Busy Queen Bees

I belong to a quilt bee called the “Queen Bees”. It is a group of Ocean Waves Quilt Guild (Lewes Delaware)  members who get together once a month and work on projects. Sometimes we work on a group project, and other times we work on our own projects.

We met this month in a new location and were happy with the lighting, tables etc. We will need to remember to bring our extension cords if we are bring machines. Imagine the “buzz” as 8 to 12 women gather with projects and machines. Good thing there is a door we can close!

One of my favorite parts of our bee is the show & tell time. I often forget to grab my phone to snap a few pictures. This month at our bee I remembered in time to catch these two pictures.

The first is a wonderful applique project done by Sharon J.  She told us the name of the pattern is Jungle Walk for a Cause, by Harebrained Happenings.

This quilt will go to a new niece or nephew.  It is stunning up close and in person.

Sharon's whimsical quilt

I just love the SHOES each animal is wearing.

The other stunning quilt that I took a picture of was by Joyce D.

Joyce redwork quilt

I love all the redwork hand embroidery.  Beautiful job Joyce!

Lastly – I want to share with you the quilt that was made by the members of the Queen Bees.  We made blocks at our October bee for the Carolina Hurricane Quilt project. The block finishes at 12″ and is called the Perkiomen Valley block. This same block was used last year for the California wildfire quilts and is a great “fast sewing” block. I assembled the blocks and our member Sharon J. offered to long arm quilt the top. Marta B. is working on the label for the back, using her embroidery machine.  I will be binding it using my favorite method, “Susie’s Magic Binding”.

Queen Bees Carolina Hurricane Quilt

We had a lot of other show & tell items, as this is a very busy group!  I just failed to get more pictures!

Do you belong to a small group that quilts or sews together?   What do you like best about being in a small group?

From my standpoint, I enjoy the helpful sharing that takes place with this group. There were 8 of us at the bee this week, sometimes we really fill a room with all 12. We are starting our 4th year together and it is so fun to see the friendships grow along with the skills of the former “newbie quilters”.  They are NOT newbies anymore!

Happy stitching!

ps . for information on the Carolina Hurricane Quilt project, visit From My Carolina Home

 

 

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Carolina Hurricane Quilts – Project Update and challenge

Many of my regular readers know that my blogging friend Carole Carter / From My Carolina Home is running a “block drive” for construction of Carolina Hurricane Quilts.

If you go to her blog post today, Carolina Hurricane Quilts , there is information about the number of blocks she needs, and the shipping address.  She has a pattern available in a PDF that she would like you to use, and discusses color/contrast/neutrals.  When you finish reading my post, pop over and visit Carole’s post.

Carole has also issued a challenge to groups and guilds and individuals in her post today. She is asking groups, guilds and individuals to consider making an entire quilt, and sending them directly to the distribution address she listed.

The need is vast, and knowing quilters, the response will be great.

My friends from Ocean Waves Quilt Guild, Lewes DE who are part of the Queen Bees got together at our October bee gathering, and we made a lot of blocks.  I had more “ready to make” than I could possibly sew at that bee, and off and on over the last 2 weeks I have completed over 30 blocks.  Carole asked since we had so many, could we assemble our blocks into a top. I am waiting on some promised blocks to come to me next week, then I will put those blocks together, and send a top to Carole.

Carolina Hurricane Quilts

Queen Bees blocks on the design wall

 

So quilters – here is the challenge — Can you make a few blocks using your scrap fabrics?  If so, then sew!  And mail to Carole!

I posted about this project in late September and I know that others have already got blocks ready to mail! Go to Caroles blog for the address!

Can you get together with a small group of friends and make a whole quilt?   There is a huge need. For more details please go  Read Caroles Blog Post .

She has names of quilt shops in North Carolina who are drop off points, and also addresses for the shipping of completed quilts.  There are so many ways to help, and knowing my readers, there will be more quilts in the mail and blocks on the way soon!

Thanks!

 

On the design wall

After I came home from church on Sunday, I spent about 3 hours in my sewing room. I cleared off “most” of the stuff that was on my design wall, and started playing with the Carolina Hurricane blocks. Some of these blocks were made on Tuesday by my friends in the Queen Bees.  One of our members sent her blocks in by mail, since she could not attend the bee, and others have promised additional blocks. Queen Bees is associated with Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in Lewes DE.

The blocks are all 12.5″x12.5″.

I set them on a 6 x 8 grid, and played around until I had a pleasing arrangement.  I currently have 41 of the 48 needed blocks.  I have 7 more sets ready to sew.  Those promised blocks are coming in this week and will add additional variety to this scrappy project.    This layout will produce a 72×96 quilt.  Getting “close” to that queen size.

Carolina Hurricane Quilts

Carole – From My Carolina Home commented on my post on Sunday, she indicated 42 (6×7 grid) blocks would make a full size, and 56 (7×8 grid) would be enough for a queen.

