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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Emerging from the haze

I’ve been in a big slump since surgery on my finger last Thursday.  The long finger had joint fusion surgery (also called “arthrodesis”).  (((NOT A ROTARY CUTTER INCIDENT)))

I am hoping to shake off the anesthesia haze and get back to having fun!

On Friday, the day after surgery, I ventured out in a haze to the garage where a few guild members worked very hard on 2nd Time Around fabric prep while I looked on and cheered them on and answered questions.  I was able to work through an entire box of “bundles”, counting pieces and getting them tagged and priced.  In my post anesthesia haze I honestly had trouble with losing count, and devised a little “paper marker” for groups of 10’s.  That worked and I was able to stop recounting, and move the bundles into the box!

On Saturday one of my bee buddies came by for a visit and a cup of tea. Pam brought me 3 containers of wonderful homemade soups.  That boosted me up too.  Afterwards I wandered across the street to say hello to another guild member who had a cardio cath a few days earlier. I saw that she had her daughter and great grandson for a visit so did not stay but a minute. Since the weather was decent and I was “already across the road” I took advantage of her development’s quiet streets and had a nice long walk.  By going up and down each street in the neighborhood I was able to get a mile walk in before heading home.

On Monday my friend Nancy B. (also my co chair for 2nd Time Around) came over and she worked on organizing a bunch of the donations while I fiddled with some of the kits and got them priced up.  Nancy is a great sorter, and cleared out a bunch of donations that will be moved along to the thrift shop.  She has a good eye for things that won’t sell at the guild meeting and might do better elsewhere.    Our stack of boxes ready for the April quilt show is growing quickly with beautiful fabrics to sell.

I also had a visit from my “other friend” Nancy L, who delivered a wonderful ziti casserole on Monday afternoon.  My hubby was pleased that he wouldn’t have to figure out dinner!  We had gone to the supermarket on Sunday afternoon, and neither of us could even think of what we wanted to eat, so I grabbed a couple of “lean cuisine” style frozen meals and more fresh fruit.  Gosh I am enjoying the ziti, and the big pan has lasted us several days.  I have managed to make a b.l.t. sandwich once, so kitchen skills are coming.

Tuesday I had a mid day appointment with the physical therapist. The surgeon had sent an order for a different splint. That visit was quite something. I didn’t realize she was going to completely remove the bandage and do wound care as well as making a customized splint.  The area on my finger where the incisions were made is quite spectacular looking…..no photos as it was pretty unsettling if you aren’t used to seeing that sort of thing.  Of course, I am curious by nature so I had to inspect the surgeons fine sewing!!  My #1 complaint about the splint the surgeon put on is it did not protect the end of the finger and I had banged that end about once a day. There are stitches there where a screw was placed in my finger and it shrieks with pain if you bang it.   I banged it about 20 minutes before leaving for the therapist, so I was at a 12 on a scale of 1-10.  She offered to make a splint that would protect the end, and that made me very happy!  She did a lot of measuring and checking range of motion and swelling and assigned me home work for the next 2 days.  Thankfully, just the end joint is now immobilized, and I can bend at the knuckle.  Gone is the huge dressing and wrap, but I still have to keep it dry for another week and a half.  Apparently when I   go twice a week to see the therapist, she will remove the bandaging and clean and redress it.  I can feel that the swelling has gone down, and my new splint is much smaller.  No more banging the end of the finger on stuff which is a huge improvement!

smaller splint day 6

The new splint  has a velcro closure and I can actually tighten it if needed.  My hand looks terrible with bruising down to the middle of the back of the hand, below the purple marker.  At least I can use the wet wipes and clean the orange goo off the rest of my hands and nails.  (At this point I still have to put it in a plastic bag when I shower.  This is MUCH easier though.  ) I go back in the morning for another round and hope she sees it has improved.

After the visit to the therapist, hubby and I had a nice 1 1/2 mile walk and that really got my lungs cleared out and my brain fuzz and haze cleared up.  Of course, I was invigorated by the walk and exhausted at the end.  Seems that napping is still the daily priority.

