On the first day of the new year, I decided it was time for me to finish the blocks for the 70273 project. I felt like a slug for taking so long to finish them-I started in March thinking I would do 31 for each day of the month. Between March and the New Year, I’ve done 35… I mailed them out today to Jeanne. Go check out her Facebook page 70273 campfire to find out more about this incredible project she has taken on to commemorate all the mentally and physically disabled people that were executed/gassed by Hitler and his army.
This year, I actually gifted a quilt in time for Christmas. I started it in late August with hopes of getting it done quickly for a friend that was having multiple foot surgeries. I chose to do a big plus quilt using some Denise Schmidt (the JoAnne’s line) fabrics in his favorite colors of orange and blue. I did manage to finish it by Christmas and before he has to go back to work.
This is my most modern finish to date. I fortunately finished it back in January (right before I volunteered to make slipcovers for styrofoam blocks that my daughter’s winter guard team was using in their show; I’ve barely sewn anything since then.) I had planned to make a Harry Potter quilt for her because she was quite the HP fanatic when she was in 3rd grade but she had her heart set on the green Echino bicycles and triangles.
I had to squeeze some typewriters on the back because my daughter loves to write; they were too big to fit into the triangles on the front.
My friend, Loanne Wheeler, did a really nice big loopy orange peel design when she quilted it. I tried so hard to quilt this one on my own but my machine was having none of it. I love the bright linen fabrics I was able to use in this quilt. Linen wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be.
So I finished this last summer but was never too happy with the pictures of it but have decided that I’m never going to get better photos of it with my camera. I think this is my favorite quilt that I have made to date. This quilt is kind of a letter to my daughter on growing up-I stuck raw appliquéd words in reminding her to play, twirl, dance, dream, imagine, create, smile, giggle and laugh–important pursuits for every little girl. I used up quite a bit of my low volume stash that I had accumulated from Westwood Acres. The panels and some of the fabrics are from a Cori Dantini line that I absolutely fell in love with and couldn’t leave the store without. Of course, I rounded it all out with some favorites from Art Gallery. Even though it uses panels and has many traditional elements and muted colors, I feel like it has a lot of modern elements –the scrappy dresden, the mod flowers on the improv pieced background (see bottom pic to the right), the improv log cabin hexagon.
If my daughter ever decides that she doesn’t want this quilt, I am definitely taking it back.
So much has been going on this month with the kids and trying to keep up with my self-imposed quilty deadlines that my blog has suffered a little. So let’s catch up. First, the Albatross is not quilted (yet) but it is basted.
I actually ran out of safety pins and had to re-distribute them–I may baste a little too close together but I’ve never FMQ’d anything this big. This quilt really brings home the phrase “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. My goal was to have this done by Valentine’s day but I still had to do my 2 bee blocks for the month. Since I only have one machine, I switched over my foot and needle to work on those. So, as soon as my sew kitschy block for February is done, I am on this.
On to the bee blocks. First is my block for the Modern InstaBee. Our queen bee Sarah chose the Stacked Windmills block in The Modern Bee book and asked for scrappy with a low volume background. I was really nervous about this block since it asked for a scant 1/4 inch seam–usually that means my block ends up an inch bigger than it is supposed to be. This block went together perfectly though. I really love how it turned out and Sarah seems to like it too. I love it so much that I decided to make a duplicate of all the blocks I do in this fabric combo. The print fabrics are from Josephine Kimberling’s Field Day for Blend Fabrics; the gray/white dot was the last I had so I’m not sure what line it is. The low volume backgrounds includes some white mirror ball dots by Michael Miller, the French text fabric that came in a blogger bundle from Pink Castle Fabrics, and a very light gray/white design by Dear Stella.
Next up is the February block for the Stash Bee. Queen Bee Cheryl asked for a Dutch Rose block (which you will recognize as a smaller version of the Swoon block) using this tutorial. Cheryl asked for shades of purple and gray on a snow background. I was excited about this block because I have a Swoon pattern waiting in the wings for me to do out of a bunch of hoarded Bonnie and Camille fabric and I have just been waiting to feel confident enough in my skills to tackle it (yeah, I know I’m ready to do it but Lil Bee keeps reminding me that she is next in line and then of course the teenager starts moaning about being the last one in the family to get a quilt–major mom guilt). Back to Cheryl’s block, I was worried that my selection of purples are slim but I managed to find some fabric in my stash that worked.
FABRIC INDULGENCES, ETC.
