Stash Bee 2014 – October Is My Month as Queen!

So you guys have been seeing my posts all year about the blocks I’ve been sewing for all of the other members of my Stash Bee Hive.  It has been really fun and I’ve been enjoying my first Bee experience.  But I’m particularly excited about this month because for October, I’m the Queen Bee for our hive!

That means that I get to pick the block and put together a tutorial and all month I can wait anxiously for the mailman to arrive to see if any beautiful blocks from my hive members have arrived!

I chose to go with the Star Value block!

Stash Bee, Star, Low Volume, scrappy

Melissa at Happy Quilting Melissa put together the original tutorial for this block or you can check out the version I made for our Stash Bee site.  We also had some fun questions to answer in our Stash Bee post so you can go learn a few tidbits about me!

I can’t wait to see what everyone else puts together and I look forward to some fun packages in the mail this month!

Stash Bee 2014 – September Blocks

After I finished catching up on my August blocks for Stash Bee, I went ahead and made my September blocks as well.  I was not going to be late again!

Our Queen Bee for September is Ashleigh.  She hails all the way from Belfast, Northern Ireland and blogs at Ickle Tomato Handmade.  She wants to make a modern framed sampler quilt with jewel tone colors.  To achieve this, she wanted each of us to make a monochrome miniature quilt block (6″ max size), frame it in a neutral solid, and place it off center in a coordinated solid to the print used in the mini block.

I tried to go with classic blocks that would read well with just one color.  For one block, I chose to make a little pinwheel.  It finishes at 4″ square.  The final block size is 14.5″ so you can definitely tell how miniature my little pinwheel is.

Stash Bee, modern frames, pinwheel

I also made a flying geese block.  Geese are hard to make super tiny so this block finishes at 6″ square (still pretty small).  I love the bit of silver metallic in the purple print of the geese.  It doesn’t show in the photograph very well, but it looks really neat in person.  The final block here is 18″.

Stash Bee, modern frames, flying geese

I tried to leave Ashleigh plenty of solid around the outside of my miniature blocks to that she can trim them down to whatever size works best with her layout and with the other blocks (she left finished size open to us).  Now these blocks can make a long trip across the pond to Northern Ireland!

Stash Bee, modern frames

October is my month to be Queen Bee so I won’t have any blocks to sew.  But I am so excited to see what I receive from my fellow Hive members!

Stash Bee 2014 – August Blocks

August, you say?  But it’s nearing the end of September.  I know, I know.  I was a little late in making my blocks for the August Queen Bee in my Stash Bee hive.  But I made her an extra so hopefully that helps to make up for my lateness!

Our queen for August was Melanie B.  She requested an X-Plus block in bright colors with a grey solid background.  I was really kind of excited when I saw that she’d chosen this block because I’ve pinned multiple pictures of X-Plus quilts that I love so I thought it would be fun to actually put together a few of the blocks for one.

Stash Bee, X-Plus

Melanie wanted us to pick print fabrics that were “colorful”, “wild”, “60s” and “bright”.  That is definitely not my normal color palette but I had fun digging through my stash to try to put together combinations that would fit that request.  I hope she likes what I came up with!

Stash Bee - August Block 2

Melanie said she was going to put together our blocks into a bed-sized quilt to give to her mom and stepfather.  They just got married last month (which is part of what threw off the timing of these blocks).

Stash Bee - August Blocks

My blocks went out in the mail this morning on their way to California!  I hope Melanie likes them and that they play nicely with her other bright X-Plus blocks!

Introducing Round Trip Quilts!

Sorry for teasing you guys with my sneak peak earlier this week but now I can finally share with you the new long-term project I’m taking part in!

A small group of us from the 2014 New Quilt Blogger’s Blog Hop got together and decided to start a round robin style quilting bee. Many of us (myself included!) are new to this format so it’s exciting to be taking on a new challenge.

Round Trip Quilts, logo

We decided to call our group Round Trip Quilts. It works by creating a starting block(s) and sending it to then next person on the mailing list.  Each person adds a little bit to the quilt and eventually the quilt top will return to it’s original owner completely finished.  Hence, the round trip part!

I debated for a while on what I wanted to do for my quilt start.  We’d talked about giving each quilt a theme and I just didn’t really have a theme that was speaking to me.  So I started looking through my Pinterest and was drawn to my color schemes folder and was just really loving the bright colors in this inspiration picture.

