Saturday, March 17, 2018

March Bee Blocks

Last month I was right up to the wire with my bee blocks, so it's nice to be finished with all of them fairly early this month.

In Stash Bee, Queen T asked for a star block of your choice with blue background.  I went to one of my favorite sites for traditional blocks and as soon as I saw the Carpenter's Wheel, I knew I wanted to try it.  I'm not going to lie, it was challenging but I absolutely love how it turned out. You can find the tutorial I used here.

You all know I love novelty fabrics and when I saw that Hive 5's Queen Stephanie asked for Polaroid blocks with novelty fabrics, I knew I had to crash.  These blocks use 3 1/2" squares of featured fabric and that happens to be one of the sizes I cut from my I Spy scraps.  Stephanie linked to this tutorial.

Speaking of novelty fabrics, imagine my delight when Bee Inspired Queen Paige chose a rectangular block and asked for I Spy blocks appropriate for a teenage girl!  She gave us several choices of solids to use for the framing.  Even with reining myself in, I made 5 blocks!  There are strawberries, daisies, scenes of a bear in his neighborhood, unicorns, and fairies. 

Bee Inspired has two queens this month.  We are doubling up in March and September so that no one is queen during the busy holiday months.  Queen Jennifer created a shamrock block that will the border for the quilt she made out of last year's blocks, also her design.  And so on this St. Patrick's Day, here are my shamrocks for Jennifer:

It's nice to be caught up!  Now I just need to get these all packaged up and in the mail.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

OMG March

This year, I got a little over ambitions and picked out 2 blocks (meaning 2 different quilts) for the rainbow scrap challenge.  And I'm behind.  One of the things that I like about Rainbow Scrap Challenge is that it is very casual, so being behind is not a big deal at all.  Still, it will feel nice to catch up.  So I'm setting getting caught up as my OMG (One Monthly Goal).  That means green car blocks (blue from January pictured below) AND blue, purple, and green kitty cat blocks.  I have a lot of pieces for the kitties cut out but no actual blocks pieced.  Linking up with Patty of Elm Street Quilts.

Take me to the OMG March Link-up  

Monday, March 5, 2018

February Bee Blocks & recap

Yes, I know, we're almost a full week into March.  But February really took me by surprise, so I'm running a little behind.  I usually don't mind that February is so short but it really felt short this year. 

In Stash Bee, Queen Lori asked for Sister's Choice blocks.  This is a traditional block that I had never made before.  I enjoyed the block and could see making them again.

By now, I think everyone knows how much I love novelty fabric. Queen Darrel of Hive 7 asked for novelty blocks appropriate for teenage boys.  The tricky part is that each of the disappearing 9-patch blocks required 4 of the same novelty fabrics.  I was able to find a few that I thought would work and sent them off to Darrel in Australia. 

In Bee Inspired, Queen Ann asked for an improv block with strips of bright scraps.  We were to sew the small scraps onto a strip of muslin and then add 2 or more stripes into the block.  I made about 40" of my crap strip. I was worried about matching up my strips if I crossed them so I chose to have multiple strips that did not cross.

Inspired by Kate at Life in Pieces, I've been tracking how many days I spend at least 15 minutes sewing.  In February, I got sewing time 24 of the 28 days, for a total of 86%.  I'm also at 86% for the year so far.

I'm working on my PhD (Projects Half Done) with Quilting Gail.  Her challenge is to finish at least half of your unfinished projects AND finish anything started in 2018.  I have a list of 25 unfinished projects and must finish at least 13 to earn my PhD. I completed 2 projects from that list in February, both for Project Linus, plus one project that was both started and finished in 2018. That puts me at 5 projects from the UFO list so far.

Happy Weekender

Quilt for Neighbors
I used 11.1 yards of fabric in February, bringing my yearly total to 20.4 yards used. I also made my first (and so far, only!) purchase for the year of 4 1/4 yards.  The local quilt guild's annual show is this weekend and I think I'm going to go, so the number of yards purchased may go up.  I'm specifically looking for reds and hopefully I can limit my purchases to just red fabrics.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Happy Weekender (scaled down version)

I cut my novelty scraps into set sizes.  I feel as though no matter how many 3 1/2" squares I use in I Spy scrap quilts, I always have tons more.  I've been using the Dogwood Weekend quilt on my bed for extra warmth, and I realized that the pattern would absolutely work with 3 1/2" squares instead of the original 5" squares.  So I made this slightly-scaled-down version.

