Bee Hive Quilt

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Last year I joined a quilting bee run by Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts. I had never participated in a bee before and had a lot of fun “meeting” new people and sewing different blocks. The bee ran from February 2015 through January 2016. I was the last queen – I didn’t realize how fun and overwhelming it is to receive 11 packages in the mail during your queen month!!

I chose the Quartrefoil block designed by Jennie of Clover & Violet for my block and just love how it turned out!  I received an extra block from a bee-mate and made 4 more to make the quilt a bit larger. I have made everyone in the family a quilt backed with Minky except myself, so I decided to find a Minky that wasn’t overly furry and make myself one too. I’ve quilted Minky in the past and just hated the poof and all of the fur that pulls through to the top when it is being quilted, so I knew to look for something with shorter “hairs” this time. I have also learned not to use a high loft batting with Minky as I did with my husband’s quilt.

Here she is. I struggled a bit with a quilting design. I thought I wanted to emphasize the straight edges, but after echo quilting the main shapes, the negative space just wasn’t lending itself to the look I thought I wanteed. I changed to some loopy stuff, flowers, and a bit of square spirals (can you have square spirals?), and I called it done.

Bee Hive Quilt

I was really surprised that the minky showed the quilting so well. In the past, it’s been lost in the general furriness. After quilting two large quilts 70+ inch quilts over the last few months, this smaller 48×48 quilt was such a delight to quilt on my domestic machine.

Bee Hive Quilt - backHope March is off to a grand start for you!

Sew forth!


A Finish

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My New Hexagon Millefiore flimsy is done. I pieced the last rosettes at the beginning of the month and added the last border strip yesterday morning. This was one of three hand sewing projects I had going and the first one I have completed. I will quilt her in the new year.

I’m rather at a loss with this finish. It feels so good to have stuck with this QAL and hold a completed top, but, at the same time, there is a void created by taking the piecing off my to do list. I guess, after almost  a year of work, this is to be expected.

So, without further ado, my finished top,

Flimsy Finish

Stats:

  • Pattern by Katja Marek, The New Hexagon Millefiore
  • Began January 1, 2015 – each rosette pieced monthly as part of the quilt along
  • Flimsy completed December 19, 2015
  • Quilted ……….in the future

Have a wonderful holiday! Let’s sew forth into 2016!

P.S. – linking up with Let’s Bee Social a week after my original post – Christmas company took priority last week.


Evolution of a Quilt

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I’m not sure what’s up with my concentration lately, but I’ve made more than my normal quilting type of mistakes. This time I was designing a gift quilt for a neighbor whose life we made miserable with large construction equipment arriving at our house early in the morning and clogging up the road all day long. I’ll defend myself a tad by saying that I was using EQ7 (which I barely know how to use) and was concentrating on block size to create a specific size lap quilt instead of thinking about the measurements of the block construction. Unfortunately, the problem this could cause didn’t dawn on me until I started to make a test block and realized that a Kansas City star can make a 16″ block, but that means the internal squares are 4 1/4″ and the square in a square blocks end up being and awkward 5 7/8″.

I’ve also discovered that square in a square construction is quite a bit of a pain. I could foundation (paper) piece the blocks, but that seems like as much work as piecing the triangles the traditional way.

Here is my test block

Kansas Bob block I originally designed this with a gorgeous coral instead of the tan grape vines – too me and not enough the recipient. My EQ7 skills do not include taking the above photo and making it a quilt. I can get it into EQ7 as a photo, but I can’t make the photo a block to make into a quilt to save my life. (If you know how, please tell me.) So here’s a photo collage version. Being a collage, the space between the blocks looks like sashing. Bleh, but it gives me a good idea of how the final quilt will look. Bob's Quilt Collage

   ……….or how it WOULD have looked if I hadn’t cut up almost all of my fabric and realized I didn’t have enough of the  neutral to make all of the blocks. 

Now I was faced with scrapping the whole design, taking apart my center block, mixing in another neutral, and redesigning the quilt. I went with what seemed the easiest at the time – redesign, but now I was faced with pre-cut fabric and a 16″ block. In order to best use my precut triangles, I needed to resize to 3″ increments. The only way to use the block I already had was to add borders and make this into a type of medallion quilt. 

