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!)


  1. December wouldn't have to be a month off if you weren't in so many galldarned quilting bees!

    I bet you spend a fortune on postage.

    Also, your paper piecing looks great! I can do it alright, but I always mess up when I get to the joining multiple pieced sections together. Hints?

  2. Wow John, you have been busy. Us northerner's have to rough it when the snow flies. I have to say I had the weekend off and didn't accomplish much but finish a quilt top and get started on my design idea for DQS8.

    I really have to get a hold of a copy of that quiltmaker block magazine that everyone is talking about. I may just order one from FQS.

    I did manage to get myself signed up for Buzz Cuts and the Red and Aqua Bee for this year. I hope I'm not getting in over my head.

    Catch ya later!

  3. Amazing piecing John. You are wicked :) I really love that alphabet quilt idea too... might need to steal that one!! Thanks for sharing. You sure have been busy sewing!!

  4. Hi John from sunny Las Vegas!

    I've been stalking you from afar for a while and love the stuff you create.

    Hope you have time for a question...I can't quite put together your quilt groups. Do you each make one block and then someone sews them all together for one quilt? If so, who gets the quilt? Or do you make as many blocks as you have people participating and swap so everyone ends up with one?

    I'm so intrigued by it. I don't know a lot of quilters here in Las Vegas so I have been trying to find some ways to get involved outside my own neighborhood.

    I'd love a brief description of your swaps and flickr groups.

    Your awesome. I'm wonky. We could be a good team!


  5. They all look great, but I love the geese in that line of fabric. I just did that block myself and so glad I did and can not wait to get it all finished and hung up in my house somewhere :) I also am not a great pp person...that sounds wrong lol :P

  6. How many bees are you in?????
    Your blocks all look wonderful but I'm exhausted just thinking of all that stitching on a regular basis!!

  7. Beautiful! All of them are beautiful John. =-)

    I have questions about all the swaps and bees too, so I've never gotten into any. That, and the fact that I'm afraid *my* work would piss off people like you who do such BEAUTIFUL work!

  8. I have made the swallows block without paper piecing but it was not easy. Paper piecing is def. the way to go :)

  9. I'm using the color wheel geese paper pieced pattern for my block next month in my bee! Yay!

  10. Busy, busy, busy!
    They all look wonderful!
    I need to get on those siggy swap blocks. I've made 3. :o)

  11. I love all the different blocks you made but really I wanted to comment on Wii Sports Resort. Love it! We played with my in-laws recently and my MOL & I agree that there is something so satisfy with the 100-pin bowling. Maybe its the sound of 90+ pins falling at once.
    And I think I might need to try paper piecing after seeing your block!

  12. no wonder you rarely get a large quilt done... your too busy with bees & swaps! ..but your blocks are great.. as expected!

  13. What great blocks! The process of paper piecing is a mystery to me, but you did an awesome job. I can't believe you're in so many quilting bees! I'm with Wendy. I look at the bees from afar, but I am afraid of joining one and everyone not liking my blocks! :)

    Congratulations on getting so much accomplished!

  14. WOW! How do you do all of that?? I am in awe! I absolutely love the block that you paper pieced. Your work is outstanding!

  15. Wow, you've been busy! I LOVE that first block!

  16. Very productive weekend! Your blocks all look great.

  17. I love every block!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!wonky is my favorite style and you are amazing. I love that you are a man and so great with it! Come by and peruse my blog when you have time, would love to get your opinion on how I could improve...

  18. Just found your blog yesterday and I really love the things your making and the fabric you are using. I recently finished my first quilt (in fact its only a tablerunner). Since I read your wonky block tutorial, I really need to try that. So I'm heading to the sewing shop today to get a ruler, cutter and cutting mat an get started!

    Greetings from germany

  19. They are all fabulous, but I love mine the best!

  20. Welcome to NC and it's great to see all that you accomplished during your snowy days. If you are ever in the Murphy area, drop by my shop. I would love to meet you!!!
    Karen, Bless My Stitches Quilt Shop 43 Tennessee Street Murphy,NC and

  21. You already have lots of positive comments about your quilting so I will respond to your Sookie Stackhouse reference. YES, YES, YES I have read all of the Sookie stories and all of Charlaine Harris' other series. She is one of my favorite authors. Others I would recommend to you are: the Anna Pigeon books by Nevada Barr; the Temperance Brennon series by Kathy Reichs: and the well research and artfully written Ichiro Sano mystery series by Laura Jo Rowland set in 17th century Japan.

  22. The buzz cuts paper pieced block is my favorite. Is the pattern for that posted anywhere?

  23. Looks like you have been busy...lots of nice projects. I like the blocks you made for Tacha & Julie. Where did you find them?

  24. Love all of these blocks! Came here via the bakeshop and love your blog!

  25. I absolutely love the Buzz Cuts block you made for Julie, the paper pieced geese in a circle. Where can I find that pattern? I'm having visions of something whimsical in 30's repro fabrics.

  26. Nice displays.I love the F alphabet stitch with related animals ... very cute for a child.Great ideas here.


  27. John, I haven't been able to stop thinking about your neptune paper pieced block.... it is awesome! love it!