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Posts Tagged ‘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

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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!

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Voile Quilt Top

This past Friday was one of the craziest I’ve ever experienced. Friday morning we woke up to the news that the suspects in the bombing had engaged in a shoot out with the police about a mile away from our house, and one suspect was on the loose in our neighborhood. Our town was in lockdown, and we were instructed to stay indoors and not to open the door except for a uniformed officer.

Pow Wow Quilt Top

So–if you’re trapped indoors all day with a bunch of nervous energy, what can you do? I decided that THIS was why I buy so much fabric! I had plenty to work on, and managed to finish 3 quilt tops in one day.

HST/LC Quilt Top

When we were finally allowed outdoors, we took Simon to the park to stretch our legs, and while we were there we heard a round of gunfire and rushed home. We learned that the suspect had been cornered and was quickly captured. What relief! People lined the streets of Watertown and cheered for the police as they slowly filed out of town. We are all so happy to have a bit of normalcy restored.

HST/LC Quilt Top on the Minuteman Trail

Pow Wow Quilt Top

The next day I attended the Boston Modern Quilt Guild meeting. I was so happy to be amongst friends, and we needed to brainstorm about what we can do as a guild to respond to the crazy events of the past week.

Boston Quilt Fabric

We’re cooking up an idea and will reveal the details soon, so stay tuned!

Boston Quilt Fabric

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wonky pinwheel quilt

I have been meaning to blog about this quilt for-EVER! I have to admit, I’ve had this done for a little while, I just have had my focus on work and family and traveling lately, and never seemed to find a minute to write about this quilt! And– I have to admit– when I would have a minute, I’d use it to sew.

wonky pinwheel quilt finished

This quilt was my own design, and I shared a tutorial for the blocks here on my blog. The lovely members of the Love circle of Do. Good Stitches all sent me these blocks, and as you can see, they did such a great job! You really can’t tell where one block begins and another ends, which is exactly what I was going for.

wonky pinwheel quilt scrappy binding

I also found that the mixed neutrals in the background really helped keep the quilt cohesive. I’m loving mixed neutrals lately!

wonky pinwheel quilt back

Although it will be hard to part with, this quilt is off to Wrap Them In Love. I’ll have to make another with my scraps to live at my house!

wonky pinwheel quilt

I was also *so* lucky to be able to meet some of my fellow bee members at the QuiltCon conference in Austin last month. We had a lovely breakfast, and I am so happy to be part of this group. If you’re thinking about joining a bee that makes quilts for charity, you can find more info about this particular organization here. I’m already looking forward to getting my blocks in the mail this month for my next quilt for the group!

Do Good Stitches Love Circle at Quiltcon

{From L to R: Ara Jane, Me, Kristan, Rachel, Jacey}

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HSTLC tutorial photo

This is a brief tutorial I wrote up for my fellow members of the Love Circle of Do. Good Stitches to use to make this month’s blocks. I was playing around with this idea in a quilt I made recently, but modified it just a bit for a clearer result. These are the colors I used as inspiration for my blocks:

fabric colors for March

These instructions are for making two 12.5-inch blocks.

HSTLC 1

To make these blocks, you need four 7.5-inch squares, and four 7.5-inch log cabin blocks. To make just one 12.5-inch block, you would only need two each of the 7.5-inch squares and 7.5-inch log cabin blocks– but making 2 at once allows for mixing up the prints a bit.

I used 2 inch wide strips to make the log cabin blocks, which worked well for the size block I was going for. However, you can also vary the width of the “logs” in your log cabin for a more varied look! To start, I cut a number of 2 inch wide strips for making the log cabin blocks.

HSTLC2

To make the log cabin blocks, start with a 2.5 inch square for the center (I just quartered a charm square for this step, but you can also use different fabrics for the centers). Then I added a 2.5 inch by 2 inch strip to both sides of the center square and pressed the seams. Next, I added the other 2 sides, and so on.

HSTLC3

HSTLC4

I added 2 rounds to each log cabin block, and ended up with blocks that look like this:

HSTLC5

Once these were done, I trimmed them to 7.5 inch squares.

Next, I took my 7.5 inch blocks (the non-log cabin blocks) and drew a diagonal line down the BACK of the fabric from one point to the opposite. This is the first step in a commonly used technique for making 2 half-square triangles at once.

HSTLC6

Place your log cabin block together with one of the non-log cabin blocks (right sides together). Your drawn line should be facing up.

HSTLC7

Pin these together so they don’t shift while sewing.

Next, sew a quarter-inch seam on EACH side of the line. That means you’ll sew 2 lines down the diagonal of the squares, each a quarter-inch from the center line.

Once you’ve sewn those two lines, return to your cutting mat and cut along the original line you drew.

HSTLC8

HSTLC9

This leaves you with two half-square triangle/log cabin blocks! Press the seams open to reduce bulk, and repeat for the remaining blocks. Using a clear ruler and rotary cutter, trim each block to be 6.5 inches square.

HSTLC10

Once you have all your HST/LC blocks made, arrange them in a pattern that is pleasing to your eye. I have been loving all of the crazy HST quilts out there, so I arranged mine somewhat randomly, and that’s what I’ll ask the members of my bee to do, too.

HSTLC11

Sew the 2 pairs of blocks together using a SCANT quarter-inch seam. I find this matters quite a bit when trying to keep the blocks at 12.5 inches when you are done making them– a generous quarter-inch seam will make your blocks end up being a little short of the 12.5 inch mark. Press the seams open, then pin the sets and sew again to make a block that encompasses all of your HST/LC blocks.