Making a 7×8 grid, I think a new “pattern” for the layout will be needed.  I will leave it “as is” for now and work on the rest of the blocks that I have “ready to sew” this week.

On Friday, 3 Queen Bee members will be at my house and maybe they can help “re-arrange” to make that 7×8 grid.  Maybe we will have enough blocks in by then to go for the BIGGER quilt.

I looked back at the previous quilts that Carole had assembled last fall in response to the California Fires to see those various layouts.  It turns out, she didn’t use this one at all.  So, I kind of like that it is different and unique.

Are you working on blocks in support of the Carolina Hurricane quilt project?  I know some of my readers are, and have them ready to mail in November when Carole posts the address.  Fingers crossed, maybe this quilt top will be sewn together!

Go check out Carole’s blog, link above, and enjoy the other things she has going on during her “Autumn Jubilee”.  Be sure to “tune in” on Monday on Pat Sloan’s afternoon http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/magazines-more/quilting-podcast at 4 pm (ET) and listen for Carole’s interview!  SO cool that Carole has gained recognition from such a famous quilter!

Let me know if you tuned in!

Carolina Hurricane Quilts and Scraps

I mentioned in a post in late September ( Carolina Hurricane Quilts )  about the Carolina Hurricane Quilts project being spearheaded by Carole  Carter on her blog – From My Carolina Home  

I made a few blocks right after that post, and gathered up supplies and made up “kits” to make more blocks.  I have a few scraps and squares and leftover half-square triangles, so it was quick to assemble those kits.  I usually don’t “save’ 4.5″ blocks, but I had LOTS of 5” squares in my Scrap storage system.  More about that in a minute…..

My wonderful bee – the Queen Bee’s took on the challenge of making blocks during our bee gathering last Tuesday.  They came armed with scraps and sewed for about 3 hours.

Queen Bees Carolina Hurricane Blocks

During the bee gathering I snapped some photos and sent them off to Carole!  It was fun to get a group photo.  Here are a couple of pictures of the members, hard at work.

Sharon Oct 2018

Marta and Nancy Oct 2018

(Sorry for the blur ladies….)

Tracy and Mary Oct 2018

(Imagine…I am actually there in a photo….that usually never happens.  Thanks Marta!)

I came home from the bee with a stack of blocks, and still a handful of the kits I made for myself.  I didn’t seem to get as much sewing done there as I had planned, so I spent the week working on more blocks.  My method for working on these has been to make “2 at a time”.  I use those  great little foam core design boards to lay out 2 blocks and move them to the iron and back to the machine, and I can “keep the angles” right fairly easily.  Look back at my blog here – Foam Core Design Boards to get info on the boards and how to construct them.

I keep making blocks, as my hand is continuing to improve following surgery.  Carole asked me if I wanted to put the blocks together into a top, and at the time, I wasn’t sure if I could manage. I think I have about 20  blocks done, and the bee had about 15 done, with more promised.  I planned to “send” them to Carole the 2nd week of November. My Queen Bees who are still making blocks are planning to bring them to me the first Monday of November.  We have such a great variety of fabrics in these blocks.  This afternoon, when the light is better I will put them all up on the design wall for a photo.  Now I am wondering if I am “able” to assemble them.  I will have to get specifics from Carole on size if I decide to do the assembly. (She reads my blog, so I am sure she will write! )

During this bee, it was fun to chat with my “bee mates”, and to learn which ones are following along with Carole on her “Autumn Jubilee 2018”, and who have enjoyed making her mystery quilts. I love that they found her through my blog posts.  I also love that Carole linked to my blog post last week.  The day she did that, I had 82 new visitors.  So, if you are a new reader, and came to find my blog because of Carole, I thank you for reading and coming back for another visit. Be sure to “follow” in your favorite method.  I love reading everyone’s comments too.

At my “next Queen Bee” gathering, I plan to work with one member  and help her come up with a plan for controlling & managing her scraps.  Bonnie Hunter   is one of my FAVORITE well known quilters and in her blog post today she talks about having “variety” in your scrappy quilts and about how to achieve that variety.  (Every January I tend to “clean up” my sewing room and cut my scraps into predetermined sizes. )  Thanks to the lessons I have learned from other bloggers, like Bonnie, and others, such as Joan Ford who has written books about working with scraps too.  I attribute my “scrap storage system” to the inspiration I have found on Bonnie’s blog.  My sizes I save, and my method for storage are unique to me, as it must be for everyone.  I will, no doubt, write about my methods in a future post.  If your curious, you can check out this post- Scrap Storage Containment System

My sister-in-law, Carolyn, wrote about her method on her blog here  One Block Wonder Woman and Scrap Overload .  If you are a “scrappy quilter” how do you “contain” the chaos of scraps?