Color inspiration, Round Trip Quilts
I pulled some fabric and was completely smitten so I decided to run with it and make my theme a color scheme!  So as long as people stick to the color scheme, they are free to let their imagination run wild when adding to my quilt!  I did buy some yardage of a background solid (Timeless Treasures in Sky) that I’ll be sending along as well just to give the various additions some cohesiveness.
Fabric Pull, Round Trip Quilts
I really like geometric shapes and I figured those would give a ton of options for others to coordinate with.  So I put together a quick improv block.
Round Trip Quilts, improv block
But then I was browsing Pinterest some more and I came across this improv chevrons block and I loved it.  So I made one of those too!  (This block took way longer than I thought it would to put together but I love the finished result.)
Round Trip Quilts, improv block
But then I felt like the improv chevrons block didn’t include very much of my background solid so I made a dozen cross stitch blocks that my group members can fit somewhere in my quilt top.
Round Trip Quilts, cross stitch blocks
So I don’t really have a starting block to send off to the group.  I have a handful of starting pieces.  But I love how they look together and I can’t wait to see what everyone else decides to add!
Round Trip Quilts, blocks
We also decided to send along notebooks with our blocks.  These would allow us to share more details about the original inspiration for each quilt as well as giving a place for us each to write about what we were thinking as we make the additions to each quilt.  I found this cute notebook at Target that seemed perfect for this project!
Round Trip Quilts, Journal

Round Trip Quilts now has a Flickr group and you can follow us on Instagram using #RoundTripQuilts!

The full list of members is below:
Heather at QA Creations
Leanne at Devoted Quilter
Kim at Ties That Bind Quilting
Liz at Green Cheese Quilting
Mary at See Mary Quilt
Christina at WIPs and Tuts
Jennifer at Never Just Jennifer
Chelsea Huckins at Patch the Giraffe

Check out what they’ve all put together!  These are going to be some awesome ladies to work with and I can’t wait!

Quick Sneak Peak

I’ll should be ready for a big reveal later this week but I wanted to show you guys a quick sneak peak for a long-term project that I’m really excited about and will be sharing here on the blog from now until next summer.

Color inspiration

I am in love with these bold, bright, beautiful colors!  Check out this fabric pull!

Fabric Pull

Hopefully in a few days I can have a complete post to share with you.  I’m such a tease!  :)

Colorful Fabrics for a New Project

Despite the fact that I’ve got a couple of WIPs that I really need to finish, I’ve recently gotten started on a new project.  I’m working on two different baby quilts now that are going to be a matching set.

On a recent trip to my LQS, I bought a variety of cotton solids in a rainbow of colors.  I mixed and matched between designers a bit so the set has Kaffe Fassett Shot Cottons, Pepper Cory’s Peppered Cottons, and Andover’s Textured Cottons all included.

Textured Fabrics - 1

I tried to find fabrics that would pretty true to the “standard” colors of the rainbow.  I was basically envisioning opening an 8-count box of crayons and trying to match what the colorful crayons would look like.

Textured Fabrics - 2

Since I’m pairing these colorful solids with Kona white for the background, my LQS recommended that I pre-wash everything.  They said my colorful solids would shrink at a different rate than the background.  So I bought some pinking shears and embarked on my first pre-washing ever.  And I’m going to be honest, I’m not a fan of having to pre-wash.  Between trimming with the pinking shears and cutting off the frayed edges after washing, you lose a good bit of fabric.  And it takes a lot more work!

Textured Fabrics - 5

But I finally got everything pre-washed and re-ironed and could actually start cutting into it.  I cut out 120 squares (1/2 colored and 1/2 white) so that I can make 60 half square triangles and 60 hourglass blocks.

I know everyone seems to rave about shot cottons but so far I’m not a huge fan of working with these colorful fabrics.  I’ve had a lot more issues with fraying as I cut than I’ve ever had before with Kona solids.  I tried starching the fabrics and that didn’t seem to help either (if anything, it might have been worse after starching).  But I did successfully get everything cut!

Textured Fabrics - 3

And now I’ve been doing a ton of chain piecing and sewing everything together.  Luckily, both HST and hourglass blocks make for easy chain-piecing.  I love how all the colors look all stacked together!

Textured Fabrics - 4

I can’t wait to start getting everything laid out and see these quilts come together!

Finished Bungalow Quilt Top

Well this post is a long time coming.  Not because it took me long to sew together the quilt top (it actually went together pretty quickly).  But it was over a week after I finished the quilt before I could even take any photos!  A combination of rainy weather and a couple of late days at work where it was already dark when I got home and all of a sudden more than a week had passed.  So without further ado, here is my finished Bungalow quilt top!

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

This quilt was made using the Easy Bricks Quilt pattern from Moda Bake Shop and I really like how the pattern allowed the larger prints from Joel Dewberry’s Bungalow line to shine.

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

I haven’t worked a whole lot with precuts and I noticed when working with this layer cake that the 10″ by 10″ squares seemed to not be the right size.  I cut them in half (I measured 5 inches in from the left side) but when I paired them up with the 5″ precut white charm squares, many of the layer cake strips were too narrow.

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

Luckily this pattern was pretty forgiving and with a lot of glue basting to match seams and easing of the fabric, I was able to make my seams line up well enough.  But I was a little annoyed about the inaccuracy.  Has anyone else noticed this with precuts before?

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

I love the colors in this quilt.  There are some great jewel tones and really saturated prints!  I stressed a little bit trying to get the colors and prints balanced and I think I ended up doing pretty good!

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

I’ve bought some yardage from the line for the backing and am going to do a little piecing for it but hopefully I’ll be able to get this quilted up soon!

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

I can’t wait to finally have a quilt I get to keep!