4x5 Blocks Fall Quarter

If only the post office were open today! It's a mail holiday today, but I am all ready to bring some bee blocks to the post office this morning. Oh well, it can wait until tomorrow. At least I can share with you guys!

For the 4x5 bee this quarter, I had a hard time coming up with a block I wanted to make, until I drafted a paper pieced star with a simple ring around it. I made my sample block in my colors, and it worked out perfectly, so I got to work, pulling the right scraps for the right people. Here's a rundown on how the blocks turned out...

4x5 block for me
block for: me
fabrics: Cosmo Cricket tape measure, Quilt Blocks, Simply Color Ikat Diamonds in Blue, Modern Meadow, Sophie, Dear Stella Basketweave, Katie Jump Rope, Summersault Pinwheel in Grass, Flea Market Fancy Eyelet in Green, Simply Color Ikat Diamonds in Green, Remix Argyle in Green

block for: Jenniffier
fabrics: Free Spirit Designer Essentials Houndstooth in Orange, Denyse Schmidt Aunt Edna, Khristian Howell's The Woodlands, Simply Color Ikat Diamonds in Orange, Oval Elements in Key Lime, Modern Whimsy, Ty Pennington, Prince Charming, Erin McMorris Weekends Hopscotch in Lime, Tufted Tweets, Sophie, Echino, Oval Elements in Cranberry, Terrain

block for: sewswithcharlie
fabrics: Echo Pebble Stripe, Hullabaloo Stripe Flowers, Hullabaloo Tonal Flowers, Vintage Modern Sky Swirls, Kate Spain's 12 Days of Christmas, Juicy Blossoms, Simply Color Ikat Diamonds in Aqua

block for: mochawildchild
fabrics: Metro Living Circles in Pewter, Simply Color Leafy Stripe in Eggplant, Simply Color Ikat Diamonds in Eggplant, Simply Color Sprigs in Eggplant, Simply Color Dotted Zig Zags in Eggplant, Michael Miller Ta Dot, Cosmo Cricket, Parson Gray, Treasures and Tidbits

block for: swedishfishie
fabrics: Free Spirit Designer Houndstooth in Violet, Shades of Grey Rag Tag, Heirloom Marquis Amethsyt, 1001 Peeps, Tufted Tweets, Aviary 2 Lodge Lattice in Purple

block for: creativesun
fabrics: Summersville Crosshatch, Tufted Tweets, Vintage Modern polka dot in red, Little Apples Argyle in Red, Modern Meadow Herringbone in Pond, Simply Color Ikat Diamonds in Aqua, Lilly Belle Moire in Aquamarine, 12 Days of Christmas in Aqua, Oval Elements in Papaya, Central Park Flowers, Amy Butler Lotus Full Moon Dot, Sandi Henderson Henna Garden in Pumpkin, Carolyn Gavin Wild Thyme, Juicy Blossoms, Simply Color Dotted Zig Zag in Orange, Simply Color Sprigs in Orange

These are definitely going to the post office tomorrow! The last day to mail for this quarter is in just under two weeks, on November 24th, so I'm happy to get them out a bit early. Next on my To Do list is a bee block for Lee, which happens to be my last bee block for the year! I cannot believe how quickly the end of the year is creeping up on us. It's Thanksgiving next week! I don't even want to know how many days there are until Christmas because I know the number will shock me. I better get to shopping soon! Have a wonderful Monday :)

WiP Wednesday: The one with the mad dash

It's officially chaos in my sewing room now, as it's barely a week before Sewing Summit now, with boatloads of Sewing Summit-related deadlines approaching fast, as well as a few other non-Sewing Summit deadlines! Eeek! How did it get to be October 3rd already??? Didn't school just get started?? It's going to be a week with a lot of late nights and early mornings, clearing off my sewing plate this next week, but I know I can do it. Now I just need to stop signing up for more deadlines!!

Working on:
Red and white zig-zag - I spent the bulk of the last several days on this project, making 528 half-square triangles and then stitching all of them together. The quilt top is done and basted and ready for some simple straight-line quilting. Stay tuned for a finish on this one soon!



Sidekick tote - I really love how this bag is coming together so far. I'm waiting on some strap hardware to come, so I've saved this fun project for when I'm so tired of HSTs that I want to scream ;) Isn't that pocket just darling? Can't wait to finish this one off and put it to good use!

