I am a member of the Stash Bee. This is my second year with that group, and I like it because it gets me to try new color combinations and new blocks and new techniques without the commitment of having to do an entire quilt! I’m trying to avoid starting new WiPs, so anytime I get to try something new without have to make a whole quilts worth, it’s a win in my book.
We’ll go in reverse order… March was the month for flying geese! Carolyn from Sweet Boater Chick asked for these large blocks with many flying geese, so I won’t be making any flying geese soon, but I do love her color scheme and can’t wait to see it finished.
February was for Bonnie . She asked for a relaxed strip block – made up of strips of brown. I’m not so good at not sewing in straight lines, so even without pins and telling myself to sew crooked, mine is not very wonky.
January’s block was for Ruth from Charly & Ben’s Crafty Corner. It was kind of cool to send a block away to Ireland since my family background is 1/2 Irish. She asked for book blocks, and is going to make a quilt that looks like a bookshelf from the blocks.
April is my month, so I can’t wait to see what I get! I’m trying to finished up my “Real World Red & White” sampler, and getting these blocks will really help me along my way.
Linking to: Scraptastic Tuesday @ She Can Quilt, WiP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced, Let’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuilts, Whoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt Addict and Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth Fabric
I just finished up my addition for Mary from See Mary Quilt. We are now over halfway through on the Round Trip Quilts, stop 4.
This was Mary’s original center.
Chelsea from Patch the Giraffe was next, and added these awesome arrows to the quilt.
Christina from WiPs and Tuts went absolutely crazy and made what probably felt like a million tiny log cabins.
Kim from Ties that Bind Quilting added some needed breathing room while keeping the rainbow theme.
Then it was my turn… I started making half square triangles.
And kept making more half square triangles.
Until I was done. Then I sewed, and sewed, and sewed, and ended up with this awesome herringbone border.
This project has made me want to make a medallion quilt, and to not want to mail this on. It can stay with me, right?
Linking up to some of the following:
Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story, Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart Quilts, WiP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced, Let’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuilts, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, Whoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt Addict, Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth Fabric
This February Sarah from Berry Barn Designs is hosting a fun challenge called the 4×7 Sewing Challenge to sew for yourself for 30 minutes each day during February. I haven’t quite made 30 minutes each day – some were more and some were less – but I like trying to sew a little each day.
I’m trying to make my sewing more purposeful. As in, choose projects that I really want to finish. Finish the projects I start. Do something with the scraps or throw them away. Finally finish the quilt for my bed. That type of purposeful.
I made two sets of leaders for my new velcro longer setup (which so far I am in love with, other than having to make leaders). I watched Sharon Chamber’s youtube video on how she loads her quilts, and while some of it doesn’t apply because she uses a different type of machine than I do, I love her leader method. It helps me attach the quilts to achieve a flatter surface which results in a more even stitch especially at the top and bottom of the piece. It’s also easier to load because I can center the quilt easier – and if it’s off by a little, re-center much easier. You can see the newest 50″ leader in action below.
I also pieced a little mini that I had started during the January meeting of the Quilting Circle I am part of. I am really trying to not create new UFO’s so I pieced the top, made a backing (even attaching a label!), found a scrap of batting that fits, and it is in line for the longarm.
I also made another block for the “Real World Red & White” quilt. I was obsessed with that quilt last winter, and then as it warmed up my interest waned. I had though about signing up for the 4×5 block exchange on flickr this winter to get more blocks for the quilt. I did the 2014 Winter and 2014 Spring (received and sent) iterations and received some great blocks, but I have so many blocks that I want to make myself. I had to really ask myself if I was going to sign up because I wanted to do a bee, or if I wanted a forcing function to get 6 more blocks done. I really wanted a forcing function, so I’ve decided to just challenge myself to make 6 more blocks. I would like to get it done by mid-March. That’s one block a week, and seems do-able. This week I started with the Stepping Stones block from Piece n Quilt’s 30 days of blocks.
Week 1 was super productive! Here’s hoping I can keep up the momentum with week 2!
