Thursday, December 5, 2013

Improv Christmas Trees and Easy Dresdens

 Before becoming a 
Bees Knees
I admit I had never tried to sew
Improv blocks before.
 I'm working outside my comfort zone
for sure
but also
learning a lot!
If I remember right,
Melissa's Christmas Trees
was our third Improv assignment.
I should be getting the hang of this by now!
These were happily mailed off to Melissa last week.
And the minute I got Lori's package
I immediately opened it up and 
made her two
Easy Dresden blocks.
Years ago, Lori taught me how to make Dresden's
and I've been itchin' to give them a try ever since.
So cute out of her Bake Sale fabrics!
And yes, they were very easy to do.
Merry Christmas my fellow
Bees Knees!
It's wonderful to be part of this group!

Nedra
Cactus Needle Quilts


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Friday, November 29, 2013

November- "ish" Blocks Have Been Sent Out!!!


A Big Hello to all of you Busy Bees!!!
A few days ago I sent out my blocks to you…
it is still November sort of:)

I am asking you to make 2 of my Easy Dresden Blocks 
using the tutorial on my blog
that I just posted HERE.


I have already cut everything and 
marked the circles for you…
so you will not need my
 Thimble or Circle Rulers…
and you won't have any leftovers:)

I hope you all have fun making the blocks.
I love to make dresdens and for those of you
 who might not have made them before…
you will love it!

Also…
don't worry if you don't have white
 Aurifil thread for the machine appliqué.
Just use white and it will all be good!


I will be making a square quilt for my kitchen table
with these blocks and I'm so excited about this project.
Thanks so much to all of you…
my fellow Bees Knees partners:)
I'm so happy to be taking part this year!
xx
Lori



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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Bees Knees Update


 Hi everyone! I've been kind of laying low until I finished all of the blocks I was behind on. Now seemed like a good time for me to get caught up with the holidays fast approaching. Lori will be sending out her November blocks soon, and December is kind of a catch up month with no blocks being sent out.

So, here are my recent finishes...first up were Melissa's improv trees (actually, these were the last ones I finished) which I hope are okay. I don't do a lot of improv piecing, so consider me a newbie for this technique.



 I really loved the pattern Sinta chose; in fact, this will definitely be a scrappy quilt I'll make for myself sometime.

And last (and my oldest block) was Trish's Swoon. I had to order some fabric since I'd already started cutting when the fabric shortage was discovered. Anyway...long story short...I found the fabric on Etsy but then misplaced it for a while. 

Anyway...I'm caught up at least until Lori's package arrives (which I can't wait to see...I know she has something fun for us to do).

Happy Thanksgiving  to everyone!
Sherri

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Catching up too.

I've been catching up too! I loved making this block, Trish. Now I am finally going to make some for myself. And thanks for the redesign, Lori. I think it's much faster. Woo!

Loved making these for you too, Jodi! Sinta and Melissa, I promise I will not be as behind on yours! It feels so good to be catching up!

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Half Way Caught Up...



I've been catching up this week.  First with Trish's Swoon block.

Trish, I loved making your block so much!  Such pretty fabrics!  And a pretty block too.  I've had the Swoon pattern forever, but never made a block, so I was happy for the little push to make it.  Thank you Lori for resized diagram!  I didn't even need to pull out my pattern it was so clear.


Jodi's blocks were so fun and easy to make.  4 patches are my favorite.

The fabrics for this quilt took me out of my usual color palette, and I loved every minute of it.  They are so crisp, fun, and energetic.  I just had to put the bees and honey comb squares together, even if it was predictable, total fabric love!  This finished quilt is going to be awesome.

I'm going to TRY to finish up Sinta and Melissa's blocks this week and get them all in the mail together.  I'd hate to suffer from post Post Office traumatic stress by going twice... yes that is a really dumb joke, Claire...


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Thursday, September 26, 2013

On A Christmas Roll

Hello Ladies,

Well October is my month and we are sticking with the Christmas theme.  Yippee, I love Christmas Quilts!!!  This month, we will be turning from Stars to Trees :)   And not just any trees, Improv Trees!!


