Mid-Century Modern Bee 2016 Wrap-up

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Four years ago, Cindy and I sat at this computer and designed this logo for a bee she was starting.  She brilliantly gathered up a coterie of quilters, all over the age of 50, and I helped her with the spreadsheet, organization, and the design.  Some members have come and gone, but as I am one of the original members, and since 2016 is our last year together, I thought I’d do a wrap-up of blocks and quilts.

Riverside Sawtooth_labeled

January 2016 was my month and I asked for blocks to make the above quilt, titled Riverside Sawtooth.  

Riverside Sawtooth_small2I used my sample blocks to make this little table topper.

February was Cindy’s turn, and she asked us all to make little books.

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I chose ballerinas because I knew this was headed to make a quilt for her granddaughter.

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She arranged all our signature blocks on the back with some fussy cut blocks that were representative of her, so her newest grandchild could associate these cute blocks with her grandmother.wiens_mcm

The quilt is like a library of books!

March was Linda K. we were ready for some bright colors.

March MCM bee blocks

She asked for 4″ churn dash blocks in fun colors, with a few “oopses” in the construction of the blocks to make it interesting.  I switched around some of the corner blocks and substituted in another block of color.

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These are all the blocks, arranged up on her design wall.  Those colors just pop!

Stephanie had April and was interested in having us make blocks representative of the windows at her daughter’s school.

MCM Bee Sewing

The idea was to make a raffle quilt to benefit the school, but it was sold before the raffle could be held, so I’m hoping she keeps the blocks we sent her and makes a quilt for her daughter.

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They do look like multi-paned windows, sparkling in the light.  She sent us Paintbrush Studio Fabrics to use, and I have to say again how much I love those solids!

Once again, in May, we made churn dash blocks at the request of Carla F. but with a twist: they could be subdivided up inside the 12″ square requirement to add interest.

MCM May 2016_Carla

I made one jumbo block.  She asked for something skewed as well, so I made two sides skinnier.

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This is quite an array of sizes and shapes, and should be an interesting quilt, or a good start to something fun.

June MCM_2016 rene

Rene kept it simple and fun for us in June, asking for Raspberry Kiss blocks (tutorial found *here*).

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The collection is here.  Rene is one of the quilters involved with the Pulse Heart quilts, and she has been incredibly busy this year helping with that project.  Click *here* to see them delivering the quilts to the first reconsiders on the scene. It’s a really sweet video with all those quilts.  Rene is about 2:44 if you want to see her in action.

July 2016_MCM

Sherri, in July, asked us for scrappy Log Cabin blocks to add to a quilt she’d already started.  I don’t have a picture of all the blocks, but I’m sure it will be terrific.

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Here’s a screen shot of some of the other blocks that our group made for her.

Aug MCM block_MaryS

Mary, for August, found a quilt she liked on the Robert Kaufman website, called Woven Pattern, and wanted us to make blocks in the color of the beach: sea and sand.

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She laid them out on the floor at my request, and I really love those colors!

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Mary K. is a star-lover and always has great blocks for us to try.  September’s Confetti Star block was no exception and the free pattern can be found *here.*

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Isn’t this a great layout of stars?  We made each other signature blocks, and you can see them laid out in the lower right corner.  And yes, there are 12 of us in this bee; sometimes we have forgotten to send them along.  She asked us to make the signature blocks two-toned, rather than just out of one fabric. [Here’s a post with another one of Mary’s choices for stars, also including a free pattern.]

Roaring into October found us making B’s and E’s for Anne’s choice.

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She asked us to do one in a color we wanted to and the rest in “barely there” sort of colors, but with enough contrast to distinguish them from the background.

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I can hardly wait to see wait Anne’s imagination conjures up from these letters.

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Fittingly for November, Nancy asked us to make these leafless trees, in sky color and green.

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Lastly, for December Elizabeth R. asked for us to make blocks out of Anna Maria Horner fabrics in the blocks we requested.

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Since my choice (the Riverside Sawtooth block) doesn’t look good unless there are four of them, she gave me permission to make something different, so I enlarged a Chuck Nohara block and made her two.