Hubby spent the day working in the garage and I hung out in the house. I really have been in a haze. We had a “snow storm” planned for the day, but it fizzled out and drizzled freezing rain for hours. When it finally stopped this evening, I was ready to get up and get moving!   After he left for the train club tonight, I put on my shoes and went out to the sewing room.  I didn’t have any plan but I was sick of hanging out in the house.

I took my cutting instructions out with me for the new From My Carolina Home mystery quilt.  Nancy B. had given me some of the pieces already cut, and I got out my basket of 2.5″ squares and pulled a bunch more out.  I reached into the scrap basket and pulled a bunch more bits of fabric out and tried my hand at the rotary cutter.  Guess what?  I CAN CUT!  I use a FISKARS loop cutter, and I was able to hold it and cut my pieces.  Because my splint is a hard molded plastic, I had no concerns about hurting my long finger, and it didn’t interfere with using the rotary cutter.  Now, I don’t think i will be doing much cutting for a while, but I was pleased with getting all the pieces cut for the throw size project!  I added to what Nancy B. had cut for me, and got the neutrals cut as well.

Cutting for new quilt

I am now officially “playing along” with the new Scrap Dance Minuet Mystery Quilt

It is not too late to join in.  February instructions at the above link are all cutting.  Very easy…even in my situation.  Next set of instructions comes on the 2nd Friday of March, so still plenty of time to break out the scraps.  Getting out there and just playing around a bit in my sewing room has helped me perk up.  Now I am wondering if I can do any sewing?  I have some binding made and a few placemats left to bind!

Feeling better for having done something fun!  The haze is blowing away. Now if the weather improves, maybe I can sneak out for another walk!!!  My hubby said the anesthesia haze and the pain haze are helping me to rest but honestly….I would much rather go play!  It takes me days to get that stuff out of my system. Tomorrow is a full week, and since I am not taking anything stronger than Ibuprofen, you can’t blame the drugs!  Sewing will help!!  So will more exercise!  I also have some much loved “grandma time” scheduled for tomorrow, and that has to help!  Everyday is an improvement and for that I am thankful.

Are you playing along and doing the Scrap Dance ?  How do you get out of a wintertime slump?

Cat bites the hand that fed it… and Secret projects

I have been very quiet on my blog lately, because it is time for SECRET PROJECTS!!   I am writing this on Thanksgiving morning (Nov 22, 2018) in the USA, but will schedule it to post for “after dinner”.  Thanksgiving Day feasting will take place at my daughter’s home and we have a bit of a drive to get there today.  My SECRET PROJECTS are being delivered there today, which is why the delay in the post going live.  I like to gift before I show them on the blog!

I’ve been playing with my embroidery machine a lot lately.  It seems that I can manage the embroidery machine and changing threads pretty well, 6 weeks post-op. My fingers are still pretty stiff, but moveable, and the surgery site is now healed nicely.

I have done some sewing, webbing together the quilt top for the My Carolina Home Hurricane Quilt Drive. Now I need to clean up the embroidery supplies, pack away the box of stabilizers and make room at my sewing machine to get the rows on that webbed top stitched.  My motivation will be delivering it with the backing fabric and the batting at my Queen Bees gathering on Tuesday!

Before I show you my SECRET PROJECTS, I want to share another story.

 We have 3 cats, one outside and 2 inside.  If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know about my cat Mittens….of the pet mosaic quilt.

20160820_224628

                           Sweet face Mittens

That sweet innocent face inspired the quilt below –

 (If you do a search on my blog you will find many posts about that project.  Here is just one –  Pet Mosaic piecing complete  )  

Mittens wins Viewer's Choice at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Show

Mittens has chosen my husband to be “his person”, while Smokey has chosen me to be “his person”.  Our outdoor cat is their mother, and she has chosen us both.  She really like my husband “better” than me.  

 Anyway, here is the story.  Hubby does floor exercises daily for his back, and Mittens likes to help him.  While he is on the floor stretching, Mittens loves to chase his shadow, get petted etc.  

Well, one day a little over 2 weeks ago, hubby stopped petting Mittens while he stretched, and had his head turned away. Mittens decided he wanted more attention and pounced, as cats will do.  Along with the pounce came a “love bite”…only this time, it was a BITE that broke the skin and punctured into his hand,  4 canines! Got the hubby’s attention, got Mittens some negative attention as a result! Hubby washed it off, and didn’t think much about it until 72 hours later when his hand got swollen, and red marks appeared.