These are based off of the Quilt-A-Long that Christa Quilts is doing right now, only we are doing paper pieced blocks as I didn't know if you all had the ruler and didn't think everyone should have to run out and buy one for 2 little blocks.  I plan to do this quilt layout only adding 2 extra rows at the bottom, one of 6 blocks and then another one block row to represent the trunk.



I sent out packages in the mail Tuesday so hopefully the will all start arriving in the next day or so :)  In your package you will find everything you need to make 2 Improv Tree Blocks.  They are easy, fun, and fast.  The triple trifecta :)  But if you only  have time for one block, no worries, I totally understand how much everyone in this group has on their plate, just please send back the extra fabric :)

I made a little tutorial on how to put the block together and posted it on my blog today.  I don't think any of you will need this tutorial as you are all probably far more experienced at improv and paper piecing than I, but I had a few ladies email me requesting how I was going to do mine, so I just took pictures along the way ;)

Okay, so here is the official Questionnaire deets ;)

  What size quilt block do you want your bee partners to make? (Give finished and unfinished measurements, just to be sure.)  Unfinished size is 11" x 11" Finished size is 10 1/2" x 10 1/2"

Can your partners use any of their own stash fabric to use in your quilt block? If so, are there any limitations?  There should be enough to just use the fabric sent, but if you happen to run out and need to add a little more please just make sure it matches.

Is there a specific color of thread (white/off white) you want your partners to sew with?  White.

Do your partners have to use at least a little bit of every fabric you send or can your partners decide?  No, but please try to use at least 7+ fabrics in each tree.  The more pieces the more scrappy and improv it gets  ;)

Do you have a general theme or is it up to your partners to decide? Are there any specific themes that you do NOT want in your quilt block? Likes/dislikes? Just the block shown.

Will you allow any embellishments on the quilt block (i.e. embroidery, raised items such as yo-yos or fabric origami)?  I am thinking not for this particular block :)

Can you link us to any flickr or Pinterest photos that you would like us to use as inspiration for your quilt block?  Shown in the post above :)

If your partners are super motivated and are able to make two blocks out of the fabric you send, would you accept more than one block from your partners?  I have sent enough for 2 blocks and would love to receive 2 blocks, but it is totally fine if you only have time for one.  Just please send back the extra fabric so I can make the second one ;)

Do you want your partners to return any leftover larger size scraps to you when they return the completed blocks or can they keep them for their own scrap stash?   If they are larger sizes I would love to have the scraps back as I think I want to try to add some throw pillows into the mix, but little triangles and trimmed bits, don't worry about those ;)

  Alright, I think that is about it :)  Any questions just comment or email me at happyquiltingmelissa@gmail.com.  And thank you so much for allowing me to be part of this amazing group.  You are all just so inspiring.  I can't wait to see your blocks :)  Have fun and if you play a little Christmas Music in the background it only helps add to the merry spirit :)

Oh, I almost forget, the fabrics I sent are Blitzen by Basicgrey.  Love it!!!  Have fun :)



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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sinta's Starry Eyed Quilt Block

I just finished up on my
Starry Eyed Quilt Block 
last night.
  This was a fun one
and easy to make!
Thanks Sinta!
A great way to use up scraps,
and Starry Eyed has just been added to my to-do list
   I have never made a 
wonky star before
and found it to be a quite a freeing technique.
One of the things I love about being part of the Bees Knees is 
I am trying new things that I have always wanted to learn
but probably never would have taken the time for.
  The tutorial instructions
by Angela of Fussy Cut
 over on Moda Bake Shop 
were very clear, with great pictures that really helped.
  Love the fabric Sinta chose,

although it did remind me I need to get the laundry done:) 
*Sinta, I did not have enough fabric strips to complete the outer border
so I made an executive decision
and added in a few of my own Christmas scraps.
I hope that is OK.
Did anyone else run into this problem?
                                                                                          Nedra

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

I'm All Starry Eyed!

Hello my fellow bee keepers!

(image from: Create my Event)


September is my month!
After much deliberation and changing my mind a half dozen times,
 I went back to my original
plan. 

I have my project all packaged and ready to put
in the mail.
This is a photo of the quilt block for me!


It's a Moda Bake Shop pattern so the link is here.

I am asking you to make the star block. I will make the alternate blocks.
The pattern calls for 10 blocks of each, so I plan on using the block from 
my 11th person in our group for a matching pillow. Since that makes me
the 12th person... I will make 10 alternate blocks.
It works out perfectly!