Sidekick in progress!

Sewing Summit class samples - I finished quilting all of the samples, and I'm really excited to share them soon. The binding is half on all of my four samples now, so I'm in the homestretch here. Just need to spend a few nights on the couch, catching up on TV with the husband and hand-stitching to wrap these projects up.

Time to pick some binding...


New this week:
Pillow Talk Swap - After sitting out several rounds, I'm back on the wagon for the ninth round of the Pillow Talk Swap. Every time I sit out a round, I watch from the sidelines and marvel over the things that are being made in the swap. I'm glad I'm participating this time around, it's going to be a lot of fun! I've gotten my partner's information and stalking has officially begun. I've got a good sense of what she's into, I think, now I just need for inspiration to strike. Here's the mosaic I made to inspire my partner, of some of my current faves...


4x5 Modern Quilt Bee - Now that the summer is over, the 4x5 Modern Quilt Bee is back in session (and full), with shorter rounds, which I think will be nice. Short and sweet, but with plenty of time to make blocks. I'm excited about this one, it's always fun to see the amazing things that everyone makes in this bee.

Bee block for Katie - Katie sent some gorgeous Field Study and Indie fabrics this month for the {Sew} Beautiful bee, for feather blocks. I'm looking forward to working on this one this weekend, hopefully.

Bee block for Cindy - Cindy is working on a Halloween quilt in the Stash Trad bee, and we're all making Great Granny blocks for her, in shades of black, purple, orange, grey and lime green. I've never made anything Halloween-themed before, so this should be a fun one!

I haven't forgotten about these, but haven't had time for them either:
Washi tunic
Space Dust quilt

So now, it's back to my sewing machine, time is slipping away from me super fast this week!! What are you sewing this week? Write it up and share it at today's specially guest hosted WiP Wednesday, with host Debbie of A Quilter's Table.

Did you really think I'd watch the Super Bowl?

I'm so not a sports girl.  Never have been, with the exception of a phase when I religiously watched college basketball with my dad.  So I was not one of the millions of people watching the Super Bowl last night - instead, I sewed.  I'm pretty sure I had way more fun. :)

In the 4x5 bee, life got in the way, so to speak, for one of our caretakers, so Amy and I are working on angel blocks for the members of that hive.  We chose Faith's Star block pattern for them, and after an intense round of rock paper scissors, I wound up making two blocks, for Rhonda and Jessica.

Rhonda asked for rainbow fabrics for her block, which was somewhat of a challenge with this block.  Ultimately, I decided to split up the rainbow into warm and cool colors and throw in some gray for a neutral to tie it all together.  I'm not too sure it really works, honestly, it feels a little haphazard, but I'm hoping that Rhonda digs it.

4x5 angel block - hive 10, q1

Jessica asked for aqua, gray and orange for her block, and I dug out some Heirloom scraps for her.  I'm happier with how her block turned out, even though it is awfully scrappy, it feels a bit more unified and well thought out.

4x5 angel block - hive 10, q1

I think I may have forgotten to share with you the lovely blocks I received in this first quarter of the 4x5 bee - look at all these lovelies!!  There were some wonderfully talented people in my hive, so I was really happy with each and every block I received.

4x5 bee - hive 12, q1

I also finished up ironing and cutting my fabrics for my Stitch quilt last night, so I'm looking forward to getting some more of my Star Crossed blocks done this week.  So many HSTs!!  I trimmed these while I watched my first episode of Downton Abbey (love it already!!), so that made it a much more bearable task.

Stitch HSTs ready, trimmed and ready to become blocks

I'll leave you this morning with a sneak peek of the mini I'll be sharing with you all on Friday as a part of Jennifer's Modern Mini Challenge!

Modern Mini sneak peek

January Bee Blocks

Phew, I'm glad to have my January bee blocks behind me now!  Between the deadline for the 4x5 Modern Quilt Bee and all of my other bees, there were a boatload of blocks to be made this month!  Definitely some gorgeous blocks in the mix this month.

I finished up Bree's fun polaroid block for String Me Along, using various photo-like scraps from my stash, including Mendocino,  Ruby Star Rising, It's a Hoot, Little Apples, and Peacock Lane.  I really adore this block, it is so cute!  Can't wait to see how the other blocks in the group turn out!

