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?


A Lovely Year of Finishes – March Goal

1 03 2015

So far, I’ve done fairly well in keeping up with my monthly goals for A Lovely Year of Finishes. I’m pleased that I’ve managed to keep myself to the goals I’ve assigned myself – that’s not typical for me, when it comes to quilting. I usually let myself work on projects as the mood strikes. Maybe I’m just in the mood to actually have some new quilts in the house!

Anyway… My goal for this month is to recover a project from failure, and make it into something that I’m happy with:


This is From an Unquiet Mind I: Semi-Phores. I began piecing this from scraps when my father was in the hospital over this past summer. I couldn’t be with him daily, but I could find some solace in making something. I couldn’t fix everything that was wrong, but I could make something whole out of things that might otherwise be discarded.

It quickly reached a point in which I felt it was complete, so I thought I’d make a small wall hanging from it, and turned to quilting it.


I decided to attempt using my Janome with a walking foot for quilting, because my Brother PC210 doesn’t like quilting anything. Despite alternating the directions in which I quilted, I ended up with an undeniable wave to the quilt sandwich.

Initially, I thought I’d throw it away, but by this time, Dad was temporarily living with us, and he convinced me to set it aside. Now, I think I’m ready to return to this project, and try to salvage it. We’ll see how this goes.

Swapping Fool

16 03 2013

Because I apparently don’t have enough to sew for myself (ha!), I like to join swaps. I like the fun and challenge of sewing for someone else every now and again. I love that it’s a way for me to break from my project monogamy without committing to another full blown project, at least until it’s my month. And even then, the blocks are done. I can let them percolate until I’m ready to assemble a top and get to quilting.

For most of the last year, I’ve been participating in the Scrappy? Sew Bee It! Swap. This one has been a lot of fun. The vast majority of my fellow swappers are on different continents from me. Getting to see their work is enlightening and inspiring. For the month of March, Debra asked for water-themed blocks, like boats, lighthouses and bridges.

Boat Block

After browsing the internet, and Debra’s inspiration photos, I decided to draw up my own blocks for Debra. This boat block is a spin off several traditional blocks. I decided to give the sails some masts and made the boat itself a little bigger. Still, it was a nice and easy block to put together, with basic shapes throughout. Everything but the white was pulled out of my scraps.


Coming up with the lighthouse was a little more difficult. This is actually a riff off of a machine embroidery image I saw online. With the exception of the two prints making the house attached to the lighthouse, all of the oranges came from my scrap bin.

This past month, I’ve joined two more swaps. The first of the two is the Fat Stash Bee. This one is cool – each month’s queen sends one fat quarter or two fat eighths to the rest of the participants. She then posts to the group her guidelines for what she would like made with these fabrics. For the month of March, Jenny requested flying geese, in blocks ranging from 8″ to 16″. Being the glutton for punishment that I am, I decided to see how many geese I could get in a 16″ block. A Flock in a Block, if you will:

A Flock in a Block

The second swap that I joined this month is the Granny Block Bee. Yes, I finally drank the Granny Block Kool-Aid.

It’s my own darn fault for cutting my scraps down. I now have tons of 2.5″ squares that are just begging to have something done with them. Thus, Granny Blocks. The Granny Block Bee uses the tutorial posted at Blue Elephant Stitches, and there are two queens a month, which means four blocks a month for this bee. I started late, so there was February and March to make for.

Each queen makes specific requests regarding their desired colors, though we’re all using Kona White as the background fabric to provide some uniformity.

Granny Block Bee1. Granny Block Bee 01, 2. Granny Block Bee 02, 3. Granny Block Bee 03,
4. Granny Block Bee 04, 5. Granny Block Bee 05, 6. Granny Block Bee 06,
7. Granny Block Bee 07, 8. Granny Block Bee 08

I’m very pleased with how quickly these go together, and I might start piecing some for myself in between blocks for other projects. Yes, I’ll be receiving some when it’s my month, but I think I’d like to end up with a couple of lap-sized quilts when all is said and done. My mother-in-law is moving to a new apartment at the beginning of April, and I think it would be neat to finally gift her with a quilt. Also, I have some friends that I’d like to give a quilt to.

Apparently self-discipline is a thing in the Grey Cat Quilts household now, because all of the blocks are done and stuffed into envelopes, and arrangements have been made for JohnPaul to ship them out for me. I’m all caught up, which is just crazy.

Fresh Sewing Day, March Edition

2 03 2013

Month of February1. Patchwork Square in a Square 1, 2. Patchwork Square in a Square 2, 3. Scrap Attack, Step 4, 4. #016 Calico Puzzle, 5. #031 Evening Star, 6. Farmer’s Wife So Far,
7. #015 Buzzard’s Roost, 8. #082 Spider Legs, 9. #086 Squash Blossom,
10. #100 Weathervane, 11. #104 Wild Geese, 12. #110 Wood Lily, 13. #022 Corn and Beans, 14. #036 Flower Garden Path, 15. #043 Garden Path, 16. Eight Pointed Star

Not as productive a month as I would have liked, but I got through the do-overs of all of my Farmer’s Wife Sampler blocks. I also managed to keep up with my Scrappy? Sew Bee It! Swap blocks, and did some scrap organization and free piecing.

My big goal for February had been to get the top for the Farmer’s Wife Sampler completed. I missed that goal by about 24 hours.

However, that does mean that I did complete it. Today, in fact. Actually, about 22 minutes ago.

Ace Ventura Dancing

Yeah, that would be me right about now, except I just celebrated that sort of finish with a bowl of ice cream topped with Ghiradhelli milk chocolate chips. My diet totally got thrown out the window as my inner fat kid rejoiced the completion of the top.

No pictures yet, obviously, because it’s black as pitch out there right now, and probably colder than I want to acknowledge. Tomorrow I will fling the top onto the snow, snap some fast pictures and then we shall see what we see.

Lily's Quilts

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Fresh Sewing Day, March 2012 Edition

1 03 2012
Fresh Sewing Day, March 2012

1. The Complete Quilt, Front, 2. The Complete Quilt, Back, 3. The Quilt Label, 4. Not available, 5. Progress Thus Far, 6. #091 Strawberry Basket, 7. #069 Practical Orchard, 8. #103 Whirlwind, 9. #098 Water Wheel, 10. #089 Steps to the Altar, 11. #064 Peace and Plenty, 12. #107 Windblown Square, 13. #070 Prairie Queen, 14. #062 Old Windmill, 15. #061 Northern Lights, 16. #068 Postage Stamp

It’s the beginning of a new month! Which means it’s time for Lily’s Quilts Fresh Sewing Day. I thought it would be fun to go over what I’d posted in February that was actually sewing-related, and not about stash enhancements.

Right at the beginning of February, I was able to post my first (and may only) finish of 2012! Cheating on the Farmer’s Wife sprang out of my need to do something fairly simple to piece. It went along swimmingly, and quickly.

Until I got to quilting. Then I decided that I had to do straight line quilting throughout the entirety of the quilt, and only 1/2″ apart. Still, I’m really happy with it, despite the stupid amount of hours I put into it.

Nine more Farmer’s Wife blocks done through out the month. I’m nearly done with the blocks that are easily rotary cut. I think I have maybe a dozen more like that. After that, everything is either a paper-pieced block or on a grid that makes me go a little crazy. Those will probably end up being paper-pieced as well.

Pretty good progress. Now I need to get cracking on my WIPs and UFOs. It’d be nice so have something else finished this year.