have pattern to it.
Isn't my Hudson such a good quilt poser? 

Fabric pull for your greens, blues and butterfly body.

Step #1
Cut four 5 inch squares (charm pack squares work too!) You can choose all the same fabric, two different fabrics or all four different fabrics.  If you choose to do the four different fabrics, please try to make the four fabrics have some similar theme within them.

Step #2
Cut eight 2 inch squares in either blues or greens. Please choose one or the other color for your two inch squares. They can be different shades of green or blue.

Step #3
Cut one 2 x 9.5 inch strip in either dark brown or black. This will be your butterfly body.

Step #4
Cut two 1.25 x 11 inch strips to match the blues or greens you chose for your corners. These strips will help make the block a square shape.

Step #5
Take your ruler and draw a diagonal line down the WRONG side of your green or blue squares. You will be connecting diagonal corners. Please draw a line on all eight blocks.

Step #6
In this step, you will be creating the butterfly wings. Take one 5 inch square and place it pretty side up on your table. Take two of the marked 2 inch squares and sew them diagonally on the corner of the 5 inch squares. You will sew 2 squares to each 5 inch square. You are sewing the pretty sides of the fabric together.

Step #7
Using your ruler cut off the extra on each corner with the square making sure you leave a 1/4 of an inch.
Press out the fabric to make your 5 inch square again.

Step #8
Arrange your blocks to make your butterfly wings. Sew together and press seams open.

Step #9
Sew the wings to the butterfly body and press the butterfly body seams in towards the middle.

Step #10
Sew the 11 inch strips to the top and bottom of your butterfly, press and you are done!

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

These are two blocks that I made. You can see in the left block that I used blue scraps for the sky. Please use fabrics from your stash. This is to help bust up your stash a little bit!