The Bees Knees

quanket

The Bees Knees
November 2018

This is my adaptation of Jacquelynne Steves Save the Bees BOM which began back in August. Since I was away on a road trip through Utah and Colorado for most of August, I felt a bit rushed to get the first block done when I got home, and chose to deviate from Jacquelynne’s original flower appliqué design for this block (my block is in lower left corner). I used an embroidered tea towel to which I added the embroidered bee.

For September’s BOM, pictured in the lower right corner, I designed the flower appliqué to better match my first block, intentionally winding it on a post so that I could do a second accompanying block with a beehive sitting atop the post. I wanted to incorporate a memory from our road trip into this quilt, and what could be more fitting than a beehive! The beehive is the state symbol of Utah, which we saw a lot on our trip since this is on all their state highway signs. The two blocks on the right side are what I made in September.

October’s block is the one with the hexagons in the upper left and November’s block is the bee in the center. Since I had varied the design from the start, I had planned on making the third and fourth blocks and then choosing one or the other for the final quilt. However, once I had everything on my design wall together, I liked them all so much that I didn’t want to have to choose between these two. Instead, I opted to further deviate from the original design for this quilt to make it what it has become.

I used a lot of fabrics from my stash, many that were Pieces of the Past, including two embroidered tea towels, the cute bee fabric behind the hexagons, and the fabric shown below which is a Debbie Mumm print from 1995. The stamp on the fabric says Debbie Memm – perhaps like coins, this misprint makes it more valuable? 🙂 This has been a fun project to participate in. I learned new things like how to make an HRT, as well as dusting off my appliqué skills.

Why the name? I grew up hearing the phrase The Bees Knees, and I like the silliness of it. In looking up its origin, this phrase along with the cat’s whiskers, the cat’s pajamas all became popular in the U.S. in the 1920s (long before I was born 😉 ). Here are some other similar phrases that didn’t endure: the eel’s ankle, the elephant’s instep, the snake’s hip and the capybara’s spats. This last is hands-down my favorite! (source: Wiktionary)

This will be donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services, for a child in foster care.

 #SavetheBees

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Nocturne

quanket

Nocturne
October 2018

This is a variation on a Churn Dash quilt block that I first saw on Jacquelynne Steves Sew Quilty Friends Facebook group. In researching to find out more about this block design, I came across this similar Churn Dash variation over at Angela Walters Midnight Quilt show on YouTube, and I also found a great resource site, BlockCrazy.com. In all that I looked at, this block seems to be a melding of the Capital T block and the Churn Dash block.

For the colorway, I really wanted to keep it limited to just two colors. However, as it came together on my design wall, I decided to add the thin black lines around the purple blocks to draw the eye to the center of the quilt, and give more definition to the purple blocks. The patterned teal’ish fabric is one that has been in my stash for years (a piece of the past from Granny), and is probably circa 1970’s.

Like my last quanket, the name inspiration also comes from music. I always have music playing while I am working in my studio, and while working on this quilt, Chad Lawson’s piano piece, Nocturne in A Minor came on, and wow, what a beautiful piece. I felt the name Nocturne was befitting, as the color palette of this quanket has a night-time feel to it.

This was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services, for a child in foster care in October 2018.

The Bees Knees

The Bees Knees
August – December 2018

This is the first time that I have participated in a Block of the Month (BOM), and so far, it’s a lot of fun! This free BOM project is called Save the Bees and is being hosted by Jacquelynne Steves over at The Art of Home. It is running through December, and there is still time to join – just use the form on the right side of this page.

The first block in this BOM is the one pictured on the left above, and while it called for an appliquéd flower and bee for the center of the block, I chose to use an embroidered tea towel instead for a couple of reasons. First, since I had been on vacation for much of August, I only had a few days left in the month to get this done before the September BOM came out. Second, I always try to incorporate a ‘piece of the past’ into my quilts, and I really liked this tea towel I had inherited from Edith for the center of this block. I then embroidered the bee to keep with the #SavetheBees theme. 

For September’s BOM, pictured to the right above, because I had drifted from August’s BOM flower design, I designed the flower appliqué to better match my first block. I haven’t done much appliqué since I learned the freezer paper technique about 15 years ago, so it was great to dust off this skill 🙂 I used Heat n Bond Lite to hold the pieces, and then needle turn appliqué around the edges.

