Sentimental Journey: Bee Blocks for the Mid-Century Modern Bee, part 1

Cindy, of LiveAColorfulLife, called me up one day and said she had a great idea and a great name for a bee: Mid-Century Modern Bee, and that everyone had to be at least mid-century in age.  Maybe it was the exasperation I felt that all the newbies were claiming invention of tried and true blocks and methods, or that I was ready for another bee, or that Cindy’s charm could not be turned down, but I jumped at the chance to be a part of this new group. We’ve been going strong for three years, so I’m dividing this post into parts, and am grouping them by the participant, rather than going through the calendar years.  We now have a blog, courtesy of Susan and PatchnPlay, so I guess you could say we are all grown up. I wanted a place where all our blocks, quilts, and tutorials could be listed; you’ll find links to many tutorials of these blocks, so have fun browsing. MCM_Timberlake1The first project we did was Carla’s Church Dash quilt, with the tutorial found *here.*  The next year, Carla (Lollyquiltz) had us make another block churn dash block for her, and the beautiful quilt above is the result. MCM_Timberlake2 Carla is still working on this year’s batch of blocks, a birthday cake block using *this* tutorial.  This bee also does signature blocks, which I love, and you can see the array at the top of her pin wall.  My birthday cake block is the blueberry with mint filling, as one of the fun things she had us do was list what “kind” of cake we would make for her.  If you use the tutorial, remember to set your print scaling settings at 100% so your block will be 12″ square. MCM_Wiens Bird in Air Cindy thought for her first turn, she would do the Winged Square Block with the tutorial found *here.*  When I sent around the letter asking for photos of blocks/quilt tops/quilts, she sent me a photo of all the blocks together. MCM Wiens Block Spiderweb For her second round, she fell in love with Rene’s spiderweb block (another member in our bee) and decided she wanted one too.  This became common–we are so well matched that we borrow ideas for each other regularly, tweaking them slightly.  We used *this tutorial* for these blocks. MCM_Wiens2 2015 MCM March w0 label Using *this* tutorial, and again borrowing from Rene’, Cindy went with a rainbow Dresden plate, with a black and white center.  Unlike the Always Bee Learning Bee, we make from our stash, not sending out fabrics to each other.  It is fun to see how many of us have the same fabrics. MCM-Wiens Dresdens Her last request was matched by another bee she is participating in, so her design wall was flooded with circles. MCM_Jeske1Debbie, of A Quilter’s Table, asked for a variation of the Hugs and Kisses Block, but done in soft hues and colors (aka “Low Volume”).  Her stunning completed quilt, above, titled Common Affection, has gone on to be published and to win ribbons.  I love that blue wall, as it really shows off the low volume fabric choices. MCM April 2014_2 Debbie’s next block (in 2014) was a pair of rolling diamond blocks, from *this tutorial.* MCM April 2014_1 Vivid Here’s her completed quilt, Vivid, adding a few more to round out the original collection.MCM_Martinez Spider WebRene’ of Rene Creates, and who inspires many of us with choosing blocks, asked us for a spiderweb block (tutorial link found above), but in scrappy fabrics. She made this cool quilt with the colors moving all around–a real scrappy treat.  She took it with her when the family did Christmas photographs together; I love the setting. dresden plate_OpquiltHer 2014 block was this cool-in-blues-and-greens Dresden block (tutorial listed above). Rene's dresdens She laid them all out on her bed to show us how they look together.  Because of different printing sizes, they range from smaller to larger.  She plans to place them scattered across a solid background for her quilt. MCM_Russell House blocks Deborah, Simply Miss Luella, asked for house blocks, and here are a few.  Mine is in the upper left; link to the blog post about it, with the pattern is *here.*  You can find her on Instagram. MCM January14 Block I made this house for Linda, drawing from my collection of free house patterns that I had worked up for my in-town sewing group. The reason she asked for houses, is that her house burnt to the ground, and she lost everything shortly before Thanksgiving of the year she was with our group.  We all made houses, our hearts going out to her as she worked hard to rebuild her life. (to be continued)

17 thoughts on “Sentimental Journey: Bee Blocks for the Mid-Century Modern Bee, part 1

  1. What a brilliant idea to create a sentimental journey about these blocks and quilts! It’s fun to read through your recap of several years of work, and to see each quiltmaker’s blocks and quilts in succession. You’ve done a really nice job of this, Elizabeth! I, for one, appreciate it. Thanks!

  2. I enjoyed the sentimental journey today, Elizabeth. I’m missing the way we used to post our blocks on Flickr! Thanks for the eye candy!

  3. Thank You, Thank You, for pulling these posts together. It is so fun to see everyone’s blocks/quilts in one place. I have so appreciated this bee and the inspiration, skill and personal connections I have found through belonging. Go Mid Century Modern!!!! Glad to know all of you.

  4. Thanks for sharing all your amazing projects, instructions & tutorials. It’s good to see all the different color combinations. Super inspiring. When I grow up can I “bee” like you?

  5. Elizabeth, I may have to quit reading your blog. I get so jealous when I see the great things you and your assorted playmates do together. I love your work, and you know, because I’ve told you a zillion times or so, how inspiring I find your work. Thank you so much for sharing everything and letting me play at least vicariously.

  6. I’m so glad (a) that I had the idea for this bee, (b) that you were so encouraging to continue with the idea and help with all the techie stuff–like the fabulous logo (!), and that (c) you are putting these posts so we can fondly go down memory lane. AND hopefully be inspired to complete those quilts that have blocks from such an amazing group of women. I’m so very glad we are friends.

  7. Wow I love your quilt and the idea around Mid-Century Modern. I may be a newbie but it urks me sometimes about these ‘NEW’ supposedly modern blocks that looks very suspiciously like traditional blocks that have been used for years. Not that I don’t love what the quilters do to them. But it is like this person owns this block and really no one owns them it is like words, no one can own words. Sorry going off on a rant. Just wanted to say thanks for the link already took a peek and it looks like you are all doing some fantastic work in your Bee!! So jealous!

  8. What a fabulous post! I loved ALL the quilts you’ve made for each other and want to make one of each of them! Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. What a wonderful idea for a blog post Elizabeth! I am so happy to be part of this group. It’s hard to believe we are in our third year…but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised as I can tie my age to the number of years our bee has been in “business”…ha! Think I’m Queen Bee next month…any suggestions? I look forward to reading the next installment of our bee quilts.

  10. Hi Elizabeth – I’ve kept this post in my inbox since May hoping to have a chance to say how much I enjoyed this one. Love the spirit, the shapes & colors, and the mutual affection that glows so brightly in the photos and writing. It’s wonderful that you found each other. H.

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