Linking up to Sarah @ Berry Barn Designs, and some of the following: Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart Quilts, WiP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced, Let’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuilts, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, Whoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt Addict, Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth Fabric
I am part of a round robin group made up of quilters from the Plum and June New Blogger Hop last summer. We are on our 3rd round of this round robin, and I’m having a lot of fun and being challenged to continue to come up with something good enough for each of these amazing quilts!
This round I have the center from Chelsea at Patch the Giraffe. She started us off with four paper pieced stars from solids and a low volume background. She didn’t specify how the additions had to be made, just requested that they be solids with low volume backgrounds. Her original center can be found here.
Next, it went to Christina (WiPs and Tuts) who added the two side borders.
Kim from Ties that Bind Quilting added the row along the bottom, or rather the top now that I notice Chelsea’s original orientation.
Then it was my turn… You can tell I was working late on this and how dark and stormy it was so far in January by my complete and total inability to get good in-process photos.
First, I pulled my solids and realized I needed to buy more because I had used up my stash. I like using solids, but don’t have a huge stash of them, but was still surprised by how little I had.
Luckily these are colors that I personally enjoy, so I had no problem adding a few to the stash.
I used the “Goosing Borders” pattern from Jeli Quilts on Craftsy. I printed out 3 pages, which is 6 sections and got started! Once each section was done, I alternated them to create the wave you see below.
Chelsea, I hope you like it because I love how your quilt is turning out! I enjoyed getting to work in this color palette, and if you decide you don’t want this – I will totally take it off your hands for you!
Linking up to some of the following: Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story, Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart Quilts, WiP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced, Let’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuilts, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, Whoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt Addict, Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth Fabric
2014 was a good year. It was my second year at home with my daughter. My husband was in the middle of grad school to get his Master’s Degree. My brother-in-law got married. And I kept sewing!
I didn’t realize how much I sewed until I started making mosaics and realized how many pictures I have! I did not make as many quilts, because there are only so many quilts a person can use and because I choose to do more challenging work for the ones I did make. This also reminded me that I need to start making blocks for my Real World Red and White quilt if I ever want to get it done.
I also joined bees and a swap for the first time, so some of my quilting time was dedicated for other people. I really enjoyed pushing my boundaries and learning new techniques as part of these bees, so I am continuing in Stash Bee this year – and already signed up for two mini quilt swaps!
I joined the Plum and June New Blogger Group. As a part of that group, I joined a round robin bee – the Round Trip Quilts group. It’s seriously one of the hardest and most awesome quilty things I’ve done. I love the challenge and creativity that our group is demonstrating each round. I can’t wait to see how everyone’s quilts turn out!
I also started sewing more and more clothes this year. This isn’t near all of them. Much of what I sew are basics like leggings and shirts that I apparently did not feel were photo worthy. I should think about whether or not I feel that way for the future. Also, fancy dresses are fun to sew, but don’t get worn. Those leggings get worn to death.
And I embraced “selfish” sewing, and made a few things for myself! Taking pictures of myself in clothes I’ve made is much harder than taking the pictures of a quilt block or of my daughter. Not only does the light have to be good enough to take pictures, the weather has to be appropriate to wear the garment, it can’t be wrinkly from wearing all day, and my hair has to look acceptable. Sewing bloggers, I salute you and your herculean efforts to document your makes. In the coming year I want to become better about blogging what I’ve made for myself.
I also entered a quilt show for the first time. I didn’t really enter thinking I would win anything, but it does make the experience more fun 😉 I really entered because my local shows are full of quilts that all look the same. I wanted to show that there are quilts that aren’t made from drab colors. I wanted to enter a wearable category and show that you can quilt a sophisticated bag. I hope my work demonstrated that you can be young and make technically sound work that is modern and beautiful.
I also have to brag on myself for a minute – I took 2nd in the Group category in the NC State Fair. I was pretty proud of that because I had heard that the group and dual category are the most competitive categories. Luckily I found that out after I entered – otherwise I may not have had the nerve to enter the group category. Then I found out that a quilter who has been quilting longer than me and does amazing custom work had quilted the 3rd and 4th place quilts in the group category. That made me feel pretty good!
