Sunday, January 22, 2012

October & November Quilting Bee Blocks

I've been working on getting a bunch of new things finished up and should be able to get some pictures posted soon, but in the meantime I thought I'd catch up on sharing some quilting bee blocks that I made in late 2011.

October was my last month in the do. Good Stitches charity bee. We made string x-blocks using this tutorial with bright modern scraps for the center part of each block, and any shade of grey for the background. I had a great time raiding my scrap bin for these blocks and, when all was said and done, I wound up making seven!

do. Good Stitches | October

I had a bit of a panic attack when Amisha requested hexagons for her blocks from members of the Bee Tweet group, inspired by Rashida's quilt from the Block Party book. I had only tried making hexagons once before, for Tacha in the bee inspired quilting bee back in 2009. Let's just say that hand piecing was not my thing, and I vowed never to attempt English paper piecing again.

Lucky for me, Amisha didn't care how we made our hexagons, as long as we just made them! So, while I was at the Triangle Modern Quilting Guild retreat at Wrightsville Beach NC last fall, I cooked up my own way of completing the task. I used cardboard templates to cut and fold under the edges of the blocks, pressed the hexagons liberally, adhered the hexagons to the background fabric using fusible interfacing, and topstitched around all of the edges. I actually kind of loved making them, once I devised my own strategy to get them done. I also LOVED Amisha's palette -- Habitat prints by Jay McCarroll against a background of Moda Cross-weave in Natural.

#beetweet block for amisha!

With my group in the do. Good Stitches officially done, my only November bee commitment was for Bee Tweet. Jen (aka bettycrockerass, my favorite Twitter handle ever!) sent us all a kind of super awesome holiday assortment that wasn't red and green and traditional, but very hip and retro cool. Here's what I came up with:

Bee Tweet Block | November

Bee Tweet Block | November

Modern and improv-y log cabin variations -- my favorite kind of block.

As you can see, my quilting bee commitments slowed down towards the end of 2011, but 2012 is a new year with some new groups that I'll be playing with! Along with the continuation of Bee Tweet, here are a few new groups I'll be sewing for:
  • Free Bee -- led by the always fabulous Lynne from Lily's Quilts, this group is filled with an eclectic bunch of modern quilters with an emphasis on free piecing.
  • The Bee Bee -- I'm very excited about the row robin bee, where we'll all be sewing with one of my most favorite fabric lines: Melody Miller's Ruby Star Spring. (Note: The Bee Bee got its name from that fabulous large cross-stitched bee print!)
  • The Traveling Quilts -- I've teamed up with my PIC (partner-in-crime) Heather to start this new group, which is kind of a new concept in virtual quilting bees. I think it's going to be GREAT (and with the likes of Jacquie, Ashley, Alissa, Monica, Amber, Elizabeth, Faith, Penny, and Kerri taking part, how can it not be??) I'm sure I'll be posting more about the Traveling Quilts in an upcoming post.
So what does that mean? Lots of great more monthly sewing (and monthly sewing posts) in 2012!


  1. love the x block tutorial....will have to try this myself!!

  2. Glad to see you back here! Love the blocks!! Can't wait till teh 25th to see what you have cooked up for the blogger quilt along! I'm ready!

  3. Great blocks, John. I have to say, though, that improv-y log cabin-y block with the fussy cuts is incredible. Love it!

    What is that retro Christmas fabric? It's too cool.

  4. Just found your blog and LOVE your stuff. :) Added you to my blog list, and will be back lots. :) I'm just up the road from you in good ol' VA. :)

  5. I don't know why but when I go to the X block tutorial page at nittany block party my screen freezes and I can't scroll down. Would you mind copying and pasting the tutorial into a word document and sending it to me at I really want to try it. Thanks!

  6. Wow! Love this block, so inspirational!