Monday, April 23, 2012

Bee Blocks, part 1!

i feel like i have nothing to show for all of the work that i've done lately.

that's ridiculous, actually, because i have SO MANY things to blog, and i'm actually getting caught up on things, it's just that few of those things are actually finished projects!

i have a backlog of small projects to post about, but my big focus for the past few months has been blocks, blocks, blocks. blocks for bees, blocks for guild, blocks for the hell of it...

but mostly blocks for a bee!

(that links explains what a modern bee is, but for eye candy, lists of current bees, etc, i highly recommend the flickr group QuiltingBeeBlocks)

remember way back in... holy crap, september, i mentioned the unscripted bee?

i'm finally getting caught up!

first up was Sara's log cabin blocks. her blocks were inspired by this quilt, and she sent us all sorts of yummy scraps to use.

log cabin one

i have to confess that i have always planned to make a scrappy log cabin like this "one day", so it's fun to see hers come together!

log cabin two

the packets of fabric were a bit short, partly because i was picky and couldn't pull a few of the scraps in with the other colours, and partly just because Sara weren't sure how much would be needed, so i supplemented a bit with fabrics from my stash. i went through the pictures of everyone else's blocks and found a few prints that i had in different colourways, and then i dug into my japanese stash (intended for my own future log cabin!) to keep with the same types of prints that she had sent along. all of the fabrics i added were the longer strips needed for the edges of the blocks, so i figured if she really hated them, she could replace them!

the next blocks i made were Lysa's circle blocks. hers weren't actually "catching up", since they were intended for this month, but since i was so behind, i wasn't sure if everyone would still want me to make their blocks, so while i was waiting to hear, i thought i'd whip up her blocks. plus, she wrote up wonderful instructions, so they were a great project to work on when i was feeling intimidated by improv!

grey circle two

Lysa asked us to make two full circles, and a slightly larger circle that we cut in half for the edges of the quilt.

grey circle one

she sent us a bag full of colour coordinated scraps, backing fabric, interfacing for the circle technique, circle patterns and awesome instructions. (plus supplies for signature blocks, but i'll blog that another day)

grey half circles

i'm really loving grey lately! i have very little in my stash, and after sewing up Lysa's blocks, i think i need some!

the next catch up blocks that i made were for Val's sampler quilt. Val bundled up a bunch of blue, white, grey and aqua scraps and asked that we make her one or two blocks. she left the choice of the block design up to us, and just requested the size and that they not have any raw edge applique. she's adding the blocks from this bee to the ones that she received in an earlier swap to make herself a queen size bed. (don't they look awesome together?)

the first block that i made up turned out fabulous, i'm so in love! i want to do an entire quilt in blocks like this. i followed this tutorial for a wonky churn-dash block, with a bit of a variation. i didn't use the cut out pieces as foundations for the pieced sections, i used them as patterns. i didn't want to add the bulk, and i didn't know if i'd need the scraps of white for my second block!

wonky churndash
this block ended up a teensy bit small, because i only had the fabric provided. i thought the piece would be big enough, but i underestimated how much the wonkiness would take up! it can easily be brought up to size with the addition of a border, either in the solid white or in one of the blue prints.

i decided that the second block was the perfect excuse to try one of the chevrons i'd been seeing around. i liked aspects of two different tutorials, one from Tall Grass Prairie Studio and one from Six White Horses, so i combined the two. i like the variety of fabrics in the first tutorial, but i loved the shape of the second.

chevron closeup1
i added a bunch of fabrics from my stash, because it really needed more variety in the "braids", but i think they combine well with the fabrics Val sent.

the full block
wonky chevrons
as i was making this block, i started thinking that it might be good for my month of the bee, but by the time i finished it, i knew there was no way i'd ask the other participants to make it. it turned out really cool, but it took so much longer than i'd anticipated!

that's enough for today! what do you think of them? are any of the blocks designs that you'd make yourself?

i'll post some more in a separate post, cause there are lots more to come!


Mrs Flying Blind... said...

The wonky churn dash looks beautiful - love it!

Cherie said...

Wow you've been busy! Love the log cabin blocks and the circular block =D

felicity said...

I loooove a good churn dash!

Holly said...

You've been a busy block maker! I think the recipients are going to love these blocks you've made for them.

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