Saturday 23 May 2015

Bee Blessed at Work

It was all go at Bee Blessed this afternoon.

Look at everybody bee-vering away.  They really are a dedicated crew - the sun was shining which we haven't seen much of lately and still these lovely Bees turned up to keep the quilts moving!  (There are a few other bodies basting on the floor space that you can't see here.)

We had a pretty new finish of Amy Butler blues and turquoises.  This quilt will be donated on to a very young family who have just lost husband/dad. A truly tragic circumstance but our real privilege to offer a little thought in the form of a comforting quilt.

Our lovely Ruth was busy crawling across the floor making a pieced backing for a pretty lilac and green rail fence quilt top and here she is finishing the basting.

Ros was working on piecing the Scrap Canvas blocks into a top and even pieced a backing and prepped lots of binding too.  Don't you just love the riot of colour in this quilt?  It's such a cheery one.

Judith got this little contemporary blocks baby quilt sorted with backing and basted it and a couple of other little quilts that I missed getting photos of.  She's speedy - I imagine it's all the practice she's had!

There was much more activity besides that which I captured in pics.  Blocks were made to fill in gaps in quilts, wavy line quilting was stitched on the boy's sailboat quilt and the very pretty maple leaf quilt got its first touch of quilting too.  I'm sure I've forgotten other things that were going on but I promise we were very productive this afternoon.  All of which should help keep everyone busy again next month when we meet!

As you can see, there is still much on the go at Bee Blessed and I am so delighted to be able to tell you that this lovely bunch of ladies, and those who couldn't join us today, are all very determined that they will keep Bee Blessed operational after June.  They really have a heart for continuing the good work and blessings that come from this Bee and I know that going forward they would really love to have your continued support donating blocks as they set them.  Your contributions of beautiful blocks have been invaluable to us in the past four years and will be every bit as valued in the months and years to come.  So, please, please, hang in there and bear with us as we work through this little transitional period and bring you the details of how you can keep up with all the Bee Blessed goings on and where you can send your blocks to in future.

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Blocks 6 & 7

Blocks 6 and 7 are up next.  I managed to squeeze these and a few others in just before we rearranged the room at the weekend.

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Block 6
After all the triangles and flying geese, Block 6 was fast and fun and a brief relief.  It's an 18.5" block and I'm enjoying the pretty pinks and paisleys here.

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Block 7

I used more of the gorgeous paisley prints from Scrumptious for Block 7, but have to admit that this block was neither fast nor fun.  The cutting and piecing was all quite simple but I was so disappointed to find that the block ended up only 18" square when I'd finished.  I lost 0.5" both ways somehow!  I hated having to unpick all those pieces (and yes, I did a quick check to make sure I had cut correctly in the first place).  I stitched it all back together with a slightly more scant seam and pressed all seams open to eek out as much extra block size as I could.  Even after all that it's a little "tight" - urgh!  I love the orange fabrics and the block design so I'm crossing my fingers that the bias will help me manipulate it a little further when I need to join it into the quilt top.

Sunday 17 May 2015

Changing Rooms

Say "hello" to my little one.  

There's still a little while to go before he/she arrives in our lives but there are some other family priorities between now and then that pushed us in to shifting and hauling furniture and buying new flat packs this weekend in order to create a space for him/her in our home.

The sewing room and all of these boxes, books, equipment and notions had to be sorted, re-packed and shipped out to make room for new wardrobes and baby paraphernalia.

All cleared and washed down, ready for our trip to Ikea.

I put my men to work yesterday afternoon.  On the down side, DIY of any kind is on Hubby's 'most hated' list.   This sort of thing happens only when absolutely necessary and amid mutterings, steam and much frustration mainly because it doesn't involve sports kit and open air in forests or on mountainsides.  On the plus side, DS was there and happy to help, so the ratio of good vibes to the huffing and puffing ones were kept up significantly!

Pleased with themselves for finishing and, I think, Hubby is relieved to finally be done with the instruction leaflets!

So now, we have a nursery in waiting and it's all getting a bit real and exciting.   Obviously, there's a little more to do but it's good that the heavy work and the DIY mood swings are over for another while!

