Bee’s leaving the hive

Donna and I belong to a quilting bee that we named Bee Inspired. The five of us share our work and projects and in non-covid days we would meet to sew together. All through the Covid lockdowns, we met weekly on Zoom to share our latest work and to stay connected. These ladies are amazing and very talented. A constant source of inspiration and support.

Well, three of us are leaving the hive and moving out of the area. Donna and I are moving back to the Raleigh area and another one is moving to Wyoming. Fortunately we are all experts in Zoom.

Last week we had a wonderful luncheon, at one of the ladies home, and the two bee members, that are staying in the Wilmington area, gave Donna and I a wonderful quilted and embroidered gift that I just had to share with you.

This wall hanging represent our Bee Inspired group with 3 of us leaving the hive. One is heading west (to Wyoming) and the two heading north representing me and Donna (leaving Wilmington NC to go north to Raleigh NC). The 3D bees were done on the embroidery machine.

Our machines and stash is all packed up and ready for the move. We are looking forward to being closer to family and re-connecting with our quilting & photography friends in the Raleigh area. We’ll still zoom with our Bee Inspired bee and can still get together as we are only moving 2.5 hrs away.

Stay tuned and we’ll share our new sewing space, with our Bee Inspired wall hang. It will be fun to decorate a new home.

Happy Stitchin,

Mary

Quilts of Valor

I picked up 2 kits of finished blocks to use to complete Quilts of Valor that needed piecing and quilting. The first quilt kit had the same size blocks (about 12″ squares). I checked the size of all the blocks and trimmed or added fabric so that all the blocks were the same size. The second quilt kit had blocks in 3 different sizes (from 9″ to 12″) and white fabric to complete the quilt top. The blocks were stitched together in columns using the same size blocks and the white fabric. I really liked the design of this white quilt and plan to use the pattern again in the future. Ranger liked it too. Both quilts were quilted using a free motion design. I have turned in both quilts to our Quilts of Valor coordinator for Eastern North Carolina. Keep having fun quilting and sewing. Donna

Baby quilts

I am trying to use the children fabric in my stash. I have been making baby quilts in the past year for friends of my oldest son. Recently I found some Mickey Mouse and friends fabric and some polka dot fabric in three colors (red/blue/yellow) to make a kids quilt. I just pieced together 7″ squares to create the quilt that was 42″ x 60″. I used another Mickey Mouse polka dot fabric for the backing. I took a Zoom class from Marge Tucker (Quilting with the Walking Foot) and quilted this baby quilt during the class with some of the quilting techniques from the Zoom class. I donated this quilt to a group in our quilt guild that makes quilts for kids.

For the second baby quilt, I used ocean theme fabrics. For the backing, I made large flying geese squares and a large print fish fabric. I made squares using an “hourglass” pattern with assorted ocean theme fabrics and white fabric. This quilt is going to a new mom who is having a baby boy in September. There is some sailboat and pirate fabric in this quilt. It should be a fun quilt for a baby boy. Keep having fun sewing and quilting. Donna

Milk Jug pattern by Laundry Basket quilts

Last year I ordered a couple of appliqué patterns from Laundry Basket quilts. The milk jug with the fall leaves and apples pattern would look good in our dining room area. I chose a grey fabric for the milk jug since our kitchen/dining area is mostly white and black. I also used a white fabric with grey leaves for the background. I cut out a few different shades of green before I found the shade that I liked best. I added a couple more leaves to the pattern for more interest. I really liked the little bird on the milk jug. The finished wall hanging is about 18″ x 32″ and will fit on one of the walls in the dining room. Keep having fun sewing and quilting. Donna

Little Onions – a wall hanging

We have not been real active posting on our blog lately. Sorry about that, but we have been a bit busy. We sold our house and are currently in a small apartment until we can get into our new house.

Moving is a lot of work and you never really appreciate how much sewing stuff one has until you have to pack it up. We did move our sewing tables and machines into the apartment (in place of a dining table). We also packed up some projects to work on while we are in the apartment but the bulk of our stash is in storage so we are limited to the small stash that we included in our project boxes. I know, we could go out and buy more fabric, but we really don’t want to do that.

Little Onions

This is a small piece that I plan to attach it to a 10″x10″ canvas to hang in our new house (in the kitchen/dining area). The applique pattern was much bigger than I wanted so I just shrunk it down on our printer/copier. I also did some hand stitching to the onion for additional texture. I think it will be perfect in our new house.

