Cocorico blocks for October and November

I was behind in making blocks for this bee, but I plugged away
at these two over the weekend so I could catch up.

For the month of October, Annabel assigned us a 12x16" block with an orchard theme.  When I think of orchards and pick your own fruit, I think of my canner and jars.  I love picking my own fruit but my eyes are bigger than our tummies and my time is never as big as our pantry.  So I have to limit myself to picking only as much fruit as I'm able to can or freeze in a half of a day.
I came up with this block sketch:

The canning jars intimidated me, so I took my time and pieced
the canner and the bowl of apples first.
peek for Annabel

I used freezer paper to do the canner lid curve and I embroidered the handle and the lip of the lid.  I used fusible web and raw edge applique to do the apples.  I don't know the name for the technique I used for the bowl.  Can I admit that I feel like a hack when I use a process and I can't even put it into words?  But when I learn more about it, I promise to do another post explaining it.  okay?

jars for Annabel's block

Anyway, I used the mystery applique technique for the jars, too, and then put them on with some white thread.  Then I did some thread sketching in blue for the jar details.  On a whim I picked out two blue colors for the sketching and I thread them both through my needle and stitched them at the same time.  Kooky, I know, but it worked like a dream, so I'm sticking with it.

October Orchard Themed Block

Here is the finished block.  I wish I hadn't let it intimidate me so, but I'm pleased with the results.

And, now on to the November block.  Krista and her family are big skiers, so she requested 10 to 14" blocks with the theme, "Let's hit the slopes!"  I don't downhill ski, but I do love cross country skiing.  I learned to ski from an old housemate that also taught me how to knit.  Both will forever be linked in my mind,
so I had to sew a ski sweater.  Here is my sketch:


I started with piecing a snowflake out of the tiniest HST's I've ever done.
Those blue and white squares are only 5/8". 

start of a ski sweater

Then it was on to tiny flying geese, a Y-seam at the collar and embroidering a zipper.

sweater block in progress

Lastly, I had the task of making the sleeves "jaunty" (as Krista put it) but not too silly-looking.

November Ski Sweater Block

I must admit that these blocks are hard ones to tuck into the mailbox  :)

Ski Sweater

Well, thanks for letting me ramble on and post a ridiculous amount of photos for only two blocks.
I LOVE reading process posts by other quilters because I learn so much.  But I'm also a bit shy about showing my sketchbook and partial block photos.  I hope you don't mind the peeks into my process.


Debbie said...

wow. what amazing blocks! Your precision is inspiring!!

Donna said...

The blocks are really great! And that button is so cute.

Anonymous said...

I love how the canning block turned out. It's perfect! And words cannot express how adorable that ski sweater is. I'm so fortunate to have seen it in real life.

Archie the wonder dog said...

Wow, both blocks are amazing but the jumper is magnificent!!

Amy E. said...

those are amazing! you've definitely got some piecing talent!

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

What else can I say but Wow!! these block, with all those tiny pieces....amazing!

Megan said...

You really have some amazing talent and creativity! I love seeing your process and learning more about how projects come together. And yes, definitely difficult to mail away!

Toni said...

These are both just so incredible! The first block is totally me with the fruit and canner and the second block? Your intricacy blows me away! I've pinned them both for inspiration! Thanks!

Lucy | Charm About You said...

These are so amazing!! How do you do that?! Very talented :)

Anonymous said...

WOWW!!!! I am soo totally impressed. Your piecing is eceptional!!!!!!!!!!!

I am new to your blog, so I appreciate your process. I've been wanting to tackle a car (to add to my husband's xmas stocking) but wasn't sure how to go about it. THANKS for the tips and keep them coming.


Little Island Quilting said...

Truly amazing work(manship).

Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane said...

Wow- oh wow- how do you do that indeed? Awesome- just awesome.
Keep showing the process- I love learning more and am dying to master paper piecing. So happy to have found you through pinterest!

Anna said...

yay melinda! amazing, what awesome details, really really amazing. keep it up superstar!

Deb said...

Those are just amazing! I love them both, but the sweater is over-the-top awesome. Great job - I love them!

Ulli said...

your work is incredible!!! the jars are adorable, love them the best!!!

lily boot said...

Unreal!!!! The tiny piecing in that sweater block is exceptional. But I adore the whimsy of the canning block - you are beautifully talented Melinda! I think you should do a whole year - 12 months in the kitchen - quilt. It would be so darling!

Molly said...

I love the first block! Gorgeous. Great fabric choices.

Cindy said...

Both blocks are beautiful and definitely amazing. I'm like everyone else - how do you do that? :)
I see so many of these original paper pieced blocks on blogs but have no idea how you gals go from sketch to an actual pattern to use. Some day you all need to get a book made to explain it to us! :)

melissa said...

both of them are fabulous!!
but oh that first block - swoon!! i love everything about it.
you are amazing!!!

Amanda said...

I just wanted to let you know your blocks always inspire me. Thank you for sharing them with us!

quirky granola girl said...

thanks Amanda! :)

verykerryberry said...

Great piecing- I especially love the ski jumper- every detail screams winter skiing to me and the tiny intricacy of the start and HST with the blue triangle print is perfect

Amanda Jean said...

i LOVE the peeks into your process. your blocks are AMAZING!!! utterly AMAZING!

i love the idea of using two threads at once. i'm going to have to play with that technique sometime.

cmvs said...

goodness, you are so incredibly talented! i think you get exponentially more clever every time i check into your site- how is that even possible? you are totally my sewing guru.

Marie said...

The ski sweater is fabulous beyond words! I work in a yarn shop and we have taught many knitters to make fair isle knit sweaters just like the one in your block. Currently there are two women who have been knitting away for a LONG time and working very hard at making their first Dale of Norway sweater. I would love to present them with a block similar to the one you made. Is there any chance you wrote a pattern for it???
Thank you for the continuing inspirations!

Jo Ann 3 said...

the ski sweater is sooo cute. Do you sell the pattern

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