Polaroid block for Bree

For Cherie in the {Sew} Beautiful bee, I made a Carpenter's Star, using Cherie's tutorial.  The tutorial is really easy to follow, I definitely recommend it!  I really adore this block, I will definitely be saving the tutorial somewhere safe!

{Sew} Beautiful January block for Cherie

For Lynne in the Stash Trad bee, she asked for her eponymous block, the LynneBobSquarePants block, using Kona Charcoal for the background and brights for the prints.  This was my second go-round with Lynne's block, and I apparently read the directions better this time because the block came together much more easily, yay!

Stash Trad block for Lynne
And finally, for the 4x5 bee this quarter, I made weathervane blocks for everyone, and put together a simple tutorial for the block as well.  It was a really fun block to work on and experiment with fabric choices on!

4x5 blocks for Hive 12 - Q1

In other news, my Summer Sampler Plus quilt was featured on the Modern Quilt Guild's 100 Days of Modern Quilting yesterday, which was pretty exciting.  Definitely an honor to be featured over there!

Hope you're having a great week so far.  Happy Tuesday everyone :)

Linking up with Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story today, hop on over there to see some other fun sewing projects!

Fresh Poppy Design

Weathervane Block Tutorial

I seem to be going through a bit of a weathervane block kick at the moment.  I first used the classic block for my Fat Quarterly Aurifil challenge miniquilt.  It was an easy block to put together and I really enjoyed stitching it up...

Fat Quarterly Aurifil Challenge - My Results

So I stitched up five more blocks, for the gals in my hive for the 4x5 Modern Quilt Bee!  I played around a little bit with fabric placement on these variations, which will give you some alternative ideas for putting this block together.

4x5 blocks for Hive 12 - Q1

Weathervane Block Tutorial
final block size: 12.5", finishes at 12" in a quilt
all seams are a scant 1/4", unless otherwise noted

You'll need:
5 different printed or solid fabrics plus one neutral fabric

2.5” squares2.5” x 4.5”4.25” square4.5” squares
Fabric A - Yellow4
Fabric B - Light magenta4
Fabric C - Medium Purple1
Fabric D - Dark Purple4
Fabric E - Blue42


1. Cut all of your fabric as shown in the chart above.

2.  Begin by pairing up your 4.5" center square with one of the 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles of Fabric A.  Right sides together, seam one rectangle to the top of your square, then another to the bottom of your square.  Press seams open.


3. Match a 2.5" square of Fabric B on both ends of another 2.5" x 4.5" rectangle of Fabric A.  Repeat with the remaining 2.5" x 4.5" rectangle.

4. Next, take your pieced strips and add to the right and left sides of your pieced center square (or as shown below to the top and bottom).  Press seams open.

Piecing the outer ring

6. Next, let's make the outer ring for the block.  We'll first be making some flying geese, followed by some HSTs.  To make the flying geese, trace a line across the diagonal of all of your neutral squares, then place one at a time on the 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles from Fabric E, as shown below.


Stitch just a few threads to the right of your line, just slightly closer to the corner.  Repeat for all four 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles.


Fold back your neutral fabric to line up with the corner of your printed fabric.  Press well.  Trim excess seam allowance down to 1/4".


Using the remaining four neutral squares, line up raw edges and ensure that your diagonal line makes a triangle when it intersects with the existing neutral square/triangle.  Stitch just a few threads closer to the corner again, fold back, press, and trim excess seam allowance.

Flying Geese step3

7. Next, gather your 4.25" squares of blue and your neutral.  Right sides together, stitch all the way around the squares using a scant 1/4" seam.  Cut diagonally across your square twice, to create 4 HSTs.  Finger press seams open, the finish pressing with your iron.


8. Trim each HST down to 2.5" square, lining up the seam at the center of your HST with the 45 degree mark on your rotary ruler.

Trimming HSTs to 2.5"

9. Lay our your remaining pieces as shown below and seam together to complete block.  Press seams open as you go.


Ta da!  A finished weathervane block!


As always, I would love to see your blocks in my Flickr group, Stitching with Don't Call Me Betsy.  I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you have a fantastic weekend :)  

Jesse's Quilt, the Summer Sampler Plus Quilt

It's going to be really hard to say goodbye to this quilt, but it's going to such a wonderful home, I think somehow I'll find the strength to do it.  Jesse, if you are reading this post, STOP NOW!  I will be very upset if you ruin this surprise (but I'm fairly sure you have been so busy that you haven't read my blog in eons, but I forgive you!).

