Bee Blocks, Etc. * March and April *

Bee Blocks, yes.  But first:

Dream Big Bag_2

I recently asked Lisa to make me a tote bag out of a Dream Big panel by Hoffman.  I ordered everything, and the bag turned out to be a good size, one that could hold a queen sized quilt, perfect for taking along binding projects. Dream Big Bag_1

I chose a summery floral for the inside (I like bright colors inside my purses/bags, so I can find things).

Dream Big Bag

Beauty shot in the flowers by the front door.  Thank you Lisa, I love it!

March_2019 Gridsters

Now, here are my bee blocks for the Gridster Bee. Here are March’s blocks, requested by Marsha @quilterinmotion on Instagram.  We used this pattern, and it worked up quickly.

March_2019a Gridsters

If you decide to make these, I’d suggest switching up the order–put #9 on first, then #8.  It’s a sturdier constuction that way.

March_2019b Gridsters.png

But here’s the cool thing: her center will be four “straight” Flying Geese blocks, with our curvy ones being added to it, for lots of motion in her quilt.

April 2019_Gridsters Bee

Nancy who blogs at Patchwork Breeze, and is on Instagram @patchworkbreeze, asked for a patriotic block for a summer quilt.  I guess it’s not too early to get started on the  red, white, and blue, a good reminder to work ahead of the seasons and celebrations (anyone for Halloween quilts?  Christmas?).

Finally, I decided to tally up what I accomplished last year, in terms of completed quilts.  If you remember (or are hoping to forget), it was the Year of Frivols.  So here’s the totals:

• Twelve Frivols
• Three Mini-quilts
• One Baby quilt
• One Small quilt
• Two large quilts
• One large quilt that will show up in Fall 2019 Simpy Moderne

Number Twenty

And for 2019? It’s hard right now because while I can sew the tops, I can’t quilt them myself.  Quilts are only being finished when I can send them out.  But here’s the list of projects so far:

•  Plitvice (finished)
•  Chuck Nohara quilt (binding being sewn on as we speak)
• Nameless other large quilt, being kept under wraps/headed for publication
• Home-keeping Hearts (top only at this point)
• Merrion Square–there are three of these small quilt tops in circulation, and are samples at guilds where I’ll be speaking
• Basket quilt is still on the design wall, as I audition borders.

When I finish them, I’ll catalogue them, above, on the 300 Quilts list.

Speaking Teaching Events
Meet the Teacher for the Southern California Council of Quilt Guilds
Utah Valley Quilt Guild, Utah–Trunk Show and Day-long workshop
Valley of the Mist Quilt Guild, Temecula, CA–Trunk Show and Day-long workshop

If you are in Utah, they still have a couple of openings for the workshop on April 16th.  If you are new to this blog (welcome!), you can meet me digitally in my Happy New Year post.

I leave you with a few shots of our California Superbloom.  Happy Spring!

Poppies_1.jpgPoppies_3.jpgPoppies_2.jpg

Christmas Lollypop Tree Wallhanging

Christmas Lollypop Tree Wallhanging

I finally was able to stitch down the petals, dots and branches of my Christmas Lollypop Tree Wallhanging, figure out the borders (I referred to the antique Lollypop Quilt for ideas) and get it all stitched together.  Lacking: quilting, and a border, so it looks a bit incomplete, but like I always say, it’s nice to be at this point!  I think I’ve cornered the market on red and white and kelly-green and white fabrics.  Funny how our stashes will tilt one way while we’re working on a quilt, then veer into another direction when the next project comes along.  This is one thing I’ve been working on for this Works In Progress Wednesday Post, hosted by Lee of Freshly Pieced.  Thanks, Lee!

WIP new button

Earbud Zipper Pouch top

Another thing that has been in the works, but couldn’t show before is the little earbud holder.  I used Dog Under My Desk‘s pattern, and it went together pretty quickly.  I gave it to a friend, for she and I have what we call “sushi therapy,” where we get together and vent about our students (she’s a professor, too). I think between the sushi and the venting, we maintain our sanity (but this semester is really trying our patience!).

Earbud Zipper Pouch

I fussy cut out a bit of fabric that has a piece of sushi saying “You’re really really rice” and appliqued it on to the inside bottom of the pouch.  My friend laughed.