Priorities and projects

I often wonder if I am the odd quilter. I find myself with more projects than time, then easily distracted by something “new and interesting” to work on.   I have SO many UFO’s that I can not bring myself to start on anything “big”, so I trick myself into working on “new little things” if I feel like I can knock them out in a couple of days.  My last big finish was my “Grandma’s Kitchen” in June, and since then, I have dabbled around with little projects.  This week was no exception.

Tuesday was our Queen Bees gathering, and I took my bin with my “parts” for another cardinal block.  I had lots of 2.5″ half square triangles made that needed trimming and enough cut to make an entire flock of birds.  I got all set up to sew, and somehow pulled the end of the power cord right out of the plug.

Broken plug for my featherweight

No sewing for me!  I spent the time at the Bee trimming and squaring up all those HST I had made the night before!  Time well spent, and lots of fun conversations. Hubby fixed the cord as soon as I got home so my Bessie the Featherweight is ready to stitch the next time I need her.

On Thursday, I got a “heads up” about some UNICORN fabric at one of the local quilt shops, and I stopped by on my way home from the Assisted Living Sewing group.  I found 2 different unicorn fabrics, and my hubby chose the one on the darker background.  We picked out a fun fabric to pair up with it from the sale room, and yesterday afternoon I got busy sewing. My youngest granddaughter will be getting a pillow soon in her little toddler bed, and her mother asked for a special pillowcase.  I had fun stitching these 2 up, using the “burrito pillowcase” method featured on Missouri Star’s you tube video’s.  (I always have to watch the part about layering and pinning!)

Unicorn pillowcases

The fun thing with this set is the little green piece. That fabric was in the quilt I made for my granddaughter almost 2 years ago. I hope there is “enough” coral and gray to please her mother with the room decor.  I still have about 1 yard left of the stripe and I have a plan for it down the road. Just another “small” project!

The last week was busy with 4 days committed to sorting and dealing with Second Time Around stuff for the quilt guild. We have a meeting on Monday morning, and are featuring NOTIONS.  My co-chair and I spent a couple of days just working on those items.  I picked up more donations on Tuesday, and it was loaded with great fabrics and notions.  I have enough buttons from another donation to keep me sorting for a month or 2.  Only a few from the latest batch made the sort for this coming meeting.

I did manage to get in 3 nice bike rides with my daughter and young granddaughter after nearly 3 weeks off.  We rode 7.8 miles on Wednesday evening, 7.6 miles on Thursday morning, and 8.8 miles this morning.   It felt great to get some exercise again.  I know I will be hindered from riding for at least a week or more following my first hand surgery this coming week.  The weather was PERFECT  and I enjoyed each of these rides.

When I got home from today’s ride, I packed up the SUV with all the stuff we have to sell on Monday. It is “packed to the rafters”, and we have items in storage at the church, so keep your fingers crossed for great sales for the guild!

Last blog post was Carolina Hurricane Quilts  .  Since that post, I got busy and set up enough pieces to make 14 blocks.  I made 5 blocks today, and the other 9 are kitted up, ready for the next gathering of the Queen Bees.  Those blocks will be our project as a bee, and I hope we get a lot made.  From my standpoint, it was easy to make up some kits. I keep 5, 5.5 and 6″ squares in a container, so I pulled them out and sorted out the dark and medium blocks, and trimmed a bunch down to 4.5″ squares.  I also had a stack of already made half – square triangles in a bin.  These were leftovers from Addison’s Quilt I made in 2016. (Yes same granddaughter).  I had that bin of leftovers out when I picked out the pillowcase trim, so I dug through it and pulled some of the half – square triangles that might work with the fabrics I had pulled out of my scrap storage.  The only yardage I cut was some tone on tone white for the “light”.

Carolina Hurricane Quilt blocks

Thankfully those HST had a variety of whites when they were made, so it makes my lights look a little more scrappy.  I wanted to be sure and get a few made “just in case” I am not able to sew right away.  I’m trying to decide if those turquoise HST look “too bright” . What do you think?   The squares that look almost black are really a dark green with black print. I took the photo at night with no flash, and up close they are not so dark.

I feel as though a lot was accomplished this past  week, though no UFO’s came off the list.  I have a couple of other things I am anxious to work on before the middle of the week.  One thing that can NOT wait is that darn garden.  I have ignored it all summer because of the rain, the bugs, the heat and the total lack of interest!  If I don’t do it tomorrow afternoon, it won’t get touched until February or March.  Right now, it is knee high with weeds, so maybe tomorrow afternoon I might do a little digging in the dirt!  I would much “rather’ work in my sewing room tho!   I have a Christmas project left from a class last September ,Squareagonals project , that just needs quilting in the outer borders, and binding.

Priorities….and projects….decisions to make!  oh look….fabric…………………….