September 2016 Blocks

The majority of my focus this year has been on my Terra Australis Quilt, but thankfully I’ve had some other obligations this year to give me a much needed break from this all-consuming (though very satisfying) project. For my Bee Hive commitment, Mischelle chose the Jagged Little Pill by Molli Sparkles. This is one of those blocks that creates such a cool secondary design. Below is my block for Mischelle:

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For Stash Bee Hive 7, Anja chose a very modern, random HST block in greys, white, black, and bright orange. I loved making this block and would like to make a quilt using blocks similar to this block:

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And last but certainly not least, last week I participated in the 2016 Cloud 9 New Block Blog Hop and shared my Berry Blossom Block which is an original block that I designed after seeing Terri Ann’s Dogwood Blossom Mini Barn Quilt Kit and deciding to make a modified version (with her permission) for this new block blog hop. If you haven’t looked at all the other blocks designed for this blog hop, take a few minutes to do so. You are in for a treat!

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Linking up to Quilter in the Closet: Building Blocks Tuesday.

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Terra Australis Quilt Finished!

I finished my  Terra Australis quilt on Saturday and slept under it for the first time last night! This is the largest quilt I have ever made measuring at 78″ x 78″. All I had left to do this past weekend was to machine sew the binding on both sides and to sew the quilt label on. I had friends who volunteered to be quilt holders, so I was able to get a couple of outside photos.

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img_2450For my quilt label, I used a basic label from StoryPatches.com. I was going to use Stephanie Palmer’s custom Story Patch label with the arrows on two sides of the label, but then I decided to sew a turquoise dot border around the label so thought the plain label would look better. As you can see in the photo below, the label has a little bar code on it. It is linked to an app called stkr.it which can be easily downloaded to phones and tablets. So far I have just made a test auditory recording but plan to make a recording that will include details about my quilt including how long it took to make, size of quilt blocks and quilt, the fabric collection and designer, inspiration for blocks, the backing, quilting by ThreadBear, binding, and labeling.

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This was my number one priority of my  2016 Q3 Finish-Along Goals and probably my only Quarter 3 finish and was also my September ’16 OMG goal. Linking up to Cooking Up Quilts: Main Crush Monday and Red Letter Quilts: OMG September ’16 Finishes, and I’m also entering this quilt into the 2016 Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Large Quilt Category.

 

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Berry Blossom Block for the 2016 Cloud 9 New Block Blog Hop

I’m very honored to be participating in the 2016 Cloud 9 New Block Blog Hop hosted by Yvonne@Quilting Jetgirl, Cheryl@Meadow Mist Designs, and Stephanie@Late Night Quilter 9/12-9/14/16. Our three hosts curated the most beautiful bundle of Cloud 9 Organic Cirrus Solids. It is called “Berry Harvest” and is made up of five scrumptious colors: Amazon, Sky, Shadow, Lilac, and Iris. Cloud 9 generously supplied each participant a Berry Harvest fat quarter bundle. All of the 12 1/2″ unfinished blocks made for this new block blog hop will be collected and made into quilts for donation. Yvonne’s group got this blog hop going yesterday. If you have not already checked out their wonderful blocks, you will truly be inspired.

I am in the second group of bloggers, and Cheryl is the leader of our group. At the end of this post are links to all the other bloggers in my group. I hope you can take some time out to enjoy all the blocks created by our group.

I’m calling the block I have designed for this new block blog hop “Berry Blossom.” The inspiration for this block is the Dogwood Blossom Mini Barn Quilt Kit. Terri Ann’s mini barn quilts are such a great and economical way to add a little three-dimensional quilt art to any decor.

For my Berry Blossom block, I used all five colors of the Berry Harvest bundle.

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Cutting

From the Iris (berry colored) fabric, cut one 4 1/2″ strip and then subcut: two 4 1/2″ squares, four 2″ squares, and two 1 1/2″ by 2″ rectangles.

