Chocolate and Vanilla Snowman Blocks

Chocolate and Vanilla Snowman Blocks

About a year ago, I agreed to join a bee project where each participant would make a block with a snowman on it. Once the blocks were made, we would each get one of everyone’s block. Sounded like a fun project when there were 10 of us. When there were 16 – Not so much, lol! Here’s my first stab at a prototype that I found quite amusing. I went all out with crystals, metallic threads and some custom FMQ.

meltingsnowmanquiltblock

ha! I’m so funny. As much as I would have loved to have made 16 of these, I know myself way to well. I would have never actually finished the project and someone would have ended up with the short end of the stick. Since I think that committing and not doing is pretty crappy, I knew I had to pick something that was less work intense. When the new embroidery machine arrived, I saw it as a most excellent opportunity to learn a few things about stabilizers, hooping, and machine operation. Here are the 16 all finished up.

 

SnowmanBlocks

These snowmen are a design I purchased from Urban Threads and themed around chocolate and vanilla. My machine came with a few stabilizers, I had some from other projects I’ve worked on, and I bought a few new ones I had not worked with before. It was interesting to see how unique stabilizer combinations changed the final outcome when all things pattern, thread, and fabric were the same. One thing that I never quite resolved to my satisfaction was the little section at the bottom of the snowman. Here’s one of the worst ones, but the best isn’t much better.

 

SnowmanBlock

I’m inclined to say this is a design flaw, but I bet the design would do fine on a more robust fabric like denim or canvas. Since I’m almost always going to be working on cotton, it is a flaw for me. None of the other sections in the entire pattern had a similar problem. It doesn’t escape my attention that all of the other sections are closed. I think closing the bottom one too is the only resolution in my case. Certainly a lesson learned about spacing and stitch density for when I’m designing my own patterns.

 

Next week, I’ll have my first informative embroidery post for you all about Sulky water soluble stabilizer, how and where I used them, and my impression of the differences between solvy, super solvy, and ultra solvy. I’ve used it before with thread painting and I’m staring to think it could be useful with FMQ designs too.

 

While you wait, check out the blocks I received. Pretty sweet eh?

snowmanblocks

10 Comments

  1. totally SWEET! I want them all too! Too late to join in??? I’ll make 17, heh heh.
    The embroidery ones are awesome girl with the snowflakes too. How’s your thread tension while it’s stitching? If either top or bottom is tight or the stabilizer isn’t strong it’ll pull on that unconnected piece. Or it’s a design flaw, which is possible.

    I finished my skeleton this year… I know you enjoy a skeleton too, hope you come visit and tell me what you think.
    Happy howlaween! LeeAnna

    Reply
  2. Oh, I love that melting snowman! And yes to the fun at 10, not so much at 16. Finally – I’m super stoked to hear about your embroidery machine! I’ve always wanted one, but haven’t been able to justify buying it. Maybe one day, but till then, I’ll just live vicariously through you. :D

    Reply
  3. All the snowman are so cute!! But your first guy is simply amazing!! so fun, I cannot stop smiling when I look at it :)
    Thanks for linking up at MOP Monday

    Reply
  4. I love your melting snowman. Priceless! Those embroidered snowmen are pretty amazing as well, despite the flaw. I agree, if the design were closed I don’t think you’d have that slight pucker. All part of the learning curve I’m sure.

    Reply
  5. Your First block is stunning… Although it reminded me of Frosty melting and me crying as a little girl! :-). Great job on the 16 blocks. That is such a cool bee.

    Reply
  6. That first photo is awesome! What cute snowmen blocks!

    Reply
  7. Oh, all those snowmen blocks are so darn cute! I can’t wait to see the finished quilt. As for your first block….I love it. You should do a tutorial/pattern for us since you are not going to add it to your swap! It is darling. And I understand about that not committing to all those blocks. Sometimes life just gets in the way!

    Reply
  8. Your first block is hilarious! I love that the carrot has floated away. Glad you got to play with your new machine!

    Reply
  9. I am also taking a break from a Flickr swap group since I have to make 3″ blocks 12 times. Your embroidery snowman looks beautiful. It’s my turn to say “so grown up”!! :) Haha!! Love your “prototype”! That is very you and I LOVE it :)

    -Soma

    Reply
  10. How cute! I haven’t heard of a bee like that, but it’s a fun idea and a great collection of snowmen!

    Reply

What say you?