Category Archives: Bees, Swaps, QALs, and Hops


That is how the weather man described the weather we’ll be experiencing tomorrow – snowmaggedon. After four snow days last week, I’m pretty sick of the cold but I honestly don’t mind one more day cooped up inside. It will give me some quality time with my new sewing machine.

I bought a Bernina Aurora 440 QE on Monday. I’m thrilled with her so far. Thrilled! She sews like a dream. I can’t wait to test out some free motion quilting with the stitch regulator. This new machine has definitely given me some creative drive. I finished my seriously overdue November block for the Ringo Pie bee.

The theme was sweets.

ringo pie - November

My original block idea was a disaster. Paper piecing from someone else’s pattern is one thing, but it’s a whole different game to come up with your own workable pattern. It’s a fun challenge, though, and I just may figure out how to make that block work.

DFW readers, don’t forget that Dallas Modern Quilt Guild meets on Thursday! We’re having a binding workshop you won’t want to miss. Details here.

it’s a hoot + ringo pie

it's a hoot bundle

It’s a Hoot by Momo is all over the quilty blog world at the moment. Her Wonderland collection is one of my all-time favorites, and this collection is just as cute. It’s actually a little cuter because it’s full of soft baby pinks, yellows, and greens. But it also has a good balance of colors – gray, teal, coral – to round it out.

it's a hoot party

I bought my It’s a Hoot from Maricopa Fabrics. She has all of the pre-cuts and some coordinating yardage, too.

This weekend I did a lot of cutting and prep work, but not a whole lot of sewing. The only new thing I have to share is my October block from the Ringo Pie bee.
Kerry’s theme was collectibles. It took me a while to get motivated for this block because I don’t collect anything (except fabric!). It didn’t help that all of the other bee members whipped out some really fantastic blocks – setting the bar really high. But once I settled on my theme (mugs + tea cups), I really enjoyed the piecing.

ringo pie - for kerry

I’m very tempted to take out the white section on the left and add another small tower of tea cups, but I’m already late. I suppose I better put it in the mail.


Will is one of our dogs, a red stag miniature pinscher that we adopted from a rescue group. He used to be a very timid dog (he still is with strangers). Over the two years he’s lived with us, he’s grown very comfortable in our house…maybe a little bit too comfortable.

He never even lays on our bed. Normally he spends his days on the sofa in the living room so that he can bark at everyone who passes by. But today, because I laid out quilt blocks on the bed, he decided to take a little snooze in our room.

will + quilt blocks

At least he has the decency to look somewhat sheepish.

Friday Finds

On Fridays I like to get in a bit of fabric and/or thrift shopping. Yesterday I came home with some awesome finds. On the thrift front, I got a super cool bamboo-esque chair (similar to this one) that I can totally picture in Betty Draper’s new living room.

thrifty chair - before

It’s just screaming out for some paint and an upholstered seat, isn’t it? [$10]

I also found a vintage croquet set that needs a little TLC but is already super cute. [$7.50]

vintage croquet set

On the fabric front, I stopped in at Ruby Jane, a tiny shop that’s mostly online but does have a brick and mortar for local shoppers. She had a bolt of what is probably my favorite fabric discovery in ages – Tasty Escapes from Michael Miller. I’d never even seen this print before. It’s retro, cartoonish – very Route 66 and very adorable.

tasty escape - michael miller

And finally…some more of the in-progress red + aqua string quilt:

red + aqua progress

This quilt is enormous – 77″ by 77″ at the moment. I’m thinking of adding a 4 inch white border before I baste it. It’s going to be muy grande.

Checking In

I didn’t do much this week. It’s too hot to do anything right now. Just a bit of sewing and a bit of shopping and some fabric folding (because yummy stuff came in the mail.)

For my bit of sewing, I worked on my modern siggy swap 2 blocks.

modern siggy swap II - progress

I can’t decide if they need white sashing or if a wide white border is the ticket. Design wall, where are you when I need you?!