Okay, I hinted at some fabric indulgences. First, I won some assorted True Colors fat quarters back in January from Scott Hansen at The Blue Nickel Studios
Speaking of Blue Nickel Studios, Scott asked for birthday blocks bearing the colors of the woods. My first attempt was a 6 inch bear paw which looked a little sad after I mis-pieced blocks twice (you may have seen it on Instagram) so I opted for just a quarter of that block at 6 inches:
Since I am participating in 2 bees, I decided I needed to beef up my stash a little so I bought a few blogger bundles at Pink Castle Fabrics. I always think I should buy the rainbow bundles but every time, I chicken out. These fabrics are really gorgeous though and there are a few text/low volume fabrics which I need:
And finally, since I don’t have a lot of low volume fabrics I picked up a few botanics and Echino fabrics from my local quilt store, Crimson Tate:
Have you seen the new tone on tone pearl bracelets by Lizzy House? I think that may have to be my next purchase. Am I right?
So I joined another bee. I couldn’t resist. Have you seen all the buzz about the Modern InstaBee on Instagram? All the hives are going to do all the quilts in the Modern Bee book by Lindsay Connor. Lindsay used to be in the IMQG-she moved away shortly after I joined so I never really got to know her. But you know, you’ve got to support a fellow (former) guild member and her success. I’m in Hive 9 and our motto is “hive 9 and feeling fine”. Anyway, look at the adorable little button that Michelle made for our Hive–isn’t it the cutest!
I wish I was remotely tech savvy enough to write html code; perhaps one day one of my children will be able to help me with it but so far, none of them claim to have any knowledge about such things.
So the first quilt we are doing is the Stacked Windmills quilt which you may have recently seen on this blog. Sarah has asked for a scrappy version on low volume or text fabric. This should be fun! If you would like to follow all the hives along this year on Instagram, you can find their blocks using #moderninstabee.
In other quilty things, I have decided that I have to finish “The Albatross” so that I can get on with everything that I want to create and accomplish this year for Endeavor 2014. For those of you that don’t know, “The Albatross” is the name I have given my husband’s t-shirt quilt. I’m making good progress (I guess) but I can only work on it in small doses before I start to go crazy thinking about all the other things that I want to sew. Have you ever had that problem? I want to love this quilt because I know it means so much to him but I don’t. So check back later, I should have an Ugly Quilt Finish to show you soon, lol.
(Revised.) While I have loved doing the Skillbuilder BOM, it’s always been looming over my head and I’ve felt like that’s all I’ve done all year (mystery quilt and baby quilt aside). Plus, I’ve been watching all these fabulous bee blocks everyone has been doing and I really want to do one so I signed up for next year’s Stash Bee. Also, last week, my traditional guild decided that next year we will do a charm swap every month and make a block.
Cue the 3 BOM e-mails I’ve received in the past week. I don’t know if I can resist. First is the Sugar Cube Block 2014 by Amy Gibson . I have to say that I have loved seeing all the sugar cube blocks spread all over the internet this year. Amy’s BOM for 2014 is going to be a mystery though I’m sure it will be super-cute. I don’t think I’ve seen her do anything that wasn’t cute since I started following her. Even her children are adorable. Then there’s Kristy at Quiet Play. Have you seen the paper- pieced quilt that she designed? How cute is that? It doesn’t even have to be a quilt – wouldn’t these be awesome potholders to hang on your kitchen wall! Gah, the cuteness…. (Actually, I know that I’m going to definitely do Kristy’s –I have to – just look at how cute that Sew Kitschy button looks on my sidebar). Finally, Alyssa over at Pile O’Fabric has another fab BOM planned for next year It’s a sewing theme – I don’t know about you but I have been coveting sewing themed blocks ever since the Sew Out Loud QAL 2 years ago sew out loud quilt along. Seriously, I know I can’t handle 5 blocks a month on top of the to-do list of quilts that I want to do but these all sound so great. Maybe I should just do Kristy’s and hope for a couple adorable potholders.
By the way, did I mention that I started a honey cowl; yep after 3 hours of knitting, I have exactly one row to show for it. It has been relegated to the after Christmas (maybe) pile. I’m also seriously tempted to use my blue and orange DS Quilts fabrics to participate in the APQ quilt-along that’s gearing up. Uh yeah, about that craftervention.
I did manage to catch up on 2 more blocks for the Skillbuilder BOM-only 2 more to go and I can do all the fmq that I haven’t done since the first set of blocks…
So do you have an elf on the shelf or a variation thereof? Our “elf” took selfies the other night while riding on the broken airplane in our office and made a slide show. Lil Bee was thrilled to tell her friends about it. What does your elf typically do during December?