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Here’s the composite (so far–people are still sending in their blocks).  But while it’s stunning, and makes me want to make a quilt only out of AMH fabrics, some of the genius is in seeing how different the blocks are from the originals:

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Nancy’s tree blocks become transcendent in this new fabric.

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And Stephanie’s window-pane triangles completely change character in the different fabrics.  There’s a great lesson for us all to learn–sometimes we don’t have to change our blocks or patterns, but instead think outside the box on our fabrics.

Other wrap-ups are found here and here.  Our blog is here, and since we all know whatever we put up on the internet stays until someone takes it down, you can find many of our blocks up there on the blog.

So, thank you all, to the Mid-Century Moderns.  It’s been fun!

Final Bee Blocks for 2016

december-mcm-blocks-2016

And….that’s a wrap!

The Mid-Century Modern bee began four years ago, and I recently sewed the final blocks in Anna Maria Horner fabrics (as per the Queen Bee’s request).  We were supposed to do the blocks we’d requested for her, but I didn’t think mine would translate, so I obtained permission to do these: some Chuck Nohara blocks, writ large.

MCMBee Button

You’ve perhaps seen this logo, nestling down on the side of my blog for a while.  Cindy (who had the idea for this bee) and I developed it one night while sitting side by side at this computer.  I do think we collaborate well.

spelling-bee-elizabeth-words

And…that’s a wrap for The Spelling Bee, too, although some members are still cranking out their words. This bee ended officially November 30th, and I hope that everyone has their words by the end of the year.  All of mine are above; because of the length of my verse, about half of them were made by my beemates, and I did the rest.

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My original intent for my wordy quilt was to have it be done all creams and pinks and reds for a Valentine quilt, but as soon as I got it up, I realized it needed some color.  On the side I pinned some fabrics to audition for the quilt, and I have some ideas.

You can find a how-to for every letter over on the Quilt Abecedary Blog, which I wrote when I got in my mind to free-form create an alphabet.  Have fun.

I plan to do a year-end wrap-up of the two different bees, so then you’ll see what we’ve all been up to.  I like doing bees as I’m exposed to new ideas and new blocks and a different way of looking at the world.  Who would have known that an enlarged Chuck Nohara block in AMH fabrics could look so fabulous?  Now I do, thanks to my beemate.

tiny nine patches

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I do not know about, nor choose, the content, nor do I receive any money from these ads.
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Happy First of September

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A new month begins with this. . .the list of the Chuck Nohara Blocks to work on.

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I finished up Mary‘s block and sent over to her.  This 12″ block comes from a free paper-pieced pattern from Amy Friend of During Quiet Time, found *here.*  While it took some time, and while I always seem to have to un-stitch (aka, rip out) some pieces because I put the fabric on backwards, it was not difficult.

Barbara Word

Our Spelling Bee is coming down the home stretch, with only three more months to go.  In August it was also Mary’s turn, and she requested a series of names.  I chose Barbara, because that is my daughter’s name, too.
Cleaning Out Teacher Files

I started cleaning out some of my teaching stuff, since I retired this year.  Yep, that life is over with.  I even sent in my letter and they are working on transferring my sick leave (which, as an adjunct professor, was always kind of useless) to service hours towards my retirement (which again, as an adjunct professor, I don’t have).  But there you go.FMQ class

I taught a lovely group of women Free Motion Quilting this past Saturday, who boldly jumped into the waters of quilting.  It was a great class, shown here holding up their samples.

Panzanella

I found a new recipe for Panzanella, that delicious dish you make with toasted ripped bread, fresh tomatoes and a whole bunch of summer.  It’s on my recipe blog *here.*  I started keeping my recipes on a blog, as I’m always downstairs and the recipe is upstairs, so now I can have these favorites wherever I go.Rosette #6

This past couple of weeks I worked on my Rosette #6 of the The New Millefiore Hexagon Quilt, which at this point, because we’re a year out, isn’t very new (but that’s the name we’re sticking with), while I was here:

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We traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark (that’s Nyhavn you see above) and Stockholm, Sweden.  This time, unbelievably, I only went to ONE fabric shop, Stof 2000, in Copenhagen.