From the Lilac (pink colored) fabric, cut one 4 1/2″ strip and then subcut: two 4 1/2″ squares and two 4 1/2″ by 2″ rectangles.

From the Shadow (grey colored) fabric, cut one 3 1/2″ strip and two 2 1/2″ strips. From the 3 1/2″ strip, subcut four 3 1/2″ squares. From the 2 1/2″ strips, cut twelve 2 1/2″ squares.

From the Amazon (turquoise colored) fabric, cut one 3 1/2″ strip and one 2 1/2″ strip. From the 3 1/2″ strip, subcut four 3 1/2″ squares. From the 2 1/2″ strip, subcut four 2 1/2″ squares.

From the Sky (light blue colored fabric), you just need one 1 1/2″ by 1 5/8″ rectangle. I recommend cutting a 2 1/2″ strip, then sub-cutting the rectangle and having a more usable scrap of fabric for another project.

The photo below shows all the different fabric cut in the required dimensions.

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Marking

Next you will mark the four 3 1/2″ Shadow squares, four 2″ Iris squares and eight of the twelve 2 1/2″ Shadow squares with an erasable or a disappearing ink marker with a diagonal line as shown below:

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Sewing

Sew all seams with an accurate 1/4″ seam.

Center Unit

Let’s start sewing the center unit. Place a 2″ Iris square on the left edge of one 4 1/2″ x 2″ Lilac rectangle, pin, and sew on the diagonal line as shown below. Then sew the other 2″ Iris square on the other side of the rectangle. You will need two of these. Trim the Iris squares 1/4″ from the sewn seams. Press open.

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Next you will sew the middle part of the center subunit square. Sew one of the 1 1/2″ by 2″ Iris rectangles to the 1 1/2″ by 1 5/8″ Sky rectangle. Sew the other Iris rectangle to the other side of the Sky rectangle. Press both seams open. Assemble the center subunit square as shown below and sew the three sections together.

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Petal Units

Place a 2 1/2″ Shadow square on the right corner of a 4 1/2″ Iris square and sew on the diagonal line. (I actually usually start sewing the corners on the left side, but for some reason, I started with the right corner. It really doesn’t matter). Trim 1/4″ from the sewn seam and press open. Then place a 2 1/2″ Shadow square on the left corner of the 4 1/2″ Iris square and sew on the diagonal line. Trim and press open. Repeat with other 4 1/2″ Iris square and the two 4 1/2″ squares.

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Leaf Units (Corner Squares)

Each leaf unit (corner square) is made from two 2 1/2″ Amazon/Shadow half-square triangles (HSTs), one 2 1/2″ Shadow square and one 2 1/2″ Amazon square.

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To make the HSTs, Place one 3 1/2″ Shadow square with the marked diagonal line on top of one 3 1/2″ Amazon square. Sew a seam 1/4″ away from each side of the line (see below). Repeat with the other 3 1/2″ Shadow and Amazon squares.

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Cut each square into two triangles along the marked diagonal line. You will have eight triangles that need to be trimmed to 2 1/2″ triangles. I like the Quilt in a Day Ruler, but feel free to use the ruler/method of your choice.

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A drawback to the Quilt in a Day Ruler is that there are still dog ears to be dealt with after trimming and before pressing, but I easily cut them off with my large but very sharp Karen Kay Buckley scissors. Press open.

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Following the photo below, pair a solid square with a HST. Even though I generally press my seams open, I pressed rows 1 and 3 to the left, and rows 2 and 4 to the right, so I could nest my seams. Then complete each corner leaf unit by sewing each set of pairs together.

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Assembling the Block

Use the photo below for reference. For the top and bottom rows, sew a leaf corner unit to a Lilac petal unit, and then sew another leaf corner unit to the other side of the Lilac petal unit. Press seams toward the Lilac petal units. For the middle row, sew an Iris petal unit to either side of the center unit making sure that the Iris colored are lined up. Press seams toward the Iris petal units. Then sew the top row to the middle row, and middle row to the bottom row. Press these seams open to reduce the bulk. And your block is now completed.

