Virtual Quilting Bees

June 2, 2010

I am now in 4 virtual quilting bees!  One is wrapping up in the next couple of months and I will probably not rejoin so I can spend more time on the other 3 bees and the many projects I need to get started/work on.  I also started a virtual quilting bee with my modern quilt guild. I’ve had the chance to make some fun blocks recently using some different techniques so it’s been fun working on all of them.   I still need to finish one bee’s May blocks, I am hoping to get them done today so I can get them in the mail because I am late again!  I think I will be late less when I am not in so many bees.

In April’s Block Swap bee, Paloma wanted tiny random scraps on a white background.  I added a lot of my own fabric scraps, and pieced the blocks improvisationally – one log cabin style, the other just strips.  I like the log cabin one better.

The Block Swap April Block 1

The Block Swap April Block 2

The blocks by themselves don’t really look like much, but you can see how the quilt is coming together here.

For the Bee Pieceful bee, I got to make some old fashioned quilt blocks, one is called shoofly and the other is called churn dash.  It was interesting to use these classic patterns.  I think that they could look very modern depending on the fabric choices.

Bee Pieceful April Block 1

Bee Pieceful April Block 2

For Bee Pieceful May, Andrea wanted wonky stars, which I love to do!

May Bee Pieceful Block 1

May Bee Pieceful Block 2

That’s all I’ve been working on sewing-wise lately.  Next post I will show you the blocks I have received from two of my virtual bees.  They are gorgeous.  I am lucky to be in groups with such talented and creative sewists!

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Virtual Quilting Bees

March 29, 2010

I’ve been mostly working on blocks for my assorted virtual quilting bees lately…I just signed up for another!  I’m first in the new bee, so I need to figure out what I’m going to send and what kind of blocks I want so I can get the fabric in the mail by April 15th.   It’s fun to get the mail when I’m doing bees.  I do have a top-secret project in the works, but it will be a long time before anyone gets to see it.  But for now here are some of the blocks I have made for others with their fabric in the bees that I am in.

The Block Swap March Block 1

The Block Swap March Block 2

The Block Swap February

Bee Pieceful February Block 1

Bee Pieceful February Block 2

March was my month to get blocks in my Bee Pieceful group.  They are amazing!  Check them out:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/antijamsect/galleries/72157623728515632/

I haven’t gotten blocks back from everyone yet, but the ones that I have received are beautiful.  I love what they did with the fabrics I sent.

All caught up now

January 13, 2010

I feel so relieved.  I am finally all caught up with my virtual quilting bees.  I joined a second bee that started this month, so now there is two! I am really happy to be all caught up with my original bee, Bee Pieceful.

Here are December’s blocks:

rail fence

looking through a window

January’s – maverick (wonky) star – she sent some fabrics she got in Australia – I was so nervous about making a mistake.  I’m so glad I didn’t.  I think it looks kind of aboriginal.

My new bee is called The Block Swap and this month’s bee wanted wonky stars as well.  I like making them so it was a fun month.

pink

blue

She just sent the center square and the background fabric, so I had to fill in with my own scraps to make the points.  The blue one is my favorite.

My month for Bee Pieceful is March, so I need to decide what fabrics I want to send out.  I am thinking some 30s-40s reproductions, because these ladies are so talented and I know they would make some really beautiful blocks with that fabric.

Also, if you do not read Handmade by Alissa, she is helping to organize Modern Quilt Guilds in cities all over the country.  I volunteered to start one up in Indianapolis, so if you live around here and are interested, please email me at janmadethis at gmail dot com.

The advent calendar

November 18, 2009

The finished calendar

I decided to start doing this while I was packing up my things to move, because you know the best time to start a new project using techniques you’ve never tried before is while you are preparing for a major life event.  I probably started it just to give myself a reason to not pack…I justified it by telling myself “well, you are doing something productive instead of packing so it’s OK!” I actually finished it the Sunday before I moved.

I finished this during one of the most stressful weekends of my life.  I was trying to get as much packing done as possible.  Saturday I needed a break from packing.  Foxy has been at my parents house since before Halloween to make it easier to show my apartment and get ready to move.  I decided I would go to the local city animal care and control and pet some kitties to relieve a little stress.  What ended up happening was that I brought home this sad little dog.

little pumpkin at the vet

The poor thing had kennel cough, fleas, and messed up teeth.  I don’t know what I was thinking, it was just an impulsive decision.  Immediately after taking him out of ACC, I took him to the vet.  He has all his shots now, is flea free, and got antibiotics for his cough.  I brought him home.  That night I was a mess.  I felt like I had made a horrible mistake.  My dog Foxy really does not get along with other dogs.  I just couldn’t bring him back to that horrible shelter.  I didn’t know what to do.  I had just compounded my stress level by 1000.

What I ended up doing is working with an adoption group called Alliance for Responsible Pet Ownership to try and find him a new home.  They placed an ad on Petfinder.org for me.  I have had at least a dozen people contact me who were interested in Pumpkin, but none of them followed through.  It has been terrible.  And the worst part is, the longer he’s with me, the more I’m getting attached to him, and I don’t think I will be able to adopt him out.  I’m really conflicted and don’t know what to do.  I’ve been so stressed out for the past month – my hair is falling out.  I feel terrible and tired all the time.  I cannot wait for Thanksgiving so I can have the time to just do nothing for a few days and hopefully relax.

close up of the applique and quilting

Anyway, back to this advent calendar.  I used the tutorial that was on the Sew Mama Sew website.  I pretty much used the same fabric too, Michael Miller Funky Christmas.  I just really loved the prints in that collection.  It was the first time doing any real applique, and that was probably what took the longest and was the most challenging.  First I had to trace the numbers backwards on the double sided fusible webbing, and cut them all out.  Then I had to iron on the numbers to the fabric I was using for the numbers and cut them all out.  Then I realized that I had ironed on all the numbers that were on printed fabrics to the wrong side, so I had to redo half of them!  Once I got that all straightened out, I ironed the numbers to the background fabric and began to satin stitch around the outer edge of the numbers on the sewing machine.  It really took a long time to finish all of that.  Once I had that done, and sewed the pockets together, the rest of it came together really quickly.

