Bee Happy QAL Progress • June 2019

BeeHappy_June_1The wheeled devices in the So Very Cute Project I  lost my mind and decided to do are completed.  It’s nice to see it before it goes to a Time Out in my closet, so I can get some Real Quilting Work done.

But before I tell you about the basket of flowers in the back of the truck, you need this chart from Whip Stitch:

WhipStitch Bias Tape Cutting Guide

Head to her website to read all about it, or download it here.  Trust me, you’ll want this, as the weensy little instructions with the Clover bias tape makers will drive you batty.

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This is Lori Holt’s logo for this delightful project.  Notice the dog in the back of the truck.

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Notice how the people who live in my quilt realized that they needed the space in the back of the truck for hauling baskets of flowers.

Make 1/2″ mini-hexies for the flowers, fussy-cutting a couple. Cover some triangles, sized in relation to the flowers, then give each a pleat in the lower edge before sewing them on.  I used three “leaves” and five flowers.  I used the lower edge of piece D8 as a pattern for the basket, then turned it upside-down to get the wider edge at the top.

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It is really dense in that section, with the layering of fabric.  I’m one who cuts away from the back whatever I can to lighten it up for quilting:

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one more wheel to cut out

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Here’s the Guidesheet for this week: Bee Happy Sew Along Week 4
See you later, Bee Happy-Sew-Along-gator!

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I’m still working on this quilt, which I call Ladybird, because it reminds me of a ladybird beetle (sometimes called a Ladybug).

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I finished the first book (long, but good) and am now onto another:

SAVE ME THE PLUMS -- cover

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And this happened. Yes, no more PT. Now I’m getting ready for my project for tomorrow, Flag Day, the day when we find our rolled up flags in the front hall closet, and hang them out front, a prelude to the month of July, when it’s all red-white-blue all the time.

Betsys Creation Wallhanging

Okay, my wannabe flag quilt morphed into this flag-like wall hanging.  I say flag-like, because I read one Instagrammer say that she had to make another less flag-looking quilt because her family didn’t want to lay hers on the ground for picnics.

Flag wall hanging

Another version

I opened up my QuiltPro program, guessed out the proportions and figured it out.  There is no pattern in my worksheet, because I do assume that you’ll figure out how to make this, if you really want to.  Again, if either of my arrangements bother you, make one that you like.  I was inspired by a lot of what I saw on this post from Quilt Inspiration, where you can find lots of free flag and flag-like quilts for your patriotric needs.

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Here’s my worksheet, with all the dimensions, in a downloadable PDF file:
Betsy’s Creation_OPQuilt I named it after the original creator of the flag: Betsy Ross.

Happy Flag Day!!

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Trapped in the Dungeon of Cute

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Working on this quilt makes me feel like I’m trapped in the Dungeon of Cute.  I discussed this with my friend Laurel, who is also doing this, and she said wistfully said, “Yeah.  But it’s so cute.”  It is, so I keep working on it.

That first section, sun-bee-butterfly-jam-jars-long-flower-two-trees-churn-dash-pinwheels-flower, is all stitched together. I’m trying to get the second section finished before I leave it for awhile.

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Obviously the different between the top photo and this one is that I’m trying to get that truck and camper block pinned up, but the other difference is that I re-did the star on the flag.  Ms. Holt has us back every shape with interfacing, stitch all around it, clip and turn, press and appliquè.  I did it with the star in the top verion; that’s why I had to re-do it.  I say, there are multiple ways to appliquè, so do your favorite method.  Mine is a combination of needle-turn (à la Becky Goldsmith) and also using freezer paper.

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To say the directions are frustrating would be an understatement; they look complete, but are missing crucial information, like the truck piece is too long.  I’ve worked out several weeks worth of instructions for Laurel and I, and have put them in a PDF chart.  You are welcome to them:

Bee Happy Sew Along Pre-Tutorials

Bee Happy Sew Along Week 1

Bee Happy Sew Along Week 2

Bee Happy Sew Along Week 3

Bee Happy Sew Along Week 4

I put in pictures belonging to Lori Holt, as they are an additional guide to this pattern.  I acknowledge her at every turn, and don’t give away anything that’s not on her blog, but hopefully I make it clearer.

Bee Happy June2019_4Bee Happy Words

Believe it or not, but the Bee Happy block was the easier than the Jam Jars block or the Truck-Camper block.  The missing dot on the exclamation point will be a small button.

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Quilting this is my antidote to the Dungeon of Cute.  A couple of hours every day.

 

In spite of our president’s tariffs, I ordered new 2″ cotton webbing from China off of ETSY, and it arrived so I could fix my tote bag.  If I purchased a certain amount of precuts at Quilt Market, I was given the bag free (free=haha).  This happened back in Salt Lake City, and the handle began to shred almost immediately.  The New York Times had a great article recently called “What to Do With All Those Tote Bags.”  What to do, indeed.

