Saturday, April 28, 2012

4x5 Bee Blocks

 I received the last 4x5 block this week. If you click on the photo, it will take you to Flickr where it is labeled with the makers of each block.  Thank you, Hive 11!  

4x5 blocks - 1st quarter 2012

Here are all the 4x5 blocks!  It's quite the delicious assortment of fabrics and patterns.  I think I like it set on point, so I can use all 18 blocks.  If I take out two of the blocks I made myself, I could set them straight, 4x4.  Or I could make two more and set them 4x5!  

I'm starting to audition fabrics for sashing and corners.  I think it will benefit from a unifying sashing in some solid.  More white?  Buttery yellow?  Contrasting spring green?  Bright pink or orange?  We'll see.
4x5 blocks

That block in the bottom right corner is one I made and now I don't like the dark border.  It will probably need to be switched to something lighter.  Once I start adding sashing, I will play with block placement.  I hate to add it to the WIP pile, but that's where it's going until I finish some other pieces.

Are you sewing today?  It is Sew Sew Saturday at Sew Many Ways!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

WIP Wednesday

 Hello, WIPpers!  It's been quite a while since I've posted for WIP Wednesday and it's nice to be back.

The JDRF RI quilt, Masquerade, is ready for the auction this weekend!


New Start:
I just started working on our guild raffle quilt.  The show is in October 2013, but I feel like I am already behind schedule!  The pattern is called Going in Circles from the book Certifiably Crazy by The Buggy Barn.

Raffle Quilt Sample Section

Here is my mock up, repeating the sample section above.  The guild quilt will be an assortment of blue and neutral batiks, giving a scrappy feel.  Blue sells tickets, don't you know.

Raffle Quilt Mock Up

Top Priority:
My nephew and his wife celebrated their first anniversary at the end of March, but their wedding quilt is not done yet.  At our quilt retreat in early March, my friends helped me decide on the applique designs.  I have three different flowers to choose from.

Corner Applique

They also decided that the quilt must have a scalloped edge that echoes the shape of the wedding rings.  Yes, they are still my friends!  Looks like this quilt will be a housewarming gift.

Side Applique

I need to tweak this list a bit.  There are just too many projects!  Bonnie referred to them as PIGS (projects in grocery sacks)!  I only have one that lives in a grocery bag and it is her Orca Bay Mystery.  Anyway, here is the whole list.  Eek! (You can see pics of most of these on the Works in Progress page.)
  • Girl Scout Troop Quilt - would be nice if it was finished by end of May/early June
  • Kaleidoscope QAL - needs to be finished in June
  • Orca Bay - I might get back to it someday
  • Blogger's BOM - 2 blocks done.  Am I really 6 blocks behind?

There are so many piles of swap blocks, they need their own category!
  •  4x5 Modern Bee - waiting for 1 block, then layout design begins
  • Mini scrap basket - might play with these next weekend
  • Teeny Weeny Paper Piecing - no plan for these yet
  •  3X3 - add borders - will go on our bed when done
  • Mod Bento - needs borders
  • Polka Dot - charms made into hourglass blocks.  Now what?
  • Red & White Charms - Karen and I really need a sew-in day!

Now let's go check out the other Works In Progress...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

JDRF Auction Quilt

54" square
Completed 4/23/12

This was a labor of love and I'm so happy that it is done, delivered and has been well received.  I hope it nets a large sum for JDRF RI at the auction on Saturday.

The most time consuming part of the process was scanning and cleaning up the masks that were drawn or colored by kids associated with the organization.  I'm a beginner in Photoshop, so I'm sure it took much longer than it should have.

The images were then printed on Photo Fabric from Blumenthal Craft.  It is sold in packages of 6 sheets and retails for $14.99 for the 100% cotton poplin.  I was able to use coupons for 40% or 50% off at ACMoore, which made this much more affordable.  The product works great and I highly recommend it for small jobs.

Plan A for setting the blocks failed miserably.  I started paper piecing diamond shapes for the sashing in the gala's theme colors of pea green and purple. It just didn't do anything for the drawings.  

Plan B: The rainbow fabrics all came out of my stash.  The hourglass corner stones pieced up quickly from Kona white and charcoal.  I am very happy with Plan B!

On to quilting.  There is straight line quilting in the ditch with gray thread.  My loopy swirly stipple in white thread is in the background of each drawing.