And, my sewing room?  Well, it's all packed up in boxes and mostly disguised under quilts and cushions on top of our wardrobes or under the bed.  Job done!

Now, I'm off to put my feet up!

Saturday 16 May 2015

Quilt Now BOM - Issue 11

Getting ever closer to the finish of this BOM methinks, and it's very exciting.  I've even seen that Reene has sent her finished top off to be quilted, but spoilsports that she and Quilt Now are the pic snippet was enough to tell it was the quilt, but not enough to actually see anything properly - sigh (patience not being much of a virtue here lately).

So, issue 11 presented me with a little EPP dresden quarters stitching which was just perfect for Sunday evening stitching on the sofa.

I wasn't as speedy as I'd hoped and had to wait until yesterday to applique the last two dresden quarters to their low volume backgrounds.

Looking pretty and summery in those fabrics I think.

Playing detective a little, I'm guessing these will be for the corners of the quilt top's final borders.  At least I hope so because I cut directional lv fabrics for two of my backgrounds without thinking and have tried to arrange the layout to keep them right way up!  I'm sure I can remedy it if my Miss Marple skills are a bit off kilter.

Once again this was a fun month's skill in the Mystery BOM.  I'm not a stranger to EPP but I do love my hexies and don't often try other shapes - I really should get out more!

Friday 15 May 2015

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Blocks 4 & 5

I have finally cut all 48 of the blocks for the Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt and am enjoying picking up the packages and stitching one or two here and there as I have time.  I'm off to a good start but am definitely expecting a slow down after the next couple of weeks.  Still, that's why all the cutting has been prepared, right?

Today I will show you blocks 4 & 5 just to keep things chronological here (on IG you might have spotted that I'm not necessarily sewing them that way).

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Block 4
Block 4 is the only 24" square block in the quilt top and while it's not quite the giant that the first three blocks are, it is still a biggie!  I have a bit of a soft spot for this block although I'm not exactly sure why. Perhaps it's because it mixes more colours than most of the blocks in the quilt do, or perhaps I just like the mix I've chosen.  Whatever the reason, it's a good one and it came together nicely for me.

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Block 5
This green paisley print from Scrumptious is very striking against the dotty white background.  I love all the Scrumptious paisleys (green, white, red and orange) and kind of wish I'd stashed more of them than I originally did.  This 18" block is Block 5 and wasn't too difficult to stitch together.  When I was cutting for all of the blocks I noticed a bit of a trend that quite a few of the blocks in this quilt top will be built around an economy square base.  I guess I'm going to get lots of practice at them then!

Until next time ...

Wednesday 13 May 2015

Bee Blessed Pippi and Hearts Quilt

I have been lax in showing you Bee Blessed finishes of late but thankfully Judith has been keeping up with them over at her blog.  Check here, here and here if you'd like to see some more in progress and finished (and just to prove we do actually do more than just eat cake when we are together).

I do, however, have this pretty to reveal today.  This is one of our two Pippi Girl and Hearts quilts that we were able to make up from your generously donated blocks last year.  (So, if you don't see your blocks here, they are most likely in the second quilt.)

When we set these blocks it was always our intention to alternate the Pippi Girls with the hearts and I think it has produced a really fun quilt layout.  By good chance, the blocks donated for the quilts worked themselves into two kinds of colour ways.  Funny how that happens sometimes when we sort through the gathered blocks.  This one has more of a multi-coloured feel with a definite lean towards orange (in the block border piecing and Pippis hairstyles and clothing) than the other which is quite strongly deep pinks, reds and purples and every bit as lovely!  We need to show you a pic of that one soon.

I happened to be the person to bind and label the quilt, hence I have it home with me and available for photos, but this really is a fantastic collaborative effort from many of you who send us the Bee blocks so faithfully and from our tireless Bees who meet up monthly to pull all the blocks and quilts together.  Doesn't this (and all our other quilts too) just show what working together in this fantastic quilting community can achieve?  We have still to discuss and allocate a recipient for this Pippi and hearts quilt, but rest assured it will be donated where there is need of thoughtfulness and blessing.

