Finished up my last 3 months’ worth of Bee Happy projects. I’m sad to say my LA Neighborgood blocks for Libby were kind of lame, but the others came about pretty good. I’m torn between being thrilled to have this monkey off my back and being sad I won’t be participating in the next round. I’m looking forward to their projects, though. Here are some pics of my final months’ worth:
Is it sad for me to celebrate the fact that I’m only 3 months behind on my virtual bee? I finished up two blocks this weekend, so now, I only have Jan, Feb and March to finish! Here are Oct and Nov’s blocks…those girls were so patient! (Thanks, Rosanna and Natalie!)
For Nov, Rosanna had us do a big Single Girl block. I’ve owned this pattern since Denyse published it, but as soon as I opened it up, I knew I would never make it. Denyse uses templates in a lot of her patterns where I don’t feel like templates are so necessary. Look at me – questioning the methods of Denyse Schmidt! But really, I love her quilts so much, I’m just too lazy to put the effort into them that the patterns call for. I guess that’s why they sell for so much money!
So anywhoo…Rosanna cut ALL THE PIECES! She sent us these nice little packages of all the little shapes that make one ring. I can’t imagine the time she spent preparing those packages. All I know is that I got to do the fairly simple sewing on this awesome block without doing any of the mundane or tedious pattern tracing and cutting. So thanks, Rosanna! Taking this pattern out for a spin showed me that it’s not the big, awful pain I thought it would be. And if I cut multiple pieces (stacked fabric, cut four or five at a time), I could almost see making a quilt with it. The finished block was huge, so six would make a great baby quilt.
And then for Nov., Natalie wanted porthole blocks. This was a fun new technique for me. Although, I never could get my seams as smooth as I wanted. We used Ric Rac’s tutorial – which is super easy. I’m sure I’ll use this technique again – and really, you could do any shape.
In other sewing news, I finished up the Here We Go bag for my aunt Jamie. Using the pattern in Anna Maria Horner’s book Handmade Beginnings – Jamie picked her own fabrics, and I put together this GIANT diaper bag. Pretty easy pattern, and the technique used for closing up the top and sewing the inside and outside together was suprisingly easy. I normally make bags using the ‘birthing’ method – where you flip the whole bag right-side-out through a small hole in the bottom. This bag uses a bias strip sewn around the whole top like quilt binding. I ended up hand-stitching it down, just like I would do a quilt. Not bad at all.
The bag has a center divider with pockets on both sides and pockets around the inside lining. There’s also a little elastic loop that holds the changing pad.
And I found a great laminated herringbone fabric on fabric.com – perfect for the changing pad. Although, I really need to get one of those slippery feet for sewing on vinyl and stuff…what a pain in the neck!
It’s the last month of my virtual bee, Bee Happy. Well, the last month for me, anyway. I’m still 4 months behind in my sewing! Talk about guilt! So I’m opting out of next year’s festivities. Kind of a bummer. But who knew I’d go full time at my job, move across the country, buy a house, etc. When we started our bee, it was all local LA Modern Quilt Guild members. Then HALF of us moved to different states, so everyone ended up having to ship their blocks, fabric, etc. each month. Even though that’s how most of the virtual bees operate, that’s not really what everyone signed up for. Anyway, once I get these last few blocks done, I’ll feel a big weight lifted off my shoulders.
Still – the bee has been awesome. Make sure to check out our work. Lots of fun ideas! I’m especially in love with Libby’s urban city block idea and her use of the grey herringbone print to be LA’s smoggy skyline.
In other sewing news, I’m making my way through a diaper bag. I using Anna Maria Horner’s pattern for the Here We Go Bag from her Handmade Beginnings book. Super cute. So far so easy – pictures coming soon. My sweet aunt and her hubby adopted a perfect little baby boy, and I’m putting together a little package for them: diaper bag, burp cloths, onsies, one of those cute little ribbon tag blankies. I’m saving the quilt for his 1st birthday – I just want to get this package in the mail! One more thing off my plate.
I joined a local crafter meet up. It’s been fun getting to know a few new girls in the neighborhood. We’ve all go different skills – knitting, sewing, alterations, repurposing, crochet…very fun mix. We all have different tastes too. It’s a nice mix of fun personalities. I especially like the group leader – she’s a laugh a minute. I’m working on getting a little bit of a life in our new town. Here’s to new friends!
In TV news – are you watching American Idol? When Stefano did his sing-off to get into the final 13, I cried. I thought it was just awesome. I am so glad they picked him. I just love this whole season so far. Seriously. Here it is in case you missed it.