When Lee, Katie and Faith started up the Summer Sampler Series, the blocks immediately spoke to me and made me think of my husband's best friend, Jesse.  The two of them have been best buds since they were little kids, growing up in the same small town in Connecticut, and despite the many, many miles between them now, they're still quite close.   Jesse comes to visit us at least once every year and has become my munchkin's favorite uncle.  He's a special part of our family, and when I saw the geometric blocks in the Summer Sampler, they just said "Jesse" to me.

Jesse's the one on the left, hamming it up with my husband at our wedding
After I finished my blocks, I just didn't quite feel done.  I knew I could add sashing to add size to the quilt, but I just felt like I wanted to have more blocks for the quilt, so I decided to ask my awesome 4x5 beehive to help me out and add some extra blocks to the quilt.

Finished Summer Sampler blocks!

All said and done, after adding my 4x5 blocks, I still needed 3 more to make the quilt as large as I wanted, so I put together one Japanese x and + block, one block made of four snowballs, and one rail fence block that I bordered with some white and extra blue.  I stitched them all together, and the quilt just felt more complete.  

Extra blocks for my Summer Sampler Plus complete!

I debated adding a border to the quilt, to give it some extra size, but ultimately decided against it.  I was too excited about a geometric doodle style of quilting I'd come up with to go along with Jesse's love for all things geometric.  I was nervous about trying something new, and in hindsight, I totally should've practiced on a practice quilt sandwich first, but I worried that I would lose my determination to do something different if I stopped to really think about it, so I jumped in and went for it.

Jesse's quilt #2 

I free-motioned groups of  interconnected boxes, which remind me of little labyrinths or mazes, stitching down the length of the quilt.  It was definitely more fun for me than straight-line quilting, but it also wasn't as precise as I like to be.  In the end, I'm happy I did something different, but I definitely need more practice.

Jesse's quilt - close-up #3

I'll be shipping this gift off real soon for the holidays...before I decide I can't part with it!  I know Jesse will give this quilt a good home, and I hope it will remind him of us throughout the year.

Summer Sampler Plus quilt - done!

Quilt Stats
Name: Jesse's Quilt
Size: 48" x 60"
Fabrics: Kona Peacock, Kona Lagoon, Kona Bahama Blue, Kona Aqua, Kona Charcoal, Kona Medium Gray, Kona Ash, Patty Young's Sanctuary, Jenean Morrison's Silent Cinema, Moda Hullabaloo Hoopla Aqua, Moda Modern Workshop Dots Artisan Aqua, and more
Binding: Moda's Little Apples Sweater Check in Pencil by Aneela Hoey
Quilting: Doodle boxes, quilted by me on my Husqvarna Sapphire 835 in white thread

I'm linking up with {Sew} Modern Monday today, hop on over there to see more recent modern quilting finishes!

It was a blocky kind of weekend

This weekend's sewing consisted of a lot of blocks.  It felt really good to check a few things off my To Sew list, and I'm really happy with these results, too.

I worked on my blocks for my beehive girls in the 4x5 Modern Quilt Bee. One of them my husband loves so much that he wants me to do a whole quilt inspired by the color palette - it's the one at the bottom right. I'm hoping to pack these up and get them out in the mail this week so I can really check this project off my list.

4x5 Blocks

I also got caught up on the Summer Sampler this weekend, and I really adore one of the blocks.  I'm not real happy with my fabric choices on the other one.  I really dig the Lucky Pieces block, it is definitely a block I would do again.  The Minnesota Block (on the right) has a real interesting history, and I love Lee's take on it, but I'm not loving the fabrics I used for the paper pieced diamonds.

Two more Summer Sampler blocks!

While most of my sewing went really smoothly, I did manage to foul a few things up with these blocks...did you notice on the Summer Sampler blocks? Look again...I'll give you a hint...it's the block on the right...

Oh yes, this is what happens when you hurry. Will I go back and fix the hourglasses so they all look the same? I'm not sure yet. Part of me thinks it adds character to the quilt, so we'll see.

