February Bee Block for Gridsters Bee: Pineapple!

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IG: #gridsterbee

gridster-feb_4finalPineapple Block for Sherri for February 2017

This month, Sherri, of A Quilting Life, is our Queen Bee and she’s asked us to make her pineapple blocks.

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First step: make a mess of the sewing room pulling out greens to get the best ones.  (It also helps with re-organizing my messy shelves.)

I downloaded the free pattern, and also pulled up the post from Sherri where she makes her block, so I could glean any tips she had when she made it.

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She suggested we scroll through Jackie’s IG feed until we found the tutorial, which really helped me understand how we put these together (that’s a screen shot of her image above), as the pattern is a bit sketchy on details.  Click on the tutorial link to head over there.

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What confused me was that the pattern calls for cutting all the blocks the same size, different than what I would do if making half-square trianges (HST).  After reading the IG tutorial, I see that Jackie sort of “snowballs” on the white corners, instead of making HSTs.  She marks the line, and sews just inside of it–to the seam allowance side.  She then cuts off the excess.  One advantage of this method: there are no dog ears to trim!

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Yellows sewn: check.  Green pineapple crown sewn: check.

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One other difference in the construction of this block is that the low-volume white is added to the corners of the yellow block after it’s all sewn together, then sliced off and pressed.

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Ta-Done!

gridster-feb_4finalsigAnd here it is with its signature block–with yellow on one corner and green on the other–albeit a bit blurry.

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If you want to make a bunch and exchange them, Elaine’s Quilt Block Quilt Shop in Salt Lake City is having a swap of pineapple blocks–both in the yellow and in a range of colors.  Click here to go their IG page where they announced it.

Next month I am the Queen Bee–can’t wait!

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Gridsters Bee • January 2017

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IG: #gridsterbee

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Susan of PatchworknPlay starts off our new year of our Gridsters Bee with having us make her some New York Beauty blocks.

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She sent us to a webpage (Ulas Quiltseite–it’s German) that had ten different New York Beauty blocks on it, and we could pick two different ones (if we were making two).

gridsterbee-january-blocksThere was even a block for beginners.  I chose Block #1 and Block #6.

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Helpful tip: These words mean that she split them to get them printed.  You may want to join the outer pieces together so there is no seam.  You’ll see what I mean.

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I always remember Leann’s tips for sewing curved edges together (her quick video *here*): it’s best to put the concave piece on top, and the convex piece on the bottom.  But since I had a curved shape with gazillions of pieces, I reversed it.  Don’t know if that made it harder or easier.gridsters-january-2017_3

The second block had another challenge.  If you go and look at it, you can see I was using striped material, and I didn’t want that stripe to tilt.  First piece on (above), and I don’t glue my foundation paper piecing, I pin.gridsters-january-2017_4

I marked the center of the lower edge of the piece (opposite its point).  I folded my fabric scrap in half lengthwise and line it up with both centers.gridsters-january-2017_4a

Keeping it in place, I fold back one side, mimicking the slanted edge that needs to be sewn.  I finger-press it.gridsters-january-2017_4c

Then using all my skills, I move this carefully to the other side of the unit, holding it up to the light to line up that folded edge where it needs to go.  Sometimes it’s easiest to note where the edges are and adjust from there.

Unfold it, being careful not to move it.  gridsters-january-2017_4d

Stitch on that line, trim seam allowances and continue on.  They all line up nice and vertical.gridsters-january-2017_6a

We make each other signature blocks, using a white 3 1/2″ square and snowball on two 2-1/2″ squares on either corner, using fabric from the blocks we made. (Click on the link to see a how-to, as well as how we’ve used our signature blocks: sometimes on the back and sometimes on the front of the quilt!)

The key to success:  IRON ON A SCRAP OF FREEZER PAPER to the back before writing, as it stabilizes the fabric.  I use a Pigma 08 to write.

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We always write our name, but other things to write could be:

  • IG/blog name
  • month/year
  • hometown
  • name of the bee or why you made the quilt

Looking forward to the rest of year with my Gridster Beemates!