Pumpkin seed quilting in the sashing and corners is done in a progression of rainbow colors.  I didn't want to use yellow thread on the yellow fabric, so I bumped the colors down one.  Purple thread on pink, pink thread on red, red thread on orange, and so on.  This turquoise thread is my favorite!


More thread color changes in the border.  I love this!
(I'm not showing you the corners where I went askew.)
 The binding was done completely on the machine.  The only thing I had to hand stitch was the bottom edge of the hanging sleeve.


What to do with all those beautiful green and purple batiks from Plan A? Put them on the back!

I didn't do any quilting through the drawings, so the masks pop out.  I think you can see that on the back and in the detail shots above.  I'm not sure how I feel about that, but it's done and gone.


I'd like to thank my friends for their support!  Their generous donations made this quilt possible.
 Canton Village Quiltworks - assortment of green & purple batiks
Folk Art Quilts - 2 yds of green batik
Sharon & Frank Dziekan - batting

And thank you to my Facebook friends for their design advice!

5/3/12:  I'm happy to report that the quilt sold for $1000 at the auction!

Monday, April 23, 2012


A three-year old WIP is now finished!
I started this project with Bonnie during Super Bowl Weekend 2009.  It was sort of a quilt along to use up 2.5" strips.  I had a stack of novelties that needed to be used, so I chopped them up into 2.5" strips and started stitching.

All the blocks were done before the end of the big game.   But when I laid them out all next to each other, it was kind of muddy and really didn't work.  So I grabbed some fresh fabric from the stash and added some sashing and the fun border.   And there it sat in the WIP pile.

I pulled it out again after a machine quilting class with Pam Clarke at MQX 2010.  I wanted to try out her technique on something that would hide my mistakes.  It hides them so well, you can't see the quilting at all!  Here's a glimpse on the back.  I had gotten through about 1/3 of the quilting.  Back to the WIP pile!

A couple of weeks ago, I dug it back out and finished the quilting in a few hours.  Another hour to sew the binding completely by machine and it was ready to show Bonnie during show & tell.

Totally Twisted, 60 X 76", completed April 16, 2012.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Happy Birthday Julia!

How is it possible that my daughter is an adult?  She's planning to buy a lottery ticket today.  She is registered to vote.  Most importantly, she'll be going to play Bingo with Grandma on Tuesday!

 Dad helped her pick out the guitar and I made the guitar strap.

I used the tutorial from One Shabby Chick to make the guitar strap.  It was pretty easy and didn't take very long.  I was happy that she went to a movie with a friend last night so I could sew while she was out!  Bill picked up an $8 strap at Wakefield Music that I disassembled for the parts.  Worked like a charm!  The fabric is a Philip Jacobs print called Tropical in her favorite blue.  It has enough dark pink to coordinate with the maroon leather pieces that attach to the guitar.

Happy Birthday, Julia!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


 A few months ago, a friend of mine asked if I could/would assemble an auction quilt for the JDRF gala at the end of April.  How could I say no?  Several kids drew or colored masks to go with the gala's masquerade theme.  I scanned the drawings and printed them on fabric.  That was the easy part.

My first layout incorporated the colors of the gala and a harlequin diamond that reminded me of carnival.  I struggled with finding a combination of purples and greens that appealed to me.  I had almost all the diamonds paper-pieced when I decided I hated the whole thing!

The green and purple were fine for the night of the gala, but the quilt needed to stand on its own after the party was over.  Don't worry, I'll put those diamonds to work on the back.

Enter plan B.  

I've used a similar layout on kid quilts before and it always works.  A rainbow was pulled from my stash.  The hourglass blocks pieced up in a snap from white and charcoal solids.

All laid out and ready to assemble.  Tomorrow, I'll be on the hunt for the perfect border fabric.

I hope to have the whole thing done by Friday to deliver to JDRF. I'll be putting my freshly acquired rainbow of threads to work in the quilting!

Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Fun at MQX

 Next time I go to a show with Karen, remind me to leave my credit cards at home! This lovely lady from Red Barn get us every year!  She does the best demos and makes everything look so easy.  So every year, Karen and I buy whatever she is demonstrating.  This year it was cathedral windows by machine.  This is Karen buying the tote bag pattern.  She posted a photo of me being suckered in by Ms. Red Barn.