Flag QAL

Wanted to play along with this QAL…

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…and even purchased the red, white and blue fabric (there’s more in the stash).  Sigh.  Just like I finished my Christmas quilt in June, I’ll probably get this done in November.

Decibels in CPK

The other night at a restaurant, since my husband and I couldn’t hear each other in conversation, I downloaded the NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) app to figure out how loud the dining room was at California Pizza Kitchen.  As a guideline, the average noise level in a home is around 40 decibels (dB) and noise becomes harmful at 85 dB.  My husband and I pretty much gave up on conversation, ate our pizza in silence and went home.

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I’ve been haunting Letterfolk lately.

Do Something but in pajamas

from here

Not quite, but I’m thinking about it.

 

Basket Quilt • top finished

Baskets of Food quilt top

Hanging from the thick strands of my wisteria vine, my baskets quilt found a home for a few minutes, while I took photos.  Many of these blocks were made for me by my beemates in the Gridsters Bee, and while I was in recovery, I made some more.  I finally got them all sewn up, after trying to figure out the arrangement, and got the borders on.  I’ll send it off to Darby soon (I’m working on finishing another quilt top, and want to send her two), and then finish this up.

It seems like I’m in a Finishing Mode right now, and it feels good to get some of these quilts out of the cupboard and done.

Gluten-free cookie

This giant cookie is a first for me: first gluten-free recipe ever made, and first recipe that has tahini as an ingredient.  Recipe from Joy the Baker.  Review: I liked the tahini, but husband didn’t. Baked it in a 9-inch cake pan, it needed 10 more minutes baking than she said in her recipe, but 8 more minutes would have been better.   I thought it was yummy.

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The garden is slightly underwhelming right now, as we’ve been eating the winter vegetables of Rainbow Chard and lettuce, but the addition of March’s blocks to my Temperature Quilt livens things up!  I decided to plant my tomato seed directly into the garden, and then put plastic cups over where I’d planted, so I could keep it moist.  I’m happy to report that all four varieties have now sent up sprouts.  The big-leafed plant in front is a zucchini, from the garden store.

March Temp Quilt_April2

From food baskets, to a giant cookie, to gardens, this post is now at an end.  To bring it full circle, the genesis of the basket quilt was that I had been saving food fabrics for eons, and finally decided I wanted them to go into baskets.  So I close this post with some food quotes:

Since Eve ate apples, much depends on dinner.  ~Byron

“Here, dearest Eve,” he exclaims, “here is food.”  “Well,” answered she, with the germ of a housewife stirring within her, “we have been so busy to-day that a picked-up dinner must serve.”  ~ Hawthorne

Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.  Proverbs 15:17

Enough is as good as a feast. ~John Heywood

To veer off theme just a little, I enjoyed this article in the New York Times about the traditional quilting of Hawaii.

Happy quilting!

All Are Friends In Heaven • Quilt Finish

AllFriendsinHeaven_4full quilt

All Are Friends in Heaven
Quilt #188  • 78″ square

This quilt, made of 6″ blocks designed by famous Japanese quilter Chuck Nohara, is finally finished.  We took it out to the local area for some shots with wildflowers, as it’s been such a beautiful year.  My husband was the best quilt holder (thank you, dear). Although her name reads masculine, Chuck Nohara is a woman who taught quilting to many in Japan in the 1970s and 80s.

While I am currently past 200 quilts in the listing, I first posted about this top at the #188 slot.  Rather than rework my lengthy listings, I decided to slide it into place where I first wrote about it.  I will link it to this post, showing its completion (which is why I don’t like to only post the quilt tops, preferring instead to number the quilts when they are finished).

AllFriendsinHeaven_1

 

 

Why has it taken so long?  I had always wanted to quilt it myself.  But one bad week during my recent recovery from rotator cuff surgery, I realized (or believed) that I would never quilt again, so had my husband help me box it up and send it off to Darby for quilting.

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I chose this meandering loopy pattern for the quilting, and I’m quite happy with it.

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The title comes from a poem by Robert Pollock, a religious poet from Scotland.  I liked the idea of that line, that we are all friends in heaven, as this quilt was made when Susan from Australia, and I (from California) corresponded and chose blocks to work on, as we both had a hankering to make a “Chuck Nohara” quilt.  That seems so far away, although with FaceTime videos, emails and notes, the distance does shrink.

When I first did research on all these little tiny blocks, one blogger called them Friendship Blocks.  They were made by the hundreds by Japanese quilters, sent in to teams who would take all the blocks, make quilts with them, which would then be auctioned off with money going to charity at the Tokyo Quilt Show.  Now these blocks are pretty widely called Charity Blocks, but because Susan and I, friends across the ocean, chose to make them together, I’ve always thought of them as an expression of friendship.  And as we participated in the online groups, we made other friends.  So they still remain Friendship Blocks in my mind.

