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Do Good Stitches

dresden closeup

I love being part of the do good stitches quilting bee, it challenges me to design quilts that will be fun for my fellow bee members, and asks me to try new things when I’m sending in blocks for a quilt.

do good stitches bee blocks

I thought it was time to do a little round-up of recent work for the bee. These blocks I made for Rachel this month.

do good stitches bee block

Ara Jane asked us for courthouse steps blocks. These were so fun to make, and the sneak peek of the quilt she gave on instagram recently was gorgeous!

January bee blocks

Last month I asked for blocks I designed using a scrappy log cabin approach. This quilt has been so fun to put together, and I’m thinking I’ll do a little tutorial with my instruction for this quilt block soon.

DGS bee blocks

DGS bee blocks 2

I quilted my happy houses quilt, and am finishing up binding it by hand now. I love how it turned out, too– it’s a testament to the creativity and skill of the members of my circle!

Happy Houses Quilt Top

improv double wedding ring

I’ve had this idea for a while to try to make more traditional quilt designs with an improvisational approach. After many hours in the sewing room, I’ve discovered that I need to use this time to just play, and for me, that is what improvisational sewing is all about. What I love about this approach is that there are no rules, and if you don’t love something cut it up and start over, or transform it into something else.

improv double wedding ring

I wanted to take on making my own modern version of the double wedding ring quilt, and I knew this would push me because of all of the curved pieces in this design. Every curve was cut freehand and sewn without pins, and rulers were only used to square up larger pieces. I really tried to let go of the rules on this one!

improv double wedding ring

After looking at lots of photos of traditional double wedding ring quilts, I mentally deconstructed the pattern into its most basic forms, and then created these out of improvisationally pieced panels of fabric.
In my quilt, the rings are made up of the negative (light colored) spaces. It makes the “rings” more subtle, though they’re still there. I also chose to piece everything from scraps, as I think this gives the quilt more depth and visual interest.

improv double wedding ring

I also wanted the quilting to complement the design, so I rolled up my sleeves and quilted different free-motion designs in different areas of the quilt. It took me quite a while, but I think it was worth it. I’ve never quilted a quilt so heavily– and I likely won’t do this often– but it’s nice to know I can when the design warrants this level of quilting detail.

Free Motion Quilting on the improv double wedding ring quilt

One reason I was motivated to finish this quilt was so that I could enter it into the double wedding ring quilt challenge that is wrapping up at the end of the month. There are so many cool quilts entered already, and I love seeing how differently people can interpret the same design.

improv double wedding ring mini quilt

I also wanted to test my design out on a smaller scale, so I finished a mini quilt using the same improv techniques. For this quilt, I used organic wavy lines for the quilting.

improv double wedding ring mini

improv double wedding ring mini

It finished up quickly, and I had so much fun sewing it. I highly recommend taking a little time to just play around with your scraps and designs to see what happens!

improv double wedding ring

Weekender Pocket Quilt as You Go

Hey friends! I’ve shared a guest post over on the Boston Modern Quilt Guild Blog today about how I’m making patchwork panels for my Weekender Bag. Check it out if you’re interested!

This weekend I was also busy finishing up this large quilt top.

Marcy's Quilt Top

I was lucky and had some help in the sewing room– my sister cut out some Weekender pattern pieces for me (thanks Liv!) and I was able to get going on my patchwork panels. I am excited to see this bag come together!

Weekender Pocket

Finished Half Square Triangle/Log Cabin Quilt

I’ve fallen a bit behind in blogging about my finished quilts this summer, but I wanted to keep a record of these finishes here. I’d guess I have at least 10 quilts I’ve finished that I haven’t blogged about– yikes! I’ll try to do some catching up.

Quilting detail on thr HST/LC quilt

Thanks for holding my quilt, tractor!

Wavy Quilting Lines

Do Good Stitches Log Cabin/Half Square Triangle Quilt

First up, I finished this quilt along with the help of the Love circle of the Do. Good Stitches charity bee. We usually send these quilts off to be distributed by the group Wrap them in Love, but this time I had a special request. My neighbor had been battling cancer, and I knew he was going into hospice care. I thought the quilt might lift his spirits, and the members of my bee agreed that this would be a good home for our quilt. Sadly he passed away just after I finished the quilt, but I know his family was very moved by the gift and continues to use the quilt.