Stoff 2000 Fabrics_1 Stoff 2000 Fabrics_2 Stoff 2000 Fabrics_3 Stoff 2000 Fabrics_41scandiskip14c

And I ate some of their smorrebrod, deliciously stacked sandwiches atop thin slices of rye bread.  6scandiskip_chocolate

Oh, and maybe a little bit of this.  I’d send you all some but we’re expected to be nearly 100 degrees today–actually a cooling trend from this week’s Last-Week-Of-August-Weather.  And that is another reason why I’m welcoming in September with open arms: it should start to cool down.  Happy News. . . Happy September!

May’s Blocks (and some of June)

Random Number 6

Because my husband is busy this afternoon recovering from our trip (see below), I used an online generator to pick a winner today for the felt, and it’s Elizabeth (what a great name, eh?) who goes by catskillquilter.  Congratulations, Elizabeth!  I’ll be in touch to get that sent out to you.  I have two more giveaways lined up in the next couple of weeks, one courtesy of Uppercase Magazine, and the other from the Steam A Seam people (that one’s on June 13th–in conjunction with our continuing Hallowe’en 1904 QAL).  I’ll have some great news as well about that fabulous pattern.

MCM May 2016_Carla

Here we go, first with quilt blocks from our Mid-Century Modern Bee: Carla of Grace and Favor asked for a modern churn dash block, saying she likes mustard and plum.  Above is my block, but I was tempted by this, from @myquiltdiet:
Sawtooth Churndash

I thought it would be fun to try, but Carla said “Too much work!” I could hear the laugh in her voice, so I smiled and went with tweaking the center bars to give it a bit of a twist.  I hope she likes it.

Spelling Bee May

In our Spelling Bee Quilt Bee, Susan of PatchworknPlay asked for words to make up her saying, which she’ll reveal on her blog.   I first took three words with “w’s” but then Simone had none, so I gave two back, leaving me with the above.

Zion16_1

Since NOT staying at home seems to be the thing I do the best lately, we headed out Friday for a mini-reunion with my husband’s family in Zion National Park, about 7 hours away.  You can tell who has been coming there for ages (this makes about trip #20 for me) as we say “heading to Zion’s” as if there’s a possessive element there.  (However, I do feel like it’s “my” park.)  To try and catch up with my patchwork, I took some Chuck Nohara blocks on the road, stitching them in the car and in the park.
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We invested in new air mattresses this year, twin blow-up beds, and those of you who have slept on a queen air mattress with another person while it slowly deflates all night long, know exactly why I replaced our aging air mattress.  It also helps that my favorite camp quilt, Hearts in the Pines, is made for a twin.  The pattern is out of print, but you can find the blocks in this previous post.  My husband’s bed later on got a green nine-patch, but he left it off because it was. . .

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…pretty dang hot this weekend. Snapshot was from the next day, where it turned out to have a high of 103 degrees F (about 40 C.)Zion16_3

My husband and I, my son and his wife and boys always go out to dinner at Zion Pizza and Noodle Company the first night, as we all love their pizzas, and who wants to cook after setting up camp? I love their scallopy crusts.
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We were tasked with getting the S’more supplies.  I cracked up when I saw a whole section just dedicated to this.Zion16_5

We rejoiced to have my husband’s niece (shown here in the Virgin River with the  youngest of her six children) join us.  Several weeks ago she underwent surgery for a brain tumor, and while under anesthesia, had a stroke.  She awoke to a mostly paralyzed left side and has undergone significant physical therapy just to be able to walk with occasional hesitation.  But she’s walking! She’s our own little success story, and she and her husband and family are our very own heroes.Zion16_6 Zion16_7

Throwing rocks in the river was great entertainment for my grandson and the other small cousins. (No, he couldn’t lift that one.)Zion16_9

I left the river early because it was too hot, and went back to camp.  I picked up my Chuck Nohara stitching, sitting quietly in the shade, watching (and chasing away) the squirrels.  All of a sudden I hear a sound directly behind me, and using the reverse camera on my phone, caught this shot.  One of the other little cousins came running over, saying “Bambi’s here! Mom, Bambi’s here!”