This is my graph paper design – I wrote all over it, counting squares and calculating fabric availability. This is a picture before it got really bad.

plan

 

The evolution……..

 

Evolution 1-4Evolution 5-flimsy

—–and finished. The picture looks odd because my quilt holders were holding it up sideways., so I rotated the picture. I can’t complain about them though; they held it for pictures when it was about 32 degrees at 7:45 on their way to school.

Evolution finishI still struggle with pictures of the quilting, but it is pretty heavily quilted with a different pattern in each major piecing motif. This is the best shot I got.

quiltingOff for delivery this weekend

Have a wonderful holiday and sew forth!


November Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Blocks

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November has come and gone in a whirlwind. Except for my hand sewing projects, I’m a one quilt at a time type of person. I don’t enjoy moving one project away from my machine to cut another or having specific fabric out for more than one quilt at a time. My sewing space is small and clutter accumulates too quickly to sustain several in-progress projects at a time. Unfortunately, I found myself working on Farmer’s Wife blocks, a gift quilt, a pillow cover, a design and gathering fabric for a quilt for my husband and one for my daughter, and my hand sewing. Normal for some but not for me. I’m slowly checking projects off my list, and I think I’ve corralled my Farmer’s Wife blocks into their own rest area when I’m not sewing one.

Kerry and Angie‘s QALs both asked for 10 blocks this month. Some were duplicates from earlier months for me, so I only had to sew 13. That is probably the only reason I was able to keep up this month. Here they are – not perfect, but acceptable.

Kerry’s QAL

Farmer's Wife 1930s Blocks 20-24 15-19

Farmer's Wife 1930s Blocks 20-24 Angie’s QAL

November Farmer's Wife Blocks

November Farmer's Wife Blocks

Hope you had a wonderful November (and US Thanksgiving) – on to December.

Sew on and sew forth!

 

 


3rd Time’s a Charm

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My November New Hexagon Millefiore rosettes are completed. I’m not quite sure where my head was at this month, but I had some problems on several projects caused by not paying attention.

I made myself a color plan for this QAL back around February, and twice now I’ve consulted it and then gone ahead and cut the wrong color fabrics. The first time I did this I just flipped a few colors around and all was good. This month when I cut and basted  all of rosette 11b out of yellow instead of the planned for blue, it made a difference. My yellow rosettes would have been touching eachother – in a bad way. After wallowing in self pity a bit, I recut in blue and sewed up the rosette. I love sewing the individual rosettes to the whole, so I jauntily added both 11s and felt very satisfied. I even proudly added my work to the Facebook group’s albums.

As I basked in the warm fuzzies that this Facebook group provides, I looked at my posted photo and discovered this.

NH Rosette 11b wrong

Yup. I rotated that hexagon when I sewed this rosette together, AND I sewed the rosette into the quilt like this.

Rosettes 1-11b wrong

See it there up at the top in the red circle? I realize that this one hexagon will eventrually get lost in the crowd, but I know it’s there and it bugs me to no end. So out it came! Luckily, I was able to remove the stitches without damage to any surrounding work or the offending hexagon. Since this was now an interior hexagon, I had taken all of the papers out. This made re-sewing the hexagon a little harder, but not impossible. After moving from self-loathing back to pride of craftsmanship, I happily took a new photo of the corrected rosette.

NH Rosette 11b wrong 2

Really?! I couldn’t have noticed that I attached the light blue to the wrong side of the center triangle when I had the hexagon cut out of the quilt?! Errrrrrrrrr. Out came the seam ripper again. Out came the triangle.

Finished and correct. (I’ve added squaring pieces to the all of the rosettes, so they don’t quite look like the pattern once they are attached to the quilt.)

NH 11b corrected

I can’t wait for December’s rosettes. I’m attaching a thin border to the two complete sides as I wait. I”m not sure if I’ll do 1 or 2 borders. Still thinking.

Sew carefully my friends.