Hexies, Bee Blocks and Betty’s Tile Quilt


I finished sewing this together during the last Downton Abbey.  I love it.  But now what do I do with this?  Moving on. . .

Cindy's Block Feb

Cindy, of Live A Colorful Life, asked us to make this block from During Quiet Time’s tutorial for her turn in our MidCentury Modern Bee.  Today, after taking a nap (really, I just couldn’t go any further and I have a life where I can take a nap if I want–that’s why I am in the Mid-Century Modern group, as all of us are over the mid-century mark on the old birthday calendar), I plowed into it.  The tutorial is very clear and easy, and it was fun to draw from my stash.


Signature Block for February’s block.  We are each including one of these smaller blocks along with our square.  Tutorial is from PS I Quilt, but I won’t call it a “siggy” block, for the same reason I avoid the word “veggie” (instead vegetable).

Carla Block Jan

This Churn Dash was made for Carla of Lollyquiltz, by following her tutorial.  She uses the two squares-sew the edges method of the half-square triangle.  I found it easy, but did think that the block was a little more fluid because of all the bias edges.  She calls this block Juicy Fruit, and her quilt is something to behold (click on the link to go to her Flickr photo pool).

Signature Block Jan

And this was her signature block–requested in colors from her quilt.  I ironed freezer paper to the back of the white section to get it stable enough to write on.  Okay, that’s where I’m at so far this month, but the really exciting thing was hearing from Betty just before I left last week.  She’d made up my Harvesting the Wind in her own colors and had just gotten it back from the quilters.  She gave me permission to put up photos on my blog.  So. . . here they are!


She used all solids, but added that pop of tangerine to really set off the tile block.  I was smiling and grinning from ear to ear, because I loved seeing what she’d done!



Betty, it’s wonderful.  She’s one of the Four-in-Art members, so it’s fun to have another connection with her. I think we are Quilting Twins in some ways, and I keep trying to figure out a way to get to the East Coast to meet her.

Okay, not done yet.  I mentioned I wanted to make the Sunshine and Shadow in another colorway, this time for my grandson.  Here’s the initial mock-up for the quilt.  It looks really different in such bold “boy” colors (he likes blue, red and black but I couldn’t resist lightening it up with those white patches), but I know it will go together quickly.


Have a nice Presidents Day Weekend!

Textiles & Fabric · WIP

WIP and Scenes from Italy

I think we are all breathing a sigh of relief that we can answer our phones again without being assaulted during dinner by robo-calls from a candidate.  Or go to our mailboxes without needing a forklift for the thousands of pounds of campaign fliers.  I live in California and thought I had it bad until we talked to our son who lives in Ohio.  My sympathies to all who live in swing states; thanks for participating in the process.

So it is so nice to return to a routine, and today is Works in Progress Wednesday, hosted by Lee over at Freshly Pieced. Actually today it is being guest-hosted by Svetlana, and she echoes my sentiment of enjoying the weekly accounting that we do every week to keep us on track.

Last night as I watched the election returns come in with my husband, sister and brother-in-law (who are visiting), I was able to finish up this seventh hexagon.  I just keep the basket of pieces downstairs by the television and work on it whenever I am parked in front of the tube.  This hexie I could christen the political hexie, for it seemed like that’s what I was watching most as I worked on it.  I don’t know what I’ll do with them all–Downton Abbey starts up in January so maybe I’ll have some more completed before I have to decide.

But I have just returned from a trip my husband and I took to Italy, where he participated in the Collegium Ramazzini, a scientific conference in Carpi (a little town northeast of Bologna).  Not only did we visit Carpi, but also Bologna, Padua (and the Scrovegni Chapel), Venice, and Burano–a colorful island near Venice of brightly painted houses.

This is a wall from the 11th century in a church in Bologna.  Love those patchwork designs.  Everything old is new again, isn’t it?

I can’t believe they let us walk on this ancient stone floor from the Peter/Paul Cathedral in Venice, but here it is.

My husband found this fabric shop for us to look at (Bologna), but I only bought fabric in a shop across from the two (slightly leaning) towers.  Below you can see the man cutting my wool challis.

I’m thinking a scarf or something.  Fabric was really expensive over there.

But they do wrap it up nicely to bring home.

I’ve been collecting tea towels for use on the back of quilts, and here’s the one from Padua.  We thought it interesting that the thing we went to see most — Scrovegni Chapel with Giotto’s frescoes — was not even listed on the back.

In sunny Burano, we saw a woman sitting out by the canal making lace.  By hand.  Burano is known for its lace and lacemakers, and apparently it’s a dying art because none of the young woman want to learn it.  We watched her for a while, as she used her needle and thread to create tiny stitches and knots over a paper pattern.

Here’s a close-up of her pattern.  She’s created the main flowers, then will come back in and create the webbing to hold it all together.

I found the quilt shop in Venice!  This is right as you come off the Ca’D’Oro vaparetto stop.

But the prices are enough to make you swoon.  Twenty-one euros a meter (39″) works out to about 25 bucks per yard.  I try to remind myself of the luxury of all the fabrics we have here in the States at about half the cost.  I’ve learned not to buy quilt fabrics imported from the United States when I’m traveling, but if I have time, I’ll duck into a shop for a pattern or an interesting notion.

I’ll leave you with three photos: the first two are from the island of Burano and the last is from our final, foggy, morning in Venice, before we headed home.