Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Bee Block Catch Up

I have been a busy little bee and have been doing lots of things but just have not had the time to post about them! I had a small slump in my desire to quilt but it has come back and come back with fury! I shall be doing lots of quilting in the next several months and I will be showing what I have been doing as well.

For now, I will show you the bee blocks that I have done over the past several months.

For BeeJeebers:

In February we did the Scrappy Sprout Block from traceyjay quilts. I think these are absolutely adorable and would love to make a quilt of these. One day I will have enough low volume scraps to do so!
Beejeebers February 2014 Block 1

Beejeebers February 2014 Block 2

March was the Star Light Star Bright Block from one of our fellow bee members, Melissa! She has been doing some fabulous quilt alongs so if you haven't checked her out, do it. Proud to say she's a fellow BeeJeeberan!

Beejeebers March 2014

April was a sampler quilt that we could do whatever we wanted with as long as it was in pinks, greys, and whites. I originally was going to do a full patchwork block with a patchwork plus sign of pink but the volume of the pink and grey did not contrast enough so it just looked like a gobbled mess. This is what I ended up doing, still got the plus idea out and also was able to use some mirror ball dots!!!

BeeJeebers April 2014 Block

For Harmony. do. good. stitches.:

February was my month and I picked wonky triangles inspired by the "Didn't Get the Memo" quilt by Alissa Carlton. They were super easy to make. To make a 12.5in block, you use 16 white squares, 4in x 4in. Place a grey/black triangle on the corner, hypotenuse towards the middle, sew, trim, and press. Each square is trimmed to 3.5in before being sewn together into a 4 square x 4 square block.

Make sure that the squares are made as shown below:
- Triangles facing the left
- Wonky triangle should only cover one corner, the other 3 corners being open, allowing for the "floating" look of the triangles.

Harmony. do. Good. Stitches. February 2014 Blocks

March was super easy. We made Scrapbuster Rainfence Blocks. The beauty of this block is that you can use all those super busy multi-colored prints you have that are too obnoxious to put anywhere else. Great scrapbusting block for sure.

Harmony. Do. Good. Stitches. March 2014 block 1

Harmony. Do. Good. Stitches. March 2014 block 2

And finally in April we made adorable Scrappy Heart Blocks that used low volumes and reds. I think this would be fabulous with multi-colored scraps as well. If not even better! Who doesn't love rainbows??

Harmony. do. good. stitches. April 2014 Block 1

Harmony. do. good. stitches. April 2014 Block 2

There have been some great blocks these past couple of months. This is what I love about bees. You get to try lots of new blocks, patterns, and techniques without committing to an entire quilt. It also means that you try lots of new things that you love so that never ending list of to-be quilt grows ever longer. Oh the woes of a creative mind...


Monday, March 3, 2014

Quilty Bucket List

The Tilted Quilt is doing a great set of posts about Quilty Bucket Lists. There are so many different types of quilts I pin and want to do but am scared of for some reason. This is a great way to truly write down and prioritize what you want to accomplish in the coming months and years of this journey.

The Tilted Quilt

1. A pixel quilt of my dog Marta

There is this great picture of my dog Marta that I want to turn into a pixel quilt.

Marta Pixel

I have even graphed it out and done the math and everything for it. I just recently got a Kona color card, so now I don't have an excuse, I can pick the colors, order them, and finally do it!
Marta Pixel Graph
2. A quilt that utilizes all of my families vintage embroidered linens.

I have inherited TONS of gorgeous hand embroidered linens that I want to turn into a quilt. There are so many beautiful ways of incorporating these pieces. I think I will collect vintage sheets and frame them up sort of like the quilt below from HenHouse.

From HenHouse

3. A selvage quilt

I have been collecting selvages for about two years now and am even now starting to get selvage donations from fellow guild members! Thanks Chris! I want to put them all together like the quilt below, they look so awesome and cute and... I just really want to do that. But I need more selvages! Maybe in a couple more years I can conquer this challenge!

From Selvage Blog

4. Open my Etsy shop

I have had my Etsy shop prepped and ready to go for months now. I have even made inventory to put in it. The problem is that I am nervous that people won;t like my things and won't buy them. I know not everyone will like them and that's fine, but there's something that is just so vulnerable about putting your things up for sale. I will get there, hopefully by summer. I just redesigned the blog to fit with the Etsy shop style, and am working on business cards... One day, I just need to take the plunge and try!

