Thursday, December 3, 2009

October Quilting Bee Blocks

Hello, everyone! I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving. Ours was good, aside from the nasty stomach bug / flu strain that has been making its way from kid to kid to parent to parent over the past week. I think we have finally exorcised it from the Quilt Dad house with one daughter spared. Let's hope it stays out.

I recognize that postings to the ol' blog have been sparse lately. Quite franky, my sewing time has been sparse, too. I've had a few new commitments pop up lately that have eaten into my evenings and I'm trying to figure out how to balance it all. My to-do list is nagging at me, and I find myself thinking three projects ahead of what's on my cutting table. Does this ever happen to you?

I've been trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to at least keep up with my quilting bee commitments. I've always prided myself on returning people's blocks back on time, but it's all finally caught up with me. I still (embarrassingly) have one October block that isn't done yet (sorry, Tasha!), and a couple of November blocks to complete. Fortunately, December's an off month for many of the bees and I desperately need the time to catch up. 'Cause, you know, there's nothing else happening in December to occupy our time.

OK, so here's what I was able to complete for October:

First up are some mini neighborhood blocks for Dee for the SewConnected swap. There have been many great blocks and quilts popping up on Flickr inspired by this wonderful Ingrid Press quilt. Dee sent some soft pink fabric for her background and a selection of pinks and yellow to construct the houses. I was able to make both a house ...

SewConnected | October for Bubbachic

... and a tree for Dee.

SewConnected | October for Bubbachic

October was Sonja's month in SewConnected 2. In true Sonja style, she assembled a truly eclectic and inspired grouping of fabrics and requested blocks with a "beach house" theme. It was very important to me to make something special for Sonja, because she always puts 150% into anything she makes for others.

First, I decided to put my new embroidery skills to use and stitch up some whales inspired by the work of one of my favorite artists, Kurt Halsey. I bordered the embroidered piece with some prints from Tula Pink's Neptune line.

SC2 | Block for Sonja

Here's a close-up of the embroidery -- I love how it came out!

Kurt Halsey whales embroidered

I had an idea for a second block for Sonja. I decided to make a quilt block reminiscent of those old wooden beach signs (like this one). I used Lazy Gal Tonya's free-pieced letter tutorials to highlight all of Sonja's fabrics, and bordered it with a woodgrain that reminded me of driftwood (from the Lush line).

SC2 | Block for Sonja

October was a two-member month in the SewConnected 3 group. First up, Anina (from the popular twiddletails blog!) requested wonky log cabin blocks. And you KNOW I love me some wonky log cabin blocks. Here's what I came up with:

SC3 | October Block for Twiddletails

Cathy, fellow swapper and owner of my favorite local fabric store (Wish Upon a Quilt), sent a variety of Jennifer Paganelli's fabrics and didn't ask for any specific type of block. I LOVE working with Jennifer's prints, and I made this block up as I went along. I even added the bottom border from one of Jennifer's older lines to finish the block up:

SewConnected 3 | October block for Cathy

Over in the Cottage Quilting Bee, Ariana designed her own block and asked everyone to help her make her first queen-sized bed quilt. Each swapper received a selection of fabrics in a specific color story and a solid gray. I received this WONDERFUL set of green prints, and I love the way they play off of the gray. I deliberately embedded five little pinwheels into my fabric placement -- can you spot them?

Cottage Quilting Bee | October

And finally ... hold onto your hats, people ... 'cuz Quilt Dad is paper piecing.

Yes, that's right ... after so many months of resisting the urge, I finally took the plunge and taught myself how to paper piece. I am so happy to have finally gotten over my fear and apprehension, and I feel like a whole new world of possibilities have been opened up for me.

I was motivated to tackle paper piecing because I really wanted to make the Color Wheel block for Julie for her Buzz Cuts block. Julie sent fabrics from the Neptune line and they seemed to me to be great candidates for the swirling geese in this pattern. It reminded me of a whirlpool, which fit nicely with the nautical theme of Julie's blocks. I am THRILLED with how it came out!

BuzzCuts | November block for jgmehlin

And that closes the book on October ... with the exception of that one final block for Natasha. It's next on my to-do list!

I have a few more things to blog about soon, including the Pillow Talk swap (for which I both made and received a homemade pillow lately) and the conclusion of the Craftster Tea Towel Tour swap, since I also received my completed towel back.


  1. Love the "To Beach" sign and the paper pieced block!

    I am tagging the "To Beach" one... I might have to use it for a beach themed quilt. I have all these Hawaiian fabrics in my stash that I've been saving for years. :)

  2. Love these blocks...all of them...especially the paper-pieced blocks from Neptune!

  3. Wow, you've been a busy bee. LOL.
    I just made some letters using Tonya's tutes this morning!

  4. Paper piecing...I mean really? Paper piecing....oh this something I am going to learn how to do and be hooked like doing wonky piecing?:) Guess I need to go google paper piecing!! Or should I wait until I finish my circle quilt?;)

  5. I am glad to hear I am not the last one with a hexie block Tasja. I love the houses and the Beach blocks too.

    Have you made the Hedgehog yet?

  6. I forgot...The flying geese block is my FAV!!! you did an amazing job on it.

  7. All of your blocks look great, but that beach sign is perfect, absolutely.

  8. For so little time you have accomplished tons. I love the geese block with the paper piecing.

  9. All of your blocks are beautiful but I do love the flying geese block - going to have to try that one!

  10. great blocks.. i really want to steal that paper pieced neptune one!

  11. WOW you are an amazing sewer/quilter/maker of crafty goodies!!!

  12. I love that colorwheel geese block. I followed your path to the paper pattern and printed. Now, I will see if I can put together a paper pieced block.

    PS I added you to my blog list.

  13. I love the color wheel block. Might have to try that!