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Archive for the ‘quilting bee’ Category



Bee Modern January, originally uploaded by Indie House.

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quiting bee blocks 004, originally uploaded by Indie House.

I’ve decided to try paper piecing. I’ve been simultaneously captivated by and afraid of this block since I first saw it on another blog. I never would have tried it accept I’m slightly more afraid of piecing circles ;)

This month’s task for Bee Modern was to make “hug” blocks and “kiss” blocks and I ended up using triangles for both.

Kisses Bee Modern December

The “kiss” took some finessing but I’ve made zig zags before so I wasn’t totally out of my element.

Originally I was going to simply applique rings onto a solid block but I didn’t have a piece of fabric large enough to serve as the base for the block so I decided to go ahead and give paper piecing a shot.

quiting bee blocks 002

It took me three tries to get one finished block. I kept underestimating the size of fabric needed for each section in a vain attempt to prevent fabric waste. After that I made sure to cut extra large pieces, I wasted more fabric but I saved my own sanity. Ideally I would have used the same solid for the entire background but I didn’t have enough (even before my multiple messups) so I made do with what I had and it ended up much more of a collage then I intended. I still like it and I’m quite proud of my accomplishment!

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Kisses Bee Modern December, originally uploaded by Indie House.

This block and I don’t quite get along… It definitely needs some more ironing but I’m calling it a day. The task for December was to make a kiss block and a hug block. I love the saturated reds and purples, although I would never have the guts to try them myself.

I knew I wanted to make the “X” from triangles in a zig zag formation but I had trouble getting from concept to execution. I like the end result but I was too worn out to attempt the hug block. Maybe next weekend…

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jons wedding 141, originally uploaded by Indie House.

So I moved, disappeared from blogging, fell behind on my quilting bees, didn’t get birthday presents done on time and the list goes on and on. And why pray tell did this happen? Because when it comes to moving and then unpacking I’m a little (okay a lot) OCD (obsessive, compulsive). I usually unpack within days of moving, maybe a week or two at most get all the photos on the walls etc. But this move has defeated me… We moved from a 1,500 square foot house with a 500 square foot basement into an 800 square foot apartment. Trying to make everything fit and be functional is like a 1,000 piece puzzle where all the pieces look alike.

I’m still not done and don’t know when I will be… but I knew I needed to get over it and get some other stuff done. Last weekend I set up my sewing space, such as it is for now. I ran out of time to actually getting any sewing done so that was my goal for today.

My new sewing space

It isn’t very pretty but nothing in our apartment is very pretty right now, but I’ll have to deal with all that when I figure out how to get everything to fit!

In the meantime it’s functional and I was able to catch up on all of my quilting bee blocks and it only took seven hours to do it.

Snip Sew Send November

These were the first blocks I did and they are simply squares within squares. I figured I should warm up on something simple since I haven’t sewn since early September.

Next up were these wonky stars. I adore these stars and the gorgeous fabric that I got to use on them.

Bee Modern November

Bee Modern November

While I was on a star kick I knocked out my Snip Sew Send block for September (and yes I’m hanging my head in shame as I type this). I knew what I wanted to do as soon as I got the fabric but I thought I would be able to get this done immediately after I moved. Needless to say that didn’t happen…

Snip Sew Send September

The last blocks of the day were for Bee Modern October. They are going to be part of a baby quilt and I adore the muted blue, greens, and greys.

Bee Modern October Tree

Bee Modern October

It took all day and I still didn’t the binding made and sewn on for a birthday quilt that should have been gifted in August but I should be able to get that done tomorrow. I feel great getting all this done and look forward to getting them out of my hands and into the mail first thing Monday morning!

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Bee Modern August, originally uploaded by Indie House.

I’ve been a slacker… well not exactly. I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed by the idea of moving and having to pack everything up and move it ourselves to a new and much smaller apartment. On top of that I’ve been traveling more for work and feeling much less inspired.

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So two stacks of fabric have sat rather forlorn looking on my tabletop amongst a sea of cardboard boxes. At first I was simply going to pack them up and finish them later. But that meant finishing them a month or two late! I think that’s a bit much so today feeling guilty and inspired I finally knocked them out. I only made one block for each lady, while I would have liked to do more, that’s all I had in me.

Now I just need to bind one last quilt and I can pack the sewing machine up in it’s cardboard box.

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canonjuly09 254, originally uploaded by Indie House.

I spent about ten hours this weekend working on my Bee Modern quilt and I still have so much to do! Saturday I squared up and trimmed down all the blocks and Sunday I spent 8 hours drawing, cutting and attaching four 12.5 in by 2 in strips to each side of all of my blocks.

I started to attach the blue strips but only made it through two rows before I called it quits on Sunday.