Last year I tried to participate more in the bigger quilting world – through bees and swaps, and also through guest blogging. I wrote a tutorial for a paper pieced block for Sew Mama Sew. I guest blogged for Angela Walter’s Business of Machine Quilting Blog. I took a couple longarm classes and learned some great techniques.
That’s my year in summary. This coming year I want to piece a little bit more. I have a to-do list that hopefully I can follow. I want to quilt more. I want to continue developing my skills – in piecing and sewing and quilting. And accomplish all this while moving over the summer and potentially going back to school in the fall… eek. Here’s to 2015!
It’s been 6 weeks, so it’s time for our quilts to continue their journey! I joined the Round Trip Quilt bee, which is made up of US and Canada bloggers that met through the New Blogger Group from Plum and June. We are a pretty relaxed and free form bee group. We don’t make (necessarily) an entire border all the way around each time, and we usually (but not always) sew an additional piece to one or more sides of the quilt. I love our rules because as a group, there are some amazing quilts taking shape.
This round I have an autumn themed quilt from Christina at Wips and Tuts. She used the center medallion from the Liberty medallion quilt that went around quilty blog-land awhile ago. It’s from the book Liberty Love by Alexia Marcelle Abegg (affiliate link). This is such a fantastic medallion center, and it’s being added to my never ending bucket list of quilts.
As soon as I saw her initial blog entry explaining the theme of her quilt, I got excited. I love fall, and I was fortunate enough to get this quilt during fall. It felt perfect. Then I discovered I had more ideas than I could easily narrow down! Seriously, my Round Trip Quilts pinterest board is over half autumn block ideas.
Kim at Ties that Bind Quilting added the first round to this quilt. She added apples all around the center, which is so perfect for fall! When I pulled the quilt out of the package, I had two immediate thoughts. 1 – this is awesome and 2 – this is huge for only being the second round!
As I said before, I was actually stymied by how many directions I could take this quilt! I even had a misstep before deciding on the final choice. My first attempt were some freeform pumpkins, that while I like them, I did not like them with this quilt. It’s alright though – they will make some pretty sweet placements for next fall.
I actually hate them less in this photo than I did initially. Ironically, the linen I laid down so that I didn’t get the quilt dirty would have made a nice border and made them sort of work even though the style is still wrong for where the quilt is right now.
Next, I asked Christina on Instagram (with this selection of brown fabric) how she felt about squirrels because she had mentioned woodland creatures as a possible inspiration topic. Squirrels (or bunnies as my daughter calls them), are a very popular topic in our house. The squirrels in the backyard are entertainment during most meals, and there is a Curious George episode that features squirrels that she absolutely loves. Thus, when I found the squirrel pattern from During Quiet Time, it seemed like a perfect option. Plus, Christina had ok’d it as an option.
I reverse printed one squirrel so that the two squirrels could be facing each other. I wish I would have taken a picture of the back before I peeled the papers off, because all those reverse printed letters and numbers looked pretty funny. Although, because I was making two at the same time with such similar colors, having one set reversed was a lifesaver so I didn’t connect the wrong parts!
I did have a moment of doubt as to the scale of these two guys. These blocks are 12″ square. They are pretty large squirrels. I considered reducing the size, but due to the paper piecing pattern, if I had done that there would have been some spots that I never would have gotten the paper out of. Then, I felt better when I considered that the squirrels are actually is really good proportion to the size of the apples. Christina, I hope you feel the same way!
Next I just had to add some sashing at each side and in the middle so that the squirrels lined up properly with the rest of the quilt, and I was ready to pass this quilt on! This quilt moves on to Liz at Green Cheese Quilting next and I can’t wait to see what she does with it.
The next quilt I received is the center from Chelsea at Patch the Giraffe. She picked a really soothing palette that I am looking forward to working with.
I hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Linking up to some of the following: Anything Goes Monday, Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story, Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart Quilts, WiP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced, Let’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuilts, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, Whoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt Addict, Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth Fabric