The block is 16.5" (16" finished) after the checkerboard border is
added to the star. 
Inside your "kit" you will find a 4 1/2" center square and
4 coordinating 5" squares to be cut for the star points.
The checkerboard strips are pre-cut exactly for you.

I am using Christmas fabric... but it's from 

this line of fabric.

You will have just enough fabric to make the block.

I hope you have fun with it.
All the blocks we have been making so far have been super
fun for me to make and last year my block was a bit on the 
challenging side... so I am making it up to you this time!
Promise!

Speakingn of Starry Eyed.
 if you look into the night sky
you might see some interesting 
things this month!

September Stargazing information here.



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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Shamlessly Catching Up


If it wasn't bad enough that I am just catching up with Calli's Bee block
for the last round of Bees Knees... I also neglected to post about it.
I did make a post showing her block over a month ago I think,
on my blog. I really had a fear of making this pickle dish style block.
But now that I did it, I can breath easy. 
I have always wanted to make one of the "eyelash" quilts
that require the same method and shape... so now I have the confidence to
really entertain the idea. I am sure my sewing will get better
with the more I make too.

The other catch up I had was with Sherri's block.


I just had a blast with this method. I had wanted to make 
this block when I saw the versions popping up on various blogs
but for some reason I 
didn't really have the time... so I am glad that Sherri 
requested it for her block. One was fun to make...
so making two was even better.
Sherri has had these now for a good month now...
so it is my post that I am shamelessly needing to catch up on.
And now that that is done, I can go forward and 
start working on my next two catch-ups!

One for Trish and one for Jodi! I am
excited about doing both of these... soon!
Thanks for being so good about waiting.



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Trish and Jodi's Blocks

 It's nice to get back into 
the Swing of Things
and complete some of
the 
Bees Knees projects.
Last night I finished 6 of
Jodi's Scrappy Summer blocks.
They work up so fast, 
I sewed them all in one sitting. 
 It was fun to throw them down on the floor
together to see a pattern emerge.
This is going to be a cute quilt, Jodi!
And last week I made 
Trish's Swoon block
and sent it off in the mail.
Thanks Lori for the emergency re-design :)
One of the things I love 
about being a Bees Knees
is the inspiration I get from all of you.
Now I want to make both of these quilts!

Nedra

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

August Bee Blocks

Hi Bees Knees Partners!  I hope everyone is having a awesome summer! The August block fabric is in the mail and you should be receiving it...probably beginning of next week.... 


As soon as I saw Allison’s {Cluck Cluck Sew} Scrappy Summer Quilt Tutorial and Pattern… I knew that is what I wanted to do for my Bees Knees blocks!



Photo from Cluck Cluck Sew site – Quilt made by Allison

Please use Allison’s Tutorial to make your blocks. 
She has a great tutorial on her website.  
You can also by a PDF pattern for $5 with sizes and more detailed material requirements if you would like. 

But it’s not necessary to buy the pattern to sew up the August Bee Blocks.

The details: 

What size quilt block do you want your bee partners to make? (Give finished and unfinished measurements, just to be sure.)

The blocks will be 8 ½” unfinished and 8” finished


Can your partners use any of their own stash fabric to use in your quilt block? If so, are there any limitations?

 No. Please use only the “charm pack” and solids I’ve sent out. Although it’s a “Scrappy” quilt.. It’s a “controlled” scrappy. J

Is there a specific color of thread (white/off white) you want your partners to sew with?

 White or off-white would be great!

Do your partners have to use at least a little bit of every fabric you send or can your partners decide?

Please use all of the fabric sent. (there will be a little left over of the white and solid.  

Do you have a general theme or is it up to your partners to decide? Are there any specific themes that you do NOT want in your quilt block? Likes/dislikes?

 My block is pretty specific... Please use one solid color for each block. See Allison's photos…

Will you allow any embellishments on the quilt block (i.e. embroidery, raised items such as yo-yos or fabric origami)?

 No embellishments.

Can you link us to any flickr or Pinterest photos that you would like us to use as inspiration for your quilt block?

 See Allison's photos in the post for inspiration.