There are so many possibilities for this block– you could match up 2 log cabins to make half-square triangles for a scrappier look. You also could use fewer log cabins interspersed in your blocks for a calmer look that still delivers some visual interest. If you look closely, in one of my blocks I used 3 half log cabins, and used a “regular” half square triangle to break things up. There are also a number of other ways that these blocks could be constructed, I simply found this to be the easiest way for me.

HSTLC12

I can’t wait to see what my friends in my sewing circle make, and if you make anything using this tutorial I’d love to see it!

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Wonky Pinwheel Quilt Top

Oh my goodness, I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve had a minute to stop in here for an update! November kept me hopping, with travel for both work and family, and an extended stay at my sister’s house where I got to spend a good bit of time cuddling with my new niece. Now I can’t believe it’s December already! And although I haven’t found time recently to blog, it’s funny to see where my photos and work pop up around the internet– today I discovered my city reflection quilt over on BuzzFeed! It’s number 26 in the lineup of quilts to eye, create, or buy!

Wonky Pinwheel Quilt Top

I finished up this quilt top for the Love circle of Do. Good Stitches a little while ago, and I’m now working on binding it– so close to being done! I love these bee quilts, because they give me a chance to reflect a bit on some of my favorite things about sewing. Receiving blocks from all across the country, and knowing that my bee-mates will take a leap of faith and follow the instructions I made up for the quilt, is awesome.
Wonky Pinwheel Quilt Top

Everyone did *such* a perfect job with these blocks, and in the quilt top you can see how well they fit together– it’s hard to tell where one block ends and another begins!

Wonky Pinwheel Quilt Top

Wonky Pinwheel Quilt Top

I’ll be sharing the final product here soon, along with a slew of other projects I need to blog about! Baby quilts and christmas decor are piling up!

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October Do Good Stitches Bee Blocks

This month I managed to get my bee blocks done well ahead of the end-of-the-month deadline!

October English Paper Pieced Bee Blocks

It’s been a little quiet around my blog because we’ve been settling into the new house, I’ve been spending a lot of time learning new things at work, and I’ve been traveling for a the last few weekends to visit family. The bee blocks were perfect for all the travel, as they were english paper pieced using Rachel’s template. Perfect for riding in the car (or for a little stitching while playing Settlers of Catan and Carcassone!).

Hand stitching and settlers

More EPP and carcassone! I'll have my bee blocks done in no time.
My pile of quilts to share is piling up again, as are some crafty makings for other events, so I’ll be back to share more soon!

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hourglass bag

I was really excited when my circle of the Do. Good Stitches quilting bee decided to do a swap! I have only participated in a few swaps previously, because it can get overwhelming to load up on sewing obligations, and truth be told, I am a little protective of my sewing time! However, a swap among friends is always welcome, and I’ve loved getting to know the women in my quilting bee!

love circle swap

I was lucky to draw Rachel as my secret partner because I think I have a good sense of her style. Rachel loves rich, saturated color and patchwork, and appreciates text based prints. She also has expressed a love for linen as a neutral fabric– something I’m totally on board with! So, when I put this all together, I wanted to juxtapose the dense color with the black and white text, and soften it all with the linen. I got to business by making a bunch of hourglass blocks, and decided to form the front of the bag with these.

scrappy handles

I set one block in some patchwork for a pocket on the back, and I made the bag a little larger than usual so that it could hold a quilt or other sizable projects.
I love swapping handmade goods with friends!

Outer pocket on love circle swap bag

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x & + Love circle August blocks

Today I finished up my Do. good stitches bee blocks for August. Ara Jane requested x & + blocks, and had us follow the popular tutorial written by Amy. These blocks are quite fun to make. I found that it was easiest to cut a number of 3.5 inch blocks as well as quite a few 2 inch wide strips, and then to sub-cut the strips as I needed to to make all of the 2 inch squares required for each block. This gave me a chance to lay fabrics out to see how they looked together as I went along to create the blocks. I like when there’s quite a bit of contrast between the different shapes in the blocks, so I used that to guide my fabric choices.

Love circle Do good stitches August blocks

It’s my turn to design the quite for September, and I’ve been working on a new block I’m excited to share soon!

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Do good stitches improv chevron quilt

A few months back it was my turn to design the quilt for the Love circle of the Do. Good Stiches charity quilting bee. I love designing the quilt– I let the other women in the circle know what type of blocks I want and in what colors, and within a month they all begin rolling into my mailbox! This time I chose an improvisational chevron block (using the tutorial from Six White Horses.) I asked the members of the group to use turquoise and robin’s egg blues paired with oranges, yellows, and greys.

improv chevron quilt

I have creative license to put them together however I want, and it’s always fun to play with different layouts. Usually I would use some sashing to break up the crazy patterns in blocks such as these, but this time I thought they were playing well together and I sewed them all right up next to each other. I love how bright and busy the quilt is, and I’m really hoping it will brighten up the day of the child that receives it through the charity we donate to, wrap them in love.

improv chevron quilt back

For the back of the quilt, I pieced together a number of fabrics in coordinating colors for a bright and patchwork-y back. I just love reversible quilts! Plus, I was able to incorporate the one extra block I had from the front as the focal point.

back of the improv chevron quilt

Thanks so much to all the women in the love circle who contributed to this quilt! I couldn’t have finished this one without you!

improv chevron quilt on the porch

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