Bee Blocks

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I spent Memorial Day Weekend sewing and then I spent quite a bit of time this last weekend on hand work. So I’ve just gotten a few easy, small projects completed.

 

MMM14

 

First, I finished a knit Staple Dress and wore it on Day 27 of Me Made May. If you read that post, you’ll see that I had some trouble finishing the edges of this garment. It’s a very thin burnout knit. I had to wear a full slip under it. I bound the armholes with the same burnout knit and that was a NIGHTMARE! The knit rolled everywhere. It was impossible to keep the raw edges lined up. Turning it under was terrible. It just was not fun and I hated doing it. Plus, it turned out kind of shitty. Luckily, it’s the armholes, so I’m not too concern about it, but after that, I was not binding the neckline. So the neckline and the hem are left as is. I think that’s OK, but it’s not what I would consider good work. It will probably end up being a swim suit cover up. And I don’t wear a swim suit very often, so I likely won’t use it very much. The knit was cheap, so at least I didn’t waste a lot here. Any advice about finishing edges of very very very thin knit would be appreciated.

Bras

 

I took a bra workshop with Anne St. Clair. If you haven’t heard of her, Google her. She’s super awesome. I know these aren’t the prettiest bras in the world, but they do the job. I don’t have a lot going on in that area, but my mom and sister do. My mom took this class with me and she’s already finished her third bra! Also, she’s wears hers every day and is super comfy ALL OF THE TIME. There are thousands of testimonies like my mom’s about these bras and Anne has been helping women make bras for longer than I’ve been alive. She’s like a super expert. Anyway, my sister just picked up her first one from me. There are some modifications we have to make to it, but I hope she’ll like it. I have a kit to make her at least one more if not two more. Mine turned out great. I was skeptical. It’s not pretty or sexy. She has options to make them pretty and sexier, but that’s a little advanced for me right now. I’ve worn mine once and was pleased with it. I haven’t worn it since because I have to wear a cami with it and it’s HOT right now so I don’t really want to have that many layers on. We’ll see how it all works out. I’m still not 100% sold yet, but I also haven’t given it a good shot.

 

Embroidered Key

 

 

A few months ago, I took an embroidered applique class from Casey York. Her technique is really cool. This is just raw edge applique, but instead of using your machine to stitch down the edges, you do some hand work. First, you take an invisible thread and do a blanket stitch around the entire applique. Two works: F*** THAT. No offense to Casey, but I’ll be using my machine for that step in the future. Not sure if you’re aware, but invisible thread is INVISIBLE! It’s hard to see, it tangles easily, it’s tough. Overall, it’s just not really fun to work with. I can handle it on my sewing machine, even though it’s not my favorite, but hand work…NO THANKS! And before you tell me I was using the wrong type of invisible thread, I just want to let you know that I have like four spools of it that are all different brands. I’ve tired them all. Some are better than others. I prefer Sulky over everything else.  But even then, it’s still not fun. Anyway, there’s enough dwelling on that because I can do that part by machine. I did it by hand on this piece, so I gave it a fair shot. This piece kind of looks like shit up close, which maybe it wouldn’t after some practice, but I’m not willing to do that, so we will be moving on.

I did REALLY enjoy the embroidery part. I like outlining the applique with the embroidery. It was fun and it’s pretty. As with anything, I need some more practice, but I think I actually will practice this. I have absolutely no idea what I will do with this. Probably nothing. It’s not my best work so I’m not willing to give it away. I can’t put it in my house because it matches nothing and I wouldn’t anyway since it’s not my best work. It may sit in a bin forever…like the last project from an applique class that I took. I guess I’m bad at finishing and displaying class projects.

 

Bee Blocks

 

Finally, here are some more bee blocks that I’ve received. I almost have enough for a good size throw quilt. Like I need another throw quilt.

So that’s all of the randomness for now. I have a few larger projects that I finished, but I’m saving those for their own posts. You’ll see them soon!

These sewing filled weekends are starting to become a steady thing for me. I pretty much spent all of Memorial Day weekend sewing. There are three things that aren’t quite finished, so I can’t show you those yet. They should be finished soon, though. Then I’m wearing another finish, so I’ll have to take a picture of that sometime today and get it posted soon. I do have some things to show you!

 

Bee Blocks

 

I didn’t make both of these this weekend…just the one on the right. The one on the left is too small. For the second one, I cut the templates larger and trimmed them down. It worked much better. I’m not going to lie…I hated making this block. It’s so stunning when finished, but it took FOREVER. The second one went faster than the first, but between the templates, cutting, curved piecing, and then all of the regular piecing, I was over it. Although, I’d totally enlarge it and make it again for a sweet pillow.

 

Star Bee Block

 

Star Bee Block

 

My friend asked for Christmas-y star blocks. I made the first one and messed up on one piece. Luckily, I was able to salvage the messed up pieces into HST units and used them to make the second block. I love the fussy cut pearl bracelets. I hope it’s not too weird.

 

Bee Block

 

This is an Origami Star block. I’m on a red and aqua kick right now. Well, really an aqua and anything kick.