While I am excited for next month’s BOM, I have plenty of other quilting projects to keep me busy until then – don’t we all? 😉

Three Little Birds

quanket

Three Little Birds
July 2018

I have been on a recent kick of digging through my scrap bins to incorporate whatever might work in the color palette I’ve chosen for my quilt. It’s my hope to diminish my scraps, but as you might have read in my last post, that doesn’t seem to be the case! I’m sure there is some complex calculation like, ((Gross – Net)/ Net)*100 = 100% that is the reason behind my scrap bins being full at 100% no matter what I do 😉

I keep my scrap bins sorted by colors, but that’s where my organization of the scrap bins end. I use photo boxes (eight in total) for each color and combine a few into one, like white, grey and black, to give you an idea of how many scraps I have.

The idea for Three Little Birds started with a sweet bird fabric found at the local fabric store. There are three birds in the design – pink, teal and grey. I sized them at 5″ (finished) and used them as the centerpiece for a recent quilt block I found called Bright Hopes. I sized the surrounding pieces at 2″ (finished). This is a really great pattern for a quick project or for someone just starting out, as it has few intersecting seams. You can get the pattern over at Red Pepper Quilts.

This block tutorial taught me a new trick: sewing the first and second pieces together with a partial seam. Wow – what a fabulous idea. I suspect many quilters have been doing this forever, but it was a first for me. My Grandmother taught me to sew over 50 years ago (mostly clothes), and since then, I took one sewing class in high school, and a quilting appliqué class several years ago. I would love to take more classes or join my local guild to learn even more cool tricks, but my current schedule doesn’t allow. Perhaps someday…

The name inspiration? The legendary Bob Marley, of course!

Three Little Birds
Bob Marley
Rise up this mornin’
Smiled with the risin’ sun
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Saying’, (this is my message to you)
Singing’ don’t worry ’bout a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright
Singing’ don’t worry (don’t worry) ’bout a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright

This was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services, for a child in foster care in October 2018.

Swimming Upstream

quanket

Swimming Upstream
July 2018

I swear my scrap bins are bottomless! It seems no matter how much I pull from them, that when I finish a new quanket and am putting away all the leftover pieces, the bins seem as full or fuller than when I started 🙂

I’ve only myself to blame. When I am at the fabric store, I am a sucker for a cute fabric, as well as for a good deal on remnant pieces. The fish fabric I pulled from the store’s half-off shelf, while the blue polka dot and the grey geometric were from the remnant bins. Since the goal of all my quilts is to incorporate ‘pieces of past’ fabric, I dug into my blue scrap bin to fill-out my palette.

I have a lot of time to think while I am quilting, and the fish got me pondering how some people seem to easily rise up to meet challenges, while others shy away from anything that takes them out of their comfort zone. I found this unattributed quote that I really like:

When life gets harder, challenge yourself to be stronger

I personally like to be challenged, and try to be strong when life deals hardships. However, I cannot even fathom how hard it must be for the kids in the foster care system, and it is my hope that they can be strong and find some comfort from the love that I put into the quilt I made for them.

This was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services, for a child in foster care in July 2018.

Ms. Love Bug

quanket

Ms. Love Bug
June 2018

The main star of this show is the yellow fabric, with supporting roles played by red and black. And, if you take a closer look at the fabrics, you might see where I derived the name for this quanket. I dug through my scraps bins to use up as much red and black as I could, but still had to rely on a couple of newer fabrics to have enough in the color palette I chose. I enjoy using up scraps not only for the reason of clearing up space in my scraps bins, but moreso for the memories they bring me as I work with them, reminding me of where I had previously used the fabrics, and/or where I had gotten them.

This is another of the many variations of a 9-patch block, and is a pattern I had used a longtime ago in my Who Let the Dogs Out quanket. I like the fun playfulness of not only the design, but the fabrics as well.

This was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services, for a child in foster care in July 2018.

Hoots

quanket

Hoots
May 2018

This is being donated to Little Lambs Foundation for Kids in Logan, Utah, as part of this year’s Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge. The Little Lambs Foundation for Kids provides comfort kits to children ages newborn to 17 years old who are transitioning into foster care, emergency shelter or who have been hospitalized.

The Pieces of the Past fabric that I incorporated was the teal blue polka dot material which I had inherited from Granny. I suspect that she had originally used it to make similarly matching outfits for my sisters and I when we were kids since I have polka dot fabric in different colors in her fabric scraps. She would often make the same outfit for each of us just using a different color of the same fabric design. I always got pink 🙂

Confessions Of A Fabric Addict