Tuesday, September 22, 2009

August Quilting Bee Blocks

Things have been crazy busy around here! Between the quilt-along, my parenting duties (both of the real and swap varieties ... not sure which is more stressful and time-consuming at the moment!), birthdays & soccer games (stay tuned for pics!) and ... oh, yeah ... my real job, I've felt really stretched the last few weeks.

Despite all of that, I am happy to report that I have basted, quilted, and bound 3 (!) large-sized quilts over the last two weeks!! (Technically, I am still binding the third, but the end is in sight!) As many of you have astutely noted, I tend to show a lot of blocks and mini quilts on my blog, but tend to avoid tackling the larger projects. Well, no longer. I will have some larger quilts to show in upcoming posts ... two will be featured here, and one will be featured elsewhere ... more on that soon.

Oh, and if you're here for our final block of the quilt-along, it should be posted mid-week.

And now for my monthly run-down of the blocks I've created for my quilting bee buddies. Here are all of my August blocks. With only a little more than a week left in the month, I guess I'd better get started on my September ones ... !

First up, a little block for Lucinda (lucyellen06) for her BuzzCuts quilt. I love this little block:

Lucinda, who blogs at Septemberbird, sent some vintage-y greens and creams and asked for a variety of small blocks. Her fabric evoked traditional styles and the Civil War era, so the other quilters began making some beautiful, beautiful blocks. I decided to infuse a little something different by adding an embroidered square, keeping with the green theme and incorporating Lucinda's love for birds. (Pattern is from Jenny Hart's Sublime Stitching book).

And with the leftover fabric, I made another block inspired by the era. This one features a more abstract version of a bird:

Over in the bee inspired group, Krista (aka kritta22) went the non-traditional route and sent everyone some solid fabrics -- namely, black + only one other color. I received orange, and decided to make a mini zig-zag block:

Several people commented that it reminded them of Charlie Brown! Ha! You should check out the bee inspired pool to see Krista's other blocks -- this was a great idea for a quilt, and everyone has made simple yet beautiful and graphic blocks for her.

Sudi-Laura (Isaacsmama) recently moved into a new house so, when it was time to decide what she wanted for her Cottage Quilting Bee blocks, she requested "houses filled with love" for her new home. I started to make her block completely improv-style, and came up with this:

I think it's cute and pretty indicative of my style! Sudi-Laura blogs at The Adventures of a Fabric Junky.

August was Alissa's month in SewConnected 2, and I must admit that I was a bit intimidated by this one. Alissa (who blogs at Handmade by Alissa) is such a talented and prolific quilter and such a master of the modern style that I wanted my block to be "up to snuff". I did a bit of research and found an awesome quilt that is a fave of Alissa's, and took my inspiration from it.

Simple yet modern, and my best attempt at making something in Alissa's style. I was on a roll and made a bunch of extra 6.5" blocks. I hope Alissa can use them somewhere in her quilt -- maybe even in the back -- or for another project.

Finally, it was Amy's month in the original SewConnected group. Amy blogs at A Commonplace Life. She really wanted her own scrappy version of the popular Kaffe Fassett "Jewel Squares" pattern from his Glorious Patchwork book.

I really loved the (seemingly random but ultimately genius) selection of fabrics that Amy sent for her blocks. I really think this is a case of the old home decorating adage -- just build it from things you love and it will all come together beautifully. I can only assume that's how Amy's scraps have become such amazing quilt blocks.

You can tell that I was inspired by the sheer number of blocks that I made:

For each block, I was excited to pull some scraps from my stash that blended with Amy's fabrics perfectly, like the ladybugs and polka dots above, and the birds below:

Quilt-along-ers, can you spot some of my quilt-along scraps making their way into my other projects?:

I added the green outer border, the Katie Jump Rope in blue, and the orange strip to this block:

And here they are all together:

I really love these blocks -- each and every one -- on their own merits. And I'm even more excited to see how they come together with everyone else's in Amy's final quilt.

