Queen Bee for Mid-Century Modern, 2015

Queen Bee

I’m Queen Bee again in my Mid-Century Modern Bee, and I know you are all surprised to see me again so soon.  We had a reshuffling of months and I moved from November to this spot.  Welcome to our newest members; I know you’ll enjoy the ladies in this bee.

Carlas Quilt-smaller

from *here*

 Carla, of Grace and Favour, had us all make a block in 2013 so she could make her own version of a  Mid-Century Modern Sampler.  I loved her quilt, so I’m asking you all to make a block for me so I can have a quilt like hers. As you can see she has both pieced blocks and appliquéd blocks–both are fun to have.   The blocks should be in increments of 6″ or 9″ or 12″ (if you do a 6″ block, maybe you could do two?), and would like them with either a text, or a light background.  Just pick your favorite block, in similar colors to the above, and have fun.  I do have some fillers in the works, just like Carla. Here’s some color ideas (I couldn’t just pick one):

Sampler Quilt ColorsRoundup of preferred colors: clear tones of yellows, oranges, pinks, blues, aqua, bright greens.
Roundup of colors that aren’t my favorites for this quilt: gray, muddy tones.  Darker tones for accents (stems, etc.) are okay.

Bascially I’d prefer the palate of  Carla’s quilt with light/brights and clear tones all on a text background, but no blocks that feature grey or “muddy” tones predominantly.  If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me, or refer to our Flickr page where there is more information.  Thank you all very much.

 I look forward to Mid-Century Modern 2015!

MCMBee Button

Happy Old Year Ending: 2014

I see wrap-up posts often on people’s blogs, and while I feel like my 200 Quilts List (above) is sort of a way to move through my quilts, I present, one more time, 2014’s quilts:

2014 Wrap-Up

One thing for sure, I certainly don’t work in a series, or make quilts that all look alike.

There is one more quilt that is not here which will show up in next year’s feed, although I count it as one of my fifteen quilts for this year.  What else have I been doing?

First Six BlocksSM

Circle Blocks.  The next one will arrive at the beginning of January.

Wrap-Up Bags 2014

How about some bags?  2014 seemed to be the year of making bags, including a Mini Sew-Together Bag and the dreaded/beloved Weekender Bag (I did my own version of this).

dresden plate_Opquilt

I snuck in one more Bee Block, a Dresden Plate block for Rene of Rene Creates.

Wrap-Up Other Sewing 2014

And the last things in the sewing categories were odds-and-ends and wonky, silly crows for a Halloween decoration.  We took a big trip to Croatia and Budapest, we ripped out lawn in our front yard and relandscaped for better water conservation, we visited children and grandchildren and parents and sisters and lots of other relatives.  It’s easy on those “don’t want to get out of your pajamas” days to think that you haven’t accomplished a thing.  But in these year-end reviews, I can see I’ve really given my sewing machine a work-out.

Happy Old Year Ending!

holliday-inn-1942-stars_11

Pineapple Blocks

Pineapple Blocks Dec 2014 All

Before I descend into cooking and cleaning and more cooking and a bunch of dishes and family for Christmas, I thought I’d post all the pineapple blocks together.  This is a combined effort of the Always Bee Learning Bee, the Mid-Century Modern Bee, plus a few I whipped up too.  I took the papers off the remaining three tonight while watching How To Train Your Dragon 2 (amazing animation), and now I need to vacuum the family room again.  I have more things to add to this quilt, and hope to be working on it over the break.  But then again, my life may be like yours, full and lots of the things from the first sentence of this post!

Welcome to Sew Mama Sew Visitors

faced-binding-front

Today at Sew Mama Sew, Debbie Jeske of A Quilter’s Table has rounded up fifteen binding tutorials; my Faced Binding Tutorial is one of them.  *Here’s a link* to that complete list, which has opened up my eyes to the possibilities of making a creative binding for the edge of a quilt.  I used her compilation as sort of a mental checklist of techniques I had tried. . . and some I hadn’t.

