Beehive blocks #2

I made a few Beehive Blocks this week.  One is for the September Queen Bee and the other for the October one.  The September Queen in my Beehive swarm chose the Mineral block.  This one has lots of little half-square triangles to form the minerals and her color palette was mostly neutrals and blues with a hint of gold and orange.  She approved my fabric pull so I went to work cutting it all out.  It had lots of little squares that needed cutting and it took a lot of concentration making sure that I cut the right color in the right amount of squares.  Once everything was cut out it was actually pretty quick to put together.  I wasn’t sure about the low volume with the animals on it but now I think it looks pretty cool.  The selvedge states it is called ‘Nature Study.’  I can’t wait to see how her quilt turns out.

The October queen is me.  I have been sitting on a color palette for a few months now and have been waiting for the blocks to be released to see what block I would possibly choose for my aesthetic.  Well, it will come as no surprise to some of you what colors I chose.   

The Color Theory fabric on the top is my inspiration piece.  The teals and greys just look so great together. The Fizzy block got released in July and it has movement and circles.  It made it to the top of my short-list.  My sample block came out awesome! There was no need to look any further.  This was the one I wanted. I made a second block and it’s just going to be incredible when I get all my Bee blocks in the mail.  I cannot wait to get this top completed.  The lights and darks are gong to give it such incredible movement and interest.  I just love it! 

Birthday Stash:

My bestie sent me a gift certificate for the Intrepid Thread for my birthday last month and I finally got around to using it and picked up these wonderful Alison Glass prints.  (The charm squares were a sweet bonus they included in my package.) I bought those on a day where Julie was having a bundle daily deal so I also grabbed these beauties. It’s such a bright and happy collection of fabrics. 

Now that Fall has officially arrived I have the urge to make a new table runner for the living room in some great fall colors.  Maybe some pumpkins………

Random Roundup #11

This week I have been working on projects for Christmas gifts.  It’s never too early to get started on those. I like to have them ready to go in case I get distracted by other pretty things – new fabrics, new patterns, new whatever….

Trail Tote:

My stepsister saw the Small Trail Tote that I made and wanted me to make one for her.  She was at my house a few months back and picked out a color palette of blues, teals, and seafoams.  Then she stated that I was the expert and could choose for her.  She was a bit overwhelmed by my stash at that point.  I recently grabbed what she chose and made the final cuts.  I was left with an Art Gallery print for the exterior, a sweet birdcage print for the interior, two coordinating pocket pieces, and a dark grey texture for the strap.  She wanted a small bag like the one I made for myself.  It was made using the Trail Tote pattern by Anna Graham for Robert Kaufman Fabrics.  I got the exterior piece done and loved how it was looking with the diamond quilting.  And I was, once again, amazed by how cool the zipper pocket is to make.  I used Soft and Stable for the exterior interfacing.  It gives it such a great texture and support.  I expanded the interior pocket to give it two slots instead of one large one which I wish I had done on mine.  I know she’ll enjoy the extra space.     She’s going to love it!!

Butterfly Pillow Sham:

My bestie’s 6 year old daughter has informed her mom that she wants to do her room in pinks and purples.  That is a little off of the design aesthetic of her mother.  But, with that jumping off point, I wanted to make her something for the room.  During that thought process Kristy of Quiet Play had a pattern sale and I picked up a few.  One of them was the Geometric Butterfly pattern and it was perfect for this project.  I picked a gorgeous stack of pinks and a text print for the background.  I ended up accidentally skipping a few of the pieces in the pattern but it looks great anyway.  This piece is the center of the pillow sham.  I added border pieces to get it to the size I needed and then quilted a wavy crosshatch. I did an envelope closure on the back in a fabric that I got at work from a co-worker.  It is a 100% cotton sateen but was so right for this sham.  I also used this same fabric on the back of the pillow front.  I love how the quilting looks on it.   I adore the finished product!!  Now I’m wondering if I should also do one in purple……

Paint Chip Challenge 

Last weekend my local quilt guild, the Memphis Area Modern Quilt Guild had our meeting where we swapped mini quilts that were made as part of a guild paint chip challenge.  We selected 2 paint chips, clipped them together, and put our name on the back.  Once that was done they were all put in a bag and we blind selected from the bag.  We could use any neutral (white, black, grey, ivory) and one additional color in our mini.  Here are the paint chips I received:  

I really love these colors together!  So, I got home from the meeting and started pulling fabrics.

  I think I got pretty close and was able to use that mustardy yellow as my extra color.  I had been hoarding a pattern and knew this project would be perfect for it.  I chose the Octagonal Orb pattern by Elizabeth Hartman that was posted on the Modern Quilt guild site. My first triangular section came out pretty good. 

Then I put the rest of it together.