 

Bee Block

 

 

 

This is a gorgeous block and it was SUPER fun to put together. I’m not sure why I enjoyed it so much, but I totally did. I went with some of my favorite Tula Pink prints for the borders.

 

Bee Block

 

Finally, Jane made this block for me. And the best part…

 

Bee Block

 

Isn’t that awesome! I appreciate that. I think my favorite part of all of the book shelf blocks that I’ve received is the titles. People are so clever!

Bee block season will be winding down here soon. I’m both happy and sad. I am ready to not have the commitment, but I really do love making different blocks. I might back off and maybe choose one bee for next year.

Besides bee blocks, I’ve been quilting. I worked on a quilt this weekend and have just the binding left to do. I sent Nora’s quilt off last week. And I am waiting to send this next quilt off soon.

 

Edith's Quilt

 

My cousin posted a picture of a quilt on Facebook and asked if anybody could make it. She was pregnant, so I jumped at the chance. There was only a picture, so I used the picture to create this quilt. Sorry for the wrinkles. It’s been folded up waiting to be sent off.

I had the top pieced with binding and backing fabric ready in April. My cousin wasn’t due until June, but she went into labor 10 weeks early. Luckily, everyone is OK and doing fabulous! I thought I had plenty of time to finish it, but surprises happen. I quickly got this sandwiched, quilted, and bound. Since the baby, Edith, is still in the hospital, I’m holding on to it until they’re at home.

 

Quilting

 

 

I was able to do some fun quilting on it. I have a stencil for this, so I did this on the four corners.

 

Quilting

 

I quilted her name at the top along with some hearts.

 

Quilting

 

 

I drew this like 100 times until I felt like I got it right. Also, cursive is not easy to quilt. I used a smaller stitch to handle the curves. It turned out great, though!

I didn’t want to quilt this too much because I wanted it to be soft and cozy. I stitched in the ditch on all of the borders and then outlined the hearts. That’s it besides the template and name. How much do you love the name Edith? I think it’s so cute. I’m totally into the vintage-y names.

Even after sewing all weekend, I didn’t want to stop. At 9:30 last night, I forced myself to stop and clean up. Andrew was folding laundry, so I picked up and did some dishes. Our place is almost back to normal except for the thousands of threads that I keep finding everywhere. I even swept and went over the floors with a dry mop! Such is the life of quilter!

Neon Quilt

We recently redecorated Andrew’s man cave. It previously had a large black couch in it and had almost no decoration. We purchased a new, modern sectional and a fun accent chair. We added some cute footstools and I began working on decorating. Although nothing is hung up yet, we’ve stuck with a theme. NEON!

I made neon pillows. We bought neon art and coasters. Our footstools are even neon.

Neon Coasters

 

Neon Art

Neon Room

 

Neon

 

Of course, it wasn’t complete without a neon quilt for the wall, which is currently laying on the couch.

Neon Quilt

These are just super large Shoo-Fly blocks. The quilt top took almost no time at all, but then I quilted the hell out of it with my domestic machine

Neon Pebbles

In everyone solid neon and in the solid gray, there are pebbles.

Pebbles

In the polka dots, I did organic lines.

Lines

And the lines go opposite ways on each block.

Lines

I think all of the fabric is from Michael Miller except for the gray solid Kona.

A note about the solid neon: DO NOT WASH IT!!!!!!!!!

Want to see what happens when you wash it?

Quilt Back

See that solid yellow on the back of the quilt? Yup, that used to be neon. Also, the neon fabric is not the softest. I’m glad this is going to be a wall quilt and not something to cuddle with. The neon is probably the coarsest quilting cotton I’ve ever felt in my life. I’m slightly disappointed in Michael Miller for allowing it.

I have this quilt and the local quilt plus the neon art that need to be hung up. I have no idea when that will actually happen, though. 🙂

And for a random end to this post, here’s a paper pieced bee block I worked on this week. I wanted to make all four, but I ran out of gray. We didn’t have to make four, so I feel OK with just completing the three. This will be a wonderfully colorful quilt!

Scrappy Bee Block

 

This last weekend I went to another retreat hosted by the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild. The retreat was held in Hamilton, MO, in Missouri Star Quilt Company’s new Retreat Center. It was absolutely amazing. Missouri Star treated us so well. The Retreat Center was beautiful and so well done. The people were wonderful. They gave us an awesome walking tour and it was astounding to see all that they have done for the Hamilton community. If you get a chance to go to Hamilton, do it! Also, the weather was gorgeous on Friday and Saturday. It started to rain on Sunday, but that was the day we were leaving anyway. I have to thank the KCMQG Retreat Committee because they did an awesome job putting the whole weekend together. There wasn’t one single glitch!

I felt like I did so much in just the few days I was there. I also felt like I spent a lot of time not sewing, but I got a ton of stuff done! I don’t know how that happens.

When I got there on Friday afternoon, I got set up and I started working on the quilt I worked on at the previous weekend retreat. I needed to put one more border on.