We have taken a little break from block setting for a month or two just to find our feet again and catch up on the quilts for which you have already sent us blocks.  There are also some changes ahead as sadly Judith and I find ourselves unable to continue leading the Bee, but I am very happy to say that the other Bees are really keen to keep up the good work and take on the mantle for which they will be very able.  Not all of the details have been ironed out yet, but we will keep you posted as soon as we have more info so that you can keep supporting Bee Blessed in your ever-generous ways.  For now, enjoy the wee break from block making, but don't forget about us!

When I posted this finished quilt on IG it got lots of attention and admiration and I thought that perhaps I should remind you where you might get the block tutorials in case you'd like to make such a quilt yourselves or indeed, for another charity. The simple heart tutorial is here on my blog and Pippi is strutting her stuff over on Judith's blog.  Have fun if you have a go!!

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Modern Moda Building Blocks - Blocks 2 & 3

I have more mahoosive blocks from the Moda Modern Building Blocks to show you today.

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Block 2

This is Block 2 for which I cut into my precious and very new Bonnie & Camille Daysail fabrics.  Those little sailboats are so cute and I think that the meadow print in aqua is one of my favourite aqua prints from any of the B&C lines.  Like block 1 this is another 36.5" square block and practically a quilt in itself.

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Block 3

For the 30.5" square block 3 I used the gorgeous green crosshatch print from daysail and a paisley print in orange from Scrumptious.  I love how these work together and really recommend the crosshatch prints in any of the Daysail colours (red, navy, green and aqua).  It's so pretty with the little dots included to add interest to the main crosshatch pattern.  All of those HSTs were a little tricky and honestly some don't quite line up in the final block layout, but I am trying to see the bigger picture and not nit-pick the finer detail.  Otherwise, this quilt is likely to drive me crazy as I foresee issues with my piecing of the HSTs that have been made from pre-cut triangles, and I need to retain as much sanity as possible going forward.

Sorting fabrics for all the prep cutting.

Initially, cutting so substantially into my varied B&C stash for this large project was quite scary but having made the first lot of cuts I feel now that it will have been worth it by the end.  Really, I don't want to keep hoarding them.  They weren't made to be kept in a box but I think I have been reluctant to use them until just the right quilt project(s) because they can actually be quite hard to come by here in the UK.  Yes, some shops keep parts of the lines but it can be hard to track down more than 6 or 7 prints from each line.

Block packages cut and ready to stitch.

Suffice to say, I have broken the ice and am happy that between this project and the new EPP project I am planning,  I am content to deplete my B&C stash.  Besides, there will be new collections won't there?

Tuesday 5 May 2015

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Block 1

I did warn you that I wouldn't be able to resist the temptation of stitching up some of those Moda Modern Stitching Blocks that I have been cutting.  I am nothing if not predictable!

So, here is Block 1.

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Block 1

When I was discussing the block cutting I did mention that this block took some rather hefty cuts out of my stash and I had generally underestimated its final size.  At 36.5" square this is really more like a mini quilt than a single block and would actually make a nice little quilt on its own.

Choosing fabrics from my Bonnie and Camille stash box has been fun.  This block is mostly from Miss Kate with a little red from Daysail.  Where the blocks call for a background fabric I've decided to work with three white on cream blenders which work beautifully to tie in the varying cream and white aspects of the various B&C fabrics I will be using.  One is a dottie cream fabric from Miss Kate and the other two are Moda Muslin Mates fabrics - a hexagon print and a small houndstooth pattern.

The cutting instructions of the rotating pattern cards provide measurements for making HSTs and flying geese by cutting triangles before piecing them.  While this is probably the least wasteful cutting method (very helpful in a quilt with such large fabric requirements) it is definitely my least favourite method of piecing HSTs and flying geese.  I seem to get less accurate results with this method and I prefer to avoid working with the bias edges when I can.  However, it looks as though I'm going to have to get used to it as the majority of the blocks in the quilt make prolific use of them!  Suck it up, Sarah!!

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