Traveling Bee-utiful Additions for April

9 05 2015

I ended up getting two tops-in-progress for the month of April. Not a big deal – I was up to the challenge! Or so I thought…

The first top-in-progress was not a challenge. The original quilter requested a single, sashed block from each of us, with our signature on it. I picked a block I really like from one of my reference books and modulated my usual really strong color choices a bit, to better blend with the previous blocks. I think my color choices were still really strong in comparison, but maybe it’ll blend better as we progress through the year.

Traveling Bee-utiful April for SunseakObviously, acid green had to make an appearance, and I was enamored of the tiling-like print, so they went together. I happened to have that emerald green solid from a clearance purchase, and I thought it made a lovely median between the acid green and cerulean.

It was when I got to the second top in progress that I faltered. The theme for this one was ‘Well Traveled’. I instantly wanted to map out my travels in fabric, but that proved harder than anticipated. To give you an idea… I was born in the Philippines, and, as a military brat, spent time in Italy, Florida, Colorado, Texas, and Oklahoma. As an adult, I moved to Illinois, and have traveled to Indiana, and then returned to Wisconsin.

I went through idea after idea, discarding most of them. Mainly because I didn’t want to piece a bunch of buildings, because previous additions to the quilt were all animal related. Also, because they were very complicated, and I wasn’t in the mood for complicated.

Despite saying that, I decided that I had to pay homage to the Philippines, for sure. I ended up drafting a sun block, taking the sun motif from the Philippine flag. The sun symbolizes unity, freedom, people’s democracy and sovereignty. The eight rays of the sun represent the eight provinces that began the 1896 revolution against Spain.

I also decided to pay homage to Texas, and purchased an armadillo pattern on Craftsy. I enlarged it quite a bit, to match the finished size of my sun (14″ square).

For everything, I raided my slim stash of batik fabrics. I’ve never been able to bring myself to get rid of them, and I’m so glad I didn’t now, despite not finding them appealing anymore.

Traveling Bee-utiful April for ForestbucketsI’m still tempted to see if I can iron out ideas for the other places I’ve lived, but we’ll see if my creativity is up to the challenge. Drafting one block was all right. I’m not sure that I’m up to drafting several more.

Anyway, both of these are now in their May homes, and I’m without a swap project for this month. I am, however, already looking toward June…


April’s Last Swap Block

7 04 2013

I finally forced myself to sit down and power through the last swap block I had to make for April, for the Fat Stash Bee. Every time I pondered making this block, I got this little ball of dread in the pit of my stomach.


Because the request was pretty open-ended. Rebecca (princessmax) requested blocks based on the themes of love, stories and books. She sent out a fabric based on Scheherazade’s 1001 tales, the candle fabric, with the request that we combine it with other slate blue fabrics.

Give me a solid set of directions, and I’m golden. Tell me to work off a theme, and I’m reduced to a quivering wreck of indecision.

At first, I thought I’d do a book block, but a couple of others in the group beat me to it. So I thought about capturing the words ‘happily ever after’ in a block, but then realized the size constraint of 12″ finished would make that pretty hard.

So, finally, I thought, maybe I’ll free-piece the word ‘love’.

Okay, I could do that…

LOVE Fat Stash Bee Block for April

Honestly, I’m still not sure about this block. I look at it, and wonder if anyone else looking at it can discern the word in it. If I’d had a greater diversity in the fabrics, maybe it would have worked better.

I have thoughts for a second block, just in case this one doesn’t pass Rebecca’s muster. I have a lot of the fabrics left over yet. It might be worth another go-round at another block, just to stop feeling like this one is just not that good.

Maker’s guilt is a bitch.

April’s First Sewing Session

4 04 2013

Yesterday, I had an evening without kiddo – he’s at Grandma’s through tomorrow because Daddy’s going on another business trip and someone needs to be able to shuttle kiddo to and from school while I’m at work. So, obviously, I sewed.

Because that’s what I do.

Last night was a swap block night. I needed to make two more granny blocks for April, and at least two blocks for the Scrappy? Sew Bee It! swap. I ended up making the two granny blocks, and four blocks for the other swap.

Granny Bee Block 12

Granny Bee Block 11

Liz requested blocks in which the center-most square and the outer blocks were comprised of solids or read-as-solids fabrics. They should coordinate with the print used for the middle ring.

I worked slightly backwards, and pulled my solids first, using some of what I have leftover from Technicolor Fields. Then I found multi-color prints that coordinated with those solids.

Nicky Block 01

Nicky Block 02

Nicky Block 03

Nicky Block 04

Nicky requested blocks based on instructions that she posted on her blog. Since I cut from yardage, I didn’t follow her instructions. She also requested brights fabrics, a total no-brainer for me. I decided to go half and half with these, as to how the values laid out.