5. Release my own quilt pattern

I have several ideas in mind and people have asked for patterns of quilts I have designed so I need to just do it. This also is slightly dependent on the opening of my Etsy shop in the undetermined future, so one step at a time. I am practicing with tutorials to try out the steps and clarity of instructions. In the next 6 months, I would like to actually do a legit pattern and will be looking for pattern testers as well once that day comes. So be on the look out!

P.S. This is not my pattern, this is from Empty Bobbin Sewing. I like the styling of the pattern, and I would like to style my pattern covers in a similar fashion

From Empty Bobbin Sewing

So those are my top 5 Quilty Bucket List items for the next 6 months. I would love to hear what are some of your Quilty Bucket List items?


Monday, February 24, 2014

Scrap Management Workshop Dilemma

The Minneapolis MQG had a workshop this month with Amanda Jean Nyberg, who blogs over at crazy mom quilts, and is the co-author of Sunday Morning Quilts. I have usually been pretty good at using scraps but several projects in the book enticed me and I wanted to see how Amanda used color in her quilts. I can piece in a scrappy way, but the beautiful mix of color never happens in real life like it does in my head. :(

Amanda had us start with sorting our scraps by color. I already had a color sorting system in place so I got to skip straight to the piecing part. In the past I have done several charm swaps where I recievied some adorable novelty prints, but the problem is that it is was very hard for me to use those prints because they had so many colors in them and none of them matched. I asked Amanda for her opinion on what to do with them and she suggested that rather than cut them up, use them as the center block with scrappy color complementing log cabin/courthouse step piecing surrounding them.

Red/Teal/Black Scrapbusting Block
Colorful Dot Scrapbusting Block
Chinese Scrapbusting Block

I took a charm square, picked 3-5 colors from that print, and used those colors to determine what scraps to use for the outer strips. Each square was unique and worked for that center print. I was scared that they would not look good together, and almost backed out about 4 squares in. As I kept going and kept adding different values, prints, colors, my little collection started looking more scrappy and sort of put together.

Scrap Workshop 2014 Completed Blocks

I currently have 13 blocks but am going to be making at least 3 more. I have enough to make it a 5x5 if I really wanted to, we will see.... Most of the blocks are between 14"-16" and so in some way I will need to either square them all or add extra borders/sashing to get them into an actual top. I think I might opt for scrappy sashing-like piecing to even out the rows. This is where I need your opinion.

Joining Options:
1. Square up blocks and piece blocks together without sashing and/or border?
2. Square up blocks and use scrappy sashing/border? (How scrappy, like 2.5" squares scrappy or 2" strip scrappy?)
3. Square up blocks and use solid sashing/border?
4. Other ideas?

I am stalling on making the rest because I don't know where it is going. I know that's a bad excuse but it's hard for me to just make blocks to make blocks, I like to know what the finish line looks like, so please help me figure out what that is so I can continue!

As always my furries wanted to help take the pictures, so I have to include the outtakes as well. :)

Pets with Scrapbusting Blocks
Marlow on Scrapbusting Blocks

Thanks in advance for your help!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday, Sew Fresh Quilts, Blossom Heart Quilts!


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Fresh Sewing Day February 2014

I didn't get too much fully completed in January but I got a lot of things to the point of almost done. :) I have several quilt tops that just need the blocks sewn together. I also have a quilt top that is ready to be quilted, the back just needs to be completed. I also started the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild Mystery Quilt Along. And as always I did some bee blocks.

Knee Socks in ProgressSolid Rectangles in ProgressTarget Quilt Top FinishedHand Pieced Quilt Along BastedMinneapolis MQG Mystery Quilt Along Step 1 January 2014Harmony. do. good. stitches. - January 2014 Block 1

I will do a full post on the Target quilt above, but I just finished the top and want to get some more up close pictures for that post before you see it!

Thanks for joining and Happy Fresh Sewing Day!

Lily's Quilts


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Hand Pieced Quilt Along Almost Done!

I have been working on my Hand Pieced Quilt Along quilt for about a year now. I have loved working on this project and have done it completely by hand, even the cutting. I wanted to see what it was like to quilt back in the day and about how long it would take. I worked on and off on this quilt but so far have probably put about 70 hours into it.