Because of the above sitting quietly, I’m all caught up with my Chuck Nohara blocks from April and May:

April 2016 Chuck Nohara May 2016 Chuck NoharaNow to head into June!

Downtime Sewing • Odds ‘n’ Ends

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Or as my friend used to say, “Time flies whether you are having fun or not.” So what have I been doing?

Spelling Bee Blocks_April 2016

Blocks for our Spelling Bee for Carla, who has just opening a knitting shop.  I made two and then one more for Simone, whose daughter is getting married and she’s making the wedding dress.  She gets a pass, I’d say.MCM Bee Sewing

I made bee blocks for Mid-Century Modern Bee, for Stephanie, who doesn’t really run a blog, but is here on Instagram.  Actually she’s in Russia, but try not to hate her.  It looks like a fabulous trip.Shopping Bags Scout auction packet 4_16

Did (what I call) Duty Sewing to make an item for the Scout Auction at our church.  I was thinking Scouts=Food, so I picked up four boxes of treats at Trader Joe’s, a Dairy Queen gift card and two shopping bags, and wrapped them all up fancy.  It’s to help raise money to send boys to camp.  I used to be in the boat of forking over moolah for Scout camp (I had three boys), and am really really happy to be at this end: donating, rather than doing.planted garden_April16

Planted my summer garden.  This time we didn’t buy the fancy-schmancy tomatoes at the Swanky Garden Center, but instead went to the local nursery and Lowe’s.  They look much healthier.  Things that grow in my garden are an endless fascination to me, and I sometimes check the seedlings daily.  I’m #goofyaboutmygarden, thank you very much.Market Sewing

Did some market sewing for a friend.  I also made plans to go to market, courtesy of Painter’s Palette Fabrics, who I sewed a quilt top for. . . and now I get to see it!  Can’t wait–so excited.IG Fun April 2016

Perused Instagram.  I had no idea that people still crocheted granny square bedspreads.  My horizons are widened every time I follow a hashtag that’s new to me, in this case #makersmovement, which is for (duh) people that make things.  We used to be called crafters.  I like the term Makers much better.Halloween Blocks

Finished up last month’s blocks for the Halloween QAL and got the blocks ready for this month’s post on May 13th.  You know, when you break down a quilt into chunks, it’s much easier.  And I know I would have never have gotten this far, if it hadn’t been for the fact that I had to make the bits of the quilts to post.  Thank you very much for putting up with me.First selfie

Cleaned out Started cleaning out the photo cupboard, where I found my First-Ever Selfie, painted when I was six years old and in Brownie Scouts.  Interestingly, we didn’t have a dog at that time, even though I painted one in the picture (wishful thinking?).GameThrones1 Dbrovnik street

Found out that the street where we stayed in Dubrovnik, Croatia in 2014, was one of the sites used in Game of Thrones, a show I have never seen.  In the top photo (taken from the web somewhere) is the scene from the movie.  The middle photo is their comparison of how it looks when it’s not been movie-fied, and the bottom photo is taken by me, leaning out our window, looking back up the street.  I found this out one day when I was reading the NEWSPAPER (yes, I’m that old) and saw the top photo.  I ran upstairs to compare mine with theirs, then found the middle photo on the Internets.Costco macaron

Another eureka moment was when I discovered that Costco sells macarons.  Yes, I have two boxes in my freezer right now, but I gave away the coffee-flavored cookies to a neighbor (I hate the taste and smell of mocha/coffee).  I’ve also gotten three bids on a new HVAC system, and one guy is wandering around my house right now, taking mea$urement$.biscotti

In the cooking department, I made biscotti to take to my son, who lives in Normal Heights, in San Diego, California. My recipe is *here.*

Normal Heights Fabrics

Found out there is a fabric store in Normal Heights, in a former movie theater, which had some silk shantung, perfect for working on my Four-in-Art project for the May reveal.  I’ve also been to the doctor’s twice, but the patient — like Mayor Shinn’s wife in the movie The Music Man — will recover.

