What is a Bee Hive? Well it seems to me that a Bee Hive would be a number of quilting bee’s operating at the same time with the same purpose….with each of these small quilting bees called a swarm. The swarm I belong to has 12 ‘workers’….one for each month! I love this concept! Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts & Angie at Gnome Angel have done a fantastic job and a lot of work to put this all together! I am looking forward to a great year….sewing new blocks & quilts, making new friends, and being part of something so much bigger than just me stitchin’ in my studio!
It is January and Blossom Heart Quilts posted a great tutorial on the January block so I got busy sewing today. I had a little sewing buddy in my studio to help! I am told geckos are good luck…so maybe it is a good sign for my year of sewing!
my sewing buddy today
The January block is Tic Tac Toe and I really like the versatility of this block! Just by switching the colors around you can create a very different look for the entire quilt. I chose my fabrics for my block and set them according to the pattern, but, I was too anxious to see the finished block and got a few of the squares mixed up and ended up with this…..
I first block for Tic Tac Toe
It really wasn’t the color placement I wanted so I slowed down and completed the block the way I originally intended and ended up with this….
slow down and pay attention
I am much happier with this second block….I really wanted the direction of the fabrics to create movement and I think the placement of the grey fabric accomplishes that with this design. I am looking forward to a year of new blocks and quilting challenges!!
The fabrics are from Sphere from Zen Chic with Kona Cotton Solid in White.
I finished TenSquared in what should be considered record time for me. I am so happy with that quilt. I was a little worried about showing it to my husband as he can be pretty critical of my abstract work sometimes. I knew he would be happy for me that I finished it and kept with my design from the beginning through to the end. However, I just wasn’t sure how he would react to the abstract geometric shapes and the colors. Of course I knew he would like the blue, but yellow is my color, and sometimes he just doesn’t like the way I use it. I am willing to try making anything in yellow at least once. So, when I showed him the completed quilt, he loved it! Yes…he really liked the entire quilt. So much so that he asked me to make him one. The only problem was that I made TenSquared for me….and I am short…and my quilt is about 60 inches square. My husband is six feet tall. TenSquared is not quite sized for him. After mulling it over for a month or so, I finally delved into designing a quilt for him….his very own TenSquared. I call this one TenSquaredToo.
TenSquaredToo….a ‘copy’ of sorts
I had to make it more his size, so this one is about 70 inches square. And he wanted more of the blue and less yellow & white in his quilt. So I was able to rearrange the colors to make him happy with this TenSquaredToo! He wanted to be involved in the design decisions of the quilt along the way, so he chose dark blue thread for the quilting.
dark blue quilting thread
I was stumped on what to do with the backing as I didn’t have enough of 1 or 2 fabrics to make a full backing for this much larger quilt. He actually designed the backing layout and I was able to easily piece the fabrics together to make a wonderful backing!
the beautifully designed backing
This quilt might be considered a new record for me if not for the design process taking up so much of my time. Once I settled on a design, I was able to complete the quilt in about 3 weeks….that includes the quilting and binding. I finished it for him on Christmas Day. Yes…I was quilting and binding on Christmas Day, while the boyz cooked up Christmas dinner. It was a good day!
I suppose a neglected blog doesn’t do much for me. So this will be my resolution to start paying more attention and sharing more of what I do. Last year was a great year! I have tried new things, met new people, and seen new places. All of which help me make better stuff! I love being inspired by all the new faces, places, and ideas! 2014 was a great year for finishing projects started long ago and starting new projects that hopefully won’t take as long to finish.
TenSquared is called TenSquared because the quilt is 10 squares by 10 squares…each square being 6 inches. TenSquared was a first for me in so many ways. This is the first quilt I have designed in sketches and using my design wall. This was my first time working with Half Square Triangles (HSTs). This was the first time I
Bernina 830 (Piz) stitching the continuous line
designed a continuous line quilting motif and stitched it out. This is the first quilt I actually designed the backing panel to complement the quilt top. This is the first quilt I have started and finished within the same month! Oh and it was so much fun to make this quilt! I was completely inspired by the fabric line-Figures by Zen Chic. The pantograph I
label and numbers
designed is a set of numbers 0-9 in a continuous line stitched from edge to edge with Aurifil white. My quilting set up is a 10 foot frame with my domestic Bernina 830 connected to Quilter’s Creative Touch software. I love this set up. Having the ability to create custom designs in my software and see them stitch out on the frame is like opening a new package!