July Quilt

July Quilt

Patchwork July Quilt Back

Next, I finished what I think of as my 4th of July quilt. I’m not usually into Americana, but there is something about the red and blue stars that I love. I also used one of my favorite ruler prints as a neutral in this quilt. It was good to get this one finished!

stacked coins quilt

stacked coins quilt back

My office mate at work was getting married this summer, and from the day that I hung a mini-quilt on our office wall she’s shown an interest in and appreciation for my quilting hobby. I made this simple stacked coins quilt for her and her new husband to enjoy. I used the colors from the Chicopee fabric line as my guide, and made each stack of coins centered around one color. I love simple quilts like this one, they are so enjoyable to put together.

stacked coins quilt

I have a few more finishes to share soon, including some quilts I recently wrapped up for the Lowell Quilt Festival. If you’re in the New England area you should consider checking it out– the Boston Modern Quilt Guild has an exhibit, and all the details can be found here. I’ll share some photos of those quilts once I go visit them in the show!

BMQG_Common08

I’ve been meaning to post these photos from our sew-in for the last week, but life is just flying by this summer!
BMQG_Common16

I met up with some of the dedicated members of the BMQG in downtown Boston so that we could work on binding and
labeling quilts together.

BMQG_Common20

It was a hot and sunny day on the common, and we we so lucky to have Taz come to take some photos for us! She does such lovely work, and you can check out more of here photos here.

BMQG_Common09

Our pile of finished quilts is growing, and we’re gearing up to make a few big deliveries soon. We still have many quilts in progress, too. This has become such a larger project than I could have imagined, and I’m so grateful for all of the help and support that our guild has received!

BMQG_Common21b

There are more quilt photos being added to our flickr group all the time, so keep checking back to see the finished quilts!

Scrappy stars! For @jaceynotjc

Today is my birthday, and I’m trying to resist the birthday blues by taking the day off work and making myself a new bag. There are a couple of things that I wanted to share because I think they are amazing, and I hope you enjoy them too!

First up, this is by far the best use of Pinterest I have ever seen. Seriously, take a minute to check it out.

Second, I’ve been in love with this song and music video for the last few months. I could watch it every day. WordPress is being tricky and won’t allow me to embed the video, but this link will take you to youtube to watch it. Trust me, it’s a good decision!

first quilt top done!

Well, it only feels like about a million years since my last post! Things around here have been busy, but so good too!

I know it sounds super nerdy, but I’ve been really energized about the research I’ve been working on lately, and it makes me want to work more more more!  (an aside– I keep quoting this commercial. “We want more! we want more!).

And of course, Quilts for Boston has been full steam ahead! We have had many meetings and sew-ins and these quilts are really coming together! Eventually we’ll have photos of all of the finished quilts added to our flickr group, but so many are in various stages of progress at the moment that we’re just snapping photos when we can.

Another day, another trunk full! #quiltsforboston

Leading up to our deadline for mailing blocks in, I was at the post office every single day, with a bin (or two!) of mail waiting for me! I really love the women working at the post office, who continually got excited about our mail (“Today you have packages from Australia!” I’d hear when I walked into the post office) and helped me haul it all to my car– definitely above and beyond the call of duty.

The #quiltsforboston PO box has seen a lot of action recently-- today's haul included 2 full mail bins plus some! The very kind postal worker helped me carry it all to the car :)

As I opened each envelope or package, I’d keep track of where it was sent from, how many blocks were included, and if a note or letter was in the package. We have quite a file of letters, and we plan to archive these when we’re done with the project. Opening the mail and tracking the blocks took the majority of my free time for a few weeks. I then took my box full of blocks and sorted them into bundles to give to members of the Boston Modern Quilt Guild and volunteers who were willing to assemble them into quilt tops.

Quilting in progress! #quiltsforboston

We have SO many quilts in progress at the moment that it’s staggering! Initially we were hoping to maybe make 20 or 30 quilts… and then we raised that estimate to 50, for which I figured we’d need about 1000 blocks. At last count we’ve surpassed 2000 blocks, so we’re on track to make closer to 100 quilts!

On the long arm at quilters way! #quiltsforboston

Although this project has taken over my free time (and most of my sewing space) for the last couple of months, I have managed to get some personal sewing in– I’ve finished a few quilts I’m planning to share here soon!

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