Hopkins Square Bee Blocks

Hi habibis!  Christmas is nearly upon us, and I have one last post beforehand.

You may recall that I asked for Hopkins Square blocks for my month of the stash bee in shades of red and gold, and my bee mates have been incredibly generous.  The ten of them sent me 16 blocks, plus extra block pieces and extra cuts of fabric!

Here’s a sample:

Don’t you love everyone’s fabric choices?

After the holidays I plan to buckle down and put together this quilt top.  It’s going to look great!



Stash Bee: Hopkins Square Blocks

All year I dutifully made my Stash Bee blocks, and finally it’s my turn!  I have spent all year thinking about what block I wanted for my month, and I finally figured it out.  Hive 7 is going to help me make a Quilt of Valor!

Do you remember the quilted napkins I made?  I had leftover pieces, and I decided at the beginning of the year to turn this UFO into a Quilt of Valor for our veterans.  Other projects keep getting in the way, but now I’m motivated to finish them up and I think with all the extra blocks from Hive 7 I’ll have enough to make a quilt top.  I’m using gold and crimson, to match the leftover pieces I had.  If you want to play along, the instructions are here.

Here are some of the finished blocks.  They look good, right?  I’ve made 16 blocks so far.

If you want to do more for Quilts of Valor, they’re having a block drive between now and Veteran’s Day (November 11th).  They’re collecting wonky stars in patriotic colors; you can find more information here:  http://alyciaquilts.blogspot.com/2015/09/qov-2015-block-drive.html

Here’s mine:

We get to ask everyone in our hive a question.  I actually have two questions: What is your favorite quilt or quilted thing that you’ve made for yourself?  What is your favorite quilt/quilting thing that you’ve made for someone else?

For me, the first one is easy.  (I’ve only ever made two quilts for myself.)  I LOVE the twin-sized all-polka dot Drunkard’s Path quilt I made for myself.

The second question is harder.  If you follow my blog, you’ll know that most of the quilts I make are wedding, baby, or special occasion quilts for friends and family.  I love almost all of them, and it’s hard to choose.  One of my favorites is a quilt I made for my grandmother using photo fabric.  It’s in yellow and orange, her favorite colors, and it’s full of pictures of our family.  After she passed away I got the quilt back and it makes me happy every time I look at it.  Another favorite is a quilt I made for my fiance last year.  It’s an American flag quilt and I hand quilted the stripes with patriotic quotes and song lyrics that I knew would have resonance with him.  I spent about 115 hours working on that quilt.  I put so much love and effort into it, and knowing how much he loves it makes it all worthwhile.  I guess I’m cheating in answering my own question, but the truth is I just want to send you to my finished quits page and tell you that I love all of them!  They’re all meaningful to me because I made them for such special people in my life, for dear friends and their children, and for my family.


October Stash Bee Block: Flying Cloud Star

Hive 7 of the Stash Bee made blocks for Lori this month.  Lori asked for any star block in any size, as long as it used darker blues and reds and creams. She wanted an “Americana” feel.

I looked through my “501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks” book (by Judy Hopkins) and chose the Flying Cloud star because I liked the look and the name.  (Isn’t that pretty? Flying Cloud?)

I made the 12″ block.  I didn’t exactly follow the layout instructions for the fabric.  I used the same fabric for all the center pieces: this cute chevron fabric.  I had it leftover from this runner that I made for Z’s dad.

I made my star points out of scrappy blues.  Of course I put all the outer pieces on upside down and had to take them off and redo them. I think the final block looks great!

Lori asked us what our favorite block is and have we ever used it in a quilt.  I LOVE the Drunkard’s Path quilt that I made for myself, so I guess I’d say that.  I’m not sure it’s actually my favorite block, but you can do so much with it!

Stash Bee: Wonky Churn Dash Blocks for September

Hi habibis!  This post should have gone up last week, but last week was kind of crazy around here.  I have a lot going on in my personal life, and in trying to get all my quilting – and everything else – done, the blog suffers.  Anyway, for September in the Stash Bee we made wonky churn dashes in tan, red, orange, and pink for Jane.  They were fun to make!

If you’ve noticed the one on the right looks a bit small, you have a good eye!  I didn’t follow the cutting directions properly with the first one; I cut all nine units to the same size, so it came out too small.  I sent it along anyway – I thought it was cute and Jane might like it for the something.

