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'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