Thursday, July 8, 2010

A map of my childhood

June was Anne's month for Snip.Sew.Send. She requested "Map" blocks which we could interpret as loosely as we wanted, and she said the same goes for technique. I really hope mine's okay... it feels pretty loose!

Snip.Sew.Send. June block for Anne
This is a map of my neighborhood as a child. We lived on 40th Avenue South.

40th Avenue South
My house is at the bottom of the cul-de-sac (Jeff is my brother). There were a number of families in the neighborhood with kids-- those names penned in the houses are theirs. There was always lots to do in the 'hood... playing ball, dance parties over at Stephanie's house (thus the music notes), climbing into the treehouse over at LeighAnne and Johnny's, or racing down from the top of the cul-de-sac on our bikes and big wheels (I'm not so good at drawing those-- but I tried!).
treehouse and truck close-up

There was often baseball action too-- home plate was always in front of our house, the pitcher would stand on the blue reflector in the center, first base was the ever-present truck, second was the manhole cover, and third was at the mailboxes. When I was little, we also had a cat named Sammy... she's hanging out near Ben's house.

I used a number of techniques in this one, including some that were new to me.
  • I started by using a Pigma pen to sketch out the cul-de-sac and things I new I wanted to embroider.
  • Then I colored in sections with crayons (using Carrie P.'s tutorial for coloring on fabric as a guide).
  • Next I used fusible web and did the "Sketchy Stitchy Applique" technique, as described at Bloomin' Workshop. I really loved how that worked! The look really appeals to me, and it was so simple to do.
  • Then I went through and embroidered all over the place, mostly with two strands of floss, but sometimes with one.
  • Lastly, I finished the trees. I used two different colors of green thread and threaded both of them through the needle on my machine (so two threads were going through the needle). Then I freemotion stitched the treetops. Using two threads gave it a nice thick look, and the different colors gives them a little more dimension.

Overall, I'm really happy with how it all came together. The only bump in the road was my inability to do math. The block is supposed to be 10.5" x 14.5", including 1.5" borders. Mine ended up 12" x 15". Whoops. I'm really hoping that Anne won't mind it being a little big, or trimming it down and ending up with slightly narrower borders. I blame my baby-brain! (I wonder how long I can get away with that excuse?) :)

June was the last month for Snip.Sew.Send. I can't believe it has already been a year! I've had so much fun making blocks for all of my fabulous bee buddies, and I've learned a lot too. This virtual quilt bee really gave me a chance to push myself and try some new things. It has been fabulous! I'm looking forward to participating in another, once life settles down again.


  1. Ho-ly cow. I don't know how you ever could have given this block up! What a piece of art. If you were here, I would be bowing in my unworthiness :-) Beautiful beautiful beautiful . . .

  2. I agree with Piececorps - I don't know how you are willing to give me this fantastic block! I am so touched that you made it for my quilt.
    I love every single thing about it. I love the variety of techniques you used, the layout, everything.

    I am definitely going to have to print out the stories of these blocks to put with the quilt.

    Thank you, Robin!!!!

  3. That is one of the cutest blocks I have ever seen.

  4. I love it!! What a spectacular combination of ideas and I love the child's perspective. I bet it's even better in person!

  5. I love the map .. I knew exactly which way to go to find your happiness.


  6. Now how cute is that block?!!!