If your partners are super motivated and are able to make two blocks out of the fabric you send, would you accept more than one block from your partners?

Please make 6 blocks with the fabric I sent you.  {They’re super easy and fast !}


Photo from Cluck Cluck Sew


Note: For the 6 blocks you’ll be making… Sew the solid color strips to the 2 white strips you receive from me. Press then cut into 2 ½” x 4 ½” units. Then continue with the tutorial as shown on Allison's blog.

Do you want your partners to return any leftover larger size scraps to you when they return the completed blocks or can they keep them for their own scrap stash?

There will only be a bit left over of the solid/white strips. They don’t need to be returned




Thanks everyone!


Happy Sewing!!! ooxx`jodi

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Friday, July 5, 2013

July Bee Blocks.

Hello girls.  I am looking so forward to participating in another year of The Bee's Knees!  Last year was so much fun!!    I just loved making everyone's blocks and receiving mine in return.

I have been saving my Fly A Kite fat quarter bundle for just the right project.  I thought it would be fun to make Camille's Swoon quilt with it and I want to thank you ahead of time for sewing these special blocks for me!
I apologize for getting off to a late start.  The fabric is on it's way to each of you.  I took the liberty of cutting the neutral fabric for the Swoon blocks.  One thing I did change, rather than cutting 3 7/8" I cut 4" squares.  That gives wiggle room to square up. 
What size quilt block do you want your bee partners to make? (Give finished and unfinished measurements, just to be sure.) 
24 1/2" 
Can your partners use any of their own stash fabric to use in your quilt block? If so, are there any limitations?

I prefer that you use my fabrics. 

Is there a specific color of thread (white/off white) you want your partners to sew with?

white/off white 

Do your partners have to use at least a little bit of every fabric you send or can your partners decide?

I prefer that you use my fabrics.

Do you have a general theme or is it up to your partners to decide? Are there any specific themes that you do NOT want in your quilt block? Likes/dislikes?

The block is Swoon by Camille Roskelly. 

Will you allow any embellishments on the quilt block (i.e. embroidery, raised items such as yo-yos or fabric origami)? 

No embellishments, please. 

Can you link us to any flickr or Pinterest photos that you would like us to use as inspiration for your quilt block?

 

If your partners are super motivated and are able to make two blocks out of the fabric you send, would you accept more than one block from your partners? 

There is only enough fabric for one block.  And there is no wiggle room for cutting.

Do you want your partners to return any leftover larger size scraps to you when they return the completed blocks or can they keep them for their own scrap stash? 

You are welcome to keep what remains.  If you do not plan to use them, please return. 



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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Scrappy Trip Around for Sherri

I am so honored and so thrilled to have been invited to be among all you uber talented gals in the Bees Knees! Thanks so much for welcoming me into your hive. :)  I'm really looking forward to this next year! 

Here is the 1st block I made for Sherri with her fabrics....  
Bees Knees


I have had this quilt on my "I want to make" list... and now after making 2 blocks, I'm totally hooked, and hope, hope, hope I can make one for myself this year! 

And here is a 2nd block I made for Sherri, using my own Christmas fabrics... I chose to use a few of the new "A Merry Little Christmas" fabrics from Riley Blake, that I picked up at Sample Spree @ Quilt Market... 
Bees Knees


Sherri and I went to Sample Spree together and so I thought it would be fun to "commemorate" our shopping trip.

I can't wait to see the other Bees Knees blocks and Sherri's quilt when it's all done! 

Happy Sewing!!! ooxx`jodi

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

for Calli and Sherri.

Hi Girls!  Today I am showing my two finishes.  Calli's pickle dish block (melon) and one of Sherri's scrappy trip around the world block (I made two but thought it would  be fun to save the other as a surprise - wink!)
I have to admit, I was afraid of the pickle dish pattern.  I was so worried that I might mess it up, since I have never sewn an arch before.  I read the instructions super carefully (more than once) and when it came time to sew, I used plenty of pins, then sewed at the speed of a turtle.  I loved every bit of it!  So much so, I nearly did a happy dance when I finished.  (wink)
Thank you so much Calli for stretching my skills and allowing me to sew something new!  I am so thankful for the lessons learned.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Sherri's Scrappy Trips

My package just arrived in the mail
and I was excited to make 
Sherri's Scrappy Trips Around The World blocks.