 A trip to the doctor was already on the calendar, so he showed it to the doc at the appointment and was immediately put on antibiotics, and scheduled to return the following day.  By the next day, the swelling was worse, a red streak up the arm and the doctor took one look at it and sent him to the Emergency room for IV antibiotics.  Long story short, he spent 3 nights in the hospital, with IV antibiotics, the surgeon checking periodically to see if he might have to do his bit to clean out the hand etc. The hospital stay was followed by another 15 days of antibiotics.  Fortunately, he did not need the surgeon, and is on the mend!

 Moral of the story according to our family doctor – a cat bite is the WORST bite you can get.  He told us that we must come in to see him if it ever happens again, and get on antibiotics immediately!  Turns out, cats have bacteria on their teeth that gets “sealed in under the skin” when the teeth retract from the bite. The wound is considered a puncture wound, and no amount of washing & application of antibacterial cream will reach the bacteria.  Web MD has some really good information.  I read that before the visit to the doctor the first time, so I knew what was coming. 

So between recovery from my own surgery and dealing with hospitals for hubby, I have been able to spend time in my sewing room.  I do feel like I have given the embroidery machine a good workout.  Some secret projects will wait for after Christmas for the reveal, but others, you can see now.

I am enjoying what they call “in the hoop” projects.  With my little Brother PE500 and it’s maximum 4″x 4″ design space, I have found countless designs to stitch!  I love these little Gingerbread boys and girls –

Ginger boy and girl

I stitched them out on vinyl that I picked up on Sunday.  I also stitched out some on craft felt and I like them too! They were so much fun to stitch, and I thought they would be fun Christmas ornaments for this year for each of the grandkids.

A collection

I also had some fun stitching out other ornaments on white vinyl –

Ornaments on White

This is a first working with vinyl on the embroidery machine, and each time I played a bit with the stabilizers, toppers etc.  Overall, I had fun and I am pleased with the outcome.

I also thought I would take the Thanksgiving host a few dishtowels.

Enjoy life one slice at a time

Save room for Dessert

Bake the world a better place

These terry towels I picked up last winter, and have been “waiting” for the right time.  I have now run through about half of my supply, but have a few left waiting to be used for other projects.

Thanks for taking the time to read my posts and for taking the time to comment.

I hope you have a lovely holiday weekend!

Quilting in the 21st Century

I went to a “newcomers” orientation with Ocean Waves Quilt Guild on Monday. I’m a “member of the board” and was asked to come and talk about 3 or 4 different activities within the guild, including “Second Time Around”.  If you are a new follower, let me explain — My committee receives fabric and quilting notions from donors and we “make it pretty again” by pressing, trimming, folding and “selling” back to the members of the guild the day of our monthly meeting.  Funds we raise support our guild and enable us to have speakers from around the country.

When I get donations, sometimes I have to ask others “what” an item is or how it is used.  This is because I didn’t have an association with the hobby in the “previous” century, and I am aware that the hobby has changed dramatically since the 1970’s, the 1930’s and centuries prior.   My quilting “journey” began in 2008, and I learned to cut with a rotary cutter, learned how to cut strips with the June Tailor slotted ruler.  Some tools I see, I honestly haven’t experienced, yet my long departed grandmother would know exactly how to use them.  There is a resurgence in the quilting world to use vintage sewing machines, and to do hand work.  I learned at my grandmother’s knee how to thread her black Singer sewing machine, and she taught me the basics of sewing buttons on etc.  I learned this year how to sew a button on using my Janome.  Guess which way I like to attach buttons??

What was neat at the newcomers orientation is the WIDE variety of methods members are using in quiltmaking.  Some are employing centuries old methods, like “needle turn applique”  and “English Paper Piecing” while others are happy to work on t-shirt quilts and use those modern quilt kits that come with jelly rolls, and fat quarters and pre-cut 5 and 10 inch squares.  It was wonderful to see an entirely hand pieced project, and beautifully long armed projects too.  It was also wonderful to see a “first quilt”, recently made.  We all encouraged that new quilter to enter her project in our April 2019 quilt show.