Binding Samples

I’d encourage you to take a new look at what’s going on at the edge of your quilt by exploring these binding tutorials.  Maybe you’ll try something new!

Colorwheel Blossom is Finished!

Colorwheel Blossom_front

Colorwheel Blossom
Pieced, Appliqued and Quilted
48″ square
No. 140 on 200 Quilts List

Colorwheeel Blossom_quilt top

This was the quilt top in April 2014, held aloft by my husband.  Then it went AWOL for a while, as I’ve mentioned before.

Colorwheel Blossom_quilting

Realizing it was do-or-die time, I printed out several of these “faded” photos to doodle on, to try out quilting.  I thought about quilting it all in lines, a la “the hard-edge industrial look,” but I wanted it to represent garden, blossom, flower, soft, and fragrant more than I wanted it to look like it had been scraped by a saw.  I’ve read lots of print articles about how to quilt a quilt.  What they don’t tell you is that starting to quilt a quilt takes massive doses of courage.  Gigantor-sized, even.  Sketching it out helps me visualize what I’m doing and sparks that bit of courage to get going.

Superior Threads Colorwheel Blossom

I have good success with Superior Threads’ line of threads called So Fine, but I filled in with Gutermann, which also works well for me. Yes, I kept filling bobbins to match all the quilting in the flower part of the quilt, but for the rest of the quilt, I used  a neutral-colored Bottom Line (in this case, white) in the bobbin.   Bobbin Statistic: 10 (in other words, how many bobbins it took to get this thing quilted)

Thread Matching

Matching the colors, section by section.  Where did I get this idea?  Look on your iPhone home screen for the Photos button.

Colorwheel Blossom_drawn featheries

I needed to draw on the feathery components with my marker.  That’s called Finding More Courage.  I don’t know why I thought you had to just go at it without marking anything.  Marking (in blue for longer time and purple for shorter time) is my new best friend.  Just keep it away from the iron and out of the sun.

Colorwheel Blossom_inner quilting

I loved seeing the quilting in the last light of day, the deep shadows calling the stitching into relief.  Another Courage-Enhancer.

Colorwheel Blossom_detail2

Colorwheel Blossom_detail1The last two pictures are shots taken outside, for its formal portrait.

Colorwheel Blossom_back

The backing fabric is Wild Garden by Dan Bennett, for Rowan/Westminster Fibers.  Now you can see my hanging system!

This quilt was a turning point for me, in terms of gaining skills for free-motion quilting.  I learned about marking, about when to mark.   I slowed down, remembering what my teacher this summer used to say when she’d watch me: “Elizabeth.  Be more deliberate.”  It helped to repeat that often as I stitched, and helped me avoid many of my earlier mistakes.

I learned to depend on the wisdom available through social media.  Two quilters on IG, Linda, of Flourishing Palms and Leslie, of PlainandFancy were always there with tips and tricks.  But without all the lovely likes and happy face-emoticons and positive comments from all the readers, I wouldn’t have been so courageous, I’m sure.  It was if after every quilting session, all the fans in the bleachers around my sewing room would stand up and cheer me on.  So gratifying, especially as I felt like I was on thin ice most of the time.

Colorwheel Blossom_DadsNote

One day in the mail, a card arrived.  It was my father’s stationary, my address written in his bold Montblanc pen, which in this note he called his Meisterstuck.  My father has been one of my best cheering sections in my life, right along with my mother and my husband. I’ve written about my father before, his courage in renting himself a studio after he retired and pulling out paints and brushes, a good example to all his seven children.  His brief, descriptive note now hangs near my sewing machine, reminding me that my work extends sometimes far beyond my little room, far beyond my own little place.  And, on this day in December, I honor him: Happy 89th Birthday, Dad!  You are a treasure.

Because of you, Dad, because of so many people, and because the creative urge is made manifest in me through quilting, Colorwheel Blossom is finished, and is hanging in my hallway.  It’s a nice feeling to walk by, letting my fingers run across the soft trellising, the vines and flowers.  It brings a smile to my face as I pass by this garden.