Jane asked us what colors and prints we would add to our stash.  I think orange, actually, because it can be very hard to find the right orange, if that makes sense.

Tomorrow I will hopefully have a post on my September stash report and get myself back on schedule.

August Bee Block

Hi habibis! I hope you all had a great weekend.  I spent Friday night and Saturday with my family. We had gorgeous weather and a lot of fun! Sunday I had a quiet day with Z.  I got my August bee block in the mail this weekend, on its way to Carla of Granny Maud’s Girl in Australia.  (I love her work, don’t you?)

Carla is planning a new quilt for her bedroom and she wanted lovely washed out cool, beachy colors for it – creams, greys, blues, greens, purples, maybe a little yellow. Nothing saturated.  She asked for a 16-patch with randomly-placed pinwheels. I followed her instructions closely and I was extra careful about my seam allowance after last month’s too-small blocks.

Here’s my finished block!

Cute, right?  I also sent along an extra piece of the yellow in the bottom left corner, with little dots of green, blue, and purple in it, in case Carla liked it, since it fit her color scheme.

Carla asked us if we ever decided to get a tattoo, what would it be and where would we get it?  This one stumped me.  I’ve always thought I wouldn’t get a tattoo because I can’t think of anything that I’d want put on my body permanently – tastes change over time and how do I know I would still want it in twenty, thirty, forty years?  I have to be honest; I can’t think of anything.  Sorry, Carla!  I’ve got five ear piercings, two in each lobe and one at the top of my ear, and I guess that’s as adventurous as I get.

July Bee Blocks

Time for a Stash Bee update!  Our Queen Bee for July is Mary Huey.  She chose this adorable bird block from the Block Lotto.  I was so scared when I first saw it – I thought it was paper pieced!  (Never mind that I joined Stash Bee to challenge myself and learn new quilting skills…)  Imagine my relief when I saw that it’s not paper pieced!  It’s actually a bit of improv piecing and it’s really fun.

Mary asked us to name our birds.  Here’s the Bottle-Beaked Ruby Wren:

The Royal Winged Warbler:

Last, but not least, the Spotted Lantern Marthabird (named after my grandmother, who’s quite fond of pink):

I made three just in case I messed one up!  I was upset when I measured my blocks and found them all to be slightly smaller than they were supposed to be.  Mary said that was fine.  She’d asked us not to trim them – hence the bit hanging off the side.  I used more of that Alexander Henry “Go For Baroque” fabric that I’d put on the back of the Lotus Quilt – and I sent Mary the rest of the scraps, as well.  I’d also cut a few extra pieces by accident, and I thought she might like them for more birds.  The blocks (and scraps) went in the mail yesterday afternoon!

A few scraps for Mary:

Mary asked us what our life-long passion is.  I’d have to say books.  Right now quilting is my passion, but I’ve only been quilting for eight years.  Books, however, have always been a part of my life.  I love reading.  I reread my old classics, Z’s military history books, murder mysteries (I love a good whodunit!), whatever is available.  Z teases me that I still patronize the public library – but I can’t afford to buy books to keep up with my habit!  I read on my commute and on the exercise bike.  Reading is magic!

June Bee Block: Flowering Snowball

This month Deana was our Queen Bee and she requested Flowering Snowball blocks in a wide variety of bright colors, with low volume background prints and black for the centers.  She pointed us to this tutorial, which I followed to the letter.  I’d done curved piecing for my Drunkard’s Path quilt, so I wasn’t too nervous, but I found that the hardest part was picking my prints and the block itself came together really quickly.

I’m sorry for the terrible picture – I’m cutting it a little close with this one, so I frantically took a picture of the block on my couch before I left for work yesterday.

Deana’s question for us was “who got you hooked on quilting?”  I don’t have the traditional answer for this – I didn’t learn to quilt from anyone.  One of my friends from college died in a car accident a month to the day after our graduation.  It was a really difficult time for me.  I had trouble sleeping and I would look for projects for myself.  One day I decided that I should make her mother a quilt.  My grandmother had taught me to sew, but no one in the family had ever quilted.  I don’t know where the idea came from, but make a quilt I did.  I had no idea what I was doing, but I enjoyed it.  Then I had friends get married and I made them a quilt, and a friend had a baby and I made her a quilt, and before I knew it I was a quilter.