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Mockups

I created two different mockups of what a quilt might look like made from my Berry Blossom block using Quiltography which is an iPad app that cost about $15. It definitely is not as comprehensive as EQ7, but I rarely use a regular computer much any more except at work. I could not get the tiny Sky square in the center of the block to be any smaller, so the mockups are a little out of proportion.

Please click on the links below to see the wonderful blocks made by Cheryl and the other bloggers in our group:

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September ’16 OMG Goal–Finishing my Terra Australis Quilt

I finished my Terra Australis Quilt Top the end of July, took it in early August to Michael at ThreadBear to do the longarm quilting and got it back a couple weeks ago. This morning I finally got it squared up and the binding cut and sewn together. The binding is another Emma Jean Jansen fabric called Melba. In the photo below, I have the right side of the quilt turned back, so the backing fabric can be seen with my rolled-up binding sitting on top of it.

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My September ’16 OMG goal is to machine stitch down the binding (front and back) and to attach a quilt label to it using one of the Story Patches labels. With this label, I’ll be able to write on the label with a permanent fabric marker and will be able to record some history about this quilt that I can’t fit onto the quilt label. This is my first time time doing this, so I’m sure there will be some learning curve time to figure everything out. I first found about these Story Patches labels from Stephanie Palmer of Late Night Quilter. I’ll be using the arrow label below designed by Stephanie.

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It’s been nice having some time to work on my quilt today, but I have to tell you it’s been with a heavy heart. My cat, Bug, got out last night. She’s an indoor cat, and has gotten out a couple times before during her 11 years, but she’s always been at the door in the morning. But she has not come back home yet, and I’m very worried about her. Good vibes, thoughts, and prayers for her safe return will be much appreciated. She’s the tortoiseshell cat on the left in the pic below.

Update: After being gone a full week, Bug came home today! It’s a very happy day!

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Linking up to Red Letter Quilts: OMG September Goal Setting.

 

 

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OMG August ’16 Finish

Earlier in the month at the 11th hour I changed my  August ’16 OMG Goal from a kitty quilt to working on a quilt for a friend whose birthday is in October. One problem with writing a revised post at the last minute is that I was not specific about what I wanted to accomplish. For this reason, I don’t want Heidi to include me in the drawing this month for the lovely fat eighths bundle from her Etsy shop. But I am happy to share that I did accomplish the goal was in the my head, to complete the quilt top for my friend. I ended up changing the pattern, so I am no longer calling this project the Midnight Stars quilt, it’s new name is Diamond Stars quilt. Below is a mock-up of the revised design in Quiltography. I really like the middle star that was created when I altered my design.

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And below is a pic that shows the middle star of the completed quilt top (along with a few wrinkles I didn’t have time to press out).

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Tomorrow my friend and I are going together to ThreadBear where she will pick out the design she wants Michael to quilt. I’m thinking a variegated thread will look really nice on the peacock background.

Linking up to Red Letter Quilts August Finishes.

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Changing my August ’16 OMG Goal (if possible)

What Was I Thinking?

In the post that I wrote on 8/4/16, somehow I thought spending probably a minimum of 20 hours making a kitty quilt that would coordinate with my Terra Australis quilt and decrease the copious amount of cat hair regularly deposited on my bedding (and the rest of the house!) was a good idea. I have come to my senses! Just because I have a surplus of square-in-a-square mini blocks  does not mean that they have to be used in a project right away. I actually sewed one block yesterday for my proposed kitty quilt, and my heart just wasn’t in it. I kept thinking of the lap quilt I’m planning to make for a friend’s birthday in October using fabric from Sarah Watts’ Honeymoon collection that is one of my 2016 Quarter 3 Finish-Along Goals. The pattern I’ll be using is Moda Bake Shop’s Midnight Stars pattern, and since I’m not using a layer cake, I’ll be making the 9.5″ HSTs the traditional way rather than cutting 10″ squares diagonally and sewing triangles of print and background fabric together.