Another successful month of quilting bees under my belt! As I mentioned, I am a little behind and a little worried about September. I'm sure I'll get it done, though. I always do. : )


  1. Your blocks are amazing. Please see my feelings for you and your blog in my blog kokiknits.blogspot.com.

  2. They are beautiful, each and every one!

  3. Great blocks John. I'm still amazed that you get so many swaps done!
    PS What is that yellow fabric in the bottom of the blocks inspired by my quilt, for Alissa?

  4. Wow! So much to see today. You have been very busy! And so many different styles!

  5. These are all just gorgeous!!

  6. Those are fantastic John!!! I love the house and Amy's squares are fantastically put together the colors are just as you said "genius!"

  7. Jon! You are out of control! I love it! I want to go quilt right now and join a million swaps, I am so inspired -- so I hope you will take this next comment the right way. Go kick the soccer ball around with the kids! And DEFINITELY take your wife out for some one-on-one time this weekend. No excuses. No quilt blocks. She needs some time with her amazing quilting hubby.

    -From the girl who hates it when her husband works too much! :)

  8. Holy schmoly, that's alot of bees! You're blocks all look awesome!

  9. All of your blocks are beautiful. How do you find the time to participate in so many swaps?

  10. Real job? HA! You must be on one of those 36 hour day cycles. Your blocks look really nice.

  11. Oh goodness....so much work...so many thoughts!
    Ok, here it goes...
    1. Awesome bird embroidery! I keep forgetting to do some of that so it is nice to get a reminder from you!
    2. Charlie Brown....Bwaahahahaha!Love it!!!
    3. Cottage O'love....awesome, especially the flower in the upper right standing in for the sun!!!
    4. "Up to Snuff" Blocks...wunderbar!! They remind me of a farmers market with the canned goods on the counter held up by haybales!!
    5. Last 4...fabulous...This is the first time I noticed that it is a square-in-square (sans wonky) using same colors but different fabrics or 3 logs same fabric with the 4th log different...love it...guess I'll have to try that with our next blocks!!!

    All-in-all....I can't get over how much I have learned just reading this particular blog entry!!!
    Thanks bunches!!!
    Oh, and yes, your family definately deserves lots of hugs and kisses and snuggling!!:)

  12. Great work. I'm looking forward to your big quilts.

  13. There are all fabulous! I love the mix of styles. Well done.

  14. Hey I've been looking for a way to contact you the comment you left on my blog is a no reply one. Can you shoot me an email so I can talk to you about the pay it forward? I'm so excited that you signed up!! I can't wait to try out something fun in the John style!

  15. So pretty! Off to dig around in my scrap stash...

  16. Lovely posts with so many pretty eye candy. The quilts/blocks are all so different and they are just amazing.

  17. What a wonderful post! I just discovered your blog and am so enjoying it. Your blocks are beautiful and I love how there's always a little something unexpected that works perfectly!

  18. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the house block... it needs to be a tutorial!!!!

  19. What a great bunch of blocks! I love, love those ones for Alissa. Fabulous.

  20. C & T Publishing is offering The Quilt Show Giveaway. Check out further information by visiting our URL.


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  22. Your blocks are very awesome and your work has inspired me to try and join in on a swap. I am currently working on my very first quilt but have a lot of ambition to do more and try more.


  23. These are all really amazing John (but I especially love the ones you made for me)!

  24. I'm dizzy with inspiration and admiration -- wonderful blocks! I think I'll have to set aside my two current projects (patio door curtain and book bag) and do a quilt square or two this weekend -- probably wonky. And definately inspired by you.

  25. Why has it taken me so long to find your blog! I've loved following your blocks on flickr. Can't wait to follow along here!

  26. Oooohhh you are so sneaky with that teeny tiny link! ;) Can't wait to see it featured! And your other "big" quilts, too.

    Great blocks, also!

  27. I have fallen head over heels in love with the blocks you made for Alissa. The perfect seams, too - it reminds me of those japanese rice paper screens. Incredible!