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I’m hoping to get all the rows completed by the end of this week and possibly the sashing between the rows. To make this queen sized I’m going to have to add a really wide border design but I haven’t decided what that will be yet….

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canonjuly09 240, originally uploaded by Indie House.

One of the perks of starting a quilting bee is getting to have your blocks created first. The downside is that you are then expected to turn around and turn them into a quilt first.

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Here are almost all of the blocks laid out (I’m still missing one) and I have to say this was really hard to photograph! I ended up laying them out on the kitchen floor and then standing on the dining room table. The picture isn’t fabulous but you get the idea.

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You can see better pictures of the individual blocks here.

My plan is to square these up and start sashing them. I’m going to border each with 2 inches of white and 6 inches of blue to tone down the overall look a bit. I’m also being a slacker and trying to make it into a larger quilt without making too many more blocks :)

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canonjuly09 207, originally uploaded by Indie House.

August is Zoonah’s month for Snip, Sew, Send and she asked us to create 7.5 in by 7.5 in blocks featuring circles and curves. I’ve made a quilt using circles before but it was much too simple to repeat for the bee. Instead I decided to try using freezer paper to draft and create a block that I’d design.

Theoretically you can create whatever you want, cut the pieces apart, iron them onto fabric, add a 1/4 in seam allowance, cut the pieces out and sew them back together and they will look exactly as you drew them. The reality I found was a bit different. I’m sure part of that has to do with using curves but no compass. I was forced to eyeball the seam allowance on the curves so the pieces didn’t quite fit together… My other mistake was attempting this first on a small block with small pieces.

I started with this drawing on the paper side of the freezer paper.

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Before cutting it apart I numbered the pieces and labeled them with the fabric they would be cut from.

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This way I didn’t forget and I could reassemble the design out of fabric exactly as I had drawn it.

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I ironed the pieces waxy side down on the right side of the fabric.

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I drew the seam allowance around the pieces.

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And then cut them out.

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I started to assemble the larger circle first.

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It went together like a dream!

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The idea of trying to sew in the tiny red circle was overwhelming so instead I appliqued it over the center.

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All that was left was the corner pieces which required more than their fair share of pins.

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When it was all put together it was 7.75 in instead of 7.5 in. Do you already know why? I added the seam allowance to the outside of the four corner pieces but I shouldn’t have since they weren’t being sewn to anything else in the block. Keep that in mind when you draw out your own!

I simply trimmed it back to size and viola

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canonjune09 124, originally uploaded by Shear Delight.

July is Sugard Limes’ month in Bee Modern and due to an impending move she had to ship her fabric early so I wasn’t really planning on working on it any time soon. But as more and more of my fellow bees started finishing their blocks I started to feel like I should get a move on!

Claudia sent us various prints from Hello Betty, I like the colors and was happy to play with the blue/red pairing. Since it was an “anything goes” type of month I knew I wanted to do something scrappy but I was leery of any block design that would require me to line up a bunch of seams and corners so a spiderweb block seemed like the perfect choice. It’s scrappy but the pieces don’t need to be the same dimensions so there isn’t the same concern about the seams lining up.

I’ve never made one of these blocks before but I found some instructions that have you starting with a 12.5 inch block and then piecing off of that. I didn’t have a 12.5 inch block in the pieces that Claudia sent me to I decided to make one.

canonjune09 125

The square is then cut into four triangles.

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The triangles then serve as the base for the pieced strips.

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The four triangles are then sewn back together.

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For a little while I started panicking that I wouldn’t have enough fabric, so I decided to add in some yellow Timeless Treasure fabric, I think it coordinates well.

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For Hermione, originally uploaded by Shear Delight.

I think somewhere I mentioned that in addition to Bee Modern, I’m also participating in Snip Sew Send. The first month was June and I actually completed this block the same day the fabric arrived! Hermione asked us to create something in the Denyse Shmidt “Hop, Skip, Jump” vein and I think I succeeded quite nicely. I layered the fabric one on top of the next as I cut using a rotary cutter. I’ve read that you will get a more wonky/wavy look if you use scissors but my scissors and I have a like/hate relationship at best. My rotary cutter and I on the otherhand have been “going steady” for quite awhile ;) Besides I like the more angular look you get with the straight lines.

The fabric is all vintage sheets most of them hand dyed by Hermione. This was my first time using sheets much less vintage ones. The fabric was softer, more drapey but not really that much different from quilter’s cotton straight off the bolt. I like her colors, although, it’s not a combination I would have put together myself. I think that’s going to be my favorite part of the bees- getting to use colors, fabrics and patterns that I wouldn’t have otherwise explored and then integrating that back into my own designs.

Now I just need to figure out what to do for Claudia’s blocks (she already sent fabric for July!).

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