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So I’m scrapping the kitty quilt for now. I bought two different fleece throws this morning that should make fine kitty blankets and look decent on my quilt. And I started cutting my fabric for my Midnight Stars quilt which I’m glad I did because I discovered that I need more of my Bella Solids Peacock background fabric. I just placed another order with Fat Quarter Shop (and just HAD to order more yardage of my favorite low-volume fabric, Modern Background Paper Silver on White Notes to use in other projects).

Linking up again with Red Letter Quilts’ OMG It’s August. I don’t know if it is against the rules or not to change our OMG goal, but no matter what, I’ve switched gears and now focusing on my Midnight Stars quilt.

 

 

 

 

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OMG August ’16 GOAL

After working on it for seven months, I finished the quilt top for my Terra Australis quilt this past weekend. I dropped it off at ThreadBear a couple days ago for Michael to do his exceptional longarm quilting. I had some 4 1/2″ square-in-a-square mini blocks that I decided not to use for a border, but now I plan to use those mini blocks in a 36″ square mini quilt for my cats. I’m hoping they will think it is so special and nifty that they will deposit most of their cat hair on the mini quilt rather than the larger quilt. One can hope–right?

Below is a mock-up of what it will look like. If you want more details, click on my Terra Australis link above.

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My August OMG goal is to get this mini quilt completed, and I plan to quilt it myself in my minimalist way.

Linking up to Red Letter Quilts: OMG It’s August.

EDITED: I decided to change my OMG August ’16 goal. Please see my Changing My August ’16 OMG GOAL (if possible) post.

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Terra Australis Quilt Top Finished!

I’ve been working on my Terra Australis quilt for seven months, and I’m thrilled to report that I finished the quilt top yesterday.

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I have blogged more about this project than any other project. The posts below include some details about tutorials I followed, but after I made a number of blocks, I started making adaptations to some of the tutorials. A good example of that is the last block I made for this project, Block 25.

Starting on 1/3/16, I wrote about the fabric for this quilt in my Sunday Stash #9-Terra Australis post. On 2/1/16 I wrote my post, 2016-Change in Direction Already where I wrote about the first four blocks that I completed for my Terra Australis quilt. On 3/1/16 I wrote a post called Bee Blocks and More-February ’16 that included information about Blocks 5-8. Blocks 9-13 were blogged about in my March Terra Australis and Bee Blocks post. On 4/25/16 I blogged about Blocks 14 and 15 in my April 2016 Blocks post. I took some time off from this project to complete the Breaking Bad Wall Hanging for my great-nephew, John, and to get ready for Glamp Stichalot in early June in Ann Arbor. After I returned from Michigan, the first quilt-related thing I did was to sew Blocks 16 and 17 blogged about in my Building Blocks Tuesday–Quilting is in My Blood Guest Blogger post. The second weekend in July, I started the final push. Block 18 is referenced in these two posts, Terra Australis July ’16 WIP Update and 2016 Q3 Finish-Along Goals. Then I kicked it into high gear and sewed seven blocks in four days blogged about in my Last Block Laid Out for Terra Australis Quilt post.

Until this past weekend, I was going to make the quilt a little longer than wide by adding a top and bottom border. I made quite a few square-in-a-square mini blocks and even sewed some together.

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But I decided not to use that border for a couple of reasons. It became clear that if my sewing was absolutely perfect that the border would be the exact length it needed to be because I had calculated the math. But you can see in the photo above, there are small discrepancies in the mini block size, and I wasn’t going to be able to make it work without be jerry-rigging some corner strips, and I just didn’t want to do that. Plus the bigger this quilt top got, the harder it was to wrangle around my sewing machine and ironing board. And my shoulders started to cuss me out!

