Sunday, January 31, 2010

November & December Quilting Bee Blocks

Good evening, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We've been snowed in here in NC since Friday night, which has proven to be incredibly productive for me. Here are just a few things I was able to get done this weekend:
  • Made 102 blocks for Rachel's Modern Siggy Block swap (a process I can only describe as mind-numbing ... but I am glad they're done. Pics soon.)
  • Pieced the top for my Doll Quilt Swap 8 quilt (again, no pics yet. It was storming here, remember?! : )
  • Finally finished hand sewing the binding on a quilt that will make its debut soon. I don't even want to tell you how long it's been finished and sitting here with its binding half sewn on. Glad that one is done!
  • Finished one piece for the Hoop Up swap and started another.
  • Cut up all of my fabrics for my friends in the Bee Imaginative group, and made a few sample blocks. It's going to be a good one! Stay tuned for more on that.
  • Finished book 8 of the Sookie Stackhouse series. Anyone else reading these?
  • Hung out with the kids and played a lot of Wii Sports Resort.
Wow, I should get snowed in more often!

I seem to be falling way behind on posting all of the blocks I've been making. Here's a quick rundown of my November & December blocks:


In November, Meg sent out a selection of solid fabrics and requested blocks inspired by Kaffe Fassett's Forget-Me-Not Cabins quilt (from this book). Here's my interpretation:

SewConnected | November

And for December, Audrey assigned each member a letter of the alphabet and asked for an i-spy block containing the letter itself. Here's my "F" block featuring fish, frogs, fire hydrants, some fellas playing football, and a fire engine. This is going to be a really cute quilt for her beautiful newborn daughter. Read more about it here.

"I Spy" block for Audrey

SewConnected 2

November was Sudi-Laura's month in SewConnected 2. Coincidentally, December was her month in another bee that we are in together (Buzz Cuts). For both, she sent out some white fabrics and requested wonky stars in a variety of sizes made from our scraps. Here's what I made collectively for both bees:

5 Wonky Stars for isaacsmama

December was a catch-up month in SewConnected 2, so it wasn't assigned to any of our members.

SewConnected 3

Over in SewConnected 3, November was assigned to Sara. She wanted geometric blocks made from her selection of Mendocino prints and some coordinating solids. I followed a pattern from the recent Quiltmaker Magazine "100 Blocks from today's top designers" issue.

SC3 block for poohba02

December was also (thankfully) a free month in SewConnected 3.

bee inspired

November was a great month to work on some holiday-inspired projects. Stacey designed her own block to be made from holiday prints for her bee inspired quilt. It was a very cool design that combined a pinwheel with string-pieced corners. Here's my version:

bee inspired | November

I was kind of angry at myself for trimming it up crookedly. I hope it won't be noticeable when the entire top is put together.

We took December off in this group, too : )

Buzz Cuts

Stop the presses. Have you heard? I'm paper piecing these days. That's right ... after years of resisting, I've finally succumbed to peer pressure and taken the plunge. This next block is perhaps the main reason for my change of heart.

Here's the block I made for Julie for the month of November:

BuzzCuts | November block for jgmehlin

I love this pattern, and it was bugging me to think that I couldn't make it ... so I jumped right in, and I was very happy with how the block turned out. Of course, the fact that it's made with the amazing "Neptune" line helps!

For December, I made the wonky stars for Sudi-Laura that I showed above.

Cottage Quilting Bee

Oh, I just realized that I already shared the block I made for Tacha for her November Cottage Quilting Bee project:

Cottage Quilting Bee | November

Still love it, though! And, as I'm sure you've guessed by now, December was an off month for the Cottage Quilting Bee, too!

As of tonight, January's in the books and you know what that means ... my monthly round-up of bee blocks should be coming soon. (It helps that I actually got them all done on time this month!)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Some good news!

Just wanted to share some good news from the Quilt Dad household ...

My wife was admitted this week to the PhD program at UNC-Chapel Hill! This is something she's been working towards for years, and I couldn't be prouder of her.

What does this mean for me? Two things:

First, it is likely that we will be moving some time this spring or summer to Chapel Hill. We live in Cary now, which is about 40 minutes away from Chapel Hill, but with our twins starting kindergarten this fall and with my wife having a more flexible student schedule, it seems to make a lot more sense for her to be close to the kids rather than commuting from home. Plus, we LOVE Chapel Hill, so no complaining here! We're very excited about returning to the "scene of the crime" (we both went to undergrad at UNC, met there, I proposed there, we got married there, yada yada yada ... and the rest is history : )

Second, her returning to school will most definitely put a bit of a crimp in my fabric budget. OK, mild complaning about that one ... {harumph harumph}. But it will all be worth it in the end!

So stay tuned for more updates as we begin house hunting, etc. You know that a dedicated studio space is at the top of my wish list!

And to keep this post somewhat quilt-related ...

I'm a bit smitten with this fabric line. I haven't gotten my hands on any yet, though. If you've made any projects with it, I'd love to see it! Let me know ...

Massive winter storm warning here in NC tonight ... should be an interesting weekend ... ... ...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Open Source Embroidery

OK, this is weird.

As many of you know, I have a day job. After hours, I have my crafting pursuits. And rarely do the two meet.