Chuck Nohara book

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We each chose two per month, and I’d make a little sign like this and we’d put them up on our IG accounts and blogs and get to making.  I realize that the quilt photos in this post are from far away, you can head to the link #chucknohara_opquilt on Instagram and see all the blocks that I have posted.  We also tagged them #chucknoharaQAL so they’d be grouped with others around the world who were making these tiny blocks.

Chuck Nohara11_15 blocks

My first set of blocks, finished in December 2015.  Yes, from start to finish, it’s been a little over three years to finish up this quilt.  I seem to excel at the long game.  Here’s Susan’s quilt:

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Such a different, and wonderful, quilt from the same blocks.  Here’s a closer picture of my quilt without the quilting:

Chuck Nohara Final TopThe upper left block is her signature block.  The lower right block is mine.  I planned that the outer stars would run from deeper green, to yellow, and back to green as they moved along the edges.

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Thank you, Chuck Nohara!

 

EPPing again with French General

Sometime ago, I glimpsed this quilt in an Instagram feed:

The description says it’s from the North Country of England, so I’ve taken to calling it the North Country Patchwork Quilt.  The more I looked at it, the more I liked how those red squares just kind of blended into the background on the outer rings, but floated over the foreground in the middle.

I tried to convince my husband to buy it.  That was funny, as he made some comment about didn’t we have enough quilts?  Seriously, he’s nearly perfect, but in the end, I decided to go ahead and make it.

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Because I sure need another project.

But the project I need is a hand project, really–one that can be toted around in the car.  I finished my hexies project, and I finished (thankfully) my millefiore quilt, so now what am I going to do on long car rides?  Just sit there?

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So I drew up the block, working between two different pieces of software: QuiltPro and Affinity Designer, and have created this pattern (click on the following link for free PDF file): North Country Patchwork Quilt

This quilt has 624 pieces in it, and if you divide that by four, you’d have to print out gazillions of the pattern page. So here are my tips for making that go more quickly:

Print off several of the free North Country Patchwork Quilt page.  Like 10.

Stack each printed page with about 4-5 plain pieces of paper.  Staple them together inside the pieces, as shown on the left.

Cut them apart in chunks, like the image on the right, using an old rotary cutter that you’ve dedicated to paper; or, a guillotine paper cutter; or, your paper scissors.

Then further cut them into the individual shapes: a honeycomb and a square.  Remove the staples.

That ought to get you started. No, I didn’t use cardstock, but I had some 24 lb printing paper that I used.  And yes, I’m gluing the fabric to these pieces of paper.   I used this paper when I did my Shine EPP quilt (most blocks are free on this blog) and it worked out just fine.  Repeat this process as you need to.

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I’m going to vary from the fabrics in the original quilt, as I fell in love with this Vive La France line of fabrics from French General.  I’m over the moon for those dusky blues and strong reds.

I worked out some variations of this quilt in QuiltPro software, and they vary by how much of a border is around the central rectangle.  Here they are:

I also had some fun with putting the blocks in more contemporary colors (lower left), but decided I didn’t like that version.  The top three are sort of in the colors of the original quilt and it looks like to me, it was someone who was making do with cast-offs from her household clothing, as well as men’s shirtings.  But I’m anxious to get going and trying this out in the Vive La France fabrics.

I have no idea how I’m going to sew this together, but I will be concentrating on those arms that come into an X, and somehow I’ll do the red square.

Lastly, a reminder to pre-wash your fabrics: working with reds can be tricky.

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See you in a couple years!

Plitvice • Quilt Finish

Plitvice Quilt_6 with poppies

Plitvice
Quilt #218 • 76 1/2″ square

Plitvice Quilt_1 full

After four years, I finally finished up the quilt of multiple pieced hexagons.  Yes, every seam on that top is hand-stitched. I’ve had many posts about this, but here’s its final and complete post: it is done!

Plitvice Quilt_2 back

Back of the quilt, using an Andover Fabrics wideback fabric. No piecing, no fussing around.  This was so slick–just buy the three yards and send it off to the quilter, Darby of Quilted Squid, who did a great job.

Plitvice Quilt_3 labelPlitvice Quilt_4 OPquilt

About that edge binding: it was supposed to be a faced binding, tucked behind the quilt, but once I saw it on the edge, that was the missing piece that fell into place for me.  I wasn’t quite sure I liked this pile of English paper-piecing, until I saw that.  But I stab-stitched the facing in perle cotton all the way around, to get that nice tight, bound edge look.  That’s why it’s so large on the back–I didn’t want to cut down the width of my facing, so I went with it.

Plitvice Quilt_5 detailPlitvice Quilt_5aPlitvice Quilt_7 on poppies

And if you’ve been reading my Instagram account, you know we are poppy-crazy out here with our California Superbloom, so we took the quilt on one of our poppy-hunting treks to get the two photos you see in this post.

Plitvice Words on Label

 

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Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

You can use the tags on this post (click on them) to search for other entries of this quilt, if more information is needed.  Many thanks to Katja Marek for starting us on the Millefiore road.