So I decided that I could live with a turquoise dot fabric outer border, so the measurement of quilt top is 82″ by 82″. When I actually use the quilt, I will pull it down a little lower on the bed, so I think this size will work perfectly for me.

I want you all to know that the square-in-a-square mini blocks are not going to go to waste. I’m going to use them in a 36″ x 36″ kitty quilt that I will place at the end of my bed to protect the big quilt from the three cats who seem to feel that my bed is their bed. I’m going to use the Moonlight Star block designed by Gerri Robinson which will require that I make more half-square triangles, but by now, I am a HST machine! I created this block in Quiltography, and I like how it looks:

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And then I did a mock-up of what nine of these blocks would look like again using Quiltography, and I LOVE the secondary design that is created using these blocks.

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For the back of the quilt, I’m just using a three-yard cut of grey prism fabric from BackSide Fabrics. One of the first quilting blogs I started following about two years ago was Yvonne’s Quilting Jetgirl blog, and it was from her blog that I found out about BackSide Fabrics. I love using their 108″ wide fabric and not having to piece a quilt back. And I have to tell you, they are fast! I ordered fabric from them on July 29th, and it was delivered to me clear across the country today, August 1st.

I’m taking my quilt top (I know many of you refer to a quilt top as a “flimsy” but to me that sounds like an insult!) tomorrow to my local quilt store, ThreadBear, to have it long-arm quilted. I bought the binding fabric today, so I hope to start binding the quilt fairly soon after I get it back. And then, when it is all done, I plan to do this quilt justice and photograph it outside with good outdoor lighting. I even have a possible quilt photography site in mind. Then it will be time to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Hopefully we won’t be in the midst of another heat wave!

Linking up to Cooking Up Quilts: Main Crush Monday

 

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2016 Mid Year Review

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Quilting

I’m joining up with Yvonne@Quilting Jetgirl’s 2016 Mid Year Review. Things have changed A LOT since I wrote my 2016 Goals for Quilting and Blogging post back in December. The major thing that has happened is being diagnosed with bursitis and arthritis in both of my shoulders. I am having to be more selective about the projects I’m involved with, so I have opted out of several projects that I signed up for in December 2015 including the Aurora Star BOM, the Tribal Block Club, and the Fancy Forest BOM hosted by my local quilt store, ThreadBear. The good news is that I have the PDF files and/or patterns and can work on these down road if I choose.

I am keeping up with my online quilting bee commitments but needed to ask for help from a good quilty friend with a complicated paper-piecing block. I’m excited about being Queen Bee in August for both of my online quilting bees, Stash Bee and The Bee Hive. I have blogged about my bee block choice, the Quatrefoil block in My Turn to be Queen Bee.

I completed both of my mini mini swaps this year  and have done a good job not getting sucked into all the Instagram swaps though I have to say the Polaroid block swaps really tempted me.

I did attend both QuiltCon 2016  in Pasadena, California, and Glamp Stitchalot in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I learned so much at both of these events and met so many wonderful quilty friends. When I received the program ahead of time for Glamp Stitchalot and saw that three of the classes were on paper-piecing, I decide to finish the first paper-piecing project I ever attempted which was a small bird-in-a-birdhouse. It made me a little more comfortable with the paper-piecing classes though I am still not what I would call proficient with this piecing technique.

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Back in December, I knew that I wanted to sew a quilt for my full-size bed and had planned to sew a simple patchwork quilt using 5″ squares from her Carolyn Friedlander’s Doe collection. But my vision for a quilt for my bed changed on Christmas Day when I opened a present from my best friend that had two one-yard cuts of fabric from Emma Jean Jansen’s Terra Australis collection and a $50 gift certificate to ThreadBear that I used to buy some of the coordinating prints. I fell in love with this fabric and decided to create a 25-block sampler quilt using fabric from this collection with 12 1/2″ unfinished blocks. I have now completed all 25 blocks for my Terra Australis quilt and have added sashing.

image.jpegI am in the process of adding outer borders to increase the size to fit my full-size bed. I hope to take this to Michael at ThreadBear to work his longarm-quilting magic the second week of August.