Here are a few of my MQX purchases.  The glue pen, purple thang and aqua fabric with needles and thread are from Red Barn.  The two prints at the bottom of the pile were actually from the Folk Art Quilts trip with Bonnie on Wednesday.

Another demo, another purchase.  This is my new friend, Stephanie Farrell.  In the course of her 5 minute ruffle scarf demo, we discovered we have so much in common!  We both can only knit, not purl, and we knit continental style because we learned to crochet first.  The three skeins in the bottom left of the photo are mine.  (Sucker!)

I did the most damage at the Superior Threads booth.  My favorite thread is So Fine 50 weight.  I arrived with list in hand!  I may never need to buy thread again!  I buy needles from them, too.  The titanium coated topstitch needles are the BEST!

OK, Tina.  Step away from the vendors and move on to the quilts!

I love seeing quilts I know.  Pineapple Patience was made by my friend, Pat Harrison.  She does gorgeous work!

Caught in the Act by Barbara McKie is so cool.  She uses a unique technique to transfer photos to fabric, then does an amazing amount of thread painting.

Randall Cook's Enlightened Freedoms.  Have you seen the documentary Stitched?  It's wonderful and features Randy, Caryl Bryer Fallert and Hollis Chatelain.

Best in Show!
America, Let it Shine by Sherry Reynolds
This is a show stopper!  Every detail is over the top.  Quilted on a Bernina!

Friday, April 13, 2012

String Color

If the flaming bagel in the microwave wasn't enough to wake me up this morning, all this color surely will do the trick!  Julia intended to defrost her frozen bagel for 30 seconds, but set the microwave for 3 minutes!  Who knew you could set a bagel on fire that quickly?

On to the color!  I was able to complete 12 basket weave string blocks in the workshop with Bonnie on Wednesday.   I used phone book pages as foundations and cut them to 6.5". 

 I'm thinking about somehow combining them with the swap blocks below.  Maybe I'll chop up the basket weave blocks to create a border.  These are 30 of the 32 blocks I received through 2 rounds of Mini Scrap Basket swapping.

Here are the 16 blocks I sent for round 2...

and the 16 blocks I received...

I was actually kind of excited to get one of my own blocks back.  It was like seeing an old friend!  You can pick out the red with giant polka dots.

I'm loving this string business!  I can't wait for Bonnie's next book (due out in July!) with lots of string projects.  We got to see some of the samples this week and they were amazing!

I'm off for day 2 of MQX with Karen.  We're sure to run into Diane, our MQX buddy!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bonnie Hunter!

 What an awesome day!  We've been waiting for years to meet Bonnie and today was the day.  You know how when you "meet" someone online you wonder what they will be like in person?  Bonnie is exactly as she appears on her blog.  So fun and friendly and generous!

Sorry.  Blogger is not being nice, so everything is out of order.

When I walked in this morning for the workshop, THE hexagon medallion was draped over the piano.  Breathtaking!


Sharon gifted Bonnie with an "Only in Rhode Island" basket.  
 Dels's frozen lemonade mix, Jonnycake mix, coffee milk syrup, and New York System wiener sauce.


Don't you just love stacks of quilts?  Stacks of Bonnie's quilts are the best!


Tomorrow, we're off to MQX for some retail therapy.  Woohoo!

Monday, April 2, 2012

I'm Back with Rose Stars

 Hello!  It's so nice to be back among quilty friends!  I was completely swamped with Girl Scout business for all of March.  It was good stuff, but it didn't leave much time for sewing.  I'm back now and ready to catch up!

The first deadline to meet is the 4X5 Swap and I'm actually ahead of schedule!

 I made Rose Star blocks using English Paper Piecing.  It was wonderful to have a portable project to tote around.  I even decided to hand applique them to the backgrounds.

The pink, orange and yellow block is mine.  I like to think I was slightly ahead of the tangerine tango trend!  I pieced mine twice because the test block was a little too big.

Aqua with a touch of orange and yellow for Hive 11's caretaker, Kathleen.

This one for Anna was a little tricky.  Plum, cerise, coral and papaya.  Did I get it?

This was one of the first ones I made.  Pale blues and Denise Schmidt for Christine.

Black, red & yellow for Leona.  So fun!

Cool blues and greens for Amy.

 I can't wait to see all of my 4X5 blocks together.  I've decided to pass on the next round, so I'll end up with 18 blocks to play with.

It's been s long since I've posted anything, I almost forgot about Sew Modern Monday!

See you again soon!