Tote Bag

And I made her a bag from my favorite pattern by Grand Revival: “Practical Bag,” with some book fabric that she gave me (I’m such a nice girl, that I’m sharing!).  I’ve made this pattern a ton of times.  I made it in New York fabric for my sister who lived in New York for 18 months on a church mission, so she could carry her groceries back home after shopping.  I made it for a friend who came to visit from Iowa and whose husband is a pastor (BTW, they just got a call to move to Brisbane, so she’ll be joining all my Australian friends very soon).  I’ve made a couple for me, and a bunch for I don’t know who else.  I originally purchased it for my daughter to make and traced off the pattern for me in case she had questions.  But soon, I bought my own and an extra.  What will I do with this?

Grand Revival Practical Bag

(They are much better at styling their photo, I think.)  So. . . I think I’ll drop it into the mail to one of my readers!  As usual, readers get one chance and followers get two chances, but leave a comment if you’d like me to mail you my extra pattern. But to qualify, tell me what you’ll make your bag to hold. . . or to who you’ll give it away to if your idea is to make it for a gift.

I can make this bag up in under an hour, and it holds quite a lot of groceries, or sewing for a doctor’s office trip, or snacks for the kids, or things to return for your errands.  I’ll use the tried and true husband-pick-a-number method of selecting someone (although if you’re very clever in what you say, I might have to override him).  Giveaway will end Friday morning when I drag myself out of bed, so make sure to leave your email so I can contact you.

And if you want to know what I’ll be doing while you write interesting things?  I’ll be quilting my Christmas Lollypop Tree and grading Drama tests (grading is NEVER done).  Thanks for reading, and Good luck!

Summer Fun and a Tote Bag

Many thanks to Lee of Freshly Pieced Fabrics for hosting this WIP Wednesday.  Click to return to her blog and see others who are staying out of the pool on occasion, and getting some Stuff Done.

Besides going to Long Beach, yesterday my son drove up with his three boys, joining my daughter and her family of three children (who had come from Arizona for the week) and we all went swimming in a friend’s pool.  I love it when they come!

That morning, my daughter and I had made two batches of cookies and a double batch of dinner rolls, and the evening was pleasant enough to set tables outside for our meal, where we served two kinds of barbeque chicken, salad, roasted potatoes and strawberries for dessert.

And cookies.  Snickerdoodles, if you must know, as we were saving the peanut butter cookies for her family’s day trips while they are here.

Still winding my way through the Lollypop Tree forest, I started on the border blocks.  My goal is to get everything cut out, shaped and pinned before I start back to school in two (dreaded) weeks.  This is a Giant Work In Progress, for sure.  What’s interesting to me is that for several years I collected the Kaffe Fabrics for this project, and you know how long it’s taken me to work on it.  But now as I’m coming to a close on the cutting part of it (just the billion squares for the interior borders left to do), it’s like I’ve released a whole stack of fabrics back into my stash for use.  I used some of it to line the zipper pocket of the tote (below) and I can see it sliding into other projects, now that I don’t have to “save” it.  As a result, although I was tempted this weekend in Long Beach by many Kaffe fabrics, I didn’t buy any.

And you know how sometimes you just have to SEW SOMETHING?  This was my project–a tote bag. I followed a lot of the tutorial designed by Lindsay Conner (found *here*), but deviated where I wanted to. [Her blog is also fun to read as she has a lot of tutorials.]  I’ve probably made a gazillion tote bags in my life, and after you wade through a few, you figure out it’s not rocket science–just a bunch of squares and rectangles.  I had originally thought I’d make this to take to Long Beach, but got bogged down in the center section, as I wanted a divided tote bag.  The day before I left I just couldn’t wrap my head around how to do it, so took a different tote with me.  (Besides, they gave us a decorative plastic shopping bag tote for our “souvenier bag.” Can I just say how much I miss the cloth canvas bags?  This kind is so. . . plastic.)

I wanted to use up the last of this Spoonflower fabric (thanks, Betty!) and wanted it quilted to make it a sturdier pocket.  This is about where I gave up that night, as the quilting. . . well. . . don’t look at it too closely.

So when I came home, I figured out the divider, plus the pocket/placket/zipper assemblage in time to finish it for church the next morning.

Here’s the birdie fabric side of the interior.

And here’s the zipper side of the interior.

My daughter and family will be here until Friday, then I really have to do something about my class.  Really, I do.

Sigh.  Summer sometimes ends too soon.