Hand Pieced Quilt Along Basted

I finished up the top this week and got it basted last night. For the quilting, I am planning on doing a baptist fan type pattern, hand quilted of course.

Hand Pieced Quilt Along Basted Close Up

While I was trying to take pictures my little buddy was trying to help, as always. :)

Hand Pieced Quilt Along Basted Marlow Helping

If you are interested in doing this quilt along yourself, you can find the instructions here. I really have enjoyed this project, the blocks were the perfect size to take along, do on the bus, etc. I definitely see more hand pieced items in the future.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

FMQ Practice Pot Cozy

I have been practicing my Free Motion Quilting (FMQ). I still feel like I have a long way to go but man I have come a long way. I think the turning point for me was doing a large charity quilt that was just made of 12 inch blocks, and trying a new quilting design in each block. This helped me practice moving in different ways, curves, diagonals, sharp corners, etc. I also was able to find several designs that really clicked with me. I decided to practice these on a larger scale with several quilts, made lots of mistakes, and that is how I have gotten to where I am today.

I found myself not being as precise as I should be because I knew something that little wouldn't show after I washed the quilt. I knew that to take myself to the next level that I would need to practice that fine motor skill so I decided to make a pot cozy with some orphan blocks that I had.

I had accidentally made these two birds backwards for a bee I was in but I loved them so I surrounded them in bright coordinating solids and spruced them up with some quilting around the edges.

Here is the front:

FMQ Pot Cozy Front

Here is the back:

FMQ Pot Cozy Back

And here are some close ups of the quilting that I did on the edges:

FMQ Pot Cozy Lime
FMQ Pot Cozy Blue
FMQ Pot Cozy Blue Swirl

This one is my favorite. :)

FMQ Pot Cozy Yellow

Pebbling can use some work on this side.

FMQ Pot Cozy Green Paisley

I would like to play with these two on a bigger scale:

FMQ Pot Cozy Orange
FMQ Pot Cozy Green

I had a strip left over and Alex kept asking for a bookmark so I made the leftover strip into a bookmark. A THICK bookmark. Hey, it's the thought that counts. I also sent some Banana Bread to make up for the unuseable bookmark. :)

Alex's Package, FMQ Bookmark

I'm glad with the progress I have made but I still have a long way to go. Don't we all?


Linking up to: Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts

Lazy Math

When I was a kid and into my teenage years I was good at math and I liked it. Until I hit Calculus. Ugh. Everything up to Algebra was cool, which is good, because quilting math is Geometry and then sometimes Algebra, which means I can do it.

When I started quilting at the age of 9, my mom and I would come up with designs on graph paper, do the math for them, and then create them. No patterns, just math. This is how I continued to design my quilts up until 2011 when I discovered quilting on the internet, blogs, tutorials, etc. I considered myself a purist, that I only made quilts from my original design, did the math myself, etc. The problem was that there were so many awesome projects that I wanted to try that already had the math done, which sounded nice, so I started working on projects that required no math on my end.

Now that it is 3 years later, when I think of a new design and want to sit down and do the math for it I get lazy, and then try to find a project that is similar so I can use the math provided and then customize it to my liking. I know that I am just getting lazy, so one of the things I want to work on this year is to get back to my math side of quilting. I want to be able to do my own designs and become confident in my design skills again.

I am so excited that Electric Quilt for Mac is coming out soon and I think that will help me be able to produce my designs on a large scale with a consistent methodology.

Until then, I will start working on my patterns manually and see what I can come up with.

While I am at it I will show you the bee blocks from Nov, Dec, and Jan!! I haven't posted them in awhile and that way you will also have some pictures. :)


November was my month, so here are most of the blocks together.

BeeJeebers November 2013 Blocks

December Block

BeeJeebers December 2013 Block

January was also my month and I continued what I chose for the Simply Solids Bee, here is a group of them together.

Simply Solids Bee 2013 Blocks Together

Harmony. do. good. stitches.


Harmony. do. Good. Stitches - November 2013 Block 1
Harmony. do. Good. Stitches. November 2013 Block 2


Harmony. do. good. stitches. - January 2014 Block 1
Harmony. do. good. stitches. - January 2014 Block 2

And Simply Solids was the solid rectangles above and then the same block for January because the next person in the group loved the idea so much she also decided to do bright rectangles.