My blog post yesterday about “machine binding” may have made a long time quilter gasp in horror that I would dare to enter a quilt in a show with a machine binding.  I’m sure much the same way as the quilter who had always made her own templates out of paper or cardstock when they stores started to carry that plastic template material, or when “gasp” rotary cutters and rulers came into being, or when the Accu Quilt Die cutting machines hit the markets.  Today, you can buy kits with everything pre-cut, with applique pieces digitally cut with “fusible” (gasp) on the back.  

Yes, quilting is here, in the second decade of the 21st century, with more technology that some might want, and technology that some of us crave.  I am the first to try a new gadget or tool.  I am also the one who says “my brain is not ready for another computer program to learn”.

My husband and I have two very different hobbies, yet they both are growing in leaps and bounds in the 21st century. He was dismayed yesterday when he read a comment on a group he belongs to about model railroading. The comment was very negative to the person who posted about finding a way to “cut out his building parts” using a Brother Scan N Cut machine.  The person writing the comment berated the man for not being a “real modeler” and that he “should be cutting those window out with an exacto blade etc…   My reaction was something akin to “B.S.”…..”that’s like telling a quilter that she didn’t make a “real” quilt, because she sent it out to be long armed, or because she didn’t “hand quilt” the quilt. Maybe others think the same of me because I use machine binding.

Personally, I think there is enough “room” in the hobby for all methods, and all tools and all INTERESTS.  My interests lie more in getting “finished” than languishing over a project for years and years.  I like “machine binding” and “machine embroidery” and “rotary cutting” and “fusible, machine applique”.  No, I don’t “quilt by check” but I do machine quilt.  And I learned to quilt free hand on a long arm…1 quilt down, but not award winning quilting like some who quilt professionally. But, it’s done!  And I did it, and I take pride it what I have learned along the way.

I think there is room for all levels of interest in this diverse hobby.   I’m sure you have heard some speak negatively about a quilter who doesn’t do a particular task “the right way” etc .  Is your “right way” the “only way”?

Is there room in the hobby for that attitude?  I don’t think so.  I think we need to be kind, to be helpful when someone asks a questions and wants to learn and also that we learn to not be our own worst critics.

Try to remember, a hobby, defined by Merriam-Webster  is “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation”. Other definitions include – A hobby is an activity that you do in your spare time for fun . Retirement brings lots of spare time, and this grandma is having fun!

I’d love to know if you have been active in the hobby for a long time about the changes that have been made that you embrace, and those changes that you chose not to embrace and why not?  No judgements from me.   Just tell me how the hobby has changed during the time you have been part of it, and what you like or dislike.

Thanks for reading along!

Machine Binding methods and tutorials

Yesterday, a friend of mine from church called with some “quilt questions”.  She has worked with me on our Senior Quilt project in the past and is an excellent seamstress.  She is getting ready to “bind” her quilt, and wanted to chat before she got started.  She had been at the fabric store and looked at the price of the premade double fold binding packets and knew that I could give her a better method.  I answered the questions on the phone as much as I could, then offered to share some resources that I have unearthed online.  By the time I got finished sharing all of it with her in an email, I felt like I’d just written a blog post.  I thought others who read this blog might find it useful too.

DISCLOSURE — none of these methods are my own, they are all resources I have come across in the 10 years that I have been quilting.

My absolute lazy self wants to machine bind quilts. I don’t have enough time in my life to sit and hand sew binding.  My brain has already started another quilt by the time I get to binding. I know many people find sitting and binding while enjoying a football game or a movie is relaxing.  I have 2 cats that would be in the middle of things, so it is out of the question in my life. Besides…I already told you, I am lazy.  (Really I want to get it done and move on!!)
Let’s start with my favorite
Susie’s Magic Binding” , also known as “binding with a flange”.  My hubby thinks it really adds a “pop” to the quilts.
                                                     This is MY preferred method for binding quilts 
I discovered this binding method on a blog called 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks. Tuesday Tutorial: Susie’s Magic Binding

 The directions are well written, easy to follow.

The video gives great instructions to follow along with the written instructions from her blog.

Susie’s Magic Binding Video Tutorial

Take note at around 8 minutes into the video of the method that is used for joining the ends and lining up the “flange/piping”.   This is the only “tricky thing” about this style of binding, and that is joining the ends and making the flange line up.