It makes me want to go to church!
I think Friday is my favorite day of the week. The feeling of joy I get at about 6 pm on a Friday is unmatched by anything else these days.
That was a little bleak.
So anyway, it’s blood donor month. Did you know that? One donation can help up to 3 people! I’ve got my appointment tomorrow morning at 9:45 am. I love having a donor center right around the corner!
I got two new sewing books burning a hole in my metaphorical sewing pocket. Did I blog about these already? My blogging has been so intermittent…anyway, I’m super excited about them. First off is Elizabeth Hartman’s Practical Guild to Patchwork. Of course, there’s already a big Oh
Fransson group on Flickr – check out some of the projects! Besides the great quilts in her book, I also want to give mod mosaic a try. How cute is that? And everyone posting their pictures say it’s really easy.
My other new book is Dare to Be Square by Boo Davis. Super cute projects – especially the robot. And the weiner dog. Her patterns are totally unique. I love straight lines – she’s got such a fun mix of quilts in this book. AND, she’s a totally awesome illustrator. Check it.
So that’s what I’ll be working on in the near future. That and my outstanding bee blocks and some sweet baby gifts for my new cousin Jackson due in Feb.
Oh! And I almost forgot! I’m going to do Project Modern Challenge #2. I’ve been doing some sketches, but I’m not quite to the sharing stage. Thanks to the awesome Modern Quilt Guild for setting it up! Look at all the super awesome entries from Project Modern: Challenge #1!
Have a great weekend!
It’s been a long move. First, our stuff (read: my sewing machine) was in storage for almost 3 months. Then, when I finally found it in one of about 50 boxes labeled “Crafts”, I couldn’t find the power cord!
I’m pretty sure it was wrapped in some packing paper that got put in a packing paper pile that one of the cats thought was a litter box. But that’s a whole other gross issue.
So anyway, my poor Bee Happy bee-mates have been waiting on my personal problems for months now. I just finished up July, Aug and Sept. Whew. Those went in today’s mail, and I feel great about it. Now I just need to finish up Oct, Nov and Jan!
Lori’s blocks – she wanted cakes on cake stands. I jazzed mine up with some silly felt faces. But they’re just pinned on, in case kawaii faces made of felt aren’t her thing.
Next was Marianna’s blocks. She asked for 5 blocks using Oh Fransson’s Mixed Tape pattern. I had enough fabric to make 7. this pattern is so super easy and fast.
Finally, Melissa asked for two blocks – one with circles of some kind, and one quilter’s choice.
Leslie wanted Denyse Schmidt-esque log cabins.
Alison’s blocks are for a Liberated Wedding Ring quilt from Freddy & Gwen Collaborate Again. Paper-pieced. I was happy with the finished results.
And in my non-sewing life, we’ve started swimming lessons!
Earlier this week, I finished the binding and the label on my sister’s crazy nine patch (tutorial from Oh Fransson!). So it’s officially ready to mail. But I wanted to bring it with me to the weekend sew to have a show and tell, and I still needed to flickerize it. So here are some photos:
I had a ball yesterday sewing with some of the girls from the LA Modern Quilt Guild. Did I accomplish all the projects I hoped to? Of course not. Too much talking, not enough sewing. But I definitely had fun, and I always over plan what I can accomplish at these things. So here’s what I did accomplish – I got a good head start on my hot cross quilt. I have been inspired by Latifah’s amazing color choices, and am doing all kona solids, using coal as my base. These are 6″ blocks, and they’ll be sashed with more coal so the crosses don’t touch. I may offset them also, I’m not sure yet.
Over the weekend, I also assembled all the packets for my Bee Happy spiderweb blocks! Can’t wait to see how they come out. I’ve asked everyone to make one block each, and I’ll make the rest. So everyone got their 12.5″ coal square and 8 random strips. I tried to include some special fabrics – some of my prize Heather Ross prints and someone got a strip of FMF yellow seeds. Everyone got totally different fabrics, so I think it’s going to be great. I think I’ll need 20 blocks for a good nap size quilt. Also using coal on these – I’m going coal crazy, but I think it’s a nice departure from my white craze.
Rather than maintain a group blog, we’ve decided to house our fun bee contributions over on Flickr. I hope you’ll visit our Bee Happy Bee photo pool.
Here’s my first try at our web button – which may change as the group hasn’t seen it yet :)
Members, you can copy and paste this code to put the button on your own blogs: