Beehive Blocks 2016

Today I’m posting a roundup of the blocks I made for my beehive last year. The post got quite long and picture-heavy, so this is January to June. The Beehive is hosted by Blossom Heart Quilts and runs for a calendar year at a time. The hives have a list of 12″ blocks that make fun repeating patterns to choose from, found here. All the patterns are free and are designed by a variety of people in a variety of styles. Some are many pieces, some traditionally pieced, some are quite simple and some are foundation paper pieced. Something for everyone! If you are interested in joining a hive next year, Alyce usually opens registration in early December or so. I’m now about halfway through my second year and I love it.

I had never been in a quilt bee before and it was quite fun. I really enjoyed making a block or two in someone else’s preferences. Lime green was, to me, strangely popular. I discovered how hard it was to define some colors or styles. I can only hope I was sufficiently clear in what I wanted my month.

With no further ado, blocks!

January

January

Jennifer asked for Civil War era colors in this Spinwheel block, something that I did NOT have in my stash at all. I ended up buying everything but the grey solid just for this block. I was pretty pleased with my points though! In the process of working with them, I came to like the center navy print and the green print quite a lot.

February

February

Colette asked for the Hidden Gems block in the colors of her husband’s favorite sports team. Here we go on the lime green! This block is super fun and I’d like to play with making a quilt of my own with it sometime. Like many of Diane’s patterns, there are lots of different ways to play with it, spaces to highlight or not and the end result could be so many different things. This was the first paper pieced block we did and I have to say that Colette’s quilting prowess was such that I was quite intimidated to send a block to her! I had fun making sure at least one full bird ended up in the navy and picking the angle of the text print.

March

March 1

March 2

Lydia asked for a Double Star Block with chartreuse and magenta. This one was so hard for me to pull fabrics, since I often find both of those colors hard to define and I felt like the color balance between them and the pink needed to be perfect for this block. I am impressed that all of the fabric for these blocks came from stash, once I dug deep enough for the chartreuse/lime-green I think I did a decent job in the end. I had fun picking fabrics that I could get a little bit of fussy cutting in. Lydia is another quilter who I was just a bit intimidated to make blocks for, but with all these pieces, I had to breathe a little bit.

April

April 1

April 2

April 3

Tara, the organizer for our swarm, wanted to finish up the Tic Tac Toe quilt she started with her previous swarm and wanted a Modern Bohemian feel for the x and low volume for the background. This was the first of five months where the queen bee chose this block! It is such a fun, pretty block and I had fun picking several center fabrics for her.

May

May 2

May 1

Susan requested the Wanta Fanta block in scrappy oranges with a scrappy low volume background. Susan assured me that cute fabric was a win! So I went all in in that direction. Orange is…not my favorite color. I like it in smaller quantities. However, it is my wife’s favorite color, so after some rummaging about, I found enough orange for not one but TWO scrappy blocks and while I was at it, cut enough squares for the pumpkin for my Vintage Farmgirl quilt. When I started that quilt the year before, I didn’t have nearly enough orange for a scrappy pumpkin. I confess I had a lot of trouble giving these blocks away and my wife might have threatened to claim them.

June

June

Debbie’s Ripple blocks were perfect for the start of summer! I love how they turned out, though there were many pieces in these blocks and many points to fuss over. I really enjoyed the texture of the yellow print I used for one of the blocks. I love how this block looks as a whole, but wow, the number of pieces and points. Makes it a good bee block right?

 

Advertisements

Beehive Blocks 2016- Part 2

Now, I’d understand if you didn’t make it this far! But I am blogging at least partly to document my quilting adventures for myself, so as long as I’m reading it, a primary goal is met, right? In any case, onward march to July!

July

July

Sara requested the Tic-Tac-Toe Block in grey, red, and white for a dear friend who lost two newborns earlier in the year. I asked her if she would like me to make an embroidered block in reverse to be a dedication for the quilt. I chose the corner fabrics with all their terms of endearment as an appropriate fabric choice. Below the blocks with chicks is the other block I made and the dots are made by a friend who was also in the hive.

August

August (2)

Susan asked for the Checker block in lime green, aqua, black, grey and white. Lime Green strikes again! The checker block is pretty awesome for a bee block because you end up with the HSTs to make two blocks in the process of making one. I love the colors she picked and I’m pretty pleased with how these blocks turned out. I also love my signature blocks for this one and the mermaid tail I snuck into one block.

September

This was my month and I’ve documented that a bit elsewhere. Eventually I’ll finish that top and have a *gasp* quilt finish post!

October

October

Pam asked for bright, bold Xs with a low volume background in, you guessed it, the Tic-Tac-Toe Block. I had fun making the signature block using a block component from the Quilt Block Cookbook. My friend Aviva made hers with teal and I used the leftover HSTs to make this cute panel I haven’t done anything with yet. (surprise, I know) I kinda want to make a whole quilt in that pattern, with larger HSTs of course.

IMG_2180

November

November 2

Stephanie is another ungreedy soul who chose for her month to make a quilt for someone else, a charity quilt of yellow and blue. This is hard for me to imagine as I feel like left to my own devices I work on projects for others, rather than for myself. Thus for a bee I am like, yes! a quilt for me that will be mostly done in a month! Hooray! Can you name the block? 😉 I love these colors together and someone in my current bee this year has already chosen these exact colors and block too! I had fun making the signature block, just playing with scraps till I had something I liked.

December

December

Amanda requested, you guessed it, the Tic-Tac-Toe Block with the x in either blue or orange. I was massively in love with this block, as was the aforementioned orange loving wife and I suspect this block will eventually be duplicated as a pillow for our couch. Her quilt in general is going to be a beauty!

January the 2nd

January the Second

Hah! You thought you were done? Someone dropped out of the bee who had already had their month, so Aviva who joined partway had her month in January 2017. You may recognize this block as the spinwheel block we made in January 2016. Cool how that works out. Aviva is a dear friend and I had fun coming up with fabric pulls with her for her quilt.

And that’s that! I’m just under halfway through a second Beehive Swarm and actively plotting for my month in July.

Finish-a-long Quarter 2

Sooo….I accomplished zero of my goals from last quarter! Hooray! 😦 To be fair to myself, I did lots of other things in the last three months, including going through the busiest season in my old work and starting a new job just last week. In any case, my goals for this quarter are going to be the same as the last plus a couple new ones. Here’s to this quarter going better! This post will lack pictures, mostly b/c it is a repeat of last quarters!

Goals for Quarter 2

  1. Liberty Needlebook Current state: Just need to close the turning opening, add a button and the pages! (seriously Jenna, if you don’t get this one done…)
  2. Christmas Pillow Current state: Top complete
  3. Emerson’s Baby Quilt Current state: Blocks made
  4. Ducky Embroidery Current state:  Embroidery done, to do hoop and finish!
  5. Homebase Quilt- Bee Hive Swarm Tara Current state: Blocks largely made, but perhaps more will be wanted.
  6. Purple Wonky Star Quilt-Current state: 9/9 blocks for original size cut, except background for 2. However, should likely cut 7 more blocks.
  7. Giant Purple Vintage Star Quilt- Take 2- Current state: All HSTs made and trimmed. Need to decide if I am swapping out 2 center HSTs and cut corner squares before assembling the top.
  8. Seagull Mini Quilt- Current state: Basted and ready for quilting!
  9. Joyful Airplane Mini Quilt- Current state: Quilt top.
  10. Do Small Things With Great Love Embroidery- Current state: Embroidery done, project undecided.
  11. Embroidered Placemats-Current State: Embroidery done, fabric chosen.

Penny Sampler- Month 1

I’ve just completed my final block for the first month of the Penny Sampler. The Penny Sampler is a Scandanavian-inspired quilt designed by Rachel Hauser of Stitched in Color. The sew-a-long has 3 options, all the instructions at once, over 6 months and over 12 months. I chose 12 months because…let’s be honest here, what is the likelihood I finish this really complex quilt in even 12 months? But this month, this month I am on target!

This month the primary items to accomplish were to decide on on a theme, pick fabrics, and make the first two applique blocks. I had so much fun pulling fabric and Rachel’s lessons on creating a cohesive and interesting set of fabrics was great. I really want nice rich purples, teals, and true blues to sing in this quilt, with a wide range of shades, adding in grey, white, and light blue with pops of yellow and pink. For my focal fabric, I am using the purple unicorn fabric from Lizzy House’s The Lovely Hunt collection, of which a pretty large portion of the purples and blues made it into my final pull. I’m hoping that the end result will be a wintry quilt with a nice range of tone and scale and to cut into some coveted fabrics. I want a decent mix of whimsical and blender fabrics, with lots of cute fussy cut animals. I’m still in the process of obtaining the needed solids because…I’m bad at solids. I just don’t buy them or reach for them instinctively. Isn’t more always better? (Pro tip: not really) With a sampler this large and complex, I am afraid of ending up a VERY BUSY QUILT. So, I shall attempt to follow Rachel’s instructions regarding solids. I hope to order the other fabrics I need for this project later this month, now that a few other projects are ironed out and I can be a good Jenna and combine my fabric orders.

fabric-pull

Once I’d settled into my fabrics, I was eager to get sewing! For my first block, I started by playing with the greys and light blues. I adore this bunny fabric so much. I did this block with freezer turn applique to prep the heart and then hand stitched it down. Applique is something I’ve not done much of and almost all of it with fusible, so I’m super excited to learn and get better at the methods we’ll be using for this quilt. I’d never used starch in this way before, which was interesting. I was definitely a bit enthusiastic with the starch initially. But that didn’t seem to effect the final product too badly.

little-heart-block

For the 4 heart block I wanted to use one of the few large prints in my pull, another Lovely Hunt print by Lizzy House. I chose to use the grey unicorn print for my “different” heart and cool Blueberry Park prints that echo the colors in the large-scale print for the other three. The basting glue I ordered from Amazon took forever to come, then came the week I was very busy, so the lovelies sat all prepped, but unsewn on a shelf for most of the month. I finally got around to sewing it this evening. I did this block by machine applique with Roxanne’s Glue Baste It and 1 layer of Totally Stable. First time using the glue and it was excellent.

4-heart-block

I’m impatiently awaiting next month’s instructions. Based on others’ blocks who are doing the 6 month course, I think next month will include the intense house block. I’m excited. Let’s see if I am still excited once I give that puppy a go though!

Why I March

I started this blog so recently, I had planned not to put up anything political. I want this to be a crafty space largely. But then I made a fabric banner that has statements I wish weren’t political. I wish that saying “Asexual is not broken” and “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” (the phrase I plan to add to the back of my banner) wasn’t a political statement. But they are. And its fine with me if you skip this post. I’ll never know. But I hope if you are feeling a little uncomfortable or angry right now, with me, with my choice to march, with my sexuality, with the fact that by me marching, me making this banner, you may feel that I am rejecting the political process, that you read on. That you hear my words, my view. You don’t have to accept it. But listen. Listen as you ask me to listen to you. Listen as I hope to continue working on listening to you. We are a democracy and when the people of a democracy, when the politicians of a democracy stop listening, we have failed.

Why a Fabric Banner?

I had a friend ask me why I wanted to make a fabric banner. Something that took so much more work than just making a sign out of posterboard. I had to think about that for a moment. It was a lot more work. It was more expensive. It is a more “valuable” item to carry at a rally, which is generally not the goal. But after thinking about it, I knew why.

  1. I wanted to take the time to make and reflect on the words I chose. To strengthen myself for the act of protest I was about to do. To prepare myself to answer the inevitable questions of WTF is your…flag? To cry the tears of hurt and anger and guilt in advance, so that I might cry less later.
  2. To tell myself this is only the beginning. That this will not be the last protest, the last time I carry this banner, these words. That the job will not be done tomorrow. To promise myself that I would not let either the privilege I am fortunate to possess or my own fears/sadness/depression stop me from continuing to speak up. My fabric banner will hopefully survive to be used at more marches, more rallies, and if I find myself unable to attend rallies, friends can take it with them.
  3. I wanted anyone who saw my banner to see the time and thought that I put into it. To know that this isn’t a whim of mine. These are my beliefs. These are words that I stand by. Words that I feel are not revolutionary, but simply true.

Asexuality

For those of you reading who may not have heard the term asexual before, to be asexual means not experiencing sexual attraction. Asexuals may or may not be interested in a romantic relationship with a partner. Just like sexual individuals, Asexuals can be any gender, sex, personality, race, socioeconomic class, etc. If you are interested in learning more, I recommend AVEN and Asexual Agenda. AVEN has a lot of great resources for both aces and those who wish to learn more any reason. Asexual Agenda is a great place to read a variety of posts relevant to the ace community. They run a monthly blog Carnival with various topics that I often find to be really interesting.

As someone who is asexual, if it comes up, it is generally my job as the token ace to explain it. This post is about a lot more than the definition of asexuality and I’d ask that rather than asking me questions about asexuality, you take a look at the links I’ve provided first. If you still have questions then, feel free to reach out to me.

Why I March

I march because as an asexual individual, the highly sexualized way women were discussed, appraised, and judged solely in the light of their gender, as sexual objects in the course of the election was incredibly offensive. As a woman it was offensive. As an ace, as someone who has spent her life bombarded by the conflicting ideals of womanhood and never feeling that I fit in, the reduction of me to sex appeal, to an attractiveness score, to a womb, I was offended. I was scared. I was angry.

I march because I am more than the sum of my parts.  I will not be reduced to my female body. My body carries my mind and soul.

I march because women are more than their bodies, even as we are so often bound by them.

I march because I believe in Planned Parenthood’s daily work to support women’s health is vital work.

I march because I am a member of majorities and we have a job to support, ally and represent. I am white, raised in an upper-class household, Christian, largely able-bodied, well-educated, possess a stable job and am married to someone with a stable job.

I march because I am a member of minority groups. I am a grey asexual. I am a woman married to another woman. I am a woman. I have a long-standing fight with my brain.

I march for my mother, a general surgeon who got into med school by pretending she was a ditz, so that the college would think she would drop out, thereby letting them meet their quota for women in the incoming class.  

I march for our earth.

I march because I believe in equality for all people, of all races, of all genders/sexes, of all orientations, of all religions, of all classes.

I march because I believe that that equality will lead to stronger communities and a greater United States.

I march for my friends who are incapable for whatever reason to march today.

I march for black people who have given up hope that white people would join them.

I march for immigrants who play a vital role in our country.

I march for LGBTQIA+ individuals who are afraid.

I march because every time someone says LGBT, they’re leaving me out.

I march for my ace community, so that when an ace is at a march or watching the news, they might see my banner, our flag, probably the only one there, and they know that they are not alone.

I march because I feel alone. And that is the scariest thing. But I am not alone. Others across the country are marching. Others across the country are speaking.

I march because it is my right to march. My right to protest. My right to speak.

I march because I will not be silent.

I march because I am angry. Because I am disappointed. Because I can’t sleep at night.

I march for women’s healthcare. For all Americans. Because all Americans deserve healthcare that is affordable, safe, and accessible.

I march because I am Christian and I believe that Jesus meant his message of love for everyone, not the people we can determine are deserving enough, straight enough, white enough, stay in the right boxes enough. That when he helped the poor or sick, he didn’t stop and ask if they planned to pray to God or if they had ever received public assistance.

I march because I believe in peaceful protest.

I march because the man who is now my president has publicly said and promised horrible things and I have no guarantee he will not follow through on them. I don’t have the luxury of deciding he will mysteriously do only the campaign promises I like and forget the ones I don’t. Let him hear my voice. Let him hear our voices. I do not reject that he is now my president. That is fact. I wish it wasn’t, but there it is. Now that he is my president, he must listen to all of us.

Conclusions

Since the election, I’ve been listening to Soldiers by Otherwise a lot. The lyric that sticks in my head, that I play the song for over and over is:

“We stand shoulder to shoulder

You can’t erase us

You’ll just have to face us”

And that is why I march. By myself, I am potentially powerless. By uniting with others, I have the ability to make great change. I will not be erased. I will not allow others to be erased. I will not be silent.

 

Finish-A-Long 2017, Quarter 1

I tried the FAL one quarter last year, but it wasn’t a good time to be quite as ambitious as I was. Hopefully I am not being toooo ambitious this round, but the nice thing about the FAL is that being overambitious is okay! With no further ado, my goals!

Homebase Quilt- Bee Hive Swarm Tara

homebase-top

My beehive quilt from last year. I love the blocks that my hive sent me and a major goal this quarter is make the extra couple blocks I cut, lay it out, figure out if I want it to be bigger and then just finish it up! This may be ambitious for me to quilt on my own, but we shall see.

Current state: Blocks largely made, but perhaps more will be wanted.

Purple Wonky Star Quilt

wonkystars

I started this quilt over a year ago during Cheri’s wonky star quilt along. I was doing really well, even had some blocks cut out in advance, then too many things happened. I’ve cut almost all the blocks now, just need to cut into the extra background fabric I bought and then we’re off to the races…of course, I checked in with my friend and she would love if this quilt were bed sized! Soo…more to cut now! Did I mention that these blocks are 18″ finished?

Current state: 9/9 blocks for original size cut, except background for 2. However, should likely cut 7 more blocks.

Giant Purple Vintage Star Quilt- Take 2

auntkathysquiltoncouch

So, this is the finished twin of the quilt I want to finish. I made a quilt for my Aunt in December, but since Jeni Baker of In Color Order’s tutorial can easily result in doubles of the HSTS, I have a pile of HSTs to turn into the quilt take 2. I might switch out two of the center HSTs that have fabrics I think are maybe too light in the end. I want to finish this quilt mostly to practice quilting the wavy lines I used on some of its sister quilt. Tutorial can be found here.

Current state: All HSTs made and trimmed. Need to decide if I am swapping out 2 center HSTs and cut corner squares before assembling the top.

Seagull Mini Quilt

birdquilt

My wife and I made this top together in the summer as a thank you gift for someone who hosted an engagement party. Now 6 months later it isn’t done. Tut tut.

Current state: Basted and ready for quilting!

Joyful Airplane Mini Quilt

arrow-top

Also over a year old as a project, this is a small mini quilt for a friend at work. It would be lovely to gift to her soon!

Current state: Quilt top.

Do Small Things With Great Love Embroidery

embroidery

I finish embroideries with moderate frequency…then don’t do anything with them. So one of my goals is finish up this embroidery into something lovely for my sewing room. Open to ideas!

Current state: Embroidery done, project undecided.

Embroidered Placemats

I have several embroidered panels that are ready and waiting to become placemats. I would love if at least one, if not all of them successfully became placemats by the end of March!

Current State: Embroidery done, fabric chosen.

Wow, these are awfully ambitious…guess we shall see what gets done!

Post: The First

*looks around* My goodness, look at all this nice empty space! I can’t wait to fill it up!

Although I’ve previously blogged at various points here on wordpress, tumblr and a couple other places, some of which shall never be spoken of, lately I’ve largely been using Instagram. Instagram is fabulous for lots of things, but periodically I’ve been wanting to be able to put more words down, have longer thoughts. Largely of a crafty variety, but not always. Be able to review crafty books in greater detail. Share crafty thoughts that don’t necessarily have the perfect picture. In honor of the new year, I thought I’d give this a go.

Now, I make no promises! I may blog here once a week or once a month or…hopefully not, but you never know, once a year.

If you choose to pop in now and again, expect largely crafty posts, with a smattering of randomness and a decent chunk of book reviews and geekiness.