Traveling Bee-utiful Quilt Bee – March

5 04 2015

The Traveling Bee-utiful Quilt Bee underwent its third round over the month of March. I received Cseawright‘s center in the first week of March. Cseawright paper-pieced a beautiful heart for her center, and I was excited to add to it.

After some anxiety over how to fix some issues, and working with the moderator for the group, I added two borders to the center. I designed the borders first in EQ7, because I wanted to give the borders as much thought and effort as Cseawright had clearly put into her center block.

Cindy Quilt

I started with this design. Cseawright’s center is represented by the center square, and the three mitered solid/reads-as-solid borders around it. I wasn’t trying to nail down the exact fabrics I’d be using at this time, but the design, and the rough color values I wanted.

I knew a few things right off the bat: I wanted to repeat a couple of things that Cseawright had done in her center. Namely, polka dots, solid fabrics, and mitered corners. Due to the three borders she’d already added, I felt like the next border needed some piecing, and it needed some lightness. I also knew that I wanted to bring the entire project to a size that would make quilt-y math a little easier for the next person after me.

Cseawright’s center measured 17.5″ square (finished). Not a big deal, but I wanted to finished on a whole, even number.

Border #1 worked out well, though I did have to paper-piece it for accuracy. The four long blocks measure 3.25″H X 17.5″L, and the corner blocks are 3.25″ square. That brought the center to 24″ square (finished), making math for the next border much easier.

I started piecing the eight-pointed stars. Even paper-pieced, they weren’t coming out as precise as I liked – a block that finishes at 4″ didn’t leave a lot of room for error. So, I went back to the EQ7 drawing board.

Cindy Quilt III picked a different star, one that would allow me to create a fading effect with different shades of purple. Paper-piecing these stars worked out much better! I didn’t plan as well as I should have though… I didn’t have quite enough of the background fabric – I’d been working from bolt end cuts I’d gotten from a scrap bag from The Fat Quarter shop. So, I switched a bit, and did the four corner blocks with a different background fabric.

Despite the unplanned changes, I’m extremely happy with what I’ll be sending on:

cseawright Traveling Bee-utiful Top-in-Progress

The finished size now is 32″ square (finished). All fabrics came from my stash – who knew I actually had that much purple?





Traveling Quilt Start

7 02 2015

I did end up joining one swap this year, but ONLY one. One item that remained on my quilting bucket list was to participate in a round-robin type swap, where each bee mate adds to an existing quilt center.

My opportunity to arose after I’d stalked a Flickr group long enough – an advertisement was posted for a round robin swap, though it was hosted on Threadbias. I joined, and waited. The swap organizer was still looking for participants. It took a while, long enough that I actually forgot that I’d signed up.

Just before the end of the year, it was announced that we had enough members and our starter blocks should go out at the end of January. Unfortunately, due to my surgery, I couldn’t sew until after I’d healed. Right after that, I started working at my new old job (I took over managing the mall location that I’d been working part-time in).

So, I fell a little behind, just not being able to make sewing time. Once I figured out what I wanted to sew, I had to let the tutorials I’d read percolate – the instructions made sense, yet not. Finally, I buckled down and sewed.

After some strips and cutting I ended up with:

Lone Star - Fractured

Yes, I decided on a Lone Star start. Actually, I ended up making enough strip sets to do two of these stars. Right now, only one of these is sewn up, so I can send it out. I used a number of tone-on-tone prints and some of my more ‘modern’ prints, to try and capture the essence of what I personally find appealing.

Lone Star - Complete

Scrappy. Saturated colors. Grey/blacks for neutrals. A mix of low volume prints for the background, so no one has to worry too much about matching.

It’s not perfect – my angles didn’t come out quite right, so there’s a slight wonk to the star. Rather than freaking myself out about it, I’m calling the wonk part of the block’s charm. After all, it lays flat, and I’ve got good seams throughout the piece.

This will soon be winging its way to Tennessee, for its first trip for the year. It will return to me in a year, something for which I’m excited.

In the meantime, I will sew up the second star, and begin making a sister top to the one traveling across the United States.