MY TIPS — In any method you use, I find that once you attach the binding to the BACK of the quilt, you get a better result by taking the quilt to the ironing board, and pressing that binding, against the seam, towards the raw edge of the quilt.  That way it is sharp and crisp when you roll it to the front.  I also take the time to bring it around to the front and PIN or use clips to hold the binding in place, so I have less fiddling around while I sew.  I use my WALKING FOOT when doing binding, because you are going through SO many layers.  I also use the TQM ” The Binding Tool” to join my ends, and I often BASTE the join until I have the piping lined up perfectly. I don’t always get my join perfect first try, and I find that basting the join works for me.  There are many ways to join the ends of binding and you-tube is a great resource.  I have never mastered the “pin trick” in the video above.  Near the end of this post I put a link to a video I used when I first got the TQM Binding Tool. That video is from Jenny Doan at Missouri Star Quilt Company.
OTHER TYPES OF MACHINE BINDING –All of these videos and links are from EXPERIENCED quilters who are great teachers.  There a LOTS more out on youtube, but I am sharing some of my favorites.
SINGLE COLOR BINDING
I love Susan – “the Gourmet Quilter ” and her methods and instructions.  In the first video, she tells you how to measure and make your binding, —  How to measure, cut and make a binding strip – Quilting Tips & techniques 093  
The 2nd video is her method for attaching and making the “finish” where the ends come together – How to Bind a Quilt by machine – Quilting Tips & Techniques 094

Susan joins the ends of the binding in a different method to the one that is done in Susie’s Magic Binding.  I learned this method that Susan shows in a quilting class at a local quilt shop.  (Like I said, many ways to achieve similar results!)

Pat Sloan  – a well known instructor – has a great tutorial on her web page for machine binding.  (I prefer double fold binding, but her final result for attaching is worth looking at) Pat Sloan Machine Binding tutorial
I haven’t looked for a video done by Pat, but her website may have something if you search around.
Jenny Doan – Missouri Star quilt Co has some great videos, and does one on “machine binding” using 2.5″ strips.  She is fun to watch too — https://youtu.be/-GVA05MxXTU

NOTE – Jenny mentions near the beginning of the video about The Binding Tool” and has a video on HOW to use the binding tool.

There are LOTS of ways to join your ends, and using The Binding Tool is MY preferred method.

Donna Jordan of Jordan Fabrics has great tutorials on You Tube. In the video below, she is giving you a “fast method” for machine binding and has used “butt joints” not a 45 degree angle when she is making her binding.  She has great tips for turning corners etc.  Her method is sewing the binding to the front, and stitching in the ditch on the front.  She is a very technical sewer and gives great explanations.    Jordan Fabrics Quick Method for Binding

I enjoy making the binding and machine attaching to my quilts.  Often times I bring home the quilts from church that our group has made and bind 3-6 of them.  I started doing that when my husband said to me once that it wouldn’t be fair to all the kids if the one I bound looked so “cool” and the others had “traditional binding”.  I try to pull colors from the quilts so the binding is a feature.  Here are a few peaks of what I have made over the years.  If you click on the photo’s below you will go to the folders they are in on my FLICKR page and you can zoom in a little.

Susies Magic Binding Dakota quilt

2 spools of binding

Binding set up on my machine

Binding a Senior Quilt

I just love the way the piping shows against a quilt –

Stripe binding

Below is a picture of a project I finished at a retreat this year and it has Susie’s magic binding.  The little piping really pops along the edge. Contrast is important when choosing what to use. In this case, I had plenty of that fabric, but made the main fabric “scrappy”.

Quilted and bound

QUICK EDIT FOR 2 more photo’s……because my hubby said you might want to see “MORE” and “CLOSER” etc…..

Binding for Addison's quilt

This grey and coral binding is on my youngest granddaughters quilt.  It got a 2nd place ribbon at the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Show in 2017.

Quilting on Addison's

Hubby said to “give you a close up” so here you go — 

Addisons quilt

**looking back at this quilt I think the judges were right….it needed more quilting in the border…**

So, that’s it.  I hope you enjoyed this little binding journey!

 

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?