I still have one more block to make for the month of April. I’m hoping to get that churned out tonight, and then get more progress made on Frankenstein.

Fresh Sewing Day, April Edition

1 04 2013

Month of March

1. A View From Above, 2. A-9 Cabin Fever, 3. A-8 Florence Nightingale, 4. Ohio Star 01, 5. Ohio Star 02, 6. Ohio Star 03, 7. Ohio Star 04, 8. Pinwheel 01, 9. Pinwheel 02, 10. Pinwheels, 11. A Flock in a Block, 12. Boat Block, 13. Lighthouse, 14. Granny Block Bee 01, 15. Granny Block Bee 02, 16. Granny Block Bee 03, 17. Granny Block Bee 04, 18. Granny Block Bee 05, 19. Granny Block Bee 06, 20. Granny Block Bee 07, 21. Granny Block Bee 08, 22. Scraptastic Top Plan, 23. Scraptastic Top Start, 24. Frankenstein’d Forward, 25. Charmed, I’m Sure, 26. Granny Bee Block 09, 27. Granny Bee Block 10

March was a pretty good month. Two quilt tops completed. Another one half done. Thirteen swap blocks, two Dear Jane blocks, and progress made on the Test Your Skill Sampler. Not pictured is the fact that I started quilting A-Tisket, A-Tasket, Lime & Cherry Baskets. I was hoping to actually have that completely quilted in March, but I got super lazy, and didn’t feel like switching feet on my machine, especially with the number of swap blocks I had to do. Also not pictured is the string quilt design I came up with – I have to make a test block, to see if I like the finished size. I think I might have to play around with that aspect of the design. Ratio and proportion aren’t being adequately conveyed via the EQ7 image.

My big goal for April is to complete A-Tisket, A-Tasket, Lime & Cherry Baskets, along with keeping up with my swap blocks. I got the fabrics for this month’s Fat Stash Request. I really need to figure out a design. I had ideas, but they fizzled since I didn’t have fabrics on hand to match the color request. Now I do, and I’m fairly pleased. I just have to let creativity rise to the surface again.

Also, part of my successes for the month of March was losing seven pounds! I have deliberately tried to not obsess over the number the scale spits out at me when I get on it. I’ve elected to look at this weight loss attempt as not being about weight loss. Instead, I want this to be an attempt to live better – making more healthful eating decisions, lessening the power of comfort eating, and adding desperately needed physical activity to my days. I didn’t really get a chance to work out much in March – I spent too much time sick, but I did really re-commit to healthful eating.

According to the husband, it’s showing. Even better, I feel it. I’ve had a lot of energy and drive. I feel good. Now to keep going!

Anyway, onward and upward for the month of April. Here’s to continuing to be creative and productive!

Lily's Quilts

Fresh Sewing Day, April 2012 Edition

1 04 2012
April Fresh Sewing Mosaic

Um… I made a crazy number of blocks in March. Thirty-three of them! I also finished three hexie flowers, and basted enough hexagons for another five. The photos show five completed flowers only because I’d never bothered to photograph them before (at least that I remember).

In addition, I received the fabrics to participate in another quilt-along, Sandi’s Ironwork* Quilt Along. She colored her sample in oranges and purples, and I suckered myself into spending the money and diving in. I also decided on colors and some fabrics for the Stitch N’ Bitch BOM project – I’m going to finally do more than pet and stare at my Eclipse fabrics. I did some more work on my Double Wedding Ring piecing – lots more to do, but at least I did some sewing on it.

In the meantime, I’ve got the bits and pieces for a new project started. I have a lot of HSTs left over from piecing for The Farmer’s Wife sampler, since I’m using strip methods. The plan is to use them, and scraps leftover from the neutrals used in the blocks to make a mini.

I got some new storage for my fabric! An office was being cleaned out at work, and I wandered in during the proceedings. The most awesome vintage and multi-colored cabinet was there! I claimed it on the spot.

Vintage Cabinet

Only after getting it home did I discover that the shelf slides out, making everything accessible. And, it locks!

Storage Solutions

I swear, that little feature is the best. Kiddo can’t get into the thread any more!

I’ll end up re-painting this  beast at some time the future – but not all one color, and only when I have some yard space so that I can sand and prime it first. Unfortunately, house hunting is going to have to
wait, even though I qualified for an awesome home loan – hubby’s car decided to throw its exhaust and catalytic converter. I refuse to drop $500+ on parts into the thing, so we’re going to look at vehicles tomorrow.

Lily's Quilts

Check out what everyone else has posted for Fresh Sewing Day at Lily’s Quilts!