I decided to quilt it with a basic straight line focusing on the triangle pieces and around the octagon as well.  I used a dark green thread to quilt it and I really like the way it looks.


As part of the meeting I received a mini quilt as well.  My mini was made by Katelyn from Sing While Crafting.  I had forgotten what colors I selected but, based on the mini, I think they were pinks and blues.  I remember trying to pick colors outside of my norms of purples and teals.

She picked the Cross-Stitch Block tutorial from Pile O’ Fabric based on my love of cross-stitch and then pieced those in a cat head design in reference to my two sweet cats.  She used teal as her other color and bound in one of the blues.

01ce288760ae7156e0ff3a9910138aab6631be87eeI just love it and I wish we had a video of all the very animated reactions of our guild members as they were called to come up and receive their new mini.  This was a secret swap as well so we have all been posting black and white images of the minis on Instagram just to show progress.  All of the reactions were just priceless and the whole thing was so much fun!

Sewcation 2015

I take a week off each year before it gets a bit crazy at work and concentrate on doing things around the house.  So, of course, it usually contains a bit of sewing and some home organization.  This year was no exception.  I got off to a slow start but finally got my sewing machine moving and got a lot done.

Christmas Mini Quilt Swap 2015:

Once I finished the Text Me Mini Quilt Swap quilt, I moved on to the next one on my list.  The Christmas Mini Swap isn’t due until early November but I got motivated to start it and looked at my partner’s likes and dislikes.  I also pulled up the Pinterest account to get an idea of what direction to go with this mini.  I pulled some Christmasy greens and got started on a wreath-like pattern.  The center star pattern was found at Lily’s Quilts and is called the ET Phone Home block.  I added the holly fabric where the pattern calls for the background print as it made it appear more wreath-like to me.  I then added the side pieces and then the corner triangles to finish it off.  I bound in a red dot and it is finished!  I actually may add some red beads to the medium triangle area to give more of a holly appearance.  But, I love it either way.

Christmas Stockings:

I was commissioned, really early in the year, to make 3 stockings to be complete by this upcoming Christmas.  During the year the count increased to 4 as this young family was now expecting their second child.  That lovely child was born just 2 weeks ago.  The mother gave me a photo to go by but wanted first name initials as the centerpiece of the stocking fronts.  For the initials I used the Lower case ABCs paper piecing pattern by Diane Bohn of ‘from blank pages’.

I found a free stocking template at Craftaholics Anonymous.  And it was perfect!  I straight-line quilted following the lines on the green fabric and continued that into the red and poinsettia prints.  I really like the cross-hatch it gives at the sides of the stockings.

It was incredibly satisfying completing these stockings as I have never made any prior to this.  They turned out adorable and I hope the family loves them.

 Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap Round 4:

I also decided to work on another swap project that is due in early November.  I stalked my partner’s Instagram account and looked again and again at the likes and dislikes on my assignment email.  I had previously downloaded a paper-piecing pattern called Striped Star by Kristy of Quiet Play.  I wanted to play around with that pattern with colors that my partner likes.  I ended up with this:01db19881ac7ba58954a6610bc169e00673e43d548 I just LOVE it!  I failed to take progress pics which is probably good since I hated the first try before I moved to putting the Shuffle fabric (by Riley Blake Designs – after Googling I found some here) in all sections and not just the corners.  I added the 1/4″ text border around the star and then extended the Shuffle fabric outwards.  I was so inspired that I completed the back and got this mini quilted and bound before the day was done.014a6f2272652a942dffb3e9c678de52ed4b5fa283What that means is that I have completed all of the swap quilts that I have through the end of the year.  This will give me time to work on Christmas gifts.  I believe I have a few bags and some pillow shams to make…..

Text Me, Baby

I was beyond thrilled to sign up for the Text Me Mini Quilt Swap (#textmeminiquiltswap) on Instagram earlier this year.  Text fabrics are my current favorite!  They are so incredibly useful – low volume backgrounds, accents, focus fabrics.  They really can be used for just about anything.

My partner had given me some specifics – pinks, purples, blues, Riley Blake designs, Cotton + Steel.  Well, my purple and blue stash has been running a bit low so I grabbed some of my pinks and started playing around with those.  I thought this was a good mix of values. Then the Twisted Blossom pattern from Sew Kind of Wonderful was released.  I thought I would try it out with my pinks.  I like the way this is looking – let’s keep going…..  I loved this block when I was through with it and decided that I needed to add more to it so I could use it for this swap.  It needed to be just a bit larger.So, I added a border and some corners.  I was able to get a more prominent presence of some Cotton + Steel fabrics.  The square in a square block allowed me to mimic the center of the Twisted Blossom block to give a bit more cohesion to the piece. Close but not quite complete.  A scrappy border should do the trick.  I used the off-cuts from the block and just randomly pieced them together and then cut that pieced slab into 1 1/2″ wide strips. Yep – now I really love it!  Let’s finish this thing up!   I quilted it with a wavy triangle design that echoed out to each side of the mini and bound it in the pink dots.  A polka dot binding is just so great!

