Baby quilt for a new little MQG member

Jessie, the president of the DC Modern Quilt Guild, just had a baby.  I was lucky enough to get to put together the blocks from the MQG members to make the quilt for the new little bundle.

Vivian and her quilt

I was inspired by Teaginny's Tiny Log Cabin Quilt.  So I asked for monochromatic log cabin blocks in each member's favorite color, out of their favorite fabrics and measuring only four to five inches.  I also asked each person to send some pale neutral scrap for the sashing.

Once I received quite a few blocks in the mail, I arranged them on my design floor.  I like to use the back of a picnic tablecloth.  The flannel side is very sticky and the other side is slippery so it is easy to roll up or fold and then flatten it back out without my blocks getting rearranged.

starting layout


Then I started improv piecing around each colorful block with whatever low volume bits I could find that worked.  Here is the first quarter,

1st quarter


the second quarter (after Henry trampled on it),

2nd quarter


the third quarter,

3rd quarter


and the fourth.

4th quarter


Once the top was all assembled I basted it,

needs hand quilting
and then did some quilting with white 20wt thread.


Then I added some black hand quilting around each block...

quilting


quilting


quilting


quilting


quilting
(that cerise block is mine!)


...and I hand stamped the back of the quilt with the first name of the person that made that block.

names


Linda attached the binding and hand stitched most of it and Anne finished the rest.  I'm so grateful that some people like to add binding because it is my least favorite step of the process.

Linda and Anne are awesome


I stamped DCMQG and wrote the year on it.

label 


These are 11 of the 24(!) people that submitted blocks for this quilt.

some contributors on retreat

Patchwork Death Star Pattern

The pattern is posted to my blog. Link in my profile. Please please tag it #patchworkdeathstar.  I'd love to see it.

I was hoping to post this a couple of days ago, but it turns out that I'm not very tech savvy.  Thank goodness I finally pulled it together.  Here is the link for the pdf file for the free pattern and some instructions. 

I have a couple of pictures that I took along the way that I'll post here.  If you do make a patchwork Death Star please please please post a link for me to see.  If you are on IG, please tag it #patchworkdeathstar.  Thanks!  I can't wait to see different versions.  I originally dreamed of this all in tiny Libery florals.  Wouldn't that be cool?

Well anyway, here is a shot of a few of my pieces after glue basting.
basted


And here is a picture of the top half pieced and sitting on top of my first drawing of it. 
In process

The final pattern will make an 11x12" block.  The perimeter fabric can easily be made larger by extending the paper pattern.  The Death Star itself could be made bigger by bringing the pdf printouts to a copy store and enlarging them.

May the force be with you. 

Confirmation that I'm a geek

(As if you needed it.)

I sent this mini quilt off to a friend last week.  It is a Patchwork Death Star.

Patchwork Death Star


The inspiration for it started when my friend, Blair, sent me this most fabulous embroidery hoop.

I got a super sweet gift from the uber talented @silentblair.


Perhaps, more accurately, it started much earlier when we started talking about how smooth Lando Calrissian is.  Once it was determined that we were both Star Wars fans, the pins and tags just kept flying.  She is super sweet and talented so she made me that hoop of awesomeness up above.

It is really, really hard to craft for awesome crafters.  It took me a l-o-n-g time to decide what my theme would be.  And then I was stuck on making the Death Star all in florals.  It turns out that I didn't have enough small scale florals for my idea and getting the right value changes was going to be impossible.  But I have gray fabric up the wazoo.  Once I decided to do the pattern with English paper piecing things went pretty smoothly.  Some advice from Melissa and Jessie helped, too.

I really didn't think that there would be many people who would want to make a Patchwork Death Star of their very own.  But the requests for a pattern have been pretty insistent.  I still need to finalize how to print the pattern out, but I hope to have it up tomorrow. 

Have you ever shown your geeky side in your quilting?

March Recap

Two posts in two days may sound a little too crazy, but here goes nothin'...

In March:

I KNIT A SWEATER!  I don't mean to holler but I LOVE it.  I really really really do.  It isn't finished in this picture but you have to believe me that it is done, ends weaved in, blocked, and I wear it in all of its squishy, yummy, colorful glory.  I have a big crush...on my own sweater.  (Now I just need to gather the courage to take a picture of me wearing it.)  The pattern is Practically and is available on ravelry. 

I have about four rows left!!


I finished my last bee block for the Ringo Pie Bee and this one was for Penny (sewtakeahike) who was the one that taught me how to design my own bee blocks in the first place.   No pressure or anything.  I am very happy with how this one turned out.  I used a crapton of different techniques on it.  That seems to be my thing.  My little odd person niche in the world is to use a crazy number of techniques in order to realize the vision of the block in my head.  And that works for me.