I forgot to add, they are all little pockets to put treats in!

I messed up the binding though.  I was so tired on Sunday night, but I really wanted to finish.  I didn’t realize until I was sewing the binding to the back (which I do by machine) that there was batting showing in the upper left hand corner…I hadn’t sewed the binding onto the top of the quilt there, I missed the edge.  But instead of ripping the seams out and fixing it, I just sewed the binding so it covered the batting up, folded it over and finished the back.  That’s why it looks crooked there.  I just didn’t care at the time, but now it drives me crazy.  There’s a couple of crooked pockets that bother me too, but I think overall it still looks ok.

I need to dig my sewing machine out from the pile of unpacked boxes and at least put some things away so I have enough room in my “craft loft” to set it up so I can finish the blocks for the quilting bee before the end of the month.  There’s about 4 projects I wanted to make before Christmas as well.  Some will be really quick, like these bookmarks, and some not so much – I wanted to do a quilt as a gift for someone for Christmas…I hope I can get everything done in time!  I have about 6 weeks, I think if I do a little every day, I’ll be able to finish all the stuff I had planned.  Hopefully!

the poky puppy quilt

October 29, 2009

the front

I finished this last week and gave it to my mom on Sunday.  She doesn’t like it.  I don’t really know what to think about that.  It’s not my most favorite thing I’ve made either, but I didn’t really use a pattern, and just tried to do what I thought would work with the print and the subject of the fabric she bought.  She picked out the poky puppy and golden books fabric, I just added in some other things to fill it out.  I asked her what she wanted me to do or how she wanted it to look, and she said to do whatever I wanted to, so that’s what I did.   She said she thought I’d be using smaller pieces…what?  I used a fabric panel in the poky puppy line and cut the 9 blocks from it, I thought the whole point of her wanting to use this fabric was the puppies…the puppies on the green fabric were large too.

I know the the fabric I used for the triangles doesn’t really look right with the other stuff once it was sewn together, even though it looked cute when the uncut fabrics were just laying together.  I know I could have done a better job on the quilting too.  So it’s not like I am in denial about this quilt having problems.

After I got over my initial indignation and hurt feeling, I thought about what she said about the smaller pieces and I think she wanted something along the lines of what I made for my goddaughter’s 1st birthday.  But a coin quilt with this fabric, and on a lap sized quilt just wouldn’t have worked, in my opinion.  The golden book fabric would have been fine, but all the puppy-related stuff – you’d never see a puppy in there.

The other idea I had before going with this more traditional juvenile looking thing I came up with was to use those panels ask the center of some wonky log cabins and then use the other stuff she picked out as  the strips and used the go-to white sashing.  In hindsight, I probably should have just done that and gone with my instincts, but I second guessed myself that she wouldn’t like it because when I showed her the first wonky log cabin block I made – which I loved how it turned out – she didn’t seem all that impressed.

She did like the back of the quilt.  I used the book cover that was printed on the panel as the label and put her name on it.  I also cut out some puppies from the panel and did my first applique.  It ended up being not as hard as I had thought it was going to be.  I was just intimidated by the satin stitch.

Oh, well; you can’t win ’em all.  Have you ever made something for someone who ended up not liking it?  I’d love to hear your stories.

I do think its looks cuter in the staged photo, the colors in the full view shot make it look worse

The colors in this photo and the one of the back are more accurate, and I think it actually looks cute here.

October Bee Pieceful Blocks

October 23, 2009

Poinsettia Block

Poinsettia Block

Morning Star Block

Morning Star Block

I mailed these out on Monday to this month’s bee, Kim.  She sent us Christmas fabric and asked for “traditional” blocks.  I looked around online and settled on these two patterns, Morning Star and Poinsettia.   I think I have finally gotten over my mental block about this virtual quilting bee – I think you are able to see the  vast improvement I’ve made over August and September’s blocks.  The seams and points all line up (almost) :).  But where they don’t it is not that obvious.  I like how I arranged the fabrics, and for the first time in this bee, I was happy to send these out.  Hopefully I will be able to keep it up.  Next month’s fabric is going to be sent soon, and she wants string piecing, something else I have not tried yet.  I want to get it done as quickly as possible, so I can send it back before I move.

I am moving!  I finally found a new apartment that has almost everything I wanted, and its only about 1/4 mile from where I am living now!  I finally got lucky, I had almost given up because I had been looking since May. It is a duplex in a neat little neighborhood called Cottage Home, and has a really cool loft area that I am going to make my sewing room.  I can’t wait to move in and get settled.  Moving Day is only a few weeks away.  I’m moving on Friday the 13th!

After next month’s quilt block, I only have one more project I need to get done before the move.  It’s the Poky Puppy quilt my mom wanted me to make for her.   I will have to post about that later.

on point

October 16, 2009

I just wanted to share this.  Its one piece of a block I am doing for this month’s bee.  The points match!  I’m glad I am getting better at this.  Lets see if this block will be the one where all the seams line up for once.