Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hail To The Queen... Bee!

I can hardly belive that it's my turn to be the queen bee in our quilting bee, and it couldn't come at a more perfect time.... just before our move! Even as early as February, I have been thinking about what block I would like for my bee quilt. I ended up "auditioning" three possible blocks, but was not really sure if I wanted to impose curved piecing or a 100 piece paper pieced block on my other bee members. The most likely candidate, the Churnstile block from Stitchery Dickory Dock, was top of the list, but after I had made a few blocks, I realized that I had very specific ideas about the direction I wanted to go with the colors. 

I knew that I wanted to do paper piecing because... well, I just love the accuracy of it, but I had used up all my other free pattern ideas. So, I decided to search some other quilting bees to get some inspiration. When I first saw this block, I was a quite puzzled. Hmmm.... very simple and it really did nothing for me.

... that is until I saw the blocks put together! I thought ahhh... now I see it - wow, what a fantastic design! There are several versions of this block out there, but I used Zen Chic's free pattern Prism, and printed it at only 85% (the original is huge!)

So, you might now recognize that pretty little stack of jewel tone fabrics that I shared last week... here they are again, all cut up and worked in with some colored low volumes. This is not my only project planned with this palette!

... and now I get to sit back and enjoy while all my busy bee members do the rest of the work for me ; ) 

Linking up this week to Let's Bee Social and Sew Cute Tuesday.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Thrill of the Pull

What's your favorite part of the quilting process? For me, hands down it's pulling fabrics for a new project. I've always been drawn to intriguing patterns and strong colors, and thinking about how fabrics might mix, match, and compliment each other... well, you just can't get any better than that in my book!

I've had this vibrant little stack of fabric in my head now for months! I've always loved a rich jewel tone palette, and once I had seen this quilt, I knew I had to embrace it. Of course, I had to go pretty heavy on the green tones. Let's just say that you will be seeing a lot of these snippits sewn into several upcoming projects!

Without giving everything away, let me just say that these are the colors that I've picked for my bee blocks, which is one of my four secret projects in the works right now. I won't be able to hold it much longer, and get to share next week!

if you're thinking right now... yeah, yeah, nice fabric stack, but show me something made with these jewels, then I'm afraid all I can leave you with is a small side project that I will tell more about later... it really has it's own story too.

Linking up this week to Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Busy As A Bee... No, Really!?!

There's really so much going on right now, that I almost don't know where to begin. Let's just say that the majority of things that have been tying up my time these past weeks are essentially secret and behind the scenes projects... not to mention that I am about to have a major life change...

Before imaginations start going wild, let me just simply say that we are about to move. My husband and I have been talking about this move since we have been married, and it would seem that now is the time. I've not talked about it here, but just a little heads up might explain some future missing-in-action time here.

So, I've essentially been working on TWO Quilty Circle of Bees projects at one time. Firstly, Mell is up with her Wanta Fanta blocks. This is a great, free paper pieced pattern from Better Off Thread, as found on Blossom Heart quilts.

She asked for lots of pinks and reds with accents of oranges, yellows and purples - all in really bright and juicy shades... a really nice color combo, don't you think? Mell even came up with an additional template for the snowball unit, so the whole block can be paper pieced. This really helps with accuracy... just ask her, and I'm sure she'd be glad to pass her template along!

The second bee project has not officially been introduced, but perhaps I can whet your appetite and let you in on at least one secret... it's MINE!!!...  I'm up next as the "queen bee" and you'll get to see my bee blocks in July! 

Linking up this week to Let's Bee Social and Sew Cute Tuesday.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Dreaming of Summer

Do you find yourself dreaming and yearning for summer all year long?... especially those moments at the beach just soaking up the warm sun, being cooled by the fresh salty air, and curling your toes up in the sand while settling into an inner calmness lulled by the soothing constancy of the waves crashing onto the shore. Such summer memories were the inspiration for my latest projects for Lena's Patchwork Magazin.

One of my favorite beach time activities as a child, next to building sand castles, was collecting seashells. Still to this day, I am fascinated by their beauty and uniqueness. These pretty little free motion applique mussels can be used in a variety of ways for fun summer decorating from table runners to vase covers, or even adorn a favorite picture frame.

The complete pattern and instructions, as well as more summer crafting ideas, can be found in the June issue of Lena's Patchwork Magazine. (German) For my other projects as featured in both Lena's Patchwork and Anna Magazin can be found here, here, here, and here.

 Linking up to Let's Bee Social and Sew Cute Tuesday.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Penny Quilt FINISH!

It's no secret that I'm a project jumper. While it was my original goal to work on a quilt that I could turn out quickly and easily, I'm still pleased with how long it took to finish this charity baby quilt (story here)... especially considering all the in between sewing. Yeah, another quilt checked off my 2016 FAL list for this quarter! If you're curious about all those other in between projects, I added a "Finished Quilts" tab to share how far I've come... not too bad for just two years of quilting, huh?

This quilt is packed full of favorite fabrics... come on now, who didn't fall completely in love with Heather Ross' Tiger Lily fabrics when they first came out?!? I waited for this bundle for a really, REALLY long time (too long of a story to go into), so it's fun to see it finally made up in this quilt!

Remember this pretty little stack of Lizzy House and Heather Ross Spoonflower additions from last summer?... you might recognize several of these prints.

"Becoming Frog" is one of my favorites... not only the print, but the color is the absolute perfect shade of pink, with just a hint of coral in it.

For the quilting, I decided on straight line quilting (of course), radiating from a focal star. I'm glad that you can't see from the pictures how croooked my stars got as they radiated out. Please note: this not my way of fishing for a compliment... I really was frustrated at how wonky they had gotten along the way. But I suppose washing and the magic of the crinkle should help, right?

The backing is, as always pieced, with the addition of Cori Dantini's Daisy Chain fabric and a few others in the mix.

The layout of this quilt was actually the first one that I got to put my Christmas present to good use. It's been part of my ongoing/yearly goals list, to learn the ins and outs of the EQ7 program. Obviously there are a few things off, but this really gave me a good idea about color placement. I've been experimenting more recently, and hope to share some secret sewing sooner rather than later.

Quilt Inspiration: "Super Star" from V and Co. 
Blocks: "Simple Star" from Farm Girl Vintage book, in both six and twelve inch blocks. Additional flying geese arrows.
Started: December 2015
Fabrics: Heather Ross, Lizzy House, and various stash fabrics. Low volume background fabrics. 

Backing: Cori Dantini, Heather Ross, Cotton & Steel, Blend Fabrics
Finished quilt size: ca. 48 x 60 in. (122 x 152 cm)

Linking up to Let's Bee Social and Sew Cute Tuesday. 
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