I also finished a project I started nearly 10 years ago. It was my very first quilt top and a very large applique. I wanted to do something special for my husband while he was on his first deployment. And I was able to finish it during what we hope is his last!! Of course I finished it just in time for him to enjoy during this amazing season for Oregon! GO DUCKS!!
So I have been up to pillows….trying to make some for the house and get new ideas for others! Here is my yellow and black pillow…..
yellow and black pillow
I used the floral pattern in the fabric to create an embroidery design to stitch out in some pretty yellow thread on black twill. I think it turned out fabulous….so much so that I want to make more, I just don’t have enough fabric! Here is a close up….
I have been trying to get some new projects done, finish some old ones, and refine the ideas for new ones. Oh, my brain is so busy!
messenger bag front
flag zentangle on back
pockets under bag flap
The pattern for this bag came from a Quilting Arts TV program. Episode 703-1 from 2010 featured this cute little messenger bag with appliqued birds on the front. I modified the bag and incorporated pockets from the old uniform utilizing the Velcro and already shaped pocket. Click here to get the pattern for this bag. I added my own embroidery and used the Transfer Artist Paper to apply the images and flag zentangle.
I love snow!! The sound of snow falling is just the most soothing sound ever for me! I really can’t stand the cold, so when I go out I bundle up pretty good, but, at least I can warm up by the fireplace when I come back inside! So, we decided to go for a walk in the snow yesterday….yup…walking in the snow!
a walk in the snow
The puppy had a lot of fun in the snow too. I think his poor little paws were pretty cold as they had tiny snow balls all stuck to the fur, but he kept truckin’ along. I think a new project for me is to make him some cute little booties to keep the snow off!
The Justice after chasing snowflakes
He loves to run out of the house and chase the snowflakes! It is quite funny to watch how he rushes out of the door and runs circles in the backyard as if he is going to catch them all if he runs fast enough! He only slows down when he starts sliding all over the yard, and I think that is when he realized how cold it is and wants back in the house!
The sun setting in the west
It was still pretty bright as we went for a walk. By the time we got back the sun was setting and making for some pretty colors in the sky mixed with the snow!
The flag still flying
This is a good pic taken by my Hunny! The wind was blowing pretty good and the snow was all over the place!
I think he is licking the snow off his nose
So, this was day one of our snow fest this week. I will be spending the rest of the snow days in my studio working on many projects. More posts to come showing these projects!!
Wow…already half way through January of the new year and time is flying by so fast!! The holiday flew by and I feel like I haven’t gotten anything done since baking cookies ruled my life! Well, that has ended this week….
Yesterday was fun day of baking with my Scambio Creativo friends via Skype! We had a blast in the kitchen cooking up the Baked Gnocchi with Butternut Squash & Spinach! Mine turned out quite yummy….and I am sure everyone’s did too! So, hopefully this will be a start to something new for this year…making something yummy to share with our family and friends.
Finally….Twelve Days of Cookies!!! This has been a fun project…and we do have a lot of cookies….lots and lots of cookies actually! But, the last of the cookies are a yearly holiday request from the boyz….frosted sugar cookies….
frosted sugar cookies
And I must say the boyz did a great job frosting these cookies. I stood by with sprinkles in hand and gave each cookie some added zip with colored sugar, snowflakes, gingerbread men, and colored sprinkles. They are some yummy cookies. This is a basic sugar cookie dough….and the frosting is just butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla…YUMMY!! What a Merry Christmas it is!
So I have been busy baking cookies…lots and lots of cookies. I do enjoy baking and was presented with a unique opportunity. My cousin and her husband were getting together with family to assemble sack lunches they will hand out on Christmas Day to the homeless. This has become a new tradition for them. I offered to make cookies to go in the lunches….200 cookies. Enough for 2 cookies in each lunch. I chose to make the molasses crinkle cookies as they are a good hearty cookie and taste like a good holiday cookie. So, here they are….
Yes…that is over 200 cookies. I mixed up the dough last night….3 double batches….and allowed it to chill overnight. Early this morning…around 7am…I made my way downstairs to bake these puppies up. The sack lunches are being put together today so I wanted to be sure to get them baked and divided up before delivering them to my cousin. Baking didn’t take nearly as long as I thought….I was sure I would be baking all day!! I was done baking in 4 1/2 hours!!! Over 200 cookies in just over 4 hours!! I hope the folks that receive them will enjoy them as much as I enjoyed baking them….think I will be doing this again next year!! Happy Holidays!!!