 

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Spelling Bee 2016 Wrap-Up

Last year I had this idea that I wanted to try, and so I rounded up some willing participants and we made ourselves a Spelling Bee.

quiltabecedaryI started it by creating a blog that was dedicated to free tutorials to make these free-form letters, without the use of patterns or papers.  Some were pretty wild, but it was a great challenge.  And then we all started by choosing a phrase or a poem or a group of words and entered them into a Google Spreadsheet (we were all tired of trying to use Flickr).  This is the wrap-up post, showing our collective work of The Spelling Bee ( found as #spellingbeequilt on Instagram, where we posted our photos).

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This is my phrase, done in reds, creams and pinks.  I do have plans for it.johnson_spelling-bee

Lisa (aka Nymblefyngers on IG), a first-time bee participant, decided on lots of bug words for her quilt, and people carried out the theme by making them in bug fabrics.mary-s_spelling-bee

Mary, who writes the Needled Mom blog, made fun sewing-themed blocks to add to the words in her quilt.carla_spelling-bee

Carla, of Grace and Favor, recently opened a yarn shop in her town, and requested knitting terms.snooks_spelling-bee

Susan finished her quilt the first, showing it off here and on her blog, PatchworknPlay.  This truly typifies Susan’s attitude towards life!foster_spelling-bee

Just to keep us on our toes, Kerry of PennyDog Patchwork,  decided she wanted us to try her “digital” alphabet, and we made up the names of the provinces of Canada, her new country. While the how-to’s for the regular alphabet are free on the blog Quilt Abecedary, this style is Kerry’s own.bradford_spelling-bee

Simone, of Quiltalicious, tried to make us all go crazy by asking for color names, but in different shades.  A couple of us dutifully cranked out our word, only to realize that we sewn it up in the wrong color.  We were all getting pretty good at this point.kolb_spelling-bee

Mary (aka maryonlakepulaski on IG) wanted the names of her family.rachel_spelling-bee

Since bee-keeping was a new passion for Rachel (The Life of Riley), we all sent bee-words to her.
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Brenda (aka brendaandblue on IG), requested words that describe all those things that make her happy: “comfort words.”

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Cindy of LiveAColorfulLife, is doing the words to one of her favorite songs; unlike her name, she went with black, white, cream and grays to put together her phrase.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this wrap-up of our word adventure!  If you ever jump in and make a word or two, drop me a note as I’d love to see them.

 

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Coming soon: a new bee!

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tiny nine patches

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I do not know about, nor choose, the content, nor do I receive any money from these ads.
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Mid-Century Modern Bee 2016 Wrap-up

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Four years ago, Cindy and I sat at this computer and designed this logo for a bee she was starting.  She brilliantly gathered up a coterie of quilters, all over the age of 50, and I helped her with the spreadsheet, organization, and the design.  Some members have come and gone, but as I am one of the original members, and since 2016 is our last year together, I thought I’d do a wrap-up of blocks and quilts.

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January 2016 was my month and I asked for blocks to make the above quilt, titled Riverside Sawtooth.  

Riverside Sawtooth_small2I used my sample blocks to make this little table topper.

February was Cindy’s turn, and she asked us all to make little books.

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I chose ballerinas because I knew this was headed to make a quilt for her granddaughter.

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She arranged all our signature blocks on the back with some fussy cut blocks that were representative of her, so her newest grandchild could associate these cute blocks with her grandmother.wiens_mcm

The quilt is like a library of books!

March was Linda K. we were ready for some bright colors.

March MCM bee blocks

She asked for 4″ churn dash blocks in fun colors, with a few “oopses” in the construction of the blocks to make it interesting.  I switched around some of the corner blocks and substituted in another block of color.

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These are all the blocks, arranged up on her design wall.  Those colors just pop!

Stephanie had April and was interested in having us make blocks representative of the windows at her daughter’s school.

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The idea was to make a raffle quilt to benefit the school, but it was sold before the raffle could be held, so I’m hoping she keeps the blocks we sent her and makes a quilt for her daughter.

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They do look like multi-paned windows, sparkling in the light.  She sent us Paintbrush Studio Fabrics to use, and I have to say again how much I love those solids!

Once again, in May, we made churn dash blocks at the request of Carla F. but with a twist: they could be subdivided up inside the 12″ square requirement to add interest.

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I made one jumbo block.  She asked for something skewed as well, so I made two sides skinnier.

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This is quite an array of sizes and shapes, and should be an interesting quilt, or a good start to something fun.