Wonky Log Cabin for Kati

I love Kati right now - she sent out her August fabric for our {Sew} Beautiful bee early, so I took the opportunity to finish her August block before August began. She sent out a fabulous assortment of black and white prints with one pop of color - mine was green. She requested a wonky log cabin block with an improvisational feel to it, and not necessarily square, so I'm hoping I delivered. I had a lot of fun with this block. I really do dig log cabins, wonky or otherwise.

So, that's two whole projects off my list, and I am promising myself that I am not adding anything new this week!  Stay tuned tomorrow for my two Farmer's Wife blocks!

Summer Sampler Series: The week in which I cave in

Have you heard about the Summer Sampler series? I find it hard to resist a good quilt along, especially one hosted by several bloggers that I enjoy greatly, so I found myself caving in this to this quilt along, after polishing off my own this week. I decided that the logical thing to do was to use these 12 blocks to make the 4x5 Modern Quilt Bee quilt that I'm putting together even bigger. It's going to be a gift quilt this Christmas, and the bigger the better.

I'm using grays and blues, mainly in the turquoise and aqua families, for this quilt.  I had a lot of fun putting these first six blocks together, and am looking forward to the next six!  I did take a major shortcut on one of them, mainly because I'm putting together more than enough tiny HSTs for the FWQAL, but other than that, I've done the blocks as written...

Block #1: Star of Virginia

Block #1 - Star of Virginia
This block was a lot of fun to put together - the other sawtooth stars like this that I've put together have been a good bit smaller, so this was a fun one.  Fabrics include two prints from Jenean Morrison's Silent Cinema line and the blue print comes from the Victoria & Albert collection.

Block #2: Greek Cross

Block #2 - Greek Cross
I absolutely heart this block.  Might be one of my new personal favorite blocks.  Ridiculously easy to piece, yet so effective in design.  I've used two Konas here, Coal and Peacock, as well as four fun aqua prints, from Modern Workshop, Hullabaloo, Sanctuary, and Pick a Bunch.

Block #3: Mosaic

Block #3 - Mosaic
This block was a cool way of putting HSTs together in a way I hadn't thought of before.  I used Kona Lagoon, along with some prints from Silent Cinema, Modern Workshop, Pick a Bunch, and Sanctuary.

Block #4: Flowering Garden Path

Block #4 - Flower Garden Path adapated much like Rachel's
The idea of putting together a boatload of teeny-tiny HSTs just didn't sound like fun when I cut this block out, so I used some scraps from the previous blocks to make this one work.  Then, when I started catching up on my blog reading today, I realized Rachel and I did almost the same thing - you can check her blog for directions on how to adapt this block, if you're interested.

Block #5: Star

Block #5 - Star
It's possible that this block is my favorite so far, though I really love them all.  I haven't paper pieced much since my Circle of Geese block for Brooke a while back, and I was pleased to find that I wasn't too rusty.  Even if I were, Faith's instructions are impeccable and super straight-forward.  I highly recommend them!

Block #6: Arkansas Traveler

I really like this block.  I wish I'd used a different fabric for the background fabric on this one, just for a bit more contrast, but all in all, I'm real happy with this block.  The paper piecing here was easy to follow, and produced a super impressive looking block!

I'm a bit hard pressed to pick a favorite so far, but the munchkin is super excited about this quilt and has a favorite - the Star block.  The real reason he's excited is because I'm making it for someone who the munchkin absolutely adores.  He can't wait to see it finished, and wanted his picture taken with the blocks so far, so I thought I'd share the cuteness.  Happy sewing this weekend!

The munchkin with my blocks

4x5 Modern Quilt Bee starting up!

Ever heard of the 3x6 Sampler Quilt Bee on Flickr?  Well, a sister bee is starting up right now, to focus on modern blocks with modern fabrics, the 4x5 Modern Quilt Bee.

4x5 modern Quilt Bee Badge

Recognize that quilt block?  Oh yes, that's from Kati, who happens to be in her local modern quilt guild with Amy, who started this awesome new bee.

To be a part of the bee, you must be an active Flickr user with a history of successful swaps as well evidence in your photostream of modern blocks made with modern fabrics.  The group will close at 96 members, who will be placed into 16 different small groups or beehives.  Each bee participant will be responsible for making 12.5" blocks from their stash for the five other members of their beehive, and in return will receive 5 modern blocks in the colors of their choosing.

Sound like something you're interested in?  Hop over to the Flickr group to learn more and request to join the group!