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Coming soon to a blog near you, on May 1st.Design Wall April 2016

And my design wall last week, as I was figuring out a scene for under the Christmas Tree (next step is coming May 2nd), working on my Four-in-Art art quilt, and enjoyed a completed mini–a sample to check on how my pattern worked for some more market sewing, which I’ll show you very soon.  (You know the game.)  Now back to the sewing.

Roaring into March

ChristmasTreeLogoSM

First off the bat, the winners of the giveaway, using the Husband Random Name Generator were:

Janice, who wrote: “WOW! I just began following your blog and missed the start up of this QAL. After seeing your beautiful work, I am inspired to dive in and QAL too. I love the embroidery details. . . [and the] layering [of] the stitches. I’d choose the magazine. Thanks for the great give away. I can’t wait to see your finished tree.”  I’ll send you the magazine.

Camille, who said: “Thank you again for your excellent post. I’m almost done with the tree appliqué. Still have the freezer papers to cut out. This project is so out of my typical arena so I’m thrilled to be pushing myself. Thanks. I’d love to add the fabric medallions to my stash since I have the magazine.”

Good luck on the Oh Christmas Tree project to these two and to all of you (and me).  I tried out making birds last night and they went so fast, as there’s far less stitching work on them.  Can’t wait until next month to tell you about this.

Quilt Night Mar2016_1

In my regular, non-digital life, I attended our monthly gathering of the Good Heart Quilters, a group of friends who have been quilting together off-and-on (with new members coming in, and old members leaving) for the better part of twenty years.  Charlotte, a newer member showed off what I think is only her third quilt top EVER, a Monopoly board.  All the fabrics are Monopoly fabrics.  Terrific!

Laurel brought two new rosettes for the New Millefiore Hexagon and re-arranged them to make more sense.  She has an exquisite sense of color.  Caitlin, whose house it was at, had a nice spread of snacks, including freshly baked brownies, and she worked on Christmas stockings.  Lisa and I did hand work–Lisa sewed together hexies and I worked on Step 3 of the Oh Christmas Tree QAL, which I already mentioned.  We had a lively and interesting conversation, running from mid-century modern furniture to QuiltCon to Donald Trump.Quilt Night Mar2016_2 Quilt Night Mar2016_3 OhChristmasTree_flowers2_1

I wanted to show everyone my newest flowers.  There they are above, all prepped up, with fabric appliqued on three of them.  And below, you can see my progress.OhChristmasTree_flowers2

I sewed the backstitch around the orange fabric not only so you’ll think I’m so clever, but also to cover up some wonky appliqué.  Okay, that’s the real reason.  Then I just got going on it, and kept adding stitching. OhChristmasTree_flowers3

On this one, I borrowed one of Wendy’s ideas for the center, then did “closed blanket stitch” for the green-on-red ring and then just a zig-zag backstitch with small French knots (3 wraps of the needle using size #12 pearl cotton) at each juncture.  It’s really a layering sort of task.  I add this stitch, and ask. . . now what?  It also helped that the program I was watching, “Sagrada,” a documentary on La Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona, Spain was still going on.  We’re headed there this year and I can hardly wait to see all of Gaudi’s surface decoration and bring home more ideas of what to put on these circles.March MCM bee blocks

Lastly, I finished up two sets of bee blocks, the first for Linda of the Mid-Century Moderns.  She asked for tiny churn dashes; these are measure 4″ finished.  We were also supposed to make some unusual section but still keep the church dash recognizable.  I wasn’t too inventive, switching around colors and turning corner blocks. March SpellingBeeblocks2_2

Mary of the Spelling Bee (#spellingbeequilt), an IG bee, asked for sewing words, then asked for us to add one more word.  I wonder if that “i” is too long; I included extra fabric in case she wants to shorten it up.

Chocolate

Lastly, I thought you’d be happy to have some solid research behind our quilter’s habit of eating chocolate, from an article published March 4, 2016, in the Washington Post.  Definitely need to keep up our visual-spatial memory and organization in order to keep sewing our quilts together!

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