My last #ringopiebee block for Penny at sewtakeahike.


We've been working a lot in our new community garden plot on warm days...

We worked on our new-to-us community garden plot this weekend. The plot is a bit of a disaster, but we did bust up a little patch of soil to get the sugar snap peas in the ground.


...and then we get a few more snow days.

I'm generally sick of snow days,  but Henry has been beside himself with joy all day.


I'm trying out sewing hexies by machine.  There is a big plan in the works for this piece!

Just the start of something good... #hexies


And I've had a few secret gift projects up my sleeve this month.  My first gift reveal gets it own post...very, very soon. 

Number 5

Yup.  This is blog post number five for 2014.  (Henry likes counting in Spanish so he would say, cinco). 
I could apologize for my absence, but I won't.  This is a place I come to with things that have inspired me and stories that I want to share.  And I have no regrets for how I've spent my time so far this year.

But how do I catch up to the current inspiration?  Thankfully flickr and IG remind me.

I wove a scarf on my loom.  I'm delighted that I found a good place for two of my favorite stash yarns and super duper glad that a good friend was willing to give this scarf a home.

I forgot to post the finished scarf that I wove on the loom. I'm really happy with it. I want to weave another scarf next but I can't decide on the yarn. #loomweaving



I cut into my Katie Jump Rope fabric.  I love the rectangles I've cut so far, but I'm stuck on background fabric to go with the collection.  So this will have to sit until I'm good and ready to go again.

I gathered my KJR together to start a quilt idea I have. I think it is time to stop collecting and hoarding this line. Instead, it is time to use it and then use it some more.



I gave up knitting one sweater.  But selling the yarn and some hoarded fabric allowed me to buy...

I ripped this whole vest out today...  This is the second time that this yarn does not want to be made into a sweater by me. So I'm selling it to someone on ravelry. And I feel much freer ✨


...some Madelinetosh yarn to knit another sweater.

I love that my knitting matches the quilt in my lap. #ravellenicgames2014


I had to rip that sweater, too.  But when I love a yarn that much, I don't mind knitting it all over again.

Maybe I should have tried it on WAY before I got to the fourth ball of yarn. #ribbit


We took a road trip with the boy...to Wisconsin...in February...with the added fun of a polar vortex. We had a great time on our trip, but I swear that we should meet up with my family in a warmer locale next time.

#latergram of Henry trying to shove all of "Woody's guys" under his armpit for safekeeping during the car trip. My little hoarder has to touch all of his favorite toys at once. At least he is excited to be in the car and headed to Wisconsin    6 more hour


While in Green Bay, I helped my mom quilt her Farmer's Wife quilt.  It was a huge job but definitely satisfying.

My mom, @bakerlady16, and I on her #farmerswifequilt


Lastly, I finished some ancient bee blocks.  I feel like ancient is the primary adjective I use when describing bee blocks here.  I think I need to keep up on my bee block calendar a wee bit more for the rest of 2014.  Do you agree?

Farmer's Wife block 30, End of Day. Ancient replacement bee block for @wheretheorchidsgrow.

Replacement bee block for @wheretheorchidsgrow. Her theme was 50's housewife. #cocoricobee

Whew!  That was all January and February.

Stay tuned for my next update. 
I'm totally serious.  I will be back very soon.

Dear Sweet Boy

This morning you woke up and said, "Trains! Play trains." You are nearly four and half and this is the first time in two years that you wanted to play with trains without tantrums and without me plying you with treats.  You watched a video of a classmate playing with them and you decided that you could do it, to.  You never have liked wheeled vehicles before, and today you still weren't interested in setting up the track or in moving the train on the track.

Instead you played with them in your own unique way.  You nested.

Your daddy and I made you a train table when you were one and half.  And today you piled the tracks and trains on it, added a layer of Toy Story figures (paying the trains your highest compliment), you added some bubble wrap for good measure and then added the doggies, soft blankie and the quilt from your bed (your own version of whipped cream and a cherry on top).

I didn't get a picture of the next part because I was too busy giggling.  You laid on top of your treasures with the quilt covering you and your toys.  Your head was under the quilt and everything else was in a pile under you and you kept saying, "Sleep." Then you poked your head out from under the quilt, grinned at me and said, "I'm exhausted."

You, my son, are a hoarder of great treasures, you are a nester (often singing, "lay down in your nest, let me take a rest") and a cuddler.  And you accepted trains and train tracks into your nest to cuddle today, right on top of your train table.  And it made me cry--the happy kind.  My joyful boy learned how to play with trains in his own way.  You watched a peer at school, saw how happy trains made him and you decided to show me how happy trains make you.

I love you more than words can express.  So I think you and I will make a nest later today.