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Rene kept it simple and fun for us in June, asking for Raspberry Kiss blocks (tutorial found *here*).

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The collection is here.  Rene is one of the quilters involved with the Pulse Heart quilts, and she has been incredibly busy this year helping with that project.  Click *here* to see them delivering the quilts to the first reconsiders on the scene. It’s a really sweet video with all those quilts.  Rene is about 2:44 if you want to see her in action.

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Sherri, in July, asked us for scrappy Log Cabin blocks to add to a quilt she’d already started.  I don’t have a picture of all the blocks, but I’m sure it will be terrific.

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Here’s a screen shot of some of the other blocks that our group made for her.

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Mary, for August, found a quilt she liked on the Robert Kaufman website, called Woven Pattern, and wanted us to make blocks in the color of the beach: sea and sand.

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She laid them out on the floor at my request, and I really love those colors!

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Mary K. is a star-lover and always has great blocks for us to try.  September’s Confetti Star block was no exception and the free pattern can be found *here.*

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Isn’t this a great layout of stars?  We made each other signature blocks, and you can see them laid out in the lower right corner.  And yes, there are 12 of us in this bee; sometimes we have forgotten to send them along.  She asked us to make the signature blocks two-toned, rather than just out of one fabric. [Here’s a post with another one of Mary’s choices for stars, also including a free pattern.]

Roaring into October found us making B’s and E’s for Anne’s choice.

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She asked us to do one in a color we wanted to and the rest in “barely there” sort of colors, but with enough contrast to distinguish them from the background.

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I can hardly wait to see wait Anne’s imagination conjures up from these letters.

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Fittingly for November, Nancy asked us to make these leafless trees, in sky color and green.

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Lastly, for December Elizabeth R. asked for us to make blocks out of Anna Maria Horner fabrics in the blocks we requested.

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Since my choice (the Riverside Sawtooth block) doesn’t look good unless there are four of them, she gave me permission to make something different, so I enlarged a Chuck Nohara block and made her two.

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Here’s the composite (so far–people are still sending in their blocks).  But while it’s stunning, and makes me want to make a quilt only out of AMH fabrics, some of the genius is in seeing how different the blocks are from the originals:

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Nancy’s tree blocks become transcendent in this new fabric.

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And Stephanie’s window-pane triangles completely change character in the different fabrics.  There’s a great lesson for us all to learn–sometimes we don’t have to change our blocks or patterns, but instead think outside the box on our fabrics.

Other wrap-ups are found here and here.  Our blog is here, and since we all know whatever we put up on the internet stays until someone takes it down, you can find many of our blocks up there on the blog.

So, thank you all, to the Mid-Century Moderns.  It’s been fun!

Final Bee Blocks for 2016

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And….that’s a wrap!

The Mid-Century Modern bee began four years ago, and I recently sewed the final blocks in Anna Maria Horner fabrics (as per the Queen Bee’s request).  We were supposed to do the blocks we’d requested for her, but I didn’t think mine would translate, so I obtained permission to do these: some Chuck Nohara blocks, writ large.

MCMBee Button

You’ve perhaps seen this logo, nestling down on the side of my blog for a while.  Cindy (who had the idea for this bee) and I developed it one night while sitting side by side at this computer.  I do think we collaborate well.

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And…that’s a wrap for The Spelling Bee, too, although some members are still cranking out their words. This bee ended officially November 30th, and I hope that everyone has their words by the end of the year.  All of mine are above; because of the length of my verse, about half of them were made by my beemates, and I did the rest.

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My original intent for my wordy quilt was to have it be done all creams and pinks and reds for a Valentine quilt, but as soon as I got it up, I realized it needed some color.  On the side I pinned some fabrics to audition for the quilt, and I have some ideas.

You can find a how-to for every letter over on the Quilt Abecedary Blog, which I wrote when I got in my mind to free-form create an alphabet.  Have fun.

I plan to do a year-end wrap-up of the two different bees, so then you’ll see what we’ve all been up to.  I like doing bees as I’m exposed to new ideas and new blocks and a different way of looking at the world.  Who would have known that an enlarged Chuck Nohara block in AMH fabrics could look so fabulous?  Now I do, thanks to my beemate.

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My blogging software puts ads here so I can use their site for free. 
I do not know about, nor choose, the content, nor do I receive any money from these ads.
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