Happy Stitchin,

Mary

The Advocacy Project – Sister Artists 2 (Kenya): Hippo

Donna and I both signed up for a block and I got this sweet Hippo. Here is my Advocacy Project quilt.

Original Embroidery block.

The original embroidery was made by Jackline from the Kangemi community. This Hippo has such a sweet face it is hard to picture it as such a dangerous animal.

Our challenge was to take this embroidered block and turn it into a wall hanging that can later be auctioned off as a fundraiser for the Kangemi community of women.

I added wonky log cabin blocks and added a little hand stitching around the hippo to add some additional texture. The color scheme, that I chose represents the water, grass and the land.


I think I picked up the top border fabric (village print) at the free table from one of our Quilt Guild meetings in 2019. It was a perfect addition to my quilt. Thanks to whoever donated it to my stash.

Finished quilt.

I do love challenge and this one was extra special and an honor to highlight another woman’s beautiful work.

Have fun stitchin,

Mary

The Advocacy Project – Sister Artists 2 (Kenya)

A member of my guild works with The Advocacy Project.  Check out their website to learn more about the project – Sister Artists 2 – Kenya. (https://www.advocacynet.org/kenya-sister-artists/) The project is a follow-up to Sister Artists 1, which connected art quilters in the Global North with women fiber artists in Mali. This new initiative seeks to build a similar partnership between art quilters and forty-one women who live in two under-served neighborhoods of Nairobi, Kibera and Kangemi.

I picked the elephant embroidery block for my art quilt which will be in an auction. All profits will be invested in income-generating projects designed by the artists in Kenya and managed by two partner organizations in Kenya.

I wanted to make a landscape quilt so I looked online at landscape photos of Kenya.  I decided to use Menengai Crater as the background for my quilt.  I cut fused strips of fabric to use for the land.  I added a single piece of fabric for the crater which was fused and then I used Angelina fibers for the snow.  For the sky, I used some left over hand dyed fabric from a kit by Frieda Anderson.  I had fun making the trees with fused fabric.  I quilted the background (land, crater, and sky) before I added the elephant embroidery and the trees.  It was a fun project to work on. 

Have fun sewing and quilting.  Donna

Venice bridge quilt in progress

Last month I started working on a bridge scene from Venice.  Mary and I visited Venice about 15 years ago.  I painted white fabric with green and blue paint for the water since the canal water is a blue/green color.  I cut apart the water fabric into strips and stitched them onto a quilt sandwich of muslin, batting and backing.  I also used some painted fabric for the blue sky.  I used fusible appliqué to attach the buildings and the bridge.  Next I will do quilting on the buildings and the bridge.  Then I will add some confetti leaves in trees on the left side.  Still more work to do but I like my progress so far.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna

Picnic Petals quilt by Whole Circle Studio

Our quilt guild had a Zoom class earlier this month from Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill of Whole Circle Studio.

I wanted to make the throw size quilt so Mary took the class also and helped me sew the blocks for my quilt during the class.  The blocks were huge – 18″ square.  The finished size was about 60″ x 66″.

Sheri was a good instructor and shared many tips and other quilts.  It was fun to be on a Zoom class with other quilters from our guild especially to see the color choices made by the other quilters.

I liked the modern look of this quilt pattern.  I used a white and purple batik for the background fabric.  After I started cutting the fabric, I noticed that I needed to watch how I placed the templates since my background fabric was directional.

The curved piecing was easy to sew since the curves were gentle and the blocks were large.

For the quilting, I used a walking foot with variegated thread to echo quilt the petals.  In the open areas, I used free motion stippling and made feathers inside the petals.

I used colored strips of different lengths from leftover fabric to make the binding.

Keep having fun and sewing. Donna

Two online classes from 2021 Quilting Sewing Summit

2021 Quilting Sewing Summit had free quilting and sewing classes during the first week of February.  I took 2 classes – Trapunto and Paper piecing.  The Trapunto class was taught by a quilter from Hungry – Agnes Bobak.  In this class we made a trapunto shell using a stencil.  It was fun to take a class from an instructor outside the US. After the class I used my Inktense pencils to color the shell so it would stand out on the turquoise fabric.

The second class was a modern cactus pillow block using foundation paper piecing.  us pattern was called “Succulent” by Melissa Mason (Her website: Quilt All the Things).  I liked the modern look of this cactus flower. I quilted the block using my walking foot – straight lines and echo quilting. I decided not to make a pillow so I used a yarn binding instead.  The finished block is about 16″ square.

Keep having fun sewing and quilting.

Donna