One other project I mentioned wanting to do when I set my 2016 goals was to sew a Midnight Stars quilt. I was going to use two Black Tie Affair layer cakes but have decided instead to make it using Sarah Watts’ Honeymoon fabric as a birthday gift for my best friend. I’m excited to work on a project with such big half-square triangles and hope it will go together fairly quickly. See my 2016 Quarter 3 Finish-Along Goals for a link to the pattern and a picture of the fabric I’ll be using.

For the time being, I have decided to not quilt anything myself larger than a baby quilt and am not going to worry about increasing my free-motion quilting skills at this time. So the log cabin blocks from my Instagram swap from 2015 will continue to be a UFO. I’m also not worrying about some other 2015 UFOs like my Midnight Mystery quilt (though I may use the Flying Geese in another project).

Blogging

I am keeping up with my commitment to write at least four posts per month. Blogging is something I really enjoy though I need to work on being more timely in responding to comments.

I still have not made much headway with my quilt photography. It is the aspect of quilting/blogging that I enjoy the least, but I suspect I would like it more if I put more time and energy into planning better quilt photography locations with good outdoor light.

I participated in the 2016 Paintbrush Studio New Block Blog Hop in March and plan to participate in the 2016 Cloud 9 New Block Blog Hop September 12-14, 2016. I think the block I have designed will work perfectly with this gorgeous Berry Harvest bundle.

My blog definitely needs some clean-up and reorganization. I’d like to add a Tutorials tab and delete a lot of the tags that I used initially when I first started blogging.

The Last Five Months of 2016

Many other bloggers have talked about the need to increase self-care and have more balance in their lives, and I completely relate. Being consistent with PT exercises, walking and stretching more, and eating more nutritious meals needs to be a priority in the last five months of this year.

Linking up to Quilting Jetgirl’s 2016 Mid Year Review.

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My Turn to be Queen Bee in August

I belong to two online quilting bees, Stash Bee, and The Bee Hive, where each month the designated queen bee gets to choose what block she wants other hive members to sew and send to her by the end of the month. She needs to write a tutorial or provide a link to a tutorial and also provide information about her color preferences. Blocks for Stash Bee can be up to 16.5″ unfinished and should be able to be completed in 1.5 hours or less. Blocks for The Bee Hive need to be one of 25 block tutorials created by Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts or her guest designers. All of these blocks are 12.5″ unfinished. Lucky for me there are no rules against blocks being repeated or having different quilting bees sew the same block as I am the queen bee in August for both of my online quilting bees.

I’m asking my hive-mates in both Stash Bee and Bee Hive to sew the Quatrefoil block designed by Jennie of Clover & Violet. This will be second time my Bee Hive-mates have sewn this block this year. (And the third time for me. It is the first block I sewed for my Terra Australis quilt.) Guess it’s pretty obvious that I love this block!

It’s a fairly easy block to sew though it is really important to look carefully at Jennie’s diagrams to sew each of the corner block subunits correctly (Hint: Even though they look the same, two of the corner block subunits are the mirror image of the other two corner block subunits).

The colors I have chosen are teal, navy, lime green, and low volume fabric. I’ve sewn two example blocks to show color placement:

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Below is a pic of a fabric pull using my color choices:

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For inspiration, you might also want to check out Sarah Goer’s Swoon blocks. I love her fabric choices for her swoon blocks.

I would prefer tone-on-tone or small-scale modern prints or solids that have some pizazz like Grunge, Painter’s Canvas, and Cross-Hatch, and for the low-volume, I’d like grey or black on white (no cream or any other colors).

I’m really looking forward to getting some fun quilty mail next month and seeing what my hive-mates create.

I’m happy to have met my OMG July 2016 Goal with two whole days left in the month. Linking up to OMG July 2016 It’s Finished.

 

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