Nora's Quilt

 

There’s the finished top. This is for a little girl and I hope she’s going to love it. I think she will. 🙂

Then I started working on the back. This took awhile. I wanted to piece the back using scraps from the top. I ended up only using some of the scraps, but I’m pleased with how the back turned out. I didn’t finish the back on Friday night, but I got a good start. I had to buy the green and yellow solid borders on Saturday at Missouri Star’s solids shop. Yes, they have a shop just for solids. It wasn’t completed, but they let us in early. 🙂 It’s going to be so amazing when finished because it was stunning in the mostly finished state.

Nora's Quilt

 

Here’s the back of the quilt. Some of the purple border will go away because the back is larger than the top for quilting. It’s kind of a bonus quilt. I started piecing the giant log cabin and eventually ran out of scraps that were long enough. I didn’t want to do a lot of extra piecing, so I moved on with the solid borders.

After finishing the top and the back of that quilt, I moved on to bee blocks since I really needed to catch up after focusing most of my time on completing the quilt.

Bee Block

 

This block is for the Stash Bee. I had cut out the strips while at home and was going to work on it during the week, but things came up. This went together really quickly since I already had it cut. I love rainbows, so this block was fun to make.

Converging Corners

 

You may recognize this pattern because I’m also having bee mates make this block. I made these Converging Corners blocks for another bee that I’m in. The blue, creams, grays, oranges, and corals look fabulous together. I love the pops of orange, coral, and blue. I’m sure this will be a stunning quilt.

Speaking of Converging Corners…

Converging Corners

 

Merrie made these for me at the retreat. I’m so in love with these blocks. I love the gray linen. I love the orange. I love the aquas. It’s such the perfect combination. I can’t wait to get more blocks back and see them all together. Also, that Heirloom Joel Dewberry orange and aqua print in the middle might be my favorite fabric of all time.

Spool

 

Since Merrie made me some blocks, I made her some blocks, too.

Spool

 

Aren’t the spools awesome? I think this is the perfect bee block. It went together fast, wasn’t challenging, was super fun, and is just stunning when complete. Merrie was also working on these and I think she had five or six, including mine, by the end of the retreat. They were all hanging up on the wall and I cannot wait to see the quilt when it’s complete. I kept looking over at the ones on the wall and just being amazed at how cool it looked.

Bow Ties

 

I whipped together a couple of bow tie blocks. These hardly count as a project because I think they took all of five minutes to complete. Easiest block ever!

Polaroid Blocks

 

These polaroid blocks are for the KC Scrappy Bee. Isn’t that one wonky block, cute? This was kind of an intense block. There are a lot of little pieces, but it was fun to see the pictures come together and the completed block is super cool. I am surprised I was able to find enough novelty prints in my stash. I kind of had to cheat with some flowers because I just didn’t have a lot of kitschy fabrics.

Sharon's Blocks

 

This post is going to end on somewhat of a sad note. We lost one of our guild members to cancer this last week. It just really sucks. I can’t really put it any other way. It totally sucks and isn’t fair and is so sad and upsetting and frustrating. Cancer is the worst and I don’t know a single person who hasn’t been affected by it in some way. Fuck cancer. Excuse my language, but that’s exactly how I feel. So what do you do?

Well, obviously, we’re making a quilt. Another member put together the perfect block for a quilt for the family. The low volume creams, whites, grays, pinks, and blues represent the sadness surrounding the situation. At least that’s what they represent to me. It reminds me of a rainy, dreary day. The pop of yellow/orange/gold is the one ray of sunshine that starts peeking out. And I hope that one ray represents the start of the healing process. Maybe is sounds kind of cheesy, but I don’t really care. These blocks go together super quickly. I made two at the retreat and then three when I got home. I have a total of 24 and I think we’ll probably get a few more. On a better note, it’s amazing to see how much people care about one another. There was an overwhelming amount of people who wanted to do something for the family and help in some way. I’ll make sure to post pictures of the finished quilt. Here are 20 of the blocks on the design wall at the retreat.

Sharon's Blocks

 

 

I hosted a retreat for my mom, aunt, and our friends last weekend. As always, we had a ton of fun. I didn’t take as many pictures this time because I was working really hard on a quilt top. Here are a few pictures I snapped.

Thread Catchers

 

I made thread catchers for everyone who attended.

Kim

 

Kim made a Sew Together Bag. This is Kim’s first “big” sewing project and she did an awesome job on it! We were all so proud of her!

After I mostly finished my quilt top, I laid out some bee blocks.

Bow Ties

 

Mom and Becky made me some of these blocks during the retreat. I’m loving how this is looking.

Low Volume

 

These are the low volume blocks I’ve received. I need to find something to sash them with. Should it be something that pops? Or should I just do a darker gray?

Bookshelf

 

Finally, here’s the bookshelves. I’m going to have to trim some and probably add some, but I think this looks fantastic!

I’m not starting these any time soon, but I had the blocks lying around, so I had to play around with them.

I’m going to another retreat this weekend so I plan on piecing a back for the quilt top I was working on. You’ll hopefully get to see that soon!

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