Until a co-worker brought this to my attention.

The Museum of Craft & Folk Art in San Francisco recently hosted an Open Source Embroidery exhibit. (It closed last weekend. Sorry for being late to the party -- I've been sitting on this post for a while.)

From the website:

"Open Source Embroidery includes workshops and exhibitions that investigate how the open source software development model has been incorporated into the language of cultural participation. This major exhibition brings together individual and collectively made artworks by artists, makers, computer programmers and html users that explore the relationship between craft and code through social and digital networks. The works experiment with interdisciplinary approaches to modifying patterns, the DIY culture of hacking and sampling in sound, GPS and mobile technologies.

"The Open Source Embroidery exhibition brings together individual and collectively made artworks by artists, crafts people, computer programmers and html users which explore the relationship between craft and code, physical and digital space. The artworks experiment with interdisciplinary approaches to modifying patterns, the DIY culture of hacking and sampling in sound, GPS and mobile technologies.

"Through participatory networks over 500 people from across the UK, Sweden, USA and Canada have contributed their creative skills to collectively make works in the exhibition. Including the Html Patchwork of 216 patches each stitched with their RGB colour code."

Pretty cool stuff, no? I wish I could have seen the exhibit in person. Were any of you left coasters able to check this out?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

SO excited!

I know I've been absent from this space for a while now. As I've mentioned before, a slowdown in posting to my blog is usually indicative of how crazy the other parts of my life have gotten. This time is no exception. We've been dealing with gross, nasty, icky sicknesses being passed from child to child for the past 2.5 weeks. Work has been crazy busy with some pretty major org changes, business travel to Chicago (sorry to all of my Chicago quilting peeps, but every. single. moment. of my trip was scheduled), and the launch of a brand new website that's been occupying a great deal of my time.

But I did something today that I am just SO, SO excited about.

Have you seen this post on Heather Ross' blog? It turns out she will be teaching a 3-day fabric design course this July at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon.

The class is open to 17 people.

And I'll be one of them. Eeeee!

This is something I've been wanting to learn for a while now, but I had no idea where to start. I've also been looking for a good reason to visit Portland for the first time, too. So when I read Heather's post, I knew I had to make it happen. And it's going to happen, thanks in no small part to my mother who is covering the cost of the course as an early birthday present. Thanks, Mom!

I'm dying to know if anyone else reading this has signed up for the course, too. If so, please let me know! Oh, and if anyone has any Portland recommendations (where to stay, where to eat, where to shop, etc. etc.), please do share.

I've got a few draft blog posts in the queue highlighting things I've made over the past month or two, so stay tuned -- I hope it won't be so long before I post again. Hope you're all having a great week!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy 2010!

Happy New Year, everyone! I never did get back to the blog over the holidays to write a proper greeting. On the radio this morning, the DJ's were saying that it's now officially too late to wish someone a happy new year, so I figured I'd better jump online and squeeze it in ASAP!

I also realized that I haven't been posting many pictures of the family lately, so I thought I'd share some highlights from the holidays. I didn't really get any pictures on Christmas Day, but here are a few from the weeks leading up to the holidays:

Christmas 2009

The dressier pictures are from a wedding we attended the weekend before Christmas. The kids' babysitter got married and asked my son to be the ring bearer! See the lollipop above? It was the bribe that got him to actually walk down the aisle. It was a fun night and the kids had a blast, especially once the music started and the dance floor opened up. It was fun to see a wedding through their eyes. They thought the bride looked like a princess!

2010 is already off to a great start, sewing-wise. Lots of cool new things to talk about!

First, round 8 of the Doll Quilt Swap has opened up over on Flickr. I had promised myself that I was going to sit this round out because I had fallen a bit behind in my block swaps before the holidays and it really stressed me out, but if you're a regular reader of my blog, you know how this story ends. Yes, I couldn't resist. I waited and waited and finally sent my info in -- I think I was one of the last 20 people admitted into the swap! I just couldn't help it. I really believe this is the gold standard of mini quilt swaps -- gobs of talented quilters continue to participate, and I'm excited to join in again. At least this time I refrained from being one of the swap moderators. That should help!

Here is the mosaic I created to share some of my current favorite pictures from Flickr with my swap partner:

DQS8 Inspirations

Some pretty cool stuff, huh?

Hoop Up Button

I've also started a new swap over on Flickr called the Hoop Up! Stitch & Send Swap. In this swap, each swapper is assigned to a group of 6 or 7 people and hand embroiders a small design for every member of the group. These designs are based on a theme selected by the recipient, and the completed pieces can be used in a quilt, a wall hanging, pillows, a table runner, or any number of cool items!

I've asked my group members to design something for me with a woodland theme, and here's the mosaic I created to provide some ideas and inspiration:

(Final) Hoop Up Theme & Inspiration

I love everything in this mosaic!

Finally, I want to put a call out to all of my fellow quilters in the Raleigh-Durham area. There are some people mobilizing to start a local branch of the Modern Quilt Guild for the Triangle area. If you're nearby and interested, check out this discussion thread on Flickr, or just leave me a comment (or shoot me an email) and I'll get you all of the pertinent details!

Have a great weekend, everyone!