The pattern is Happy Weekender from Moda Bake Shop.  The background fabric is Kona Willow.  It's a scrappy binding--I was quite pleased at using up several "spools" of binding from my leftovers bin.

And, just for comparison, the Dogwood Weekend quilt (completed 2015) that uses the same pattern and the charm squares (5") as originally specified.

Happy Weekender was project #13 on my list of Q1 goals for the globally-hosted Finish Along.

This was also on my list of UFOs for UFO busing with Tish and a needed finish as I work toward my PhD (projects half-done) with Quilting Gail.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Dog Quilt for Neighbors

We have fabulous next-door neighbors, Jan & Don.  They are essentially a third set of grandparents to my son.  They moved out last weekend, moving into a single-story house.  Jan is the most doggiest of dog-people I have ever met.  When my friend Snow gave me a bag of her novelty fabrics that had a large stack of leftover dog fabrics, I knew those dog fabrics needed to go into a quilt for Jan. Finding out that they were moving just pushed up my timeline a little.

The pattern is Simple Layer Cake Pattern from Southern Quilter.  I've made it once before, in monkey fabrics for my husband at Christmas 2013, though that quilt predates the blog.  The background fabric is Kona Blueprint.

I used stash to piece a back.  Jan loves birds, so the main print I used was this great bird in trees fabric that I bought a few years ago. I feel a little bad about the fact that all the fabrics were essentially chosen with Jan in mind while I am equally fond of her husband Don.  But, to be fair, no one gave me a stack of golfing fabrics.

They spent most of last Friday moving furniture and I gave it to Jan Friday night.  Don wasn't with her, but Jan texted me the next morning and said that they used it while sleeping on the couch the first night at their new house.   Music to a quilter's ears, of course!

Completing this quilt was my February OMG (one monthly goal) in the motivational link up hosted by Patty of Elm Street Quilts.

Elm Street Quilts

This was also on my list of UFOs for UFO busing with Tish and a needed finish as I work toward my PhD (projects half-done) with Quilting Gail.

Friday, February 23, 2018


Several years ago, my mom sent me a few novelty prints; I believe they came from a yard sale.  This monopoly print was one of them.  I've been wanting to use it for a while.  Some time last year, one of my Project Linus friends was making a large star quilt inspired by this Jenny Baker tutorial.  I thought the big star would work well with the Monopoly fabric.  I didn't use Jenny's tutorial since mine is all one fabric; I figured out how big I could cut the pieces based on how much yardage I had.

The background and binding are some solids I had lying around. I quilted it with a large spiral--same quilting pattern the friend used for the quilt that inspired this one.  You can see that the spiral is wobbly at the start. It's backed with yellow mottled fleece.  You can see the star on the front because of the light outside; it's not normally that transparent.

A quick funny story: I did the quilting at January's Project Linus meeting.  One of our members frequently has her granddaughter with her, she's 9 or so.  She is a lot of fun and really likes novelty fabrics, so of course she & I get along really well.  When she saw the fabric in this quilt, she exclaimed; "Is that MONOPOLY fabric?!  Where do you find all these fabrics?!!" I love her exuberance and hope the recipient of this Project Linus quilt reacts similarly. 

This was project #17 on my list of Q1 goals for the globally-hosted Finish Along.

This was also on my list of UFOs for UFO busing with Tish and a needed finish as I work toward my PhD (projects half-done) with Quilting Gail.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Fabric Valentine

Last year I made a heart mini quilt to hang on the front door.  That's about the extent of my decorating so I did not plan to make anything Valentine related this year.

A college friend of mine and his wife posted on Facebook that their daughter's kindergarten class was hoping to get Valentines from as many states as possible.  I immediately offered up representation from North Carolina.  I didn't like my Valentine's Day card choices at the store, though, as they all seemed to be for a person in the singular.  So when I saw Patty's tutorial for fabric postcards at Elm Street Quilts, I knew that was the way to go. I had limited time if I wanted it to arrive on time, so I used a single piece of fabric on the front: no piecing and no applique.

Dogwoods!  Not only personally significant, potentially educational!

I figured using the state flower made it pretty and was a reasonable thing to mention to a class of kindergartners.  Hopefully it's readable; I made a bit of a mistake on "dogwood" and micron pen doesn't edit easily.

The fabric postcard was pretty quick and I enjoyed it!  It's 4" x 6" and I did mail it in an envelope as I thought it would be safer.  I can see more fabric postcards in my future!