I had this fabulous Dark grey text print for the back:  I raw-edge appliquéd the remaining pink corner squares to give a little bit more interest to the back and added the label.  I hope my partner loves it.

I already received mine and I just adore it.  It has the perfect colors and I love the extension of the block into the corners.  It’s just so cool!  I will find a great place on the wall for this block so I can admire it all the time.  😊

Teal love

Many of you know of my love for teals and blues.  Last week I shared the in-progress pics of a sweet baby quilt made with my favorite hues – teals and blues. 

 I wasn’t sold on the placement of some of the triangles so I made a few adjustments and now I LOVE it!  The heart piece stands out a bit more and I made it more symmetrical and added more of the solids.  I did have to stop and get more yardage of those solids.  The dark blue in this photo is actually a deep teal and is just gorgeous.  Here’s a close-up of the sweet snails and dragonfly prints.  

 These prints would work for a boy or girl quilt which makes it pretty gender nuetral.  When finished it should be about 40″ square which is perfect for those new bundles of joy.

After that I took my teal love and placed it in the Rhoda Ruth Block Challenge.  The Robert Kaufman Quilting Blog – Swatch and Stitch – is hosting a fabric challenge using Kona solids or Essex linen.  Make the Genny and Ruth block using those fabrics and post on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #RhodaRuthBlockChallenge by the morning of August 31st.    Here’s my block of teals with a touch of grey.  I like how it shimmers.  Now I need to figure out what to do with it.  It could make a great throw pillow or I could build a whole quilt around it.  So many options……..

I also made myself a key fob using some teal scrap fabric.  I needed a new keychain for my new car!!!!  

 No white, black, grey, or tan cars for me.  It’s this really cool blue color which could be seen better if it hadn’t been overcast and rainy all day.  There’s lots of room in the back for fabric except now I have a car payment so I will be cutting back on those purchases for a little bit.

Before that purchase I was at JoAnn’s picking up the solids and I saw this sewing machine print that will be perfect for my ironing board.   Now I just need to find the perfect tutorial to get it done.  I think I already have one downloaded but I will have to double check that.


A Snail’s Pace

I was going through my stash recently to cut up fat quarters for the fat quarter swap we do at my guild (The Memphis Area Modern Quilt Guild) meeting each month.  I came across these sweet snail and dragonfly prints and decided to keep them to make a baby quilt for upcoming baby showers and such.  I matched them to some Kona solids that I had from a great Craftsy sale a while back.  Those prints are from a 2010 line called Breeze for In The Beginning fabrics. I wanted to do an HST quilt of some kind so chose the 4 at a time method of cutting and sewing.  I cut 7″ squares then placed them right sides together and sewed a 1/4″ seam all around the edges.  Cut on the diagonal each direction and you end up with 4 sections 4 1/2″ square.  This method seems to be a bit more precise for me and I think I’ll need to find a chart of some kind to show what size square will get to what size final section.  This left me with a nice pile of pieces to iron and then decide how I wanted to place them.   Once I laid them out on the floor I got to rearranging and rearranging and rearranging and ended up here.  I’m still not sure but I definitely like where it’s going.  The heart part is really sweet.  I still may change up the 3 inside squares.  What do you guys think?  Should I keep those patterned squares or change them to more solids?

Prior to that sewing burst of energy, this happened:   Last weekend I hit my master bedroom closet with a vengeance and did a bit of purging. 

Why does anybody need this many empty show boxes in their closet?  I sure don’t – so to the recycle bin they went.  I did find 2 pairs of super awesome shoes though so it was a win-win.  I was also able to purge 2 bags of  clothes for donations and 2 large bags of garbage.  It was incredibly freeing to get rid of stuff that I don’t like and will never wear again or have actually never worn.  Now my closet is a happy place without shoeboxes and ill-fitting clothing all over the place.

Now, it’s time to get back to my other happy place and sew some pretties together.  I did get another bee block done.  This one is the Double Star block.  It came togther really quickly and I like how it looks.  The queen bee wanted navy, grey, gold, peach, cerise, aqua, text, and white.  I have a block in mind for my month but is one may be good too.  I’m waiting to see what else gets released before I make a final decision.  I’m glad I was able to get a later month as my queen bee month.  It’s giving me so many options of blocks to choose from.  They have also been a challenge as I have been pulling exclusively from stash.  But that has also been the fun part of this bee.  I like seeing what I can find in my stash to put together the perfect color combo for the queen.  I’m looking forward to next month’s selection on both color combo and block.