My bit of shopping came in the form of these cuties from Target:

red + aqua finds

And for the fabric folding…

far far away chapter 2

Far Far Away 2 by Heather Ross. So cute. I’m not cutting into this bundle anytime soon. But I did buy a couple sets of fat quarters when it first came out and this little stack is sitting on my cutting table.

far far away 2 bundle

I made a deal with myself that I would complete 3 quilts before I cut into it.  Hopefully that will happen very, very soon.

Time Flies

I’ve been on a bit of a technology break lately – very little blogging, no Twitter, no Flickr, no Facebook, no Tumblr. It was an unplanned break; life just got really busy. Fun and happy busy. I imagine that it’s going to stay that way for a while, and I’m glad. But I did miss blogging so I’m going to make an effort to post more often. There are so many wonderful things going on in my life that I want to share.

My latest WIP is my quilt top for the Red + Aqua bee (my month was April). I sent out lots of fabric strips and asked for 12.5″ string blocks. When putting all my blocks together (22 in total), it became clear that I needed a bit of pink to soften the strong contrast of the red and aqua. So I whipped up 14 more blocks on Sunday afternoon, using my own lazy girl paperless/foundation-less method.

red + aqua blocks

That is going to be one big red + aqua (and pink!) quilt. Can’t wait to finish her. A few of the Dallas Modern Quilt Guild ladies and I are going on another retreat in a few weeks so I should have plenty of time to make some progress on those 5 or 6 quilt tops tucked neatly in my “don’t look in here” drawers. My goal for 2010 was to make at least one quilt a month and judging by my sidebar, I’m two behind (is counting the mini quilt I made for my dog nephew cheating?)

quilting bees.

Over the last three days, I’ve made four bee blocks and 101 blocks for a swap. I’ve definitely over-extended myself with the bees and swaps this year. Over the past couple of months, they were really starting to wear on me. The idea of a quilting bee is fun, but the reality is that they are a lot of work and often tedious.

Why? Well, a lot of the time it’s because you just don’t like the fabric you’re working with. But the worst ones are the complicated blocks where the person didn’t even send you enough fabric. It happens. A lot. And sometimes, when it’s your turn to receive blocks for the month, you get some back that don’t use the fabric you sent out or worse yet, aren’t even the right size. There’s been a lot of that going around lately.

But I have to say, that when all the stars align, quilting bees are really fun. I opened my package from Ryan of I’m Just a Guy Who Quilts this week and his fabric made my day. He picked a great selection of aqua and orange fabrics that look great together.

fussy cut bee...june

It got me in a better mood to face my July bee blocks. The two I have to work on this week are pretty awesome (awesomesauce as my husband would say). One of them is packaged so tidily and precisely that I almost hate to tear it open.

If you’re thinking about joining a bee…I’d recommend joining one that is either by invitation only or that includes many other quilters you are already familiar with.  It makes it more enjoyable if all the members have a similar aesthetic. And remember that for every bad experience, there are at least ten good ones.  In one of my bees, my friend Lucia of LuluBloom made two extra blocks for me when she saw that I hadn’t received all of the blocks during my month. How nice is that?!

Sewing Marathon

Pillow Talk Swap

Wow, I did a lot of sewing this weekend. The Funky Finds Spring Fling is 12 days away and I’m sewing like mad to increase my inventory. I sewed so much that I started doing stupid things like cutting an extra half inch of the edge of a pillow. Grrr!

I took a little break on Saturday afternoon for a knitting class at the Shabby Sheep (could that name be any cuter). The shop is so charming and everyone is super friendly. If you knit or crochet and you live in DFW, I highly recommend you check them out.

for posterity

I also organized my fabric this weekend because the chaos was overwhelming and I noticed something…Mainly, I have no purple fabric, very little yellow, and an insane amount of green. (The green stack doesn’t look too big in the photo, but two of my white bins are filled with green FQs.) Seems like time for a little fabric diet – I’m going to try to stay away from the same colors I always choose and fill in those voids in my collection. I tend to buy fabric pretty randomly, mostly just choosing prints I love and rarely planning ahead when it comes to coordinates. Any recommendations for must-have yellows and purples?

***NOTE*** Originally blogged at my old url. Some links may be broken or missing.