This quilt will be so darling 
made up in fun Christmas fabrics.
And I like how Sherri had us 
place the white strip down the middle.
I added a few of my fabrics
to make a second block.
I'm really looking forward to seeing
how this quilt looks once
all of our blocks are put together.
Thanks for organizing us this year Sherri
and for hosting the first month.
You are a great 
Queen Bee
                                                                Nedra/ Cactus Needle


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Monday, June 10, 2013

June Bee Blocks


Hi Everyone!!! I'm running a little behind this month...but the Bee block fabrics for June went out today! I'm hoping this will be a fun and easy block for everyone. I was in the mood for a Christmas quilt...a scrappy Christmas trip around the world quilt, to be exact! (Excuse the i-phone photo with bad lighting, above, but it's the only picture I took before dividing up my strips into piles and sealing them in envelopes to send to you)! 



I'm hoping to achieve the same look that I have with my regular scrappy trip along quilt. So there is a strip of white fabric with everyone's bundle of fabrics. Please use the excellent tutorial by Bonnie Hunter here to create your block, and please make sure the white fabric goes diagonally one direction across the whole block. (It won't matter what order you sew the strips together, you'll be able to determine placement of the white fabrics when you undo the seam on each of your tubes).

Everyone has enough fabric to make one block, and some of you have enough to almost make two blocks. One block is all I'm requesting, but hey, if you want to make another, I won't refuse it...this is going to be a 36 block quilt. You may need one or two strips 2 1/2" x 16" in order to make a second block. Or...if you don't have time to make a second block and might have a strip or two of 2 1/2" x 16" bright Christmas fabric to spare, I would love that...I'm trying not to have too many repeats in the quilt!

The rest of the details...


What size quilt block do you want your bee partners to make? (Give finished and unfinished measurements, just to be sure.)

The blocks will be 12 1/2" unfinished and 12" finished
 

Can your partners use any of their own stash fabric to use in your quilt block? If so, are there any limitations?

 Yes, as I mentioned above, I would love some extra fabrics in the mix...as long as they "fit in" with what I sent.

Is there a specific color of thread (white/off white) you want your partners to sew with?

 White or off-white would be great!

Do your partners have to use at least a little bit of every fabric you send or can your partners decide?

 I think you'll want to use some of every piece

Do you have a general theme or is it up to your partners to decide? Are there any specific themes that you do NOT want in your quilt block? Likes/dislikes?

 My block is pretty specific...

Will you allow any embellishments on the quilt block (i.e. embroidery, raised items such as yo-yos or fabric origami)?

 No embellishments.

Can you link us to any flickr or Pinterest photos that you would like us to use as inspiration for your quilt block?

 See the photos in the post for inspiration.

If your partners are super motivated and are able to make two blocks out of the fabric you send, would you accept more than one block from your partners?

 Of course...see above...

Do you want your partners to return any leftover larger size scraps to you when they return the completed blocks or can they keep them for their own scrap stash?

I would love to have you keep any of the left-overs...I have more of everything I sent, so if you'll use it, keep it. If you don't think you'll use it...I'll add it back to my Christmas 2 1/2" strip bin...but wouldn't it be fun if we all did scrappy trip along Christmas quilts this year?!

 Thanks so much everyone!
Sherri

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sinta's Dresdens


Sinta, I am so sorry to be this late with your blocks!  

What a fun quilt this is going to be!  
I really loved strip piecing, and getting two Dresdens from one sewn strip.  
 

 

A question for Sinta: I haven't made centers, since I wasn't exactly sure of what you wanted.  Did you want us to choose something from our own stash? 


I did have a bit of trouble with my blocks laying flat, they were a little cone shaped.  I think it's a sign that I need to work on accuracy- either with my scant 1/4" or cutting.  After pressing they flattened out better.

I am hoping it'll come out in the quilting.  I had to laugh at the advice from a good friend of mine... "She said as long as it's smaller that a "C" cup you'll be OK." 

I'm guessing a block that turns out bigger than a "C" cup it could be made into a bra.  Unfortunately not for me. 

Thank you Sinta!  Despite the little bit of trouble I had, I